Your organization’s facilities management program is more than the story of break and fix around your business.
In truth, how your company handles maintenance communicates a lot about its values, and what steps it’s willing to take to remain nimble and avoid unnecessary risk for itself, its customers, and its hired associates. Here are five steps you can take with your facilities program to limit exposure to business risk.
Maintain consistent brand identity
Your facilities program is critical to your ability to fully realize your brand vision—and positive brand perception is won or lost before your customers even enter your doors. Customers have rightly come to expect excellence in service, product, and presentation—and today’s consumers are more educated and thoughtful than ever before.
With more options and more information at their fingertips, your customers are more likely to remain loyal to you if your locations are consistently clean, welcoming, safe, and functional. Everything from the condition of your parking lots to the quality of lighting in your restrooms makes an impact on brand perception. Value and consistency are key in this regard, and they’re delivered through your facilities.
Be serious about customer safety
Especially in the era following COVID-19, general awareness regarding customer safety became part of the daily thinking of every business owner and facilities manager.
Companies repurposed their facilities to accommodate a variety of important changes. That meant everything from changes in public health policy requirements, as well as accompanying shifts in consumer preferences.
From plexiglass barriers and enhanced ventilation systems to curbside pickup and different takes on buy online, pickup in store (BOPIS) models, businesses everywhere were forced to quickly adapt.
Your organization’s ability to act swiftly in the face of sudden changes in facilities needs has a direct impact on its ability to attend to the safety and comfort of your customers. The more completely and quickly companies were able to adapt to these changes, the easier it was for customers to place their trust in those businesses.
Get focused on vendor qualification
People are your most important asset, from your customers to your associates to your larger community. To continue serving and supporting your community to the highest possible standard, it’s critical to ensure that the vendors and service providers doing work at your locations are well-qualified.
In addition to demonstrating competency in their maintenance specialties, your providers should have all the certifications required to perform the work they’ve been hired to do. In addition, their legal history should be free of any liabilities that might prevent a smooth, productive partnership.
Invest in a thorough vendor sourcing and qualification program. Be attentive to certifications, trade specializations, contractual requirements, and background verification.
Manage organizational liability
Slip-and-fall accidents can occur in a variety of ways both inside and outside your business, and they’re one of the most common forms of liability exposure to businesses.
Without an adequate facilities management program in place, you run the risk of potential harm to customers, your associates, and your business at large. But you can take concrete steps to mitigate common sources of organizational liability that relate directly to your facilities program. It comes down to proper qualifications, records, and data.
- Ensure that your vendors and service providers are all individually and properly insured.
- Maintain accurate service records for all work performed at your locations—including detailed notes, before and after photos, and service provider geolocation data to confirm service.
- Track your services against local weather data, and manage services according to need. Use technology to trigger snow and ice management services when snowfall reaches a specific depth.
By staying vigilant, you can protect your business, your customers, and your broader community.
Limit financial exposure
Facilities management is an important (but often overlooked) source of business spending at many organizations. And since facilities management is not always top of mind for business leaders, it’s often a source of unnecessary financial exposure.
One common source of exposure for facilities maintenance programs comes down to how facilities services are invoiced, organized, and paid.
Billing errors can be costly and time-consuming to make right, especially since the effort of tracking and identifying an issue often means sorting through hundreds of invoices from dozens of service providers. And many organizations continue to use pen and paper to manage invoices.
With the right technology in place, you can automatically check for outlier invoices, missing payments or receivables, and duplicate invoices. By digitizing your facilities payment and reconciliation system, you’ll be far better equipped to notice billing and payment inaccuracies that could be the source of significant financial exposure over time.
Your facilities program is so much more than the story of break and fix. In fact, the quality and stability of your program communicates a great deal about your organization’s values and its ability to focus on customers. By focusing on risk mitigation, you’ll help ensure that your business is able to thrive long into the future. Get in touch to learn more and see what a trusted partner can do for you: weknowFM@smsassist.com.