6 Easy Ways to Manage Commercial Facility Vendors More Effectively
If you’re a facility manager, you rely on commercial facility vendors to keep your building clean, safe, and comfortable.
But some facility managers leave vendors in the dark when it comes to what they really need and how they expect the vendor to perform services.
We’ve been providing commercial carpet and floor cleaning services for more than 20 years now, and in that time, we’ve identified these six easy things facility managers can do to manage vendors more effectively.
How to Manage Commercial Facility Vendors
You can start using these tips today to get better service from your vendors and create a healthier, stronger relationship with them.
1. Make sure they can access the building when they need to.
Imagine this – you load your family in the car for a vacation. You’ve got your bags packed, gas tank filled, and your GPS set.
But when you get to your destination, you find your hotel reservation has been canceled due to a glitch in the hotel’s reservation system.
How would you feel?
You had your heart set on staying at this hotel, and you did everything in your power to make it happen. But when the time came to check in, you weren’t able to do what you had planned—through no fault of your own.
That’s what it feels like to be a vendor who shows up on a job site but can’t access the building.
To avoid causing frustration for your vendors, make sure they know exactly how to get into the building when they need to. That means giving them proper credentials or security access – especially if they have to access your facility after hours.
2. Provide details on parking.
If your facility is in a suburban or rural location, this may not be an issue.
But if you’ve ever tried to park in downtown Nashville—or any city for that matter—you know it can be a stressful experience.
Before arriving at your facility, tell vendors where they should park and provide alternative options if parking tends to fill up.
3. Give them a detailed job description.
At first glance, this might seem unnecessary.
If you hire a carpet cleaning company, you expect them to clean the carpets, right?
But what if there are offices they can’t access? Should they call you? Should they assume that, since the door is locked, they’re not supposed to clean the office?
It might seem like overkill—but let vendors know exactly what you expect them to do. Make expectations crystal-clear, so they can fulfill them.
For example, in the case of carpet or floor cleaners, floor plans are very helpful. And that’s why we establish a maintenance program from the start – so we know exactly what to clean and when.
4. Tell employees what’s happening.
Vendors aren’t intruders, but if your staff doesn’t expect them to be there, they may not be welcomed with open arms.
Give employees a heads up when vendors are going to be at the facility.
This keeps everyone in the loop, avoids potential confusion, and keeps you from receiving a call to verify that “yes, they are supposed to be there.”
5. Communicate with the vendor after the job is done, and give feedback.
Have you ever had a piece of food stuck in your teeth without knowing it?
Then gotten home, looked in the mirror, and thought “How long has that been there!?”
Wouldn’t it have been nice if someone had told you? Aside from the initial embarrassment, you’d rest easy knowing the problem was fixed.
Your vendors are the same way. They need feedback. The only way they will know if their work isn’t meeting expectations is if you share that with them.
And don’t just let them know when there’s room for improvement, either. Give them a heads up when they do a great job, too!
6. Build relationships with your vendors.
Imagine if you had to clean the floors yourself. Or if you had to wash the windows on a weekend.
Vendors don’t just provide services, they eliminate the stress and extra work of keeping your facility in good working order.
Finding reputable vendors can be a challenge, so if you’re happy with the ones you have, make sure you’re cultivating relationships with them!
You don’t have to do anything drastic. Small, simple gestures, like sending Christmas cards or inviting them to company events goes a long way.
Whatever you do—if you have a vendor you appreciate, let them know it!
In the facility management business, healthy vendor relationships are critical. If you follow these six easy tips, you can make sure your vendors stick around and complete their work as effectively as possible.
And if you’re in the market for a carpet cleaning vendor, just click here to contact us. We’d love to talk!