BPO Bulletin

Key Facility Management Trends in 2018: Bringing the Challenges to Life

by Ken Neal
April 25, 2018

In my final post in this series, I will highlight a case history that brings to life many of the facility management (FM) challenges I discussed previously connected with lowering costs, recruiting talent and leveraging the latest technology.

Facing a pending merger with another industry leader, the real estate and facilities management department of a major global company needed to reduce staff across the enterprise. Compounding this challenge for the FM operation was that it wanted to preserve its loyalty to the department’s employees and maintain high service levels. FM executives saw outsourcing as the solution. The goal was to eliminate staff but keep the people employed with a managed services partner that could assume responsibility for critical FM services and deliver them at lower costs while maintaining service quality.

The company engaged Canon Business Process Services, which moved ahead by assuming management of the company’s FM staff and implementing changes to advance the operation. One example is warehouse management, which spans the receipt, storage, inventory control and distribution of virtually everything that moves throughout the company’s main campus, including hazardous materials. Canon helped improve the efficiency of many of these activities by installing a sophisticated asset tracking and management system. The system offers many benefits, particularly better accountability in the form of a chain of custody for tracking the flow of mail, parcels, property, files, print jobs, services, people and more—as they enter and move around the campus.

For the company’s print center operation, Canon created a state-of-the art electronic print operation, upgraded equipment and introduced more efficient processes and solutions. The latter includes an electronic print job submission and tracking system. This enables the company’s employees to use web-based portals to submit and track the status of print job requests. One system covers internal print jobs; the other is used for commercial print services (e.g. creating brochures, marketing and training materials and annual reports). These changes in the company’s overall print management strategy also provide more advanced chargeback capabilities and cover the company’s full range of print needs, from high-volume black and white and color printing to producing over-sized documents with full finishing capabilities.

Canon went even further to achieve business benefits within the commercial print function by providing a professional print buyer. This executive uses a third-party online procurement system to purchase millions of dollars of commercial print services annually. With the procedure, an employee electronically submits a commercial print job request. The print buyer posts the request on the online procurement system and selects the top two or three bids. These are discussed with the employee managing the project and final decisions are made based on price and turnaround time.

Canon’s new approaches are getting results. Introducing more efficient workflows, particularly in the shipping and receiving and print center location, has freed up a significant amount of office space previously devoted to FM activities. This space is now being used for other core business functions.

By integrating FM functions and implementing new technologies and approaches, Canon has helped the company save thousands of dollars annually. Canon and its client are also examining ways to ensure continuous process improvement by leveraging Canon’s quality management capabilities. This includes Canon’s expertise in Six Sigma-based methodologies and BusinessInsights, Canon’s analytics and reporting tool designed for clients needing business performance metrics that can help them benchmark and continuously improve document-intensive processes.

With these achievements, the company has not only met the demands of change posed by the merger; it is better prepared to fulfill its mission. This includes using innovative science to promote health and safety around the world.

Feel free to visit the Facilities and Logistics Management page of our website. There you can find additional insights on industry trends and best practices including whitepapers, case histories and more.

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