In this article we are going to take a look at Facility Services. What services does the facility department deliver? How is this structured? Let’s take a look!
Facility Services are all services that keep the building up and running while at the same time making sure that the user is able to do their work to the best of their abilities. What kind of services are we talking about? In Facility Management we distinguish hard services and soft services. Hard services are all building related services, meant to maintain the building. Soft services are all user related services, meant to support the user in their work. Let’s zoom in on this a bit more:
Hard services mostly include making sure that installations stay up and running and perform maintenance. You can think of lighting, fire safety systems, access systems, air conditioning, energy installations, water treatment services but also performing preventive and reactive maintenance. These hard services really are the basics of any building and should be up and running all the time, no exceptions. Hard services are often also governed by law: recurring fire safety checks for example. On tactical level this means that multi-year maintenance plans should be made. This will help you to estimate the need for budget. On operational level landlords and technicians are necessary to execute these activities and make sure that all building users can work as optimal as possible.
Soft services are often much more visible and aimed at the daily support of workers. Think of cleaning services, security, reception desk, catering, landscaping, laundry services, carpark, banqueting services and we can go on and on. These services make any place look nice and tidy, guide you to wherever you need to be, and keep you safe. All elements for a fun day at the cinema or a productive day at work. Needless to say, that these amenities are always tailored to the type of organization: the catering at a cinema will be much different from the catering at your work! With these services, we see that you as Facility Department can really make the difference. Offering more services to your building users, will increase the customer satisfaction. But also make sure you deliver the right services that fits to the customer’s needs. On tactical level we see at soft services a service manager for example, or a contract manager, when the service is outsourced. On operational level, these people are the most important once, because without them, there is no service. Think for example about the receptionist, the cleaner, the security guard etc.
Can you of should you choose between the two?
Well technically you can leave out soft services, it just makes it a bit less pleasant. But you can never leave out hard services. In practice though I would say you need both hard and soft services in practice. An example: when you work at a bank, you will enter the building. As you come in, it’s nice and warm but also you go through access control before you get in. These are hard services. But as you enter the building, you also notice it’s clean and the receptionist is greeting you. Those are soft services, aimed at a good working experience.