Many of your competitors, clients, and business partners have outsourced their building’s maintenance. Are you considering following in their footsteps? Outsourcing has become a popular solution for business and building owners to free up time, control costs, ensure a more efficient work environment, and make a better impression on their clients and partners. 

Of course, not everything about outsourcing is sunshine and rainbows, and, from a certain point of view, in-house services may still be a viable choice. The best way to make an informed decision is to carefully weigh the pros and cons. 

Window cleaning crews, image courtesy of Gold Standard

Main Advantages of Outsourcing Building Maintenance

Savings: An outsourced solution is usually much more economically viable than paying staff wages and benefits or buying specific equipment, tools and supplies. 

Qualified, experienced and reliable staff and high-quality services: Professional companies carefully screen their employees, check their qualifications, professional background, police records and references, and put them through continuous training. You’re more than likely to have a much more qualified person on the job that your HR department didn’t have to screen through the process.

Less hassle: Personnel recruitment, training, monitoring, satisfaction, disciplinary measures, payrolls, time-keeping, work health and safety issues, and more become the responsibility of the company you outsource to.

Better tools, equipment, and technology: As a building owner, you would surely limit your investment in this field to the minimum required, but the company you outsource to will rely on professional, high-performance equipment to provide fast, efficient, and consistent services.

Improved focus: No longer having to worry about building maintenance will let you focus on more important aspects of building management and client retention, while the company you outsource to will have one main concern – your and your tenant’s satisfaction. 

Main Disadvantages of Outsourcing Building Maintenance

The most popular arguments for building owners to reject the idea of outsourcing center around loss of control, staff turnover, management role redundancy, and response times. However, if you take a closer look, you will see that they are not general disadvantages, but rather specific issues building owners may have encountered over time by working with the wrong service provider. These issues can be easily avoided if:

• The contract you sign with the company you outsource to stipulates clear quality control standards and gives you the right to apply penalties or request compensation for poor services
• You make sure the company you outsource to is well-reputed and appreciated not only among customers, but also among current and former employees
• You restructure your management’s responsibilities according to your new needs
• You stipulate that the company you outsource to provides emergency services with a set response time – for example, four hours for a low priority task, and within sixty minutes for major emergencies.

When it comes down to it, the benefits of outsourcing maintenance far outweigh the drawbacks, but only if you are willing to put the time and effort into finding the right partner, and the right agreement for you. Be sure to speak to colleagues and neighbours in your community to get word of mouth referrals, do diligent research, and don’t be afraid to amend service agreements to better fit your needs before you sign. The work is worth the relief you will feel when you find a maintenance partner that you can trust.