Opale Management Services Ltd

Does the concept of Strategic Partnering, Integrator Model spell the end of the FM client as we know it today?

There is a clear distinction between “Out Tasking” and “Outsourcing”.  Both methodologies rely on a supply chain, but configure that supply chain into differing operating models. To suggest that the use of a supply chain means a business is outsourced lies at the heart of this question.

A simple explanation in an Outsourced environment, everything other than Strategy is provided by a supplier and managerial ownership of all aspects of delivery is delivered through that supply chain (“ownership of delivery”). This would mean that very few internal FM client resources would remain (light touch or thin client). In an “Out Tasked” environment the operational delivery of service lines (tasks) uses a supply chain, yet the managerial “ownership of delivery” as a whole would remain with the client (broad touch or deep client). Obviously these are extremes with hybrids that occupy the middle ground

Both deployments of a supply chain are viable as they offer differing characteristics as do clients that look to deploy them. Horses for courses is perhaps the argument; and what should be noted is Outsourcing when coupled with a thick client can potentially spawn conflict and vice versa.

The core of this question rests in the “Ownership of Delivery” and terms such as Strategic Partner, Integrators, and Translators are concepts derived for the FM supplier market to present capabilities that enable suppliers to offer “ownership of delivery” to a business client. In a broad client environment, it is the internal FM client that is the Strategic Partner, Integrator or Translator structurally and in the thin client it is the supplier.

The factors that influence decisions to deploy either option Opale identifies as C3 (Cost, Capability or Consciousness):

  • Cost                              –       Can services be delivered to the business  more cost effectively
  • Capability                  –      A lack of ability to achieve “ownership of delivery”
  • Consciousness         –      A lack of strategic focus

There is an argument, therefore, that the more capable the supply chain becomes and how unconscious the client remains the more likely the model will move to thin client whether or not that model is cost effective. The challenge to get the right outcome for the business is the FM client and then it is the FM client that will be most impacted by the wrong outcome.

Additionally, however, there is always the possibility that what the FM client thought they bought is not actually what they did buy.

Next article – July 12

Is it that the supplier shop window does not stock what we want, or did we just buy from the wrong shop?  Article to be published in July 12

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