When it comes to vendor management, the #1 concern we hear, is the lack of transparency into what vendors are actually doing once the contract is signed and filed away. Many times, facility managers find themselves with little to no control over the data related contract work from vendors because vendors tend to track their work in their own independent system, which leaves you and your business vulnerable in many ways.
The most successful vendor management programs don’t lose sight of their vendor contracts once it is signed, instead they convert them into a digital format and save them a single system. Then you will be able to measure the actual work performed against agreed-upon terms. You can also view the work in the context of your tenants’ satisfaction with survey ratings to further analyze vendor performance.
Having a perfect vendor management approach can seem like a pipe dream, but having a complete and easy vendor management process is a good start. Here are some dos and don’ts for successful vendor management:
- Require your vendors to use your building’s facility management software. Give vendors access to what they need to see in the software so they can have access to the functions that they need to use. Have vendors update all work orders (and status of work) in one central system so your facilities team can see real-time progress.
- Ditch the paper – use mobile devices. Mobile allows your vendors to respond to work requests and update statuses on the go. This gives managers clear insight into vendors without having to wait to receive monthly vendor reports.
- Create a work environment with open communication and transparency. By giving vendors and stakeholders transparency into vendor data, it helps eliminate points of stress and streamlines workflows. With insured transparency, vendors can see what work needs to be done, tenants can submit work requests and give feedback, and facility managers can see results and address any concerns before it is too late.
- Assume your vendors are getting the job done. Many property managers assume that vendors will complete work and meet requirements, but unfortunately expectations aren’t always met. Be proactive with the real-time data you have and make sure that work orders and requests are completed in a timely manner before it makes your tenants unhappy.
- Give your stakeholders and vendors reports only once a month. Reporting once a month on your vendor programs is not enough. If you are tracking your vendors activities and performance the right way, you will have real-time data in your facility management system that you can use every day to make proactive decisions.
- Lose sight of service level agreements and contracts that are filed away in desks. Agreements shouldn’t be filed away once the ink dries to be forgotten of. Instead, you should convert your contracts to digital format so you can easily access SLAs and track vendor performance against them.
Other resources for vendor management: