As Jennifer mentioned in her previous blog, getting a grasp on the status of your organization prior to engaging in any sourcing event is critical to ensure that you have a sound understanding of where you stand in terms of priorities, organization, and accountability. This is especially important for larger companies with footprints spanning multiple locations and (potentially) multiple countries. Ultimately you need a plan, and without one you are setting you and your sourcing team up for headaches, inefficient practices, and money left on the table!
Facilities Management Sourcing Challenges Blog Mini Series Part 4
Once you can accurately assess the current state of your facilities, and have conducted a successful sourcing initiative, you then must determine what course of action you want to implement within your locations. There are several avenues you can pursue – ranging from purchasing facilities management software applications to help track and monitor your inventory levels, resource allocation, and labor to deploying a third party procurement team to help transform your department and prepare it for long term success.

There are dozens of management software and sourcing resources available to companies today. Whichever direction you choose to go, here are four categories you should to consider before making an investment in a facilities management program:

Every facility has a software application of some kind used to manage, monitor, and run. Whether it is a server that holds contracts, service agreements, employee records, inventory management, or time cards, you need it to run your business day to day. These essential programs are the backbone of your organization, and without them you’d cease operations.

Transactional software applications are just how they sound – basic and straightforward. These applications will help you manage inventory levels, provide a repository for any and all contracts/service agreements, and allow your procurement team to centralized information in a single location at a tactical level.

Functional software provides companies with a cost effective resource to manage their business. In additional to tactical organizational value, this software tracks detailed asset and equipment information, manages maintenance costs, streamlines work orders and preventative maintenance, helps maximize the useful life of assets, reduces space and maintenance costs and much more. This allows managers to manage, and employees to focus on their day to day responsibilities without having to worry about having organizational data readily available.

Strategic software is designed to help your organization handle multiple complexities to assist your company and position it for continued growth. While these types of software can provide all the services listed in the transactional and functional categories, it also has additional capabilities that can grow with your company if you plan to expand and develop your current business. Extended offerings may not be important at first, but it is good to know the service platform you are choosing can grow alongside your business.

In a world where everything continues to become automated, there are still other options available to help get your facilities organized and on the right track that aren’t as platform oriented. Third party consulting firms (such as Source One Management Services, LLC), can work with your current teams to implement sound sourcing processes internally without investing in automation. These firms can also assess your teams and perform unbiased analysis of their strengths, weaknesses, and areas they can improve. Firms offer these services for a predetermined fee, hourly rate, or even a contingency plan based on the amount of spend your facilities generate.

Just because you have successfully sourced a category doesn’t mean the process stops there. Determining how you will implement these wholesale organizational and cultural changes in your company is just as important. Whether you choose to implement via a facilities management program, third party consulting firm, or a combination of both, it is the actions of those parties moving forward that will determine the overall success of your strategic sourcing process. Thank you for following along throughout this mini-series. Be sure to check back on TheStrategicSourcer for more featured articles on facility management, as well as a variety of other categories and subject matters!

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Nick Harasymczuk

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