Things to consider when choosing whether to offer all your FM requirements to a single supplier. Ensure they have processes in place and you can...
Managing your own contractor supply chain
There are pros & cons to running your own supply chain. Be prepared for operational overhead of ensuring compliance, quality, accreditations & insurance
There are two primary options available to you when putting together your facilities management strategy: outsourced versus insourced.
This choice has major effects in terms of ongoing maintenance, with one of the more significant operational requirements of the latter (insourced) option being ongoing management and monitoring ... from compliance and accreditations to the qaulity of the work.
Still, many companies choose to take the reins of their supply chains, particularly when it comes to managing a network of contractors. So just in the interests of education we want to give you some context. While there can be benefits to this approach, the operational complexity that arises from such a decision is not to be underestimated. Here's an in-depth look at these challenges:
1. Diverse Skill Sets and Specializations
Contractors, by nature, cover a wide range of specialties. From IT professionals to construction experts to freelance creatives, the array is vast. Managing this diverse group requires an understanding of each specialty, ensuring that the right contractor is assigned to the right task. This diversity also means varying contract terms, payment structures, and project timelines, making standardization difficult.
2. Regulatory and Compliance Hurdles
Different contractors often operate under different legal frameworks and jurisdictions. Companies must ensure that all their contractors comply with local regulations, industry standards, and company policies. This involves constant monitoring, documentation, and often, legal consultations, increasing the administrative workload.
3. Communication Barriers
With a plethora of contractors comes a multitude of communication channels. Whether it's emails, phone calls, or project management tools, coordinating communication becomes a monumental task. There's also the challenge of ensuring that communication is clear, timely, and well-documented to avoid misunderstandings.
4. Quality Control and Consistency
Ensuring a consistent quality of work across different contractors is a significant challenge. Different individuals and teams have varied standards and approaches to work. Companies need to invest time and resources into rigorous training sessions, regular check-ins, and quality assurance processes to maintain consistency.
5. Risk Management
Working with multiple contractors introduces various risks, from potential breaches of contract to inconsistent delivery times. Managing these risks requires a proactive approach, including background checks, contingency planning, and regular performance evaluations.
6. Financial Intricacies
Financial management becomes more intricate with a vast contractor network. Different payment terms, invoicing methods, and tax implications need to be managed seamlessly. Plus, any delays or disputes can strain relationships and disrupt the supply chain flow.
7. Relationship Management
Building and maintaining healthy relationships with each contractor is vital. This is not just about smooth project execution but also about fostering loyalty, understanding, and collaboration. Regular feedback, dispute resolution mechanisms, and open channels for suggestions are crucial.
8. Evolving Technology Needs
With a broad contractor base, ensuring everyone has access to and proficiency in necessary technologies is a task in itself. From collaboration tools to invoicing software, there's a constant need for training, updates, and troubleshooting.
Managing your own supply chain of contractors is undoubtedly a challenging endeavor, rife with operational intricacies. While the control it offers might be tempting, companies must weigh this against the time, effort, and resources required to manage these complexities. Outsourcing or partnering with specialized firms can often provide the expertise and tools needed to handle these challenges, allowing businesses to focus on their core competencies. Whichever route a company chooses, understanding the depth of the challenge is the first step to navigating it successfully.