Very few facility managers (FMs) can use their current staff for all projects all the time; they occasionally need help from outside vendors. However, despite hopes that vendors will enhance their processes, FMs far and wide agree that one of the most difficult parts of their job is managing vendors. Sometimes it’s so challenging that it negatively aects turnaround time for work orders and preventive maintenance (PMs). For example, over 75% of FMs surveyed said that their vendors miss deadlines “sometimes,” “often,” or “very often”. And while this is a very alarming statistic, it’s surely not the only problem FMs face when outsourcing work. There are plenty of ways you can make managing vendors easier and more effective, and a good place to start is with a CMMS.
1. KEEP VENDOR CONTACT INFORMATION AT YOUR FINGERTIPS
It’s important to have a central location for all of your vendor information so that you can easily find the right one when you need extra manpower.
• You’ll always have an extensive list of vendors to choose from for emergency situations, different types of maintenance, and inventory restocking.
• You can send invoices to vendors via the CMMS, eliminating endless paperwork and dreaded filing cabinets. This will also significantly reduce your number of misplaced invoices!
2. Improve vendor communication and accountability
Make sure your vendors are utilizing your CMMS to close out work orders and
PMs, track their labor hours, and respond to questions from the requester.
• You can track maintenance and inventory costs, response time, labor hours, and other key performance indicators that will measure the effectiveness of your vendors. Over two thirds of FMs find that contractors fail to meet quality expectations, so keeping track of performance is important. Did Steve do a great job fixing your HVAC system, but then a not-so-great job fixing the flood in the bathroom? Putting this information in your CMMS will ensure that you remember it the next time you choose to hire a vendor.
• Using a CMMS makes managing vendors easier because of two-way communication with vendors in a central location — you can discuss due dates, payments, maintenance repairs, and any questions that arise.
3. Prevent vendors from accessing sensitive information.
It’s important that all vendors have access to the information they need in order to close out their assigned work orders and PMs. However, there is also some information they don’t need access to that you will want to keep private.
• Vendors should have access to necessary information to provide the best service they can. This information may include: standard practices your team follows, helpful tips and tricks for managing your assets, changes in design and expansion to your facilities, or project goals.
• Avoid accidentally giving vendors access to sensitive occupant information or other private data. You can limit a vendor’s access of your system to only certain areas, which will reduce the likelihood of a data breach.