How to Evaluate Your Vendors’ Emergency Services
Emergency services for commercial facilities are one of those things you hope you’ll never need, but when the time comes you’ll be happy to have them. As a professional Facilities Manager, your livelihood revolves around your ability to respond to urgent situations. Having vendors with reliable emergency services is a crucial piece of that puzzle, so we’ve put together a handy list of ways to elevate vendor emergency services.
Let’s get this part out of the way. It’s more expensive to react in an emergency than it is to schedule service in advance. Between wage laws, resource allocation, and health concerns, there will be some combination of factors in every emergency that drives up the cost. What matters here is how your vendors communicate this to you. Do they provide a clear explanation of what you can expect to pay in the event of an emergency? The pricing for this shouldn’t be made up on the spot. Effective and reliable vendors will know how emergencies affect pricing and should be able to tell you before you send them out.
| RESPONSIVENESS & AVAILABILITY
This should go without saying, but unfortunately it doesn’t. In an emergency, you need a vendor that’s going to pick up the phone. Anything less than 24-hour attended phones should be a cause for concern. As a Facilities Manager, you or someone on your team can be reached any time, day or night, to handle an emergency situation. You should expect the same from your vendors.
The other side of the coin is availability. Answering the phone at 3 AM isn’t good enough if your vendor can’t get someone out to the site until 8 AM. All that does is make you have to find another vendor in the middle of the night. Granted, sometimes this is unavoidable. But if you find that a vendor is repeatedly leaving you high and dry in emergency situations, it might be time to start shopping around for one that makes this a priority.
Quality in an emergency situation has different expectations than during regularly scheduled work. Normally, quality refers to things like craftmanship or durability. However in this scenario it refers to safety and diligence. All good vendors will make safety a priority for emergency procedures. They’ll make sure that their team, any bystanders, and the facility are clear of dangers while they work.
The things that separates good vendors from great ones, though, is how thorough they are. As they move through the emergency procedures, do they verify that every step has been completed? Are they ensuring that the cause of the emergency is isolated and resolved? Once the emergency is stopped, do they prepare the area for the subsequent repairs that need to take place? Questions like these are how you measure the quality of a vendor’s emergency services and they should be an important part of any Facilities Manager’s post-emergency debrief.
AAA Facility Services is a full-service construction, plumbing, electrical, and repair & maintenance provider. Contact us today to learn about our emergency services.