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By John Rogers and Robert Barnes
No matter the industry, facility managers are faced with diverse issues, particularly as the number of locations they’re responsible for increases. Within the banking industry, managing multi-site retail locations can often present distinct facility issues. Specifically, with a distributed portfolio of locations, facility managers are faced with the challenge of providing quality services to small, frequently remote sites outside major city hubs. Instead of using a self-performance model typically reserved for larger buildings with an efficient infrastructure already in place, a subcontractor model becomes preferred in order to hire quality vendors needed to meet the facilities’ needs.
In order to best service multi-site retail bank locations, facility managers should consider the following areas when using the subcontractor model for these sites:
Vendors. Once the decision is made to pursue a subcontractor model, vetting and selecting a high-quality vendor becomes the first key step for facility managers. Exploring previously contracted vendors is a viable option, as these contractors may have already demonstrated a track record of quality work and service. Additionally, not only will these vendors have the opportunity to continue building their reputations and relationships with the banks, but the vendors will enjoy a shorter learning curve to help support and fulfill the facility managers’ commitments to their facility clients to meet their goals.
Compliance. Once the initial vetting and evaluation process is complete, facility managers will still need to conduct additional compliance work. Banks are highly secure organizations, and the requirements can vary by institution. With the need for thorough background and security checks, it is advisable for facility managers to develop a support unit within their team to ensure all company-specific compliance issues are addressed throughout facility portfolios.
Diversity. Banks’ facility management programs are likely to have diversity requirements inside their corporate governance. A facility manager must be aware of and become an active contributor toward meeting these expectations. An excellent place for facility managers to start is by looking for vendors that are certified as Minority and Women Owned Businesses. With ample local and national support resources available, these vendors can be identified and selected to provide quality services and assist the bank to meet diversity guidelines and goals.
Reporting. With multiple moving pieces in motion for facility managers, it is crucial to report analytics on key performance indicators back to their client (the bank). Through various reporting systems that analyze vendor and maintenance management, among other computer systems, facility managers are able to provide standardized monthly reports pertaining to how the company is meeting standards, compliance, diversity, and quality requirements. The process of standardizing reports is especially important when a bank’s units are dispersed throughout the country, as it allows the metrics to be compared and evaluated across the entire portfolio of locations. This enables facility managers to efficiently review program results with their clients and ensure key focus areas are being measured and met.
Facility managers experience multiple and diverse challenges coordinating and directing multi-site retail bank portfolios. However, the most important part of their responsibility is the relationship with their clients at the bank and ensuring business goals and objectives are being met. While managing these locations will go across a diverse geography, facility managers must make it a priority to consistently communicate with their teams and vendors in the field to help create business unity and continuity around the services being provided.
Rogers is a vice president of business development, and Barnes is a senior director of operations for DTZ, a global leader in property services. Collectively, they have more than 45 years of facility management experience, including extensive work within the retail and banking industries.