Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Facility Maintenance Consolidation vs. In-House Management

Over the years we at GAWC, Inc. have encouraged Commercial and Retail store Corporates to "Consolidate" their window cleaning (and facility maintenance) services with us - a Nationwide Facility Maintenance company. And, equally, we've been asked the question, "Why?" and, "What are the benefits to us, the Corporate Company?" and in many cases, "What will this do to our budget?". All extremely intelligent questions. So, I thought that I'd run through a little PRO vs. CON on this subject.

First off, let's examine a company who has multiple retail store locations, lets call them "ABC Company". We can assume that ABC Company has anywhere from 30 to 1,000+ locations.

Now, "ABC Company" at 30 retail stores may or may not have a dedicated "Facilities Maintenance Manager". Let's first assume they don't. My question is, "Who's managing the maintenance needs of these retail stores?" The answer most likely is, someone who has a different job title, i.e. an administrative assistant, an accountant or a marketing manager. Now, how much time are they spending on maintenance issues, cross-checking and hiring/firing & managing vendors & contractors... Probably enough time to take away from more important duties - like the ones they were originally hired to perform. In this scenario, having a maintenance management company help with these typical duties would be beneficial. Saved Time = Saved Money.

Let's now assume they DO have a dedicated Facilities Maintenance Manager. This person usually manages the entire maintenance needs for all of their retail stores. These needs vary from HVAC, Security, Janitorial, Safety, Flooring, Lighting, Electrical, etc. And, even though floor maintenance and window cleaning are important to the stores themselves - this usually isn't of "High Priority" for the Facilities Maintenance Manager.

Let's examine what is involved, on a daily basis, for managing just the routine, preventative maintenance window cleaning. You must find technicians; verify they are licensed & insured; obtain their pricing; set them up in your accounts payable system; obtain their tax-id information; send them a work order; & then manage their work. Once you have been invoiced for the work - your AP must produce a check. If you dig a little deeper you realize that you must accomplish this task for EVERY store, every month. So, if you have 30 stores - you now have roughly 30 technicians for which your AP will have to cut checks... More stores = more time spent on monitoring and more $$ spent on sending checks.

By consolidating your services to a Nationwide Facilities Maintenance company, you are allowing the management & day-to-day operations to be shielded by them. In our case, WE verify all technicians, WE hold the $2,000,000 Umbrella Insurance, WE monitor the services, and WE hire/fire when needed.

Now you may be asking yourself, "Won't this cost me more $$ on top of paying for the services rendered, like a management fee?" And, my answer is "No." by allowing GAWC to consolidate your stores we are able to provide our list of technicians with multiple stores. Our long-standing relationship with our vendors (15 years+) also gives us leverage when consolidating your services. We are able to provide you with services to your stores at a low monthly fee inclusive of services, tax & management.

Another question you may have is, "Won't this give me less job security". Again, my answer is, "No". By consolidating such services as: window cleaning, power-washing, sign cleaning & floor maintenance, you give yourself more time to monitor your other (slightly more important) items.

Consolidation Cons:... More time to work on other issues... You may actually make it home in time for dinner...

Consolidation Pros: One management company to work with - regardless of # of retail stores; One Invoice to pay each month (outlined with each location, date of service & service amount); Online Account Management; Lower service prices; Money & Time Saved; Insured & Licensed technicians; Umbrella Liability of $2,000,000; Professional Management of all technicians; Current & up-to-date practices - including Green/Bio-Friendly procedures.

Questions to ask when hiring a Nationwide Facility Maintenance Company:

1. Are all of your technicians Licensed & Insured?
2. Do you promote the use of "Green Technologies & Procedures"?
3. Do you have references?
4. Have you ever lost a client because of lack of OR poor service?
5. How many years experience does your company have?
6. How many reliable technicians do you have?
7. What services are you able to provide?
8. How can I be assured that all of our stores will be managed appropriately?

9. How do you manage quality assurance?
10. Do you have a toll-free "after-hours/emergency" or "customer comment" line?
11. What is your service coverage?

12. Do you offer online account management?
13. How do you send/create your invoice?
14. What payment methods do you offer? Do you take PCards?
15. What associations, if any, do you belong to?

1 comment:

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