The dynamic landscape of the facilities management sector demands a proactive stance towards contractor management. Modern compliance challenges require more from the systems being used to address them, posing risks in terms of efficiency, safety, and liability where these systems do not meet a required standard. The Facilities Management Association recognises the need for the industry to embrace digital solutions, acknowledging that when implemented, technology has continued to drive performance gains and standardise processes within disciplines.

While the move to digital was once a display of modernisation, acceptance of digital integration and support has become more than a differentiator in the FM sector. The value of embracing digital solutions extends beyond the trend; it’s a strategic move to ensure compliance operations are resilient and robust. Acknowledging the benefits created by digital transformation will give organisations more opportunities to champion the culture of safety they desire, saving time and money in the process.

The reality is that relying on outdated systems with limited automation can have consequences beyond organisational efficiency. Safety is a non-negotiable, so what happens when administrative shortfall leads to a critical error in workplace safety management?


The implications of compliance managed in spreadsheets

Facilities Managers are an integral component of successful business operations, but often find themselves grappling with time sensitive projects and limited resources. The shortage of skilled facilities and HSEQ professionals pose a significant challenge to the sector, with generational shifts leaving many organisations understaffed.

Many organisations continue to manage the documentation and compliance of contractors in spreadsheets and rely on them for their operations. Internal WHS procedures could pose significant risk to workplace safety if managed ineffectively. Internal cost and time limitations often strain these processes, leaving them vulnerable to critical error.

Considerations when managing contractor compliance in spreadsheets:

  • Where are essential documents stored, and how are you connecting their contents back to your spreadsheets?
  • Who is reviewing these documents, and what is the workflow from assessment to spreadsheet, then back to the contractor?
  • How do you maintain universal communication and workflows between your customers, your sites, facilities, HSEQ team, and external vendors?
  • How do you maintain data quality, version control, and backups?
  • Does your entire team know how to confidently manage and troubleshoot the current system?

Any business process that relies heavily on human data entry has a high risk for critical error. Corrupt files, key staff departures, and incompatibilities are all major areas of concern. When the safety of your employees and contractors is on the line, along with the potential to be found liable in the event of an incident, it is not a risk worth taking.


Exploring digital solutions to combat cost

While spreadsheets are a seemingly low-cost alternative to digital solutions, the main cost associated with any manual process is your time. In a business just commencing operations, this can be easiest method to get started quickly, however it becomes increasingly complex and labour intensive as time goes on. A Facilities Manager might expect to spend half to one day scanning the lengthy list of questions an organisation would expect its contractor to answer. After requesting additional information, evaluating submitted documents, and managing back and forth communication, the process of initially prequalifying each contractor for engagement can be extremely time consuming.

See what the internal handling of contractor compliance management could be costing your business every year using the calculator below.


In addition to prequalification, employers have further obligations to ensure that contractors are safe to work, including on site check-ins, performing essential inductions, and ensuring licences and insurance documents are up to date. For organisations managing an extensive array of contractors across several sites, the challenge lies in standardising processes effectively.


How Cm3 is assisting FM organisations transform their approach to compliance

The shift from compliance managed in spreadsheets to comprehensive digital solutions is a pivotal step towards a more efficient and future-ready FM industry. Facilities Managers must be prepared for future developments affecting the FM sector and should be proactive in exploring and implementing innovative solutions.

As a trusted partner for a large number of Property and Facilities Management organisations, Cm3 provides an ecosystem of contractor management and supply chain compliance solutions that leverage the strengths of both digital solutions and an in-house team of qualified experts. Cm3’s ecosystem extends beyond the limitations of an off-the-shelf contractor management system, providing a unique service to organisations across all industries to prequalify, induct, and manage contractors.

Cm3’s innovative blend of software and service provides facilities managers with the support of an expert team of WHS assessors, who provide extensive knowledge of risks and legislative obligations for employers, employees, and contractors in the FM sector.

Businesses should always be looking to the future and how they can ensure their systems and processes will scale with their growth. The successful implementation of compliance solutions such as Cm3 provides a compelling case for Facilities Managers seeking to have their contractor and vendor management processes be a source of pride, and not a burden.

Speak to a Cm3 solutions expert today.


Attend the Digital Transformation in FM Summit

Cm3 will join FM innovators and leaders at the Digital Transformation & Facilities Management Expo on 22 February 2024 in Melbourne facilitated by the Facility Management Association of Australia. The team is looking forward to insightful discussions around the sector’s adoption of digital solutions, and how embracing the bridge between people and technology is transforming compliance management.

Get your pass and visit Cm3 at the event on the official FMA website.