A lack of direction from the corporate level creates a vacuum in which rivalries and turf battles can grow. For example, procurement
personnel are likely to support outsourcing as a way to reduce costs and so enhance their value to the organization, but facility
management personnel may perceive that outsourcing threatens loss of control over their side of the business. Left to their
devices, the two functions may operate in conflict. Executive buy-in sends a message that outsourcing is strategically important.
Foster Mutual Trust and Effective Communication
Outsourcing relationships evolve continually from the moment the contract is signed. For this and many more reasons, the outsourcing
company and the service provider must be able to trust each other. In particular, their values and objectives must align,
and they must communicate openly and frequently.
Transparency is key to building and keeping the relationship. While the service provider must appreciate the client's need
to reduce costs, the client must understand that the provider needs to earn a fair profit. To increase transparency, outsourcing
partners are moving away from fixed-fee contracts toward contracts based on reimbursable expenses plus a management fee.
Those issues aside, trust builds through experience in working together and through solid performance. It starts, however,
by treating people appropriately. Employees affected by outsourcing confront the fear of losing their jobs or of being transferred
to a different company. To the greatest extent possible, don't cut their pay or demote them if they transfer to the service
As part of the outsourcing relationship, there must be a communication plan that includes an initial meeting to establish
expectations, feedback meetings at specified intervals (more often in the initial stages), and scheduled feedback sessions
TOWARD SUCCESSFUL OUTSOURCING
Facility management outsourcing can be an excellent way for life sciences companies to drive down operating costs, tighten
their focus on the core mission, and improve their competitive position. By producing a sound plan and a disciplined approach,
companies can build outsourcing relationships that yield meaningful benefits from the start and for many years to come. We
feel that smaller companies may derive similarly valuable benefits, and you can review our recommendations in the sidebar
Timothy Maechling is vice president of business development for Johnson Controls, Inc., 3526 Breakwater Court,
Hayward, CA 94545, 510.786.5725, 510.785.3170 Timothy.Maechling@jci.com
Jeffrey Bredeson is business development director forJohnson Controls Life Sciences Group, 1255 N. Senate Avenue, Indianapolis IN 46202, 317.917.5172, fax 317.410.4435 Jeffrey.S.Bredeson@jci.com