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By Eric Kirchhoefer, Vice President, Sales & National Accounts, ABM Industries
As the world is opening back up, manufacturing demands are ramping right back up with it. In conversations with our clients — some of the biggest manufacturers working across numerous, varied industries — we’re already noticing a troubling, post-pandemic trend.
They’re telling us that it’s been immensely difficult to rehire or “staff up” internally as their plants and facilities increase capacity to meet consumer demand. This trend is compounded by the record-low unemployment rates for janitorial work and a general overall labor shortage.
But, there is good news: Manufacturers don’t need to go it alone. Actually, with outsourcing, they can have access to as many trained and certified workers as needed at their manufacturing facility with the ability to scale as their output increases.
Why Outsourced Integrated Facility Services (IFS) Work So Well
In addition to managing your industrial, manufacturing, or distribution facilities, you’ve got a primary job to do: Running your business efficiently. From factory floor and warehouse to break rooms, restrooms, cafes and parking lots, can you say with confidence that every square foot is properly cared for? Maybe, but that’s not your main focus, nor should it have to be.
Outsourcing has long been the solution that enables you to focus on your core business issues while leaving the secondary duties, like facility services, to a dedicated expert. As industry transitions from the pandemic, it will become even more important that your buildings are being run to your standards in a cost-effective way.
That’s where an experienced IFS provider like ABM comes in to strategically direct all your facility operations, self-performing most services and literally integrating their team into your manufacturing plant. ABM teams work to eliminate or greatly minimize subcontractors, and as a result, efficiencies increase, quality standards are met across the board, facility management is simplified, and your job gets easier.
This approach elevates your role while still keeping you in full control. You set the standards; you see reports from consolidated, comprehensive data; you know who’s working in your facilities. But also you have a partner working right alongside you throughout it all to make sure everything exceeds your expectations for your facilities.
Key Advantages Of IFS
The right IFS partner will build service programs tailored to your goals and will maximize your facility’s health and safety, functionality, and value. You’ll be assured consistent quality, reliability, and sustainability in all areas touched by the IFS provider that has the infrastructure in place to offer:
- One purpose/vision that matches your culture/goals for all services in your facilities
- Deep expertise across all services provided
- Consistent training and processes according to industry best practices
- Flexibility to adapt staffing to your business needs and cycles
- Proactive initiatives, anticipating your needs and preventing problems
- Sustainable, compliant practices across the board
- Quality standards, accurate and benchmarked data with detailed key performance indicators (KPIs)
- One technology platform: Consolidated data, transparency, improved forecasting
- Business continuity planning
When business cycles dictate, the IFS provider will be able to manage costs down during a downturn and ramp up efficiently when your business is booming. Staffing and services are scaled to the needs of the business over time and extended or contracted geographically as required.
Improve Cost Control With IFS
The IFS approach directs more facility services dollars to actual service costs and streamlines labor management. This, in turn, achieves the following for your facility:
- Reduces overhead and fees — The more providers you have to manage, the more you spend on administrative and various other soft costs. The IFS model funnels more of your spend towards labor and reduces the margin that’s spent on fees, management, and overhead costs.
- Enables smart labor utilization — Labor accounts for 55-65% of the cost of delivering facility services. With an IFS model, team members are cross-utilized to fulfill staffing needs efficiently, reducing the need for subcontracted labor.
- Provides a holistic view — A fully integrated reporting plan can encompass the entire scope of your facilities services program, which reduces errors and improves efficiency. These insights allow you to determine which areas, if any, need improvement.
Relying on one provider offers you better consistency, stricter adherence to service level agreements and improved governance. These outcomes lead to improved occupant satisfaction, employee engagement and cost control.
The Proof Is In The Polish (And Production) For This Major Automobile Manufacturer
Here’s how one of the leading vehicle manufacturers in the world evaluated and then adopted an outsourced model of facility services with measurable results.
After years of in-house janitorial service, one of the world’s top manufacturers of automobiles, cargo trucks, buses, watercraft, and construction equipment looked to ABM as a professional replacement in the company’s northeastern U.S. production facilities.
And now, for six years and counting, ABM has integrated across five production sites and among thousands of team members to provide expert cleaning, engineering, landscaping, and more task-specific services as one successful team.
In short, we went from an in-house janitorial program provider to operating an outsourced IFS model at this global auto manufacturer. And this is just one example of the more than 400 manufacturing facilities that rely on ABM’s solutions.
Ease Your Maintenance Burden
When looking at all the job responsibilities existing outside of running your core business, you might call IFS the cure for all your facilities-related frustrations. That’s because, to an IFS expert, facility problems are fascinating puzzles to solve.
Studying your facilities holistically, an IFS expert can build value for you by reducing your operating costs while keeping your buildings clean, comfortable and energy efficient. If you have multiple locations, the right IFS provider can handle them all.
ABM is working as a strategic IFS partner for a growing list of manufacturing facilities in diverse industries, including industry leaders. This enables ABM to create customized approaches not just for manufacturing but for the specific needs of your facility and industry.
Want to read more about how ABM can help get people back to work? Click here.