Blog, Building Repair, Facilities Management

Good Value in Reactive Maintenance

Value for money is central to the success of all organisations. But how do you ensure you get value for money when contracting a facilities management company to deliver reactive maintenance?

Good Value Reactive Maintenance in Facilities Management

The first step in understanding what is ‘good value’ in FM reactive maintenance is to assess all areas of the value chain. These are the areas that will affect the delivery of reactive maintenance.

The main elements to assess are:

  • Innovation,
  • Supply Chain Management,
  • Purchasing,
  • Material Suppliers,
  • Competitive Pricing,
  • Value Engineering and
  • Added Value.



Utilising technology and continually monitoring and evaluating KPIs to look at how a reactive maintenance provider can improve leads to greater efficiencies. 

How often does your current FM Provider bring you new ideas to improve reactive maintenance?

An investment in technology by an FM provider can be utilised by multiple clients and enable best practices to be enjoyed by all.

Innovative Consolidation of FM Services

An excellent example is our FM contract with a prominent clinical software provider. RFM was awarded the Integrated FM contract to manage five sites. The FM previously had been maintained by no less than 115 different contractors. Our effective consolidation delivered:

  • A single point of contact by way of a unique Helpdesk facility CAFM 
  • Consolidated monthly SLA and KPI meetings – real-time dashboard reports CAFM 
  • Multi-skilled and provided additional training to our operatives 
  • Reduced Supply Chain down to nine from 115 suppliers 

This led to improvement in performance, quality and customer satisfaction by over 20% from 71% to 92.5% and a 17% annual saving on property spend through Value Management and Engineering workshops. 

CAFM and Reactive Maintenance

The introduction was companywide and provided a step-change in the way services are delivered via the introduction of CAFM Explorer, a 2018 winner for ‘Best for Estate Management Software Solutions’ for the second year running by leading industry title BUILD magazine. 

CAFM has significantly reduced administration across the contract for all parties, allowing staff to focus on delivering high-quality works. The majority of the required data is collected automatically as part of our day-to-day activities, with verification and sign-off maintained by an experienced Site team.  

New FM clients enjoy this same level of service as well as having full access to CAFM and a customised Client Portal. An effective CAFM system allows tasks to be raised, viewing current, future and historical activities on a real-time basis, and performance dashboards updated instantly showing KPIs, tasks, forecasts, budgets and PPM schedules. 

Supply Chain Management 

An experienced supply chain manager should head up the procurement set-up period. They can then carry out a surgery on the site during the implementation period to familiarize themselves, meet and discuss service delivery with the relevant subcontractors.

The process should be structured around the developing needs of the site, current requirements, and business-critical services.

Where it is necessary to utilise the skills of sub-contractors, appropriate vendor assessments should be carried out on all sub-contractors and suppliers. 

The assessment will identify the suitability of a company to provide the service required on time, and in accordance with the specifications provided.

It is essential to build strong relationships with sub-contractors to ensure the same quality of service every time. All sub-contractors should adhere to pre-determined response times and standards.

It can also be prudent to create a “Ghost” list of alternate providers that could be called upon at short notice in case of emergency.

tilt shift lens photo of stainless steel chain

Purchasing FM Services and Products

The purchasing of services and products should be carried out in accordance with fully documented purchasing procedures. The following considerations should be made when placing an order for FM materials and services:  

  1. Type, class, style or grade 
  2. Product code or other precise identification 
  3. Product name and other positive identification such as specifications, drawings or other requirements 
  4. Requirements for special approval, inspection, testing etc 
  5. Verifying quality documentation 
  6. Test and analysis certificates and certificates of conformity 
  7. Price 
  8. Delivery 
  9. Source of origin 


Network of Material Suppliers 

An effective Reactive Repair company will have a network of reliable suppliers that cover specific disciplines and who have been assessed according to performance.  Agreements will include group discounts rebates and defined service levels. 

Effective facilities repair companies (like RFM Group) have considerable experience in value management and value engineering through efficient supply chain management.

Successful value management needs a methodical approach that ensures lifecycle costs are as low as possible whilst optimising component lifespan, function and value for money. 

A proactive approach to value engineering ensures: 

  1. optimum whole life costs 
  2. improved functionality 
  3. reduced capital costs 
  4. improved buildability 

reactive maintenance value materials brown and white concrete building

Partnering with Suppliers

Partnering with the supply chain in long-term framework agreements and selecting suppliers on the basis of quality, service and delivery ensures success. 

A supply chain strategy centred on delivering value for money leverages approved key supply chain partners. This can remove the requirement for stores. The advantages of outsourcing and removing the need for stores provides: 

  • Significant reductions in the value of cash tied up in stockholding. 
  • The contract will benefit from bulk purchase discounts accumulated from the consolidation of material procurement across a number of contracts. 
  • Electronic invoicing 
  • Established working methods and relationships with a proven record of success. 
  • Reduced overheads, e.g. staff, buildings, facilities, etc. 
  • National supply chain partners are all local employers.  
  • National deals with a local feel.
  • Extended warranties and guarantees.

This strategy is known as ‘Just in Time’ stock management.

A well-established approved supply chain should incorporate many national suppliers with negotiated key supplier rates. This allows procurement and operational teams to procure the day-to-day materials from a range of different outlets in order to obtain the best level of discounts and reduce engineer drive time and CO2 emissions. 

black and silver laptop computer

Competitive Pricing in Soft FM and Hard FM  

Generally speaking, it is most efficient for a Facilities Management contract to take a strategic approach, splitting approaches to Soft FM and Hard FM.

It is usually most effective to deliver all Soft FM by in-house teams. Conversely, for Hard FM it normally pays to go out to the market to employ specialists who can deliver the majority of the Hard FM and compliance elements. 

This efficiency leads to competitive pricing for reactive maintenance and FM services.

Value Engineering 

At quarterly intervals, it is recommended to undertake value engineering reviews with partners and other stakeholders. Value Engineering can be defined as a structured system for the review of the design, supply and construction processes to identify options and scope for improvement.

From the initial specification, it’s important to continue the process of re-engineering the basic and detailed plans. Re-visiting key decisions already made, but with the addition of project management and purchasing skills.

It is key to bring forward new ideas that enhance the projects’ value and bring FM expertise into the design process, eliminating unnecessary costs. 

Again it’s important to ask the question we asked at the beginning of this article: How often does your current FM Provider bring you new ideas to improve reactive maintenance?

Adding Value 

A contract with a Reactive Maintenance company should be a partnership. As much as possible it is best to treat them like your team members. This integration allows the best opportunity to add value.

This closeness helps to improve quality and reduce costs across all stock and services by delivering and stocking just what is required. Incorporating whole life costing principles into the schemes ensures that value is added over the life of a client’s assets. 

Solutions must be cost-effective, durable, long-lasting, efficient and require minimal maintenance. An FM partner must work with maintenance and management teams to understand how maintenance is currently managed, and to ensure that any issues are addressed which may have previously been identified on similar schemes. 

Methods of adding value over the life of assets: 

  • Ensure specified products/components have a life expectancy greater than that of standard products  
  • Ensure that ‘zero defects’ is a key priority  
  • Understand the maintenance benefits of other products/components and advise accordingly  
  • Source products/components from manufacturers who provide long term support, product/component guarantee and warranties  
  • Identify alternative products/components which offer increased qualities and efficiencies for sites  



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