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Best Practices for Vendor Management in Facility Management

From keeping a building clean, to handling regular maintenance; facility management requires collaboration from team members and outside vendors. Having the correct information to decide who you call for certain jobs will make your life easier and save time in daily operations.

Whether you are in charge of maintaining a small building the size of an average home, or manage a skyscraper, you need to stay on top of your organization. Here are four of the best practices for vendor management in facility management.

Form a Centralized Database of Facility Management Vendors

This includes company and contact names, phone numbers, addresses, etc... make sure to use a program in which you can easily make changes. Excel spreadsheets are a great place to start, but you have other options. A binder with handwritten notes is unacceptable as it will quickly get bulky and difficult for others to use in your absence. Take advantage of facility management software and technology if it is available.

Track Facility Management Activity with your Vendors

You can use the above mentioned spreadsheet to track dates of service and maintenance from each vendor if you are a very small facility. However, for large hospitals or educational facilities, you really need to utilize a CRM (Customer Relation Management) software or facility management software.

Your company may already have CRM software available to use. CRM software will allow you to treat a vendor like a customer, inputting contact information, dates of contact, and what went on during the conversation or job done. You can also easily update contact information as their sales representatives change.

CRM software is really a tool developed for sales and may not have the functionality you need in vendor tracking. If you find this is the case, we recommend using a facility management software. As a bonus, these programs will integrate your vendor data with your work order management, asset tracking and space management software.

Integrate Facility Management Data

Looking for facility management information in multiple locations is a nightmare. Make sure that you are tracking vendor labor along with your work order software.

When a work order is generated for your HVAC system, you need to know who to call to perform the work. You also need to know if an asset is under warranty when a work order is generated so you are not spending unnecessary money.

Track the work that is performed by your vendors to save yourself a big headache in accountability. If you let vendor management run on auto pilot in your facility, you run the risk of vendors not fulfilling their contracts or missing mandatory preventive maintenance.

Optimize Vendor Management at your Facility

You can set up a system that covers the above points, but it won't work if it's not being put to use. We know that you need vendor information at your fingertips, so put it there and update it whenever you speak with an outside party.

Has your contact changed from Joe to Susan? Make note of it. Did you renew your contract for window washing? Make note of it and set a reminder about its expiration. Did you have to call your HVAC technician again because he didn't fix the problem the first (or second!) time? Make note of it so you'll call someone else for help. If your boiler fails, you don't want to call in a company that doesn't do the job right the first time. 

The most difficult part of this job will be collecting the data, but once you have all of the information readily available, managing outside vendors and mechanics will become much easier than flying by the seat of your pants. It will also make it easier for your team. When you are on vacation, do you want to be interrupted by a call about leaky pipes? Or do you want the person covering for you to be able to quickly find the plumber you use and take care of it?

Collecting Data on Your Facility For Preventive Maintenance? Download the guide below!

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