English summary

In front of you, you find the fourth edition of the Provider Performance Survey. This survey focuses on the performance of facility management providers regarding the outsourced operational, and to a certain degree, managerial tasks: multi service, managing agent, integrated facility management (IFM) and public private partnerships (PPP).

Our aim is that the Provider Performance Survey will serve as a tool to further professionalise the facility management market. The survey creates transparency in the market, offers providers specific information on how to improve their performance and simultaneously provides information on clients’ needs. Furthermore, the results may be of value for organizations in selecting a provider, in defining the requirements set for providers and as an objective source of information in assessing or in preselecting providers.

The central research question is as follows: How did facility management providers active in The Netherlands perform in the sourcing models multi service, managing agent, integrated facility management (IFM) and public private partnerships (PPP) in 2020?

The Provider Performance Survey is distinctive in that it is clients that assess the performance of providers. The survey is therefore, by definition, objective and independent. Majority of the clients of the different providers included in the survey were approached and asked to share their opinion about their provider’s performance. A total of 139 clients have been interviewed

Sourcing models

The survey focuses on the performance of facility service providers including the outsourced operational and, to a certain degree, managerial tasks. We distinguish four sourcing models:

  1. Multi service
  2. Managing agent
  3. Integrated facility management (IFM)
  4. Public private partnership (PPP)

Multi services

The multi service model combines several services and subsequently outsources them to one provider. The provider then focuses on the operational performance of several services, ensures the integration of the services and acts as a single point of contact for the client. The services are performed by the provider’s own employees and/or subcontractors.

Managing agent

In the managing agent model the client itself contracts the operational providers as well as the managing agent who is responsible for day to day operational coordination and managing the operational providers (tactical management).

In practice the scope of the tactical management tasks of the managing agent is rather large. In order to be included in the category managing agent in this survey, the provider must perform a minimum of three management tasks.

Integrated Facility Management

In this model the provider is responsible for the management, coordination and implementation of integrated facility services.

In this sourcing model the client enters into a contract with one provider for both the operational services as well as the majority of the operational, tactical and sometimes even some of the strategic management tasks.

Public Private Partnership

In this model the provider is not only responsible for the management, coordination and execution of the operational facility services, as in the IFM model, but the provider is also responsible for the realisation of the ‘infrastructure’. Several types of PPP contracts exist. The most integrated contracting type is DBFMO.

Overall score

As in 2019, we again see an increase in overall satisfaction this year: In 2020 the average Provider Performance Score is a 7.5, whereas in 2019 this was a 7.3. We see the same pattern for the different forms of outsourcing.

The first place in this year’s survey is shared by two parties: both ArrangeGroup and Ballast Nedam achieve the highest score of 7.9. BAM, despite another good increase, scores below average with a 6.5, which makes it last in line. Be that as it may, the scores have come much closer together this year. The difference between the highest and lowest scoring provider has decreased from 2 report points in 2019 to 1.4 report points this year.

Almost all providers managed to raise their PPO score. The biggest climbers this year are Eurest Services, HEYDAY, Heijmans and BAM. CBRE achieved the highest score last year, but this year it is the only provider to fall in the survey, dropping back to seventh place.

Variability score

New in this year’s survey is the variability score. This score indicates how stable and reliable a provider’s PPO score is. The variability of the PPO score of providers depends to a significant extent on the number of respondents interviewed per provider and the percentage of respondents participating year after year. In the study we break the variability score down in low, average and high. The higher the variability score, the more reliable a provider’s PPO score. This means that future surveys will yield PPO scores that are well comparable with earlier ones.


Top 3 Multi Service

This year, Multi Service providers scored 7.3 on average. In the past three years D&B was the highest scoring provider in this category, but this year it is the biggest faller with a 7.4 and has been surpassed by the majority of providers. The biggest risers are Sodexo (7.8) and Eurest Services (7.5). Sodexo takes over first place in this category from D&B. The difference between the highest and lowest scoring provider has decreased again this year. It previously fell from 3.3 report points in 2018 to 2.4 report points in 2019, and in 2020 it has decreased further to 1.4 report points.


Over the years, we have seen that the satisfaction of clients with providers continues to increase. An increase can be seen on all themes, but especially Innovation & Continuous Improvement has made a big leap since the start of the survey in 2016 (+1.4). Be that as it may, its overall assessment is 7.0, and as such the satisfaction with this theme still lags behind in comparison to the other themes. In addition, we observe that over the years clients find two recurring themes most important: Alignment with Core Business and Customer Management. These two topics have proven to require continuous attention in order to remain in line with the needs and expectations of clients. With regard to the other topics, the importance attached to them and accordingly the emphasis put on them varies from year to year.

In 2020, we see that especially the themes of Integration of Services and Contract Compliance are once again important indicators of client satisfaction. Contract Compliance is particularly noteworthy, given the lesser importance attached to it in recent years. Going back to the basics and doing what we agreed to do appears to be very important again in a year with so much uncertainty, compared to recent years when it was less of a priority. Contract Compliance is rated particularly high this year within PPP arrangements. Managing Agent, on the other hand, is doing particularly well in the area of Integration of Services. Another noteworthy result is the increase in satisfaction for Innovation & Continuous Improvement in PPP arrangements. With a total score of 7.6 it is gaining significant ground, continuing last year’s steep rise and leaving all other contract types far behind in this area.


