Providing hands-on customer service is the reason why many customers visit mobile phone stores instead of shopping online, but with on-going labor shortages, fulfilling this need is becoming more difficult for wireless retailers. In an effort to keep costs down, some wireless carriers are looking at implementing concierge fees for setting up phones or adding processing fees to encourage people to pay their bills online. This isn’t because carriers are moving away from physical stores; it’s simply because they lack the labor and budget to provide these services.
Unlike many retail locations, mobile phone stores rely heavily on salespeople to push product. This takes up a lot of a salesperson’s time but also requires an atmosphere that is conducive to making purchases that can easily top thousands of dollars. Because customers assign value to positive, memorable in-store experiences that are distinct and worthwhile, the you’ll generate added value through cleanliness and brand adherence. Focusing on these elements can improve your brand image with customers, create a positive experience, and help customers to absorb some price inflation.
However, managing and maintaining mobile phone stores has also become more expensive because of persisting labor and equipment shortages. This has led to some difficult choices when it comes to maintaