Hard & Soft Facility Services
Are You Making The Right Choice For Your Facility?
Published White Papers 2019-05-21T12:06:52+00:00On 07/12/2018 to
Facility Management (FM) includes multiple disciplines that together ensure the functionality of the built environment by integrating people, place, process, and technology.
Soft FM services make the workplace more pleasant or secure to work in. They are not compulsory and can be removed as necessary.
There’s no getting around it—every facility needs a proper management program to guide, direct, and keep it functioning properly and extend the life of its physical assets.
Accepting that your facility management program is a necessity, not a luxury, is the most important pieces of your facilities management strategy.
But did you know that there are different types of facilities management services?
Which One Are You?
When it comes to caring for your facilities, the first step is to understand where it resides on the facility management spectrum. Do you have a hard or a soft facility? Do you need hard or soft services?
Over the years, the lines have become so blurred and loose interpretations often crossover from one to the other. This causes confusion in your buying decision.
Or, you’re dealing with a large amount of waste each year and don’t quite have a handle on how to build a recycling program. Both of these scenarios require a facility management solution but what facilities management services you select— hard or soft—will make all the difference in that solution.
There are some Differences, But…
Hard facilities management and soft facilities management have a lot of differences, but they also have a few things in common.
They both involve people; soft facilities management is done by people while hard Facility Management is based on services that support people.
Costs are a factor in both scenarios since the goal of any facilities management program is to save money regardless of whether your facility services are hard or soft.
Both hard and soft facilities management provide analytics that gives leaders the data driven information needed to make decisions about their facilities.
Lastly, scalability is another area that hard and soft facilities management have in common. No matter which one fits your needs, deploying a scalable solution that can grow with you should always be a part of the equation.
Hard Facility Management
When it comes to Hard Facility Management, there are two concepts that you must always keep in mind; reactive and preventative.
Reactive means short-term and encompasses a number of different service areas including the following:
- Maintenance on doors, lifts, stairwells and other areas that support traffic.
- Power including outages, shortages, and trips that directly impact the building.
- HVAC repairs including heating, ventilation, air conditioning as well as refrigeration and drainage systems.
- These days, IT is such an important part of the business mix. Phones, computers, internet and other resources are all supported through hard facility management.
- IT: Everything that has to do with the digital aspects of your business would be classified as IT and be serviced through a hard facilities management solution. This includes computers, phones, the internet and other communication devices.
Preventative focuses on long-term management and is geared toward preserving key features of a facility. It typically revolves around:
- Testing and visual inspections of the property including panels, sockets, and boards.
- Detection, suppression, and protection from fires, faulty sprinklers and ensuring alarm systems are properly maintained.
- Support in areas where there is a high likelihood of falls or injury.
- Monitoring all HVAC, drainage, and refrigeration components.
Soft Facility Management
Soft Facility Management Services are a must for a building to run efficiently and include these areas:
- Reception areas where meals and events are held as well as food services.
- Site services for micro-kitchens consisting of restocking of paper products including cups and plates.
- Mailrooms and all package management processes including shipping and receiving.
- Health, safety, and environmental including waste disposal services.
- Culinary staffing for kitchens.
Building solutions have become far more tailored and customized than they were in years past. Gone are the days of a one-size serves all philosophy that allowed providers to come in and layer a solution into an environment—even though there was no fit. This approach has
been replaced by one where providers are more focused on strategic integration that adds recognizable value and, develops partnerships; not just clients.
Managing your facility properly is important but so too is understanding the type of facility you have. Is it a hard facility that will require more of a tiered approach with reactive and preventative measures being taken to prolong systems? Or is it a soft facility that needs more
basic, but equally important services to run efficiently?
Once you’ve defined your building profile, look to partner with a provider who is capable of supporting your needs. No matter if you require a hard or soft solution, make sure they have the ability to scale up as you grow. This will give you a level of continuity and consistency that makes things run smoothly.