Flexibility is the most important climber of 2020! Given the uncertainty and constantly changing circumstances in 2020, it was to be expected that clients would find Flexibility important. The results show that providers have been able to meet these expectations and even score 0.5 points higher on this competency compared to last year. Client satisfaction has also increased this year on all other competencies. In this respect, Commitment emerges as the principal determining factor of client satisfaction, whereas this competency was labelled as less important in previous years. Through the years, one competency always proved to be highly decisive for client satisfaction: Proactivity. This is also the case this year, although client satisfaction in this area lags slightly behind. Especially in Multi Service contracts this competency is valued lower.

The survey shows that since 2016 providers have developed themselves in almost all competencies. However, one competency has scored very high and consistently since the start of the PPO: Integrity and Reliability. This competency is rated at 8.0 or higher for all contract types, which not only makes it the most consistently scoring competency, but also the highest rated competency in recent years. The biggest climbers in recent years are Organizational Awareness and Proactivity. Both have risen by 1.0 reporting point since 2016, but despite this increase, the scores for both competencies still lag behind the other competencies. While Organizational Awareness has shown an increase in almost all industries over the years, it is notable that Proactivity has improved especially much within the Utilities sector and Healthcare.


Client satisfaction continues to rise

Overall satisfaction with providers has increased significantly. With a 7.5 it is above the outcome of the first Provider Performance Survey in 2016 (6.9) and last year’s result (7.3). Underlying this, we see that satisfaction has increased in all areas. An exceptionally good performance. The underlying results show that the COVID-19 situation has given providers ample opportunity to be distinctive. A lot was asked for in terms of flexibility, collaboration and professionalism: topics that require quick and tangible results. More strategic topics, such as innovation, were less prominent on the agenda, but with the return to normal they are rapidly gaining importance again. The future trend in overall satisfaction will therefore heavily depend on how quickly providers make the shift from crisis mode to longer-term strategy.

COVID-19 shifts focus back to basics

Masses of clients adjusted their priorities to the circumstances of COVID-19. The importance attached to Innovation & Continuous Improvement dropped sharply, while Contract Compliance (the extent to which providers comply with the agreements made) almost out of the blue entered the top three of most important aspects. This is not surprising when viewed in the light of COVID-19. The top priorities have been scaling services – either up or down – and ensuring a safe and hygienic working environment. Longer-term developments were put on hold for a while. With the end of COVID-19 in sight, expectations are that after offices are reopened and the new work habits are firmly established, the focus of clients will shift back to creating customer value and innovation.

Flexibility was the buzzword of 2020

Not entirely unexpectedly it turns out that Flexibility was a key indicator of provider performance in 2020. Much more so than in previous years. The providers have responded well to this – beyond expectations – according to the survey. Satisfaction rose by 0.5 points to 8.2. We also see an improvement on all underlying aspects. For example, clients attach great value to being able to respond to developments within the organization and providing services that are geared to this. On both fronts, providers scored better than last year. Another aspect where notable success has been achieved is the extent to which providers are able to implement requested improvement opportunities. Compared to last year, the satisfaction with this has increased by more than 1 report point.

Managing Agent model most suitable for adapting to uncertain times

The Managing Agent model has been the best scoring model for years, mainly because of the flexibility and independence between the Managing Agent’s management tasks and the execution of services by other providers. This trend has been confirmed again this year, with the Managing Agent model being the best scoring sourcing model with a score of 7.7. As a result, the Managing Agent model is now outperforming the IFM model, in contrast to last year, when the two models were level. This is not surprising, as flexibility and independence have been especially relevant this year. On all themes and competences we see a rise in scores compared to 2019. Notable is the very high score on Integrity and Reliability (9.2), which together with Alignment with Core Business (8.4) is one of the important indicators for clients’ appreciation.

Clients use different yardsticks for hard and soft service providers

The satisfaction of clients with hard and soft service providers is comparable, with scores of 7.8 and 7.6 respectively. However, it is striking that there are large differences in the way in which clients assess the two types of provider. For hard service providers, clients find professionalism, complying with agreements made and aligning with business needs very important. For soft service providers, the focus is mainly on integration of services and collaboration. The high level of satisfaction with both hard and soft service providers shows that both types of providers are able to respond well to the different expectations that clients have with regard to the services.

Impact of changing office function on expectations of clients

It is not new or surprising that many clients expect the function of the office to change drastically. The office will become to a greater degree a place for meeting and working together, while high-focus and individual working will be done from home. Almost two-thirds of clients expect this to lead to permanent facility support for home offices. In addition, more than half of the respondents expect an increase in decentralized office locations and shared hubs. As a result, the services of clients are segmenting: more locations, a greater variety in the types of environments and more diversity in the services requested and the corresponding quality and volumes. If we translate this into what is required from providers, we expect a stronger focus on entrepreneurship (proactivity, flexibility), personalization (customization, diversity), and especially innovation and continuous improvement.

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