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What are Hard vs. Soft Facility Management Services?

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07 Jul 2022, 03:24 GMT+10

Credit: Gustavo Fring Via Pexels

Many businesses require facility management services to provide effective logistics, support functionality, and enhance building safety and sustainability. Facility management is an integral part of any business as it ensures all operations are streamlined.

That said, there are two major types of facility management services — hard and soft facility management. Both management types have their own unique advantages and are essential for a business. The best way to determine which services your company requires at a given time is to understand the differences between the two, and what each has to offer.

Hard Facility Management Services

Hard facility management services include all the work related to the physical part of a building or facility, such as buildings, heavy machinery, and equipment systems. Hard management is often required due to health, safety, and hygiene purposes as they are frequently utilized to meet the legal requirements required to keep all facility occupants safe

Examples of Services

Some examples of hard FM services include:

  • Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems
  • Lighting and electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Gas and heating
  • Building maintenance
  • Fire safety

Goals of Hard Facility Management

Some goals of hard FM services include:

  • Enhance Safety: The main goal of most hard facility management services are to keep the facility safe for all stakeholders while implementing regulatory requirements. Following safety protocols allow hard FM service providers to reduce the risk of accidents.
  • Avoid Legal Issues: Obeying regulatory requirements to avoid any legal issues that could result from non-compliance.
  • Reduce Maintenance Costs: Hard facility management services can also lower maintenance costs and save you money in the long term. Most experienced hard FM service providers provide consistent asset maintenance to prevent failure and unexpected costs in the future while keeping employees safe.

Soft Facility Management Services

Soft facility management services refer to any services that improve the workplace by making it more comfortable or secure. These services are not mandatory but can add value to your company culture and improve the productivity of all team members.

Examples of Services

Some examples of soft facility management services include:

  • Waste management
  • Security systems
  • Catering
  • Cleaning and housekeeping
  • Interior and exterior decorations
  • Pest control

Goals of Soft Facility Management

Some goals of soft FM services include:

  • Productivity boost: Some soft facility management services, such as catering, cleaning, and decor, can boost employee productivity as they feel more valued at work.
  • Environmental protection: Waste management and similar services can contribute to a cleaner environment. Many companies use soft facility management services to reduce pollution and contribute to greener operations.
  • Higher security: Many companies use security systems that reduce the risk of theft or vandalism while protecting the company's stakeholders.

Choosing Between Hard vs. Soft Management

The type of service management your facility will need will depend on a handful of factors including your overall goals, industry type, and property type. You may need hard facility management services if you own a warehouse with equipment running frequently. On the other hand, a school may require soft services to maintain cleanliness.

In most cases, it might be helpful to combine the two services for the best level of care. The ideal way to determine which service is best suited for your facility is by consulting an integrated facilitates management provider.

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