We hope you’ve found the first three installments in our series, “Selecting the Right Vendor to Service Your Stores” informative and helpful. To recap, in Part I, we outlined important criteria to consider as you devise and implement your selection process. In Part II, we shared strategies to use when testing the vendor you select to see whether they do the job right. In Part III, we focused on reporting and data management.

Finally, for our fourth and final installment, we want to tie everything together by summarizing some of the key points we made in Parts I, II and III.

As we mentioned in Part I, it’s up to you as a commercial facility manager to determine which vendor is best qualified to handle your national maintenance and repair requirements.

Lots of companies provide maintenance and repair for HVAC, electrical, signage, plumbing and other building systems. When it comes to managing maintenance and repairs at multiple locations, choosing the right vendor is one of the most crucial decisions you’ll make in your job. The right provider will save you time, headaches and of course, money. Choose the wrong vendor, and the costs can add up quickly.

And so, we highlighted some important criteria for you to consider as you devise and implement your selection process. These included:

Vendor history:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • Who are your current customers?

Operational information and expertise:

  • What services do you provide?
  • How long have you been delivering each of those services?
  • Who are your internal experts who can assist me with each of the services that
  • you provide?

Quoting process and approvals:

  • ­What is your quoting process?
  • What is your current quote approval percentage?
  • How do you as the vendor evaluate the accuracy of the quote – i.e., the amount of time for the labor, and the price for the material?

Account supervision and reporting:

  • Who will be responsible for my account?
  • What types of reports can I expect to receive from your company?
  • How are your service calls handled?
  • Do you service representatives work out of your office, or are they remote?

In Part II, we focused on strategies to use when testing the vendor you select to see whether they do the job right. This included tips on structuring a test phase:

  • Setting aside a certain amount of time – be it two months, three months, six months or even longer
  • Determine which services – HVAC, electrical, signage or other building services – will be included in the scope
  • Selecting a portion of your stores for the test phase, and including geographic considerations in your selection criteria
  • Determining criteria by which to judge your trial vendor

Part III of our series honed in on reporting and data management. We stressed that good decisions occur when the following things happen:

  • Thoughtful questions are asked up front. For example: Do you know the age and condition of the HVAC units, or the signs, or the lights at all of your facilities? Are there geographic or locational challenges (e.g., marine environments, construction dust) that may affect your equipment’s performance? Do you know when each building system was last serviced? How many emergency calls did you have for specific building systems in a given year, and how much did those calls cost you in total?
  • Precise reporting and data management should also include what you are spending on the following:
    • Average cost per call.
    • Average cost per location.
    • Identify the causes of those locations that require additional service calls or expenditures.
    • Solutions are available to reduce the overall cost of your service program.
  • Relevant information from the field is fed into a system that’s designed to process it appropriately.
  • Recommendations address specific needs cost effectively.

To illustrate effective data management systems, we highlighted CLS Facility Services’ proprietary Logics series. PM Logic® transforms troubleshooting into logical and effective maintenance management. QC Logic®  helps quality control (QC) our contractors to help ensure that they are trusted, capable and accountable. And CM Logic® allows facility managers to accurately track the multiple projects that consume their day-to-day business – then make sense of their expenditures and adjust future spending accordingly.

We hope you found value in this series, and we encourage you to contact us to learn more. At CLS, we love talking about this stuff – facility management is our bread and butter; it’s what we do, and the drive to exceed customer expectations motivates us each and every day.

The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to meet your national facility management challenges strategically. If you want more information, or explanations for any of the information we’ve presented in this series, call or email today. We’ll get back to you quickly to address your needs.

In the meantime, if you are looking for a facility management company that will perform to your needs and expectations, learn more about CLS Facility Services by contacting us at 800-548-3542 or by filling out our contact form.