Traditionally, long-time facilities management employees have kept this diverse mix of buildings and systems working as best they can. Yet these same long-time employees are one of the reasons why some universities are looking to outsource. Complacency has set in at many universities. Facilities personnel who are very comfortable in their positions may not be responding as quickly to requests for service, or they may not be as customer-service oriented as administrators would like to see.
Outsourcing firms are seeing this as an opportunity to show universities that they can bring in an organized and managed company to do almost any part of the facilities work that is required. Some universities are finding this to be an attractive option – especially when they’re dealing with a staff resistant to change. Or, they may be having trouble attracting a qualified staff at all, due to labor shortages. Existing facilities management staff maintain that universities are far too complex for an outsourcing firm to manage effectively. In addition, they state that outside firms have no credibility with faculty and students, who would prefer to deal with in-house facilities management personnel.