Verticals

FM is something so naturally related to any economic activity that needs facilities and/or workspace, that its application is practically universal.

But the youngness of FM as a global discipline, makes evident the need of some efforts on FM implementations with the help of Information Systems tools,  in some verticals where some aspects of the FM activities are critical for the business performance.

Some of these verticals are:

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* Government:
At all Government levels (local, regions, country) the facilities management and its adhesion to the legal and normative frame requires such a big effort, that the availability of Software Tools is a fast path in order to improve the administrative cost and reducing the needed resources to ensure a right governance.

* Utilities:
At electric, water and energy companies, the great number of facilites, assets and their usual physical distribution in wide areas, require a big effort to manage everything. On top of that, recent legal rules and a big pressure on environmental issues and sustainability make almost impossible to manage all these aspects in the right way without the help of specialized applications.

* Hospitals and Healthcare:
Conceptually near from the Hospitality (Hotels) sector since the facilites are part of the bussiness object to manage, the high critical condition of services directly related to the life of persons put this vertical as the more paradigmatic case of business benefits of Information Systems Tools.

* HTT (Hotels, Transportation, Tourism):
Add to the previous points of other verticals, the critical condition of a lot of FM services for customer satisfaction and the brand reputation as a consequence of such satisfaction. This is the HTT industry. Or just think in the real needs of SLAs and Service Level management of an Airport, and you will find out why it is impossible to make business there without an FM Software Solution.

* Retail, shopping, amusement parks:
These environments have in common very short "windows" for maintenance, a high visibility of any incident and very short response time requirements for interventions. All of these constraints push towards short ROI in management tools going beyond the traditional Maintenance software approach.

* Industrial environments:
The importance of maintenance activities in any industrial environment is well-known for everyone. In some specific sectors -as pharmaceuticals and its associated logistics- the physical environment impacts in product manufacturing and storage, requiring (for normative compliance) the existence of permanent controls not affordable without Information Systems help.

 

Use Cases - FM Outsourcing  and Service Models 

FM services outsourcing is a clear trend nowadays, with special incidence in developed countries, but -under the globalization umbrella- going up everywhere with worldwide presence of big FM outsourcing operators.

An interesting study from KPMG (2013) focused on the Management Model points clearly the buyers preference for keeping in their hands the high level management of FM services (including in this high level the Information Systems supporting FM).

On top of success cases, one clear factor contributing to this trend is the fact that outsourced services contracts include variable clauses looking for service improvement, cost savings and SLA compliance as KPIs being economically relevant.

This fact, push for a strict control of the outsourcer performance from the customer side, with a clear recommendation of an architecture where the Information Systems related to FM services are retained and not outsourced.

On top of this factor, the trend of changing the outsourcer of some non strategic services in a transparent way (transparent for the end users) support the idea of keeping the operating procedures and reporting untouched, and this is something difficult to reach if the IS is in the outsourcer hands. The need of the historical data and in-house knowledge persistence operate against a full outsourced management model when we reach Information Systems. 

The alternate model, an IS delegation to the outsourcer, makes sense if the outsourcing cover a wide scope and a very long time contract is considered, or the outsourcer offers a Software solution quite better than the current one. In this case, defining audit strategies, knowledge transfer and documentation support, and a clear transition policy at the end of the contract, are key points to cover in such agreement.