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Managing multiple service providers

Traditionally looking after a property or business involved managing a number of service providers to maintain the buildings appearance. You could have cleaners, maintenance and repair personnel, carpet cleaners, window cleaners, landscapers, refrigeration specialists, flooring repairs, plumbers, electricians… and the list goes on.

In addition to the heavy toll on administration required on accounts for multiple suppliers, you also have to manage them yourself, get quotes, check they are doing a good job/the right job, make calls, supervise, and then often wait for them to show up (or not). All the while you are busy enough trying to do your own job.

Facility services management may be an option for you to deal with one company. You get invoiced from one company and they look after everything your property needs to look its best, including cleaning, maintenance, landscaping and building services. However, a word of caution – there are lots of businesses in the market putting mark ups on services and leaving a lot to be desired, so don’t be fooled.

What should you look for in a facility services provider?

 Experience. Look for a provider that has years of experience managing your building type, and a good reputation to match. Ask around and find out who the people you know are using, and if they are doing a good job?

Local knowledge. It is important to find one that has local knowledge of your area, legislation and the level of service you expect from providers. It is important to be a name, not just a number in a system.

Accountability. Make sure the organisation you choose to do business with provides you with a dedicated account manager to ensure your expectations are met. The last thing you need to be doing is checking on works and following up if something gets missed.

Certification. The more certified an organisation is the less risk it is to your building. Check for ISO Certification and compliance in WHS, Environment and Management Systems as a minimum.

Innovation. Make sure the organisation is looking for new ways to serve you better, increase efficiencies and state of the art ways of doing things that better protect your employees, the environment and reduce operational costs – a reputable provider can show you this.

Systems. You wouldn’t expect an organisation to do a good job of managing your facility if they aren’t using good systems to manage their own. Look for a business with system that can deliver work scheduling, offer you add on services such as a communication portal, inspection updates including photographic evidence of job competition and work orders.

This article was contributed by Mark Hohn of CMBM Facility Services.

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