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The Difference Between Soft & Hard Facilities Management

Facilities management is the process of ensuring buildings and other major assets undergo regular maintenance and servicing to ensure they can continue to contribute to an organisation’s strategic goals.

There are two major types of facilities management: ‘hard’ and ‘soft’. Hard facilities management is largely concerned with the physical build environment, while soft facilities management focuses on services that improve the wellbeing of those who use the building, such as employees and clients.

While both are vital to the successful running of facilities, there are some key differences between the two. We outline these differences in more detail below.

Hard Facilities Management

Hard facilities management is concerned with the physical upkeep of facilities, especially premises, equipment, and other valuable assets that form the fabric of the building. For buildings and equipment to play their role in meeting organisational goals, they must undergo regular, ongoing servicing to ensure they are fit for purpose. Part of this role involves ensuring organisations meet their legal obligations by keeping premises safe and comfortable for those who use them.

The extent of hard facilities management will vary depending on the type of assets an organisation has and the nature of its operations. In most cases, hard facilities management is involved with the maintenance of brick-and-mortar, air-con systems, heating, plumbing, electrics, and similar aspects of your property.

In many cases, companies are legally obliged to conduct regular checks and servicing on the building and any associated equipment. These assets must be well-maintained over time to ensure the continual operation of business activities.

Soft Facilities Management

Soft facilities management, also known as ‘soft services’, differs from hard facilities management as it’s concerned with maintaining and improving the working environment of facilities for those who use them.

Examples of soft facilities management are cleaning, catering, waste management, security provision, car parking, and a host of other services. These management approaches are vital in helping to maintain and improve productivity, wellness, and staff retention. 

Although not all businesses will require every soft facilities management service, the majority will require some of the core services, such as cleaning.

Why Businesses Need Facilities Management

Facilities maintenance is necessary to ensure organisations have safe, secure, and fit-for-purpose premises to conduct business activities. Without regular upkeep, premises and other key assets will fall into disrepair. It’s this reason why facilities management forms a crucial part of an organisation’s strategy. 

Well-maintained assets help a business achieve its goals. Hard facilities management ensures the working premises are safe and secure, while soft facilities management enhances the working environment for employees and other stakeholders.

As a facilities management company, our team at Ambivent provides a wide range of hard facilities maintenance services for commercial organisations of all sizes, including plumbing, electrical, heating, refrigeration, and air conditioning.

For more information on our facilities management services, contact us at Ambivent Facilities Management to speak to someone on our expert team. We are ISO9001 accredited and deliver regular maintenance alongside breakdown and emergency response services, available 24-hours a day, 7 days a week.