As a facility maintenance manager in charge of dozens—perhaps hundreds—of sites, is there anything more important than having a reliable vendor and team to lean on during times when work orders pile up, staff is on vacation, temperatures are severe outside or other vendors are falling short?
Whether you are a facility manager in charge of retail stores, restaurants, fitness facilities, medical offices or other multi-site busines types, the past year has undoubtedly brought about new challenges with the Coronavirus pandemic. Maybe your previous vendors are no longer in business or their capacities are reduced…or perhaps your Facility Maintenance Team was reduced from three people to just you. Regardless, having reliable vendor partners helps to make any transition more comfortable.
While it is essential to have reliable vendors to provide HVAC, Electrical, Plumbing, LED, Sign Maintenance, and other facility services needs, many find it equally important to have an assigned team of people within that vendor partnership.
Having an assigned, specialty team of contacts:
- Eliminates the “call center” mentality and allows specific team members to service your account
- Allows those specified team members to get to know your needs, from your quoting preferences & follow-up communication preferences—to your style when it comes to managing work orders, approved quotes, detailed notes, and service call follow-ups
- You never have to track down individuals for quotes & follow-ups, because your assigned team works together to understand your preferences and provide immediate turnaround
Facility Managers often select vendors based upon competitive pricing, great coverage, a strong work order management system or elite asset management. Regardless of those important elements, having an assigned team of direct points of contact within those vendor relationships is imperative.
If you don’t have assigned points of contact, demand that from your vendors—you deserve it! Also, if a contact leaves your vendor partner, make sure to ask them who will be replacing that departed contact in servicing your team, so that service and communication stay at a premium.
At CLS, we assign 4-5 specific personnel to every client. That team always brings 60-100 years of industry experience!
- Business Manager: Handles reporting, data analyses, escalated communication, quarterly/annual business reviews, and pricing needs.
- Account Manager: Manages day-to-day communication, emergency and reactive service calls, and communicating with your sites to manage work orders and quote approvals
- PM Account Manager: Your detailed point of contact for Preventative Maintenance reporting, updates, and PM cycle modifications
- Estimator: Personnel assigned to build quotes and answer technical and scope of work questions you may have, along with providing consultative advice on best practices.
- Billing Coordinator: Supports with invoicing questions, processes, and follow-ups to assure all needs are aligned.
While vetting pricing, coverage, and service are musts in positive vendor partnerships, always make sure to lean on your vendors and advocate for a specified team to be assigned to service your account. While your level of comfort will increase by having more specific points of contact, your confidence in that team will grow as rapport is built and you trust an experienced team to understand the needs of your account.