ISPs Are the Facility Knowledge Holders

ISSA Show panel speaks to the value of in-house service providers

October 31, 2018

Every few years, financial advisors suggest the best way to save jobs is to outsource facility service positions such as cleaning and maintenance jobs. Facility management experts at the In-House Service Provider (ISP) State of the Industry Panel Tuesday afternoon at the ISSA Show North America 2018 in Dallas, TX, stressed that cost savings are meaningless if important knowledge is lost.

Judie Cooper, associate director of organizational development for the Smithsonian Institution, said facility managers and workers who prove themselves as experts are invaluable to businesses. She explained that the 900 facility workers at the Smithsonian Institution support the organization’s mission to increase and diffuse knowledge by making sure the Smithsonian’s facilities are in condition to serve visitors and field trips every day.

"The key to being successful in this field is making sure the organization leaders know you are the expert and they can’t do what they do unless you do what you do," she said.

Ray Boukidjian, system director of infection prevention at Dignity Health, said the hospitals in his health care system previously outsourced all service jobs, such as environmental services (EVS) and food services. Since it made the decision to hire in-house service providers, patient satisfaction scores have increased.

“This trend of outsourcing appears every few years, but the trend always circles back to in-house workers,” he said. “With in-house workers, your employees have skin in the game, they are invested in the organization; that’s what you want.”

The panelists stressed that although ISPs carry a lot of facility knowledge, they cannot operate efficiently without the cooperation of other departments. This is especially true when they are seeking new equipment and other improvements to enhance the cleaning and maintenance of the building.

“Your piece of knowledge, although substantial, is not complete,” Cooper said. “But if you put everyone’s knowledge together, you have a complete picture of the facility. “

“Facility managers can get buy-in for their projects by holding meetings with other departments and even by having conversations in the hallways,” said Jess Baidwan, division head of custodial and EVS programs for the Southern Ute Indian Tribe. “Then we can get other people on our side of the table."


ISSA Show exhibit hours are:

  • Wednesday, October 31: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 1: 10 00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Click here for the ISSA Today Official Exhibit Directory, which includes the complete ISSA Show North America 2018 education schedule.

If you missed this year’s ISSA Show, don’t make the same mistake in 2019. Put ISSA Show North America 2019 on your calendar today.



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