New research reveals shift away from multiple providers for FM

Sep 10, 2021

When choosing a new provider for outsourced FM, 65% of FM managers feel it is important to have one organisation managing all the different elements of service provision. There is a growing trend towards this ‘total facilities management’ model rather than use of individual service providers.

The independent research conducted on behalf of facilities services specialists, Grosvenor Services, investigated requirements when outsourcing facilities services, which functions are outsourced the most, and the biggest challenges involved.

Key Findings

When asked to rate top requirements in their choice of provider, on a scale of importance the main factors were:

  • 84% professionalism of on-site staff
  • 81% responsiveness of management to issues as they arise
  • 71% value for money and accurate reporting

When asked which facilities services they outsource, 47% said all cleaning requirements, 37% said they outsourced all their facilities management requirements, and 27% of facilities managers said landscaping.

Areas for improvement which providers need to consider, according to facilities managers, include:

  • Easier access to management: Facilities managers don’t want to have to contact several different people to find the person who can help with an issue. They need a single point of contact at account management level.
  • The knowledge and ability of staff: they want staff to understand the nuances of their business and to do the job properly and consistently.
  • Provision of electronic data entry and real-time reports: Facilities managers want to limit the amount of physical paper flow and need real-time reports to make informed decisions.
  • Consistently maintaining agreed standards: Facilities managers require the service level that has been agreed on paper to be consistently achieved.


One of the main benefits of using a single provider for all FM needs is seen to be ease of management, with a single contact for everything, reductions in documentation and a single invoice all considered important. However, some managers still have hesitations, citing concerns around a possible lack of specialist staff and increased costs.
Bernard McCauley, Group Managing Director at Grosvenor Services, said: “We are seeing an increasing demand for a total facilities management service, which we already deliver to many of our clients. However, this research also shows that, whether clients choose a single provider or multiple providers, they still need the highest levels of support and commitment. Providers also need to ensure that they deliver consistently excellent standards in every service area, while providing an accessible management team and transparent reporting – anything less may result in a loss of client confidence, and business.”
From a sample frame of 300 respondents, 30 FM managers working in companies with over 100 employees were interviewed by telephone. Respondents operated in the Irish manufacturing, finance, insurance and real estate, engineering and construction, leisure, healthcare, retail and wholesale markets.