This paper analyses the understanding of and demand for facility management (FM) services within the group of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as the willingness to outsource facility services (FS) and presents this in relation to the supply situation for SMEs.
The enterprise size, development phase and enterprises locality were considered as distinguishing criteria during the analysis using qualitative interviews with 11 Austrian SMEs.
The results pick up on an in itself paradox phenomenon. With the group of SMEs, it was mainly the smallest, i.e. micro enterprises (including a one-person enterprise (OPE)), that not only have a great interest in and understanding of FM but also see a corresponding demand. The supply aspect does not correspond to this situation by any means. Providers tend to currently approach larger SMEs with integrated offers as it is presumed that there is more demand and also a better reception here. However, it is precisely these larger SMEs that are more likely to tend towards “do-it-yourself”.
Growing enterprises generally have a greater awareness of FM, a higher subjective demand for FS and greater willingness to outsource FS than mature enterprises.
Enterprises based in rural regions have to offer special services in the battle for well qualified employees. The issue of sharing FS and optimising costs is important there and in micro enterprises in particular.