What is Integrated Facility Services and how can you benefit?

When it comes to buildings and workplaces, a majority of companies are looking for ways to optimize the use of space, manage facilities more effectively and realise new cost-efficiencies. Integrated Facility Services might be the right solution to do just that.

You've realised that in order to strengthen your focus on the core businesses and grow competitive advantages, you can gain benefits and new cost-efficiencies from outsourcing your non-core activities. Besides letting you to fully focus your efforts on what you're best at, successful and well-organized outsourcing can grow profitability, improve productivity and reduce business risks.

In that outsourcing process, besides identifying the right Facility Management provider to work with, it is important to consider which Facility Management approach best fits your organisational needs and goals.


Single vs. Integrated Facility Services

Working with a single service provider means that you outsource parts of your businesses to independent entities. This could be a catering provider, a security provider or another single service expert.

Using a specialized service-provider holds several advantages. It lets you focus on your core business and what you are best at, while your service providers can focus on what they are best at. Having experts conducting the service will lead to higher efficiencies and better service quality. It will also free your employees to focus on the areas of your business that matter the most and save resources on non-core activities.

Working with multiple service providers, however, will over time leave you with the time-consuming task of managing a multitude of sub-suppliers, integrate them and deal with the risks involved.

Conversely, working with an Integrated Facility Service provider the responsibility of all supporting service functions is in the hands of the outsourcing partner. The Integrated Facility Service provider manages all service deliveries, administration, training, operational management, integration, innovation and provides strategic support to the client organization.

This means that instead of having several external service partners working with various service deliveries, everything is integrated into one solution.

Working with Integrated Facility Services solutions can give rise to economic benefits and cost-efficiencies, due to multitasking of employees, integration of back-office functions, volume discounts, training volumes, and so on.

When single services hurt your efficiencies

Different businesses have different preferences when deciding between a single-service or an integrated facility services outsourcing model.

Smaller companies might only need one non-core service covered externally at the lowest cost possible, while medium to large companies outsourcing multiple service areas might prefer one integrated solution covering the entire range of services.

Working with different single-service providers across multiple service areas can quickly become inefficient. Both from a management and a cost perspective. Double functions commonly occur as the service employees and their employers neither have the incentive nor the motivation to work together. Thus, creating synergies and cooperation across different service providers can be difficult, if not impossible.

The Integrated Facility Services approach can eliminate these barriers between service functions, as the outsourced Facility Management Account Executive has full managerial responsibility.

Integrated facilities are the key to smart buildings

The more we are starting to take advantage of new technologies and the Internet of Things (IoT) to make our buildings smarter, more user-friendly as well as efficient, the more important it will be to work with integrated models.


It can be quite challenging to make different technologies and setups work together as integrated entities – and it becomes even harder when the different providers want to take advantage of their uniquely acquired data and business systems. If you are not able to make the variety of partners and their technologies work together, making a building smart will be hard if not impossible.

The IBM/ISS partnership is a new example of how this can be approached in a more efficient and integrated way.

Learn more about how ISS works with Integrated Facility Services and Single-Service Facilities Management here.