What is IFM? And why is it a world of difference for your business?

“Becoming a partner in life for our clients”: Multi Masters Group‘s ambition by 2026 is clear. We want to unburden our clients and help them contribute to their mission and vision. How we want to do that? By being a trusted IFM partner. But what is IFM or Integrated Facility Management and how do you as an organization reap the benefits?

What is IFM?

Let’s start at the beginning: what is IFM or Integrated Facility Management? IFM is an approach where all operational facility processes and the associated control activities are outsourced to one external facility service provider. An approach that Multi Masters Group is keen to offer its clients to become a true ‘partner in life’.

To guide you through our IFM approach, it is useful to first take two steps back and see how you, as a company, arrive at this integrated approach to facilities management. The steps towards a full IFM approach first pass by ‘single services outsourcing’ and ‘bundled services outsourcing’.

Single service outsourcing

When a company chooses to outsource a single facility service at a time, we talk about single service outsourcing. This usually involves one site, but depending on the context, it can also be multiple sites. With this form of facility service outsourcing, you increase efficiency and save on costs through standardization.

For example: you hire Cleaning Masters for the cleaning of your head office and, in addition, you hire another external company for the green maintenance of your sites.

what is IFM? - Integrated Facility Management - Multi Masters Group

Bundled services outsourcing

One step further, we talk about bundled services outsourcing. This step is usually taken when some services have already been outsourced and when you are looking for an even more efficient and smooth service. A focus of this strategy is that you as a company now have to manage several external parties.

Bundling packages of services ensures consistency in this type of service provision. In practice, this often results in clustering around soft and hard FM. The ‘soft’ FM services are more focused towards and tangible for the user, where the ‘hard’ FM services focus more on the building and its use. Here, a Facility Coordinator is appointed on-site by Multi Masters Group to manage the cluster optimally.

For example: you engage Multi Masters Group for cleaning, green maintenance and pest control of your head office and in addition, you engage another external company for periodic maintenance of your air filters in your HVAC installation.

What is IFM? - Multi Masters Group

IFM: Integrated Facility Management

What is IFM? As the name Integrated Facility Management suggests, it is about people-oriented, integrated facilities services. When you opt for an IFM approach, you choose to outsource an entire package or even all operational services and their management to a single facilities service provider. In the ideal scenario, the client enters into a long-term partnership with the service provider and mutual trust grows over time.

For example: you hire Multi Masters Group for the facilities maintenance of your entire building. Cleaning Masters takes care of the cleaning, Green Masters for the greenery maintenance, Maintenance Masters for the maintenance of your technical installations, and so on. In addition, an overall Facility Manager of Multi Masters Group takes care of the tactical-strategic direction and reporting of the activities.

Long term

Whereas with single service outsourcing and bundled services outsourcing you mainly realize profits at the beginning of the contract, with IFM this is mainly during the term of the contract. This long-term strategic approach offers not only financial benefits, but also the efficiency and performance of your company will benefit optimally. For this, however, it is important to be sufficiently aware that time is needed to start up, stabilize and optimize the contract. After all, an IFM approach offers all kinds of qualitative benefits that will pay off in the long run.

  • Mutual cooperation can be improved
  • Tasks can be divided more efficiently
  • Where possible, employees will be given broader responsibilities (e.g. a cleaner who also has knowledge of coffee machine maintenance)
What is IFM? - Multi Masters Group is pleased to advise you

What is important if you choose IFM?

Not unimportant in this way of working together: as a customer, you must accept to hand over the keys and trust your IFM partner. That also makes this approach a very mature form of cooperation.

Not only must you as a customer have sufficient trust, as a facility service provider the IFM partner must also continuously show its commitment to continue offering this phased optimization. The various elements of the service provision are systematically questioned with the aim of further increasing its efficiency

From operational to strategic

Whereas facility management of a building is currently still often an operational matter on the agenda at companies, an IFM approach can mean a world of difference. At Multi Masters Group, we strive to make IFM a strategic item on the agenda. This way of working together creates synergy across all facility services and thus has a direct impact on your business. So Multi Masters Group not only contributes to the proper maintenance of your building, but thinks a step further. A pleasant, well-maintained (work) environment also has a positive impact on the experience employees or users have of your building. In other words, thanks to this direct impact, as a facilities service provider we also contribute to the mission, vision and values you want to convey as a company.

Waarom Multi Masters Group?

It is best to choose a facilities service provider based on the needs of your organization. What would you like to achieve and which elements are necessary for you to enter into an efficient collaboration? As a facilities service provider, it is therefore important to choose a clear positioning in the market with a clear value proposition.

At Multi Masters Group, we resolutely opt for a people-focused approach where the unburdening of the customer and, consequently, the unburdening of the employee/user is central, and this in the most sustainable way possible.

BREEAM and WELL Building Standard

There is an ever-growing range of standards that approach elements such as quality, sustainability and safety in a more scientific manner. We would like to highlight two standards that have come over from abroad: BREEAM en WELL Building Standard. These are highly complementary and together they provide a better objectification of these themes.

It already starts with the construction or renovation. Think about the circularity of your building and the choices in materials, fittings, techniques, to name a few. BREEAM provides a framework that will later also help determine the facilities services. Starting from the employees and the physiological, mental and social aspects, the WELL standard offers a perspective that provides facility organizations with more structural support around various themes such as ergonomics, acoustics or air quality. So the approach is different and consequently the recommendations are complementary but sometimes deviating. Context and interpretation is and remains therefore appropriate.

However, it all adds up to all the elements that contribute to a pleasant living and working environment, today and in the future. So here, too, we can unburden ourselves by tailoring our services to this and accentuating these aspects on a daily basis with the personality and training of our employees, the structure of our services and their user-centric approach. The concretization of this is a feeling of well-being: a ‘hospitality-feeling’.

Which model to choose?

So how do you know which facility services to choose for your business? Either way, the IFM model is the most future-oriented solution. However, it is often the case in Belgium that customers still act very cautiously and in stages and first opt for bundled services outsourcing. It is an evolving process in which one also sees that many customers are cautious and have a somewhat wait-and-see attitude.

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