A good maintenance company understands the complexity of your project, then advises and implements an appropriate plan and management system accordingly.
During the selection process, size shouldn’t be the only determining factor to consider. A national market research report by IBISWorld determined the key success factors for Facilities Management Services: scope of capabilities, self-delivery and flexibility.
Scope of capabilities
When selecting a maintenance company, it’s vital to consider their experience level.
Their existing client portfolio can provide necessary insight, which is often indicative of their reputation and reliability. Although an impressive repertoire of current clients can contribute to brand credibility, it’s also important to note existing projects that the company has already committed to, and whether there’s scope for your business to receive the attention it’s likely to demand.
A key factor that building owners and property managers should investigate when assessing their scope of capabilities is whether they have access to supply networks.
Respective networks, memberships and accreditations are generally published on their company website, so make sure you have a browse through this before drawing any conclusions.
Reportedly, there are over 93,955 employees in the facilities management services industry.
Managers, contract supervisors and maintenance staff must uphold a certain standard of professionalism while demonstrating that they have the relevant training, knowledge, experience and skill set to deliver.
Assess what the company’s potential response time is. Maintenance companies often have a diverse client base, especially those in hotel and shift-working environments. It’s crucial to be responsive, have flexible hours, or staff on call 24/7 should a project require.
This is imperative during the selection process in order to ensure the sustained operation of your business or building.
Here’s how to tell them apart
With over 102 facilities management services in Australia alone, it can become difficult to differentiate between providers. It’s especially important to have a dedicated account manager in place to advise and implement appropriate planning and management systems for your specific needs.
A maintenance company must understand the idiocrasies of the building. Do they fully comprehend what’s required to work around your tenants? In the case of universities, can they grasp what it means to work in amongst students and staff?
This is one of the simplest ways to gauge whether a property maintenance company is a good fit for your business.
An applicable example is Crown Casino Melbourne, which is home to accommodation, dining, gaming, conferencing, shopping and entertainment facilities.
It operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Maintenance providers must uphold a faultless level of service, all while ensuring little disruption is experienced to the 10,000 onsite staff and 19 million visitors it welcomes annually.
The track record
There’s a thread of common oversights that building owners and property managers seem to entangle themselves in when selecting a maintenance company. An avoidable mistake is failing to look into a company’s previous work history or track record.
This can be evaluated using a thorough reference check, in addition to trolling through online reviews or testimonials. Another common mistake is the appointment of an incorrect scale for the building or simply misunderstanding project requirements.
Bigger isn’t always better. There’s a misconception that larger maintenance companies provide an array of more competitive prices and logistics, or that because of their size they will complete the same job in a smaller time frame.
This is not always the case – if the project does not have a dedicated account manager, it may actually take longer to respond to emergency calls. Despite larger companies charging a higher fee, they may not be as agile or able to respond to as diverse a range of maintenance disruptions.
Dyan Sisouw is the director of EnviroScope Maintenance, delivering commercial maintenance solutions. EnviroScope works with a variety of clients such as Crown Casino Melbourne, Jones Lang La Salle, Australia Post, The KnightFM and Melbourne Sports Trust.