Outsourcing – if the customer could choose itself

Coor has conducted research* into the market’s view of outsourcing IFM services – now and in the future – for the fifth consecutive year. Interest in IFM services has increased steadily over the years, and this year is no exception. Despite the recession, service management is a sector in growth.

A sector in growth

Sector commentators expect the market for outsourced service management functions to grow by 10 – 15% per year in the Nordic region, far more than the economy generally. And this research corroborates the forecasts. In response to the question about whether people expected to outsource services more or less in five years, about half of interviewees indicated that the share of outsourced service management functions would increase, while the remainder said it would be unchanged. Only 2 to 5% expected it to decrease. The outlook is consistent in all countries apart from Norway, where the share stating that outsourcing would increase was lower (30%) and the share expecting outsourcing to remain unchanged is higher.

Consequences of the recession

Not unexpectedly, the research supports the view that the drivers of outsourcing business have changed. For several years “the ability to focus on our own core business” has been the single most important factor for outsourcing decisions, but this year “cost savings for us” tops the list of critical decision factors. Compared to previous years, interviewees also generally experienced an increasing need to cut the cost of internal services and other associated services on 2008. 66% of Swedish respondents answered the direct question of whether they think the recession increases their need to cut service management costs with “yes, a lot or to a fairly high degree,” followed by Finland (55%), Denmark (44%) and Norway (38%). In this context, Denmark and Norway are both heavily affected by a notably high share of the public sector, who do not think the recession will affect the need to cut costs at all, or at least, very little.

Finland top, Norway bottom

The research rates Finland as the country outsourcing most, followed by Denmark and Sweden. The Norwegian outsourcing market is less mature, even if the trend since 2006 has been an increasing number of outsourced service functions, especially in the private sector.

Finland differs from its Nordic neighbours in it outsourcing more service management functions to single service providers. In other countries, outsourcing multiple FM services to a single provider with overall responsibilities is significantly more common. Of the single services, cleaning, internal/external waste management, security services, real estate services and staff restaurant are the most common for outsourcing.

* Market research conducted by independent researcher Demoskop, who interviewed private and public sector decision-makers across the Nordic region.

If you’ve got any questions or want to find out more:

Contact Åsvor Brynnel, Communication Manager at Coor, tel: +46 (0)8 553 95404, asvor.brynnel@coor.com