6 Building Maintenance Trends You Need to Know in 2019
The building maintenance industry is one of the fastest growing and most increasingly competitive areas in which key players are turning to technology, to streamline their processes, improve communication and automate their field service functions.
According to recent economic research, this market is currently valued at around $35 billion dollars annually and is expected to grow to nearly $60 billlion by the end of 2023. At an annual growth rate of 11.4%, this makes the building maintenance and facilities management industry a key area of interest for many software and field service mobility solution providers.
In late 2018, industry heavyweight CBRE conducted their own research program to uncover the top trends in the building maintenance industry. This research has identified six key things to watch out for across a range of business areas including internal HR, business systems and technology, customer service and data-driven decision making.
The report, in summary, elevates the importance of the following 6 key trends in building maintenance:
- The increasing popularity of outsourcing in favour of internally managed maintenance.
- Single provider approach.
- Focus on the employee – improving employee experience.
- Employee wellness – keeping the workforce happy and healthy through smart business lead initiatives.
- Increased support for flexible work arrangements.
- Systems integration.
In line with a number of other key trends relating to employee experience improvement, many companies suggested that they were outsourcing their building maintenance programs to facilities management experts for a number of key reasons.
- Reduced expenses.
- Better management of the facility from experts in the field.
- Better care of fixed assets and equipment.
- Ability to focus on improving the building to increase employee satisfaction, rather than spending time on general maintenance and repair requests.
2. Single Partner/Provider Approach
Companies are now moving away from the strategy of having multiple building maintenance providers across their portfolio of commercial offices/investment portfolios. We are seeing more and more, that a better approach is to build a relationship with a single building maintenance specialist, and integrate their service offerings across all site and locations, rather than rely on different providers and fractured workforces.
The benefits that are being seen from this are numerous, and include:
- Better management of the overall portfolio of properties.
- Simplification of maintenance data management.
- Streamlining of preventative and panic maintenance requests.
- Cost reductions due to the centralization of project management.
3. Focus on Employee Experience
Companies are starting to pay more attention to the overall employee experience for office based, and mobile workforces. The nature of the workplace has changed dramatically in the last 10 years, largely fuelled by the rise of Cloud Technology, and its inherent ability to allow flexible work patterns and remote access to core business systems. Employees now, in 2019 are starting to expect this as a standard, and as such companies are needing to adapt their facility management strategies to comply.
The mobile workforce has different core requirements to traditional 9-5 office-based workers. They no longer require a stable location in the office, and instead, prefer to work in ‘hot desk’ situations. This changes the way that we approach building maintenance and facilities management, as there is now a much higher number of employees per sqm, although they are not using the facility as frequently.
4. Employee Wellness
Employee wellness, although not a new concept is one that has exploded in recent years. Research is suggesting that the health and wellbeing of a company’s employees have a huge impact on the bottom line of many businesses.
Keeping staff, happy, healthy and engaged generally means that there are fewer absenteeism’s and morale is high. This increases both productivity and utilisation of team members and means that a company is able to deliver more billable work, with fewer people. For facilities management, this can mean the introduction of new workspaces and employee facilities that are designed to provide industry-leading health and wellness programs, such as child care facilities, gyms and fitness centres, relaxation areas and recreational spaces. For a building maintenance company, this is an opportunity to expand their service offering to include routine maintenance contracts for these types of wellness-focused spaces, and increase their service offering for companies.
5. Flexible Workplaces and Co-Share Spaces
The increase in the number of Co-Share workspaces can be attributed to the increased number of smaller and medium-sized businesses who are wanting to have a dedicated part-time space to grow their business. Co share workspaces offer outstanding facilities that would usually be beyond the reach of the average small business or startup. For building maintenance providers, this means growth in their market and the opportunity to specialise in this type of workspace.
Flexible workspaces also demand better communication and collaboration facilities, which means that again a building services and maintenance company can take the opportunity to specialise in this type of technology and equipment. Often, this equipment can be a significant investment to a shared space or office, so proper maintenance scheduling and execution is paramount to how well this technology supports the needs of the end users of the workspace.
6. Systems Integration – Cloud ERP and Field Service Software
Due to the rapid rise of cloud technology and the inherent benefits it brings to companies who choose to invest in modern software platforms, many building maintenance companies are now wanting to link their core systems into those of their clients through modern API technology. By doing this, they are breaking down the walls of communication of key data between the service provider and customer and simplifying the flow of information in real time.
What do these trends mean for your growing maintenance business?
In an increasingly competitive landscape, smart building maintenance businesses are looking for ways to expand their service offering, increase their ties with existing customers and automate core functions of the business to free up time for continual improvement of processes and procedures. They are doing this because they understand that when their systems support the core needs of their customers then they are able to provide better customer experiences and differentiate themselves in the market.