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Life sciences companies - including mid-market ones - are finding value in an outsourced service
Outsourcing facilities management is a time-tested strategy in industries like banking, consumer products, technology—and the multinational life sciences companies have long recognized the benefits of outsourced facilities management. Yet, it is commonly held that only the global companies truly benefit from this strategy’s economies of scale. Middle-market life science companies can actually benefit enormously by outsourcing facilities management and related services. Service providers can ensure that best practices drawn from life sciences and other industries are infused into every program regardless of company size.
A qualified facilities management provider can generate millions of dollars in savings through operational efficiency improvements, create workplace environments that promote sustainability and productivity, and ensure safety and regulatory compliance across a life science company’s facilities.
Aside from the very largest companies, the life sciences sector has been relatively slow to entrust facilities to outside providers. Historically, the perceived risks to sensitive R&D operations and highly specialized production environments were considered too high to justify the advantages of outsourcing.
However, the sector is now one of the top three in terms of demand for facilities management outsourcing, according to KPMG’s 2012 Real Estate and Facilities Management Outsourcing Pulse survey. Companies have learned that the risks of facilities management outsourcing can be mitigated by working with a real estate services provider that has a proven track record in working with the unique requirements of life sciences companies.
What does professional facilities management include?
Real estate and facilities comprise one of the largest line items on the balance sheets of life sciences firms of all sizes, so facilities operations is arguably one of the best places to look for cost containment without negative impact on the business. Real estate offers many opportunities that not only save money, but also enhance the business overall.
Consider energy usage: about one-third of the energy used by buildings is typically wasted through inefficient equipment or machinery working improperly. An expert in facilities energy management can gather useful data on building systems performance, and continually implement improvements that save millions of dollars and reduce its carbon footprint.
Energy management is just one aspect of an integrated facility management program. The benefits are clear in virtually every area of outsourced services:
Competitive advantage beyond cost savings
Outsourcing corporate real estate and facilities management can lead not only to cost savings from centralized purchasing, energy management and so forth, but also to increasing the strategic use of facilities. Life sciences companies that outsource R&D facilities management can even reduce the cost of R&D as a percentage of revenue—a key financial benchmark that is particularly critical for companies considering a merger, acquisition or initial public offering.
Having survived the recent patent cliffs, the life sciences industry has emerged as a leaner, more focused sector. The new challenge is to control costs without sacrificing research timelines or safety. Outsourcing facilities management can play a pivotal role in transforming the corporate facilities portfolio into a strategic investment, rather than simply a cost center, in support of the mission to enrich and save lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Richard McBlaine (312 228 2793 or firstname.lastname@example.org), is an international director and chairman, strategic consulting, at global real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, where he leads a team of consultants providing leading-edge real estate solutions for life sciences companies.