Common pitfalls of facilities management that can impact every manufacturer

Common pitfalls of facilities management that can impact every manufacturer

  • March 3, 2022
  • in Blog
  • 97

Buoyed by a surge in exports[1] and record demand for their goods[2], Britain’s manufacturers remain increasingly optimistic. Against a backdrop of supply shortages and staff retention and recruitment challenges, nonetheless, the sector can seldom afford any costly and detrimental impacts on operations. SBFM explores some of the common pitfalls of facilities management which can impact operational efficiency and business success.

On-site hygiene is an integral facet of any manufacturing process, even more so in food and drink manufacturing plants where any contamination can lead to product recalls and potentially irreversible reputational damage.

With Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) regulations, amongst others, to adhere to, the failure to keep the factory environment clean can not only reap the consequences of non-compliance in the form of fines and legal action, risk the welfare of workers, and decrease productivity.

Despite this, we continue to encounter manufacturers that face the same common pain points when it comes to maintaining hygiene and cleanliness on site. Here we explore a selection of the most familiar challenges encountered.


As mentioned earlier, the manufacturing industry subject to variety of regulations designed to keep employees and customers safe. Whether that is GMP regulations, the Health and Safety at Work Act, Personal Protective Equipment (Enforcement) Regulations 2018, or others, each procedure must be followed to the letter to ensure compliance.

For facilities teams this may mean wearing the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), using only approved products, performing rigorous inspections, using status tags, and recording all information accurately. By failing to do so, many FM companies not only compromise regulatory compliance, but place the client and its employees at risk.

Lack of a defined schedule

No two manufacturing facilities are the same. Depending on operational hours, occupancy levels, shift patterns, manufacturing practices and even scale, each will require a tailored facilities management and cleaning operation. As a result, cleaning schedules need to align to the specific operational needs of every site.

Unfortunately, the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach adopted by many FM providers leads to a lack of a defined schedule of facilities management works. This not only creates fundamental inefficiencies in cleaning operations, with operatives on-site without a purpose while operations are undertaken, but it can also pose a serious risk to safety and compliance.

Training inadequacies

An effective facilities management team is one which is vastly experienced and highly trained, particular when they are being asked to operate in extremely complex environments. Inadequate training and poorly managed teams can result in capability and disciplinary issues, impacting on productivity and performance on-site.

What’s more, the resultant low morale can lead to high staff turnover, elevated sickness and absence rates. This can leave manufacturers facing the ongoing difficulties of attracting and retaining workers, as well as the associated costs.

Limited senior management engagement

Cleaning operatives and facilities management professionals on the ground may be the heartbeat of any FM programme, but without senior management involvement facilities services can be somewhat of a rudderless ship.

FM service requirements often change on a regular basis, meaning decision making needs to be quick and contract changes managed efficiently.

A lack of senior management engagement can leave manufacturers feeling disconnected and unhappy with the service delivery. While the ability to fix problems before they become serious issues is reduced without a senior team for manufacturers to report in to.

Your trusted partner in manufacturing

As a trusted provider of commercial cleaning and soft facilities management (FM) services for some of the UK’s leading manufacturers, SBFM is uniquely positioned to serve our clients in the sector with reliable, efficient and transparent cleaning strategies.

With dedicated management capabilities across our contracts, we adopt your core values, applying class-leading industry knowledge and experience to shape our service around your needs.

To find out how we can support your business, contact our expert team or visit our manufacturing page at