Building strong partnerships in times of uncertainty

Communication and workplace experience have always been highly important to facilities management organizations and the customers that depend on their services. COVID-19 has brought this truth into even sharper focus. When it comes to navigating through times of uncertainty, customers need to rely on service providers with the required levels of flexibility, agility and accountability to support them during this pandemic.

Read on to learn more about the qualities a facility management company should have to ensure a strong partnership and see what our customers have to say about our support in response to COVID-19.



What creates a strong partnership?


A strong workplace experience and facility management partnership focuses on the delivery model that puts the customer at the center, offers accountability to meet demands, ensures consistency in service delivery and champions agility in responding to an uncertain and dynamic world. Let’s dive into these key characteristics.


Delivery model

A delivery model defines a company’s way of working and provides customers with customized solutions to fit their needs. Workplace and facility management providers such as ISS offer a self-delivery model, which means our own dedicated people, our own proprietary training and our agile, personalized solutions allow us to consistently meet our customers’ expectations. By self-performing key facility services, FM providers offer clients flexibility, accountability, consistency and agility - all characteristics that have proven highly valuable in times of uncertainty.




Companies depend on accountability from their employees and their partners. When selecting a workplace experience and facility management provider, organizations should look for companies that have the experience and evidence that they are responsible and can take action, instead of cascading requests out to a variety of different subcontractors. A broad network of subcontractors can pose a challenge during a pandemic as some subcontractors may decide to suddenly increase prices to survive, reject jobs because they have different safety protocols or prioritize other urgent needs.




Consistency is key, especially when it comes to managing multiple site locations. The fewer levels of communication the easier it is to ensure that the service delivery and quality are consistent cross sites and that the same processes and procedures are followed accordingly. Instead of using several different subcontractors in different locations where consistency will vary and communication could fail, a self-delivery model allows processes, standards and technology to drive consistency.




When a facility has an urgent need such as a water leak, electrical outage or safety incident, companies need a solution and fast. Agility is a key feature to look for in a facility management provider during uncertain times. For example, at ISS we self-deliver our range of services, so when a customer submits a work order for a water leak in the restroom, our team receives the request directly and has a team on site to handle the issue at hand. The request does not have to be approved by a sub-contractor. We are one team and the key account manager has a full mandate to always seek out agile solutions for our customers.



Our customers have offered positive feedback about these characteristics, especially around our response to COVID-19.



Our approach to each phase of the pandemic response


To help our teams apply what we’ve learned from our collective experience responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, we asked our customers to share their thoughts about the support we have provided during these trying times.


We asked our top customers, representing more than 80% of our total revenue in North America, a variety of questions related to the three stages of the pandemic – initial outbreak, site shutdown and planning for reopening.





We also asked each customer to assess their ISS team’s characteristics in communication, timeliness, relevance, confidence and communities.





Finally, we closed the survey by asking for an overall evaluation, specifically whether our clients would recommend ISS as a service provider. With uncertainly still surrounding the next normal, we are proud to report that 82% of surveyed customers strongly agree or agree that they would recommend us as a service provider.



ISS and Guckenheimer are committed to delivering exceptional service to our customers – even in challenging times. Because of our own on-boarded, trained and engaged employees who take care of our customers’ needs, we have been able to respond with flexibility, accountability, consistency and agility to a rapidly changing situation. All delivered by people who genuinely care.


Learn more about our services and how we work at and check out the recent article about ISS people who care and how they keep airports safe for travelers and employees.