Managing Blended Workforces for Effective Facility Management
Samir Gulati, chief product officer at ServicePower, explains how digital service management platforms are helping the FM sector implement hybrid working post-Covid-19.
As employees return to the workplace, facility and buildings managers across the world must prepare for an influx of activity and ensure their building technology systems are operating at optimal capacity. By leveraging digital service management platforms and blended workforces, field service operators can work closely with building administrators to ensure efficient and timely service to keep buildings operational.
Schedule optimization offers flexibility
Between HVAC/R, energy management systems and major appliances, field service technicians must coordinate regular upkeep, routine inspections and repairs for various different systems to ensure proper utility of facility technology. Leveraging a blended workforce of full-time employees, long-term contractors and on-demand workers can help offer the flexibility and capacity required to perform repairs on appliances from different original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
The flexibility of a blended workforce allows providers to scale their services and geographical coverage by permitting hiring managers to recruit talented freelancers with specialized skill sets that are applicable to each job and unique to every facility. This agility allows organizations to bring in temporary workers during times of increased demand like seasonal surges and unplanned events, such as storms and catastrophes. Additionally, technicians servicing building facilities, when supported by schedule optimization technology, can track when equipment and systems can be upgraded with more efficient models to save costs and reduce downtime between system installations. Leveraging the flexibility of a blended workforce allows building managers and service providers alike to plan ahead and monitor facility systems for optimal functionality without disrupting tenants.
Diversity provides consistency
Skilled trades are the number one hardest position to fill. As a younger workers choose to freelance over long-term employment, trade and field service workforces are facing a knowledge gap. Facility administrators depend on consistent maintenance and repair services to keep power systems and other critical appliances functioning for residents or building occupants. Blended workforces can ensure that skilled technicians are available to answer customer calls no matter the season, without the need to invest in rushed peak training or rely on a flat network forced into costly overtime due to seasonal surges.
Additionally, field management software can empower business users and stakeholders to proactively manage optimized factory service and third-party workforces based on evolving business conditions. By democratizing this approach to service, jobs can be assigned to veteran and newer technicians based on skill set. In fact, our research in the United States indicates 73 per cent of companies with a blended workforce outperform those with employed-only staff.
Blended workforces leverage both contract workers and employees to offer flexible and consistent field service to building and facility managers.
By properly managing these workforces, facility administrators and service providers can work together to ensure that the complete footprint of building technologies are serviced proactively, critical systems are not down simultaneously, and property managers and homeowners are immediately notified of service appointments or routinely scheduled maintenance, providing simple and efficient service delivery.