Five reasons to enter a facility management partnership

Forge productive, compliant and efficient life sciences facilities

February 24, 2023

Under pressure to create more value and bring life-saving medications to market more quickly than ever, life sciences companies are transforming their business models to become more agile. More biotech and pharma companies are re-thinking how to handle the day-to-day management of their facilities to optimize results, resources and dollars.

As a result, the role of facilities management (FM) professionals has changed. Gone are the days when they only executed work orders–today, they are responsible for adding strategic value by creating a workplace experience that helps attract and retain talent, implementing new technologies to improve productivity and reducing costs.

Experienced FM service providers bring a wealth of knowledge that supports safe and compliant biomanufacturing facilities and R&D environments around the clock. And, a leading provider will offer best-in-class practices and cost-saving initiatives that will deliver high-value results.

The following are five key ways a third-party facilities management partnership can deliver benefits.

1. New career opportunities for existing FM employees

It’s common to assume a facility management service provider will replace an in-house facilities team with its own people. However, the reality is that a third-party facility management partnership can deliver the best of both worlds. Ideally, the relationship will combine the knowledge of the company’s in-house team with the techniques and cross-industry expertise of the service provider.

To provide continuity and a high level of service, the FM partner aims to keep as many existing team members as possible. If done right, the staff will find many reasons to stay, including:

  • A deep pool of resources
  • New professional growth and career opportunities
  • Potential earnings increase
  • Access to the latest technologies
  • Professional training
2. A new approach to bringing life-saving medications to market

With the need to keep biomanufacturing facilities and R&D labs productive, safe and compliant, companies need a strategic, comprehensive approach to ensure capital investments align with their mission. A leading FM provider won’t simply stick to a checklist of the basics. Rather, they will identify new ways to save a company time and money, like total cost of ownership–an approach that mitigates the potential risks of unexpected costs.

One of the greatest pressures, for instance, is operational costs. A skilled FM service provider will use a total cost of ownership approach to manage life sciences facilities and optimize long-term spending and operations. For example, through the total cost of ownership method, an FM service provider can leverage advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, to improve facility performance. Using computerized “smart” systems, teams can remotely monitor and gather intelligence on building operations, generating insights about performance. This provides senior leadership with the ability to move from insight to action, and drive revenue and value.

3. Tools and proven processes for mitigating risks

A life sciences company occupies a range of different facilities, including offices, lab and biomanufacturing. To prevent disruptions and ensure that your research and production operations are aligned with regulatory requirements, it’s important to ask the right questions about how your facilities are managed.

A qualified FM outsourcing partner will have the answers you’re seeking and will be well-versed in managing a variety of settings and ensuring smooth building operations. They’ll bring deep knowledge of federal and state regulatory compliance issues, including hazardous waste management and safety standards, as well as proven processes and technologies for mitigating compliance risks.

4. Guaranteed win-win outcomes

A strategic FM service provider will collaborate with an organization to establish shared goals, ensuring the life sciences company retains control over outcomes. For example, key performance indicators (KPIs) are a standard part of every FM outsourcing agreement. Also, performance guarantees can be structured in a variety of ways, including incentive compensation for achieving stated goals.

Financial KPIs are common, but nonfinancial goals, such as retaining transitioned employees for a specific period, can also be included. If a company is undertaking mergers or acquisitions, KPIs related to streamlining the facilities portfolio following a transaction can be established.

5. Advanced strategies to improve ability and appeal

To help extract the most value from the outsourcing partnership, the FM provider will seek to align its activities with the business’ goals as operations evolve. What’s a priority for many life sciences companies? Top talent. The right FM partner will offer expertise on how to provide a more engaging workplace, while reducing occupancy costs.

Consider this scenario: Talent retention is a focus to reduce staff turnover. The FM partner can use data and actionable insights to understand where employees enjoy working within the company’s facilities, and where they are dissatisfied with the physical environment. They’ll transform those insights into strategies for creating a more coveted workplace, such as bringing in more natural light or re-designing the layout to better support collaboration. While real estate can’t solve every workplace problem, substantial research shows the physical environment has a big influence on employee satisfaction.

Add top-line value through facilities

A qualified FM partner will free a company to focus on its core business, while becoming more agile and better equipped to respond to future challenges. They’ll enable the use of data and analytics to drive better-informed facilities decisions, heighten efficiency and productivity, and manage risk all while improving financial performance. When thoughtfully structured, an FM outsourcing partnership can help transform facilities from a cost center into a strategic investment that adds long-term value.