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With many organisations choosing to outsource non-core positions and departments, it is important that they find an organisation that best suits their needs and culture. Everything from cleaning, catering, security and even reception and concierge services are frequently outsourced by many organisations for various reasons, with the standout being a lack of expertise in the area to ensure compliance issues and industry benchmarks are met.
When looking to outsource, there are generally a wealth of potential contractors seemingly capable of achieving the desired result. As a minimum, however, organisations should consider five important areas in order to maximise the success rate of incorporating an outsourced solution into their business.
Proven Track Record - This is perhaps the most important aspect to look for when considering an outsourced solution. How has the organisation created positive experiences for other similar organisations? When reading a proposal from a potential contractor, it should clearly state how they are able to provide a more thorough approach to the service you are looking to outsource. They should also be willing to provide references and case studies to back this up. Many businesses make substantial claims about their service, but without proven experience and expertise, this should be taken lightly.
Management Systems - Good management will provide organisations with an outsourced solution that is both industry-leading and cost-effective. At First Contact, management and systems are a large focus. We invest considerable resources to attract, train and manage concierge and reception staff, in order to deliver on our promise of providing premium concierge, reception and workplace services to organisations that value a friendly, welcoming atmosphere for staff and visitors. Audits and reports are completed and generated to ensure compliance with KPIs and to provide valuable feedback on how services are being utilised.
Consistent Approach - Does your outsourced solution provide a consistently high standard of service? Do you notice a drop in service if a contractor is sick or away on leave? Do you notice a high staff turnover rate for contracted positions? An outstanding outsourced solution will never leave you with a service gap, even for one day. First Contact prides itself on a consistent continuity of service, which is achieved by employing a dedicated support team in each state. Support Team members are trained, uniformed, inducted and operationally ready full time staff available to cover sites during periods of planned and unplanned leave - no temp, part-time or agency staff are utilised for contracted positions. With an approach to management and culture that is designed to retain the best, experienced hospitality staff, clients of First Contact can be sure that engagement on-site remains high, as our average length of service is currently around two years, with some management roles reaching six or more years of service.
Culture - A great culture is what helps organisations retain valuable staff, and in-turn, creates word-of-mouth, encouraging like-minded industry professionals to join your team. Culture is, however, more than just providing a fun working environment. Employees need to be challenged, rewarded and given feedback on their performance in order to feel satisfied. In addition, organisations must provide opportunities for career progression. Contractors also need to understand that sometimes clients will want to ‘poach’ employees for internal positions, and this should be seen as a celebration of not only the individual’s career progression, but also of the fantastic service provided by the contractor.
Continuous Improvement Strategies - The fast-paced nature of business today demands that organisations never be content with what they have, and should always be looking for efficiency gains or the next innovation. First Contact takes a measured approach to this, as any innovation needs to have clear value and service outcomes for it to be worthwhile. In our mission to remain at the forefront of corporate customer service, First Contact has recently revisited staff training programs, to ensure content is up-to-date with current trends in the corporate sector. With the majority of our staff having experience in 5-star hospitality, this helps to ensure a smooth transition into the business environment, and also prepares up-and-coming leaders by providing them with the skills and knowledge to effectively manage sites and act as a liaison with building management contacts.
Outsourcing non-essential services is a great way to release the management burden, allowing core business objectives to be focussed on. It provides an opportunity for subject matter experts, with the tools and experience, to create a greater level of service within your organisation. Should you be looking to outsource, it is extremely important to look beyond price as the only deciding factor, as a great service may end up costing less in the long run, when such factors as re-hire costs are considered. Over time, an industry-leading service provider that truly cares about its clients, will transcend the traditional client-contractor relationship to become an essential business partner to your organisation.