• Daniel Hiza

In-house Facilities Management versus Outsourced Facilities Management

Businesses thrive by carrying out the tasks that they excel at most. In-house facility management can provide a very high quality of service, but many lack the specialized tools and training that professional commercial cleaning and facilities management companies have. This leads businesses to seek long-term partnerships with facilities management companies.

Some such training advantages may include spatial cleaning routines and optimizations, cleaning procedures, and even sheer staff availability numbers. In addition to human-derived advantages, many professional facilities management companies have a more broad availability when it comes to technology and equipment.

Some technology and equipment that these professional service providers have access to may include automated sweeping and mopping machines, automated floor scrubbers and buffers, and UV-C radiation lamps that are safe for human use—but also destroy viruses and bacteria on-contact.



In-house Facilities Management Advantages


In-house staff members are usually a little easier to manage and contact throughout normal working hours. They also tend to come with a fixed salary package. In-house facility managers commonly have some additional location and business-specific knowledge, such as VIP arrival times and dates.


They also tend to see unusually heavy burst-traffic zones, such as a conference room that busy executives use for an unannounced shared lunch every third Thursday of every other month. In-house facilities management can provide additional training and require specialized certifications that a partner organization may not provide in their standard packages.


In-house Facilities Management Disadvantages


In-house facilities management has pros and cons alike. Holiday cover simply must be taken under consideration. Facility managers may not be available for contact outside normal office hours.

Additional training can prove very costly and time-consuming for these specialists as well. Other expenses may include a company car, for transit between corporate locations, and a company phone for use in managing the maintenance, janitorial, and other facility-related staff members.


Outsourced Facilities Management Advantages


When companies begin outsourcing facilities management operations, they can reap immediate and tangible benefits. Spaces that once required multiple passes and substantial time commitment are managed in short timespans. Professional commercial cleaning and janitorial companies usually assign tasks in batches to maximize time efficiency.


For example, desks must be wiped and cleaned before an anti-microbial coating can be applied. Carpet is going to need an additional vacuum treatment if vacuuming precedes surface clearing. And anti-microbial coatings may yield a very minor benefit to carpet fibers if they have been vacuumed prior to applying the spray-on coatings for desks, chairs, keyboards, and other commonly used surfaces.


Each of these enable greater cost savings for customers that want to efficiently maintain their real estate and operations.

Skill Flexibility

Not only will your organization have facilities management staff on-call when you outsource to a reliable company, you will gain access to their depth and wealth of professional knowledge as well. Some common skills that our professionals possess include:


  • Procedure-driven electronic task checklists and verification, ensuring no task is overlooked;

  • Diverse training in multiple areas of cleaning and maintenance, such as:

  • Mechanical service

  • HVAC sterilization

  • Window washing

  • Power washing

  • Janitorial cleaning

  • High-level qualifications such as Green Seal certification, LEED Green certification, and GBAC training with electrostatic foggers and other equipment;

  • Hazardous Materials (HazMat) containment, clean-up, and remediation; and

  • Team-based cleaning procedures


Having this sort of flexibility enables professional cleaners to retain a substantial competitive advantage over many in-house counterparts. To say the least, procuring the equipment needed to compete could readily cost more than simply outsourcing the services in many cases. Some advanced cleaning systems can reach into the six-figure range and beyond.

Cost Scalability

Professional managed service providers (MSPs) in cleaning and facilities management are able to scale the number of people and assets they dispatch to client locations. This can even include acquiring or dispatching personnel with training in classified environments, such as those required by many government and private contracts.


It’s not only challenging to estimate the number of staff required to manage a facility, but it can result in unforeseen consequences when the number of staff is smaller than needed for a burst-traffic event, something that draws a large crowd that wasn’t initially expected, such as social media spread and similar concepts.


Finally, professional cleaning and facilities management MSPs are liable for the services provided by their employees. This means that accidents or other conflicts which may arise throughout the course of doing business are no longer our client’s concern, as it pertains to our service offerings.


Outsourced Facilities Management Disadvantages


Outsourcing your facilities management does provide reduced control over staff selection—though excellent MSPs will provide you regular opportunity to alter your cleaning roster. Costs will vary between projects as well, unlike an in-house program.


Cleaning and facilities management MSPs will also take a little longer to internalize your business needs and values. These things will be internalized but, depending on the personnel and processes employed, it may take more or less time than an internal staff selection.


In terms of hours worked, MSPs are often more expensive, but they are also frontloading the costs of benefits, training, and supplying personnel. They also front the costs associated with maintaining equipment if things wear down or break. When these costs are averaged in, many businesses find a substantial ROI over internal staffing for facilities management.


Pritchard Industries has provided outsourced facilities management services for more than the last 100 years. Our technicians are always trained on new and emerging best practices. We’ve invested in LEED Green, Green Seal, and other sustainability-related certifications to provide a clear expectation of our service quality and propensity for green cleaning.


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