The Hidden Costs of Managing Your k–12 Facilities In-House

High-quality, reliable facilities management
is integral to K-12 educational success.

The physical environment plays a crucial role in helping students thrive and school districts achieve positive financial results.

While some districts choose to handle facilities management in-house, believing it to be more economical, there are costs that come with this approach. Cleaning, maintenance, engineering, pest control, landscaping, energy management, staffing and so on can become overwhelming for self-operating schools to effectively manage while focusing on their core objectives. 

On top of that, staying updated on ever-changing regulations, technological advancements and industry trends further adds to the complexities of in-house management.

facility worker wearing a hard hat and writing on a clipboard

Instead, it is often more cost-effective to work with an Integrated Facilities Management partner who can deliver a comprehensive, technology-enabled approach. By collaborating with Aramark Facilities Management, you can fundamentally transform the management of your physical spaces and assets in ways that reduce Total Cost of Ownership.

Although the idea of maintaining control and familiarity by keeping facility management in-house may seem appealing at first glance, the hidden costs add up.

facility worker checking a gauge

Cost of Insufficient Staffing

Effective facility management is powered by people. 

Not having the right people in place for mission-critical work significantly impacts overall operations. The ongoing skilled labor shortage is a major challenge for school districts needing to hire professionals experienced in maintenance, space planning, energy management, operations and cleaning. And this shortage isn’t expected to improve anytime soon.

Partnering for these services can mitigate the risk of insufficient staffing and solve talent gaps. Aramark brings access to extensive talent acquisition resources that help attract and retain top talent. Dedicated to developing the next generation of facilities management professionals, our College of Facilities Management provides training, certifications and credentialing that ensures all staff receive the professional development they need to be successful in their roles.

two facility workers fixing equipment

Cost of Regulatory Compliance

Environmental and regulatory compliance is non-negotiable. The cost of non-compliance is substantial and includes both organizational and individual penalties, as well as potential legal issues and reputational damage.

The ever-changing nature of regulatory issues, however, poses a significant challenge for self-operating schools. It can be difficult for organizations to stay current and compliant if they are not immersed in the daily world of regulatory updates.

By working with a facilities management provider, organizations can secure the complex task of risk management as part of their integrated services. Partnering with Aramark means tapping into our proven track record and expertise in regulatory compliance for best-practice solutions that mitigate costs and risks.


Cost of Falling Behind in Technology Advancement

Keeping up with the rapid pace of technological innovations in facilities management can be one of the most effective ways to reduce costs over the long term.

However, few self-operating districts can afford an in-house team continually focused on facilities management research and development. Partnering with a leading provider like Aramark solves this problem, offering access to a dedicated R&D team that stays current with best practices and technological advancements.

Our dedicated Center of Excellence is specifically designed to identify new and innovative solutions for K-12 facilities challenges, ensuring our clients stay on the leading edge of industry changes in ways that directly impact their bottom line and the student experience.

Data and real-time business insights are changing how facilities are managed. Through Aramark’s AIWX™ Connect, clients identify building and occupant needs with IoT-connected monitors and sensors so services can be delivered based on actual demand. Leveraging technology like AIWX™ Connect leads to smarter, more secure school buildings which improve efficiencies and reduce cost.

Systems are designed to work together in collaboration, providing actionable insights into an extensive list of facility concerns, such as door monitoring, leak detection, indoor air quality, vape detection, energy use and much more. At Three Rivers (OR) School District, for instance, AIWX™ Connect helped avoid costly repairs when a water line burst in the gymnasium during a holiday break. The real-time alert and swift response by maintenance avoided an estimated $70,000 in damage.

group of facility workers fixing equipment on a rooftop

Cost of Missed Opportunities

Data-driven business intelligence doesn’t just make your facilities management more efficient, it reduces operational risks and allows you to identify additional opportunities for optimization.

Improving your energy consumption can be a missed opportunity for financial savings and increased profitability. Providence Public School District, as one example, saw over $30 million in savings while raising their average Energy Star scores by 18 percent thanks to Aramark’s performance-based maintenance model. We help organizations seize upon untapped opportunities to lower costs and reallocate funds with proven strategies and leading technology.

From performance contracting to operator training to equipment optimization, Aramark Engineering Solutions develops energy management programs specific to each district’s operations. 

aramark employee reviewing blueprints

Cost of Misunderstood Spend

Relying on multiple service providers or vendors often makes it difficult for organizations to evaluate and control spending. It can be shocking to tally up the true cost of facilities services.

Purchased independently, these services foster an environment for inefficiency and complexity. Fragmented service delivery lends itself to operational inefficiencies, redundant efforts and unnecessary expenses.

However, when these costs are managed through a single solution partner, service delivery becomes more streamlined and cost-effective. Integrated Facilities Management also provides visibility across your entire building portfolio, helping identify areas to optimize spending.

Adopting a spend management strategy means that costs can then be managed, distributed and balanced in strategic ways that best fit your schools.

aramark vehicles

Cost of Supply chain inefficiencies

Likewise, having multiple contracts for different services can lead to price inefficiencies and poor standardization of services.

Without the ability to leverage volume discounts or negotiate competitive rates, organizations managing their facilities in-house may find themselves paying higher prices for essential services. Working with multiple vendors can lead to imbalanced levels of quality and efficiency.

Partnering with national or global providers, on the other hand, allows you to secure the best pricing and leverage economies of scale. Service delivery is more streamlined and cost-effective.

Our extensive network of vendors and deep experience across industries enables us to secure the best pricing from suppliers, passing the cost savings on to you, while helping you optimize your logistics.

The Costs of In-House
Facilities Management Add Up

The cumulative costs of managing facilities in-house can strain budgets and divert resources away from core business activities. Staffing issues, unexpected operations downtime and other disruptions directly impact the student experience and your bottom line.

Mitigate these risks and reduce your total cost of ownership with Aramark.

We’re the
strategic partner

to optimize your operations, scale your processes and help you achieve greater financial stability while providing an exceptional educational environment for K-12 students.

aramark employee wearing a hard hat and writing on a clipboard