The global market for outsourced Facility Services is growing – and will keep growing in the coming years. This is supported by the general outsourcing trend and especially the financial downturn triggering companies to look towards making their cost structures more flexible.
Today companies are continuously looking for new ways of improving their competitiveness and cost structure, for example by reducing the number of their suppliers. This is a positive market pressure that leads the industry to improve the supply chain continuously by both bundling and integrating services.
Outsourcing deals tend to be long-term and five or even ten-year deals are common. At ISS we have experienced very long-term relations with some of our contracts dating back more than 40 years, such as the contract with DSB (The Danish Railways) which was first signed in 1964. This longevity means that the relationship between the parties involved will change over the lifetime of the deal. Throughout the duration of the contract it is the responsibility of those tasked with managing the outsource arrangement – on both sides – to ensure that the deal delivers benefits and continues to meet business requirements.
In any long-term outsourcing arrangement business factors are constantly changing, including personnel, business priorities and the economic environment. Some changes are outside the control of the businesses, such as market developments and global economy. Other changes are the result of the business’s actions, such as business scope and priorities. Hence, while some of these factors can be addressed by contractual agreements, others cannot be handled so easily. For example, key staff can be retained over time by people development and motivation. Other factors, such as working relationships with and motivating business partners, require more effort to improve. But something has to be done to ensure that the outsourcing arrangements ‘fit’ with current business requirements.
Based on our vast experience in working with service outsourcing and through the development of the company’s internal outsourcing practices, ISS has developed, and will continue to develop, a set of White Papers. Here we share the best practices from a large number of outsourcing projects in an effort to help customers becoming more knowledgeable about outsourcing and provide input to the “do’s and don’ts”, seen from our perspective.