What is the difference between Hard and Soft Facilities Management?

The term ‘facilities management’ (FM) covers a broad range of services, each with the intention to maintain the appearance and functionality of a premises. These services can include gas and electric services, commercial cleaning, grounds maintenance and more. Each of these fall into one of two facilities management categories, hard FM and soft FM. But which services fall under which category, and what is the difference between them?

What is Hard FM?

Hard FM refers to the management and maintenance of the physical infrastructure within a building or facility. It typically includes operating and maintaining mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, as well as structural elements and equipment.

Hard FM services focus on the technical and operational aspects of maintaining and managing a facility to ensure its safe and efficient operation. Here at Dependable, we offer a range of Hard FM services, including plumbing and gas maintenance, electrical services, barrier systems and gating, property management and property inventory

What is Soft FM?

Soft FM is the management of the services that contribute to the overall functioning of a facility and its occupants. Unlike hard FM, which focuses on the physical infrastructure and equipment, soft FM encompasses a range of non-technical services that enhance the comfort and productivity of the individuals using the facility.

Our range of Soft FM services include grounds maintenance, commercial cleaning, fire inspection, safety and security services and lettings management.

So, what’s the difference between Hard and Soft FM?

The easiest way to understand the difference between hard FM and soft FM services is to consider two perspectives: people (the use of the facility) and facilities (the structure and physical aspects).

Soft FM services primarily involve managing the usage of a facility, taking care of the needs and experiences of the people within it.

Hard FM services, on the other hand, involve managing the physical aspects of a facility, including its structure and equipment.

Which is more important?

Obviously, the services that you require depend on your property. However, both hard and soft FM are equally important. The introduction of the Workplace (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations in 1992 meant that property owners have a responsibility to ensure the daily health, safety, and welfare of a building’s occupants. This incorporates FM services such as plumbing, cleaning, temperature control, ventilation, and lighting.

How to keep on top of facilities management

When you own multiple properties or facilities, it can be difficult to keep on top of the different facilities management services that are required. There are a few different ways to look after your properties, including:

  • Doing it yourself
  • Hiring multiple different companies for different services
  • Hiring a facilities management company to sort everything out

How Dependable can help

Choosing a facilities management company is an important decision, and may not be right for everyone. But if you decide it’s the route that is right for you, you may wonder why you ever thought of managing your property yourself in the first place!

Our property management service supports the full maintenance of your property – from emergency repairs to fire safety checks. Get in touch today to discuss your requirements.