Our potential customers who have not previously outsourced data center facilities management and operations frequently ask this question. They are looking for a compelling business case for outsourcing to a company like T5FM, which provides outsourced facilities management and operations. To answer this question, we decided to ask our clients, “What were the most significant factors behind their successful outsourcing to T5FM?” The answers were varied and complex, but two common themes emerged:
- Partners over vendors, and
- Value over cost
The key to building the business case for outsourcing is to first agree on its definition: “Outsourcing is the strategic use of outside resources to perform data center facilities management and operations activities traditionally handled by internal staff and resources.”*
Focus on value and meeting strategic outsourcing objectives.
Note the emphasis on the word ‘strategic.’ Successful outsourcing is about strategy and not simply cost savings.
Our partners rely on T5FM to perform specialized services that are not core to their businesses, yet help them achieve a variety of strategic objectives that advance their business goals. Our partners were not looking to select a vendor solely on the basis of cost. Instead, they chose T5FM as a trusted partner to help them meet their strategic goals . In short, they made a broad value decision not a narrow cost decision.
What are our partners’ key business objectives driving outsourcing to T5FM?
The business objectives are grouped by category below. However, most partners cited numerous objectives across multiple categories.
- reduce the risk of data center outages
- improve processes and procedures
- implement best practices in energy conservation
- increase scalability through staff augmentation
- access T5FM’s bench of subject matter experts
- ability to achieve Uptime Institute M&O certification
- increase self-delivery of maintenance by on site team
- focus on core business/reduce ‘non-core’ headcount
- free internal resources for higher value-added uses
- increase predictability of opex
- reduce overhead/indirect costs
- offload financial risks
- better supply chain management/reduced vendor costs
Staffing and Training
- address skill shortages/difficulty of replacing an aging workforce
- mitigate operations risk associated with the departure of key individuals
- overcome lack of resources/experience managing a union workforce and negotiating collective bargaining agreements
- access to T5FM’s enhanced training
- integrate Remote Hands Services and facilities management into a cohesive team
While each of our partner clients has their own strategic plans to achieve varying sets of business objectives, we can distill these objectives into an overarching strategic plan:
- find a long-term solution to staffing requirements
- increase the quality and resiliency of data center operations
- free internal resources to focus on core value-adding activities
- increase the predictably of data center opex, and find opex savings
How does T5FM help our partners achieve their strategic plans?
We start with a thorough understanding of our partners’ strategic plans, goals and objectives. Then we work with our partners to create unique solutions to bring their strategic plans to life. Once the solutions are set, we ensure success through application of the Four Pillars of T5FM – our operational methodology – built around safety, training, process & procedure and communication.
How does T5FM deliver value?
Finally, as a company founded by data center owners and operators, T5FM is uniquely qualified to balance risk mitigation/high availability against the need to control opex and capex costs. We challenge assumptions and look at every expenditure as if it were our own money. We evaluate decisions by their impact on the strategic objectives of our partners and not simply on cost. We act as partners not vendors, and measure ourselves by the value we deliver. That’s why we have unparalleled executive support and oversight of every contract and are driven to be customer focused, flexible and solutions-oriented. As we like to say, Owner’s Perspective. Customer Focused.
* A Brief History of Outsourcing, Supply Chain Resource Cooperative, Robert Handfield, Ph.D. (2006)