Hi there,

This week, we’re moving on to a new topic, something that will be familiar to all facilities managers to some degree.

So today and for the next few weeks, we’ll be taking a look at FM Service Delivery, specifically the difference between in-house and outsourced facilities management.

However, to understand the various options for the delivery of support services such as FM, we need to keep in mind what we’ve been looking at over the past few weeks – the concept of core business.

If you’ve only recently subscribed to the newsletter and have missed our previous e-mails about core business, don’t worry – we’ll soon be publishing all of the previous e-mails on our soon-to-be revamped website – watch this space!

Core Business

Before we answer this, let’s quickly recap what core business actually is.

In a nutshell, core business is the main activity that a business or organisation undertakes. It is the raison d’etre for an organisation. For example, the core business of a software company is to develop software, the core business of a school is to provide education to its pupils and the core business of a hospital is to provide healthcare.

Anything which is not directly involved in the delivery of this core business is classed as a non-core or support service. FM falls squarely into this category, as do other departments such as HR, Legal etc.

So what is outsourcing?

Outsourcing is the process of contracting a third party company to take care of certain aspects of your business.

So in the context of facilities management, rather than having permanently employed teams of engineers, cleaners, caterers etc. on the company payroll, we instead pay a third party – usually a specialist – to deliver our maintenance, cleaning, catering and other FM services for us.

How is outsourcing related to core business?

Generally speaking, we wouldn’t outsource our core business activities (although there are some exceptions – if you can think of any, why not reply to this e-mail with your example). So a firm of accountants, for example, wouldn’t outsource their accountancy services to another firm of accountants. That would be fairly pointless!

Non-core activities, however, are fair game for outsourcing.

That’s not to say that it is always the right decision to use other companies to provide our support services – there are pros and cons to both outsourcing and keeping things in-house.

However unlike core activities, we can always consider outsourcing support services such as FM if we feel it will bring a business benefit.

There are a myriad of different options when it comes to outsourcing, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, and that’s what we’ll be looking at over the coming weeks.

But for now, just make sure you understand what outsourcing is and what type of services we are likely to outsource.

That’s all for today! Next week we’ll start looking at outsourcing in more detail.

Have a great week.

Chris and the Xenon Group team

P.S. If you haven’t already studied or started studying for an IWFM qualification, which will cover topics like this in depth and fully assess your understanding, you may want to have a look at our guide to the IWFM Qualifications which will give you a full breakdown of how they work and what’s involved in the different levels. You can download it here.

P.P.S. If you’re already considering taking a qualification but don’t know which level to go for, a good starting point is our One-Minute-Leveller tool, which will ask you a few questions and give you a recommendation based on the result. You can access it here.