Few facilities management tasks come with the intensity and time-consuming detail of vetting vendors for facilities field service work. While arduous and resource-hogging, vetting vendors should not be a last-minute process. The wrong vendors will wreak havoc on your facilities management program and cost your company thousands. Plus, vetting vendors includes much more than just finding the right vendors. If you have not thought about the work that goes into vendor management of facilities field service work, ask yourself the following questions.
How Many Vendors Are You Really Working With?
A facility may work with hundreds of vendors at any given time. There are different vendors for plumbing, HVAC, electrical, landscaping, roofing, data and voice communications, refrigeration, doors, gutters, custodial work, and much more. Depending on the size and geographic spread of your enterprise, the number of vendors may increase exponentially. This leads to rushed vetting of vendors and a lack of visibility into the actual number of vendors each facility uses.
Can You Track Vendors Performing Facilities Field Service Work?
Knowing which vendors you work with is great, but can you track each vendor to a field service technician level? If not, vendors may be overbilling your facility or not performing the work as expected, explains Stephen Guth of CIO.com. Vetting vendors properly will help reduce this risk and help you choose the right vendor in the future.
Is Your Facilities Field Service Work Order System Integrated With Facility Management Data Systems?
Tracking information about vendors and connecting that information to existing facility data is key to vetting vendors thoroughly. Facility management data should reflect the real-time needs of your facility, and in turn, information relating to vendors should reflect data within your facility management system. This can reduce equipment downtime by 20 percent, says Danny Wong of Salesforce. However, systems that are not integrated will lead to visibility problems in vendor management and the use of improperly vetted vendors.
Does Your Work Order Management System Simplify or Exacerbate the Process?
The work order management system should simplify the vendor management process. However, it relies upon integration between your systems, and if your work order management system, such as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), causes additional problems, vendor management suffers. Problems within the CMMS will lead to the use of vendors charging higher rates or those lacking the proper qualifications to perform repairs for your location.
Do You Work With Accounts Payable to Complete Vendor Payments?
Insufficiencies resulting from problems with vendor management may compound with additional issues when paying vendors. Accounts payable may be unable to complete vendor payments without proper documentation of licensure and completed work locks.
Do Your Vendors Offer Quality Assurance Guarantees, and If So, How Do You Know What Is and Is Not Under Warranty?
Quality vendors should also offer some sort of guarantee or warranty for their services in facilities field service work. Unfortunately, failure to vet vendors thoroughly and hold them accountable to such guarantees will result in higher costs for facilities field service work.
Have You Spoken With Past Clients of Your Vendors?
Even well-researched vendors have the potential to contribute to shortcomings in field service work. The only sure-fire way to understand a vendor’s past experience is to speak with past clients. Obviously, it would be impractical for a facility manager to speak with the vendor’s previous clients across multi-site portfolios for a minor repair, but it can help facility managers avoid unethical vendors or those that will not adhere to their contractual obligation.
Free Your Resources From Vendor Vetting Through a Facilities Management Company
Vetting vendors for facilities service work encompasses all processes from initial vetting to completing payment. Rather than devoting endless resources to the extenuating process of vetting vendors for your facility, simplify the process by partnering with facilities management company today.
Editor's Note: Today's guest blog is from national facilities management company, QSI Facilities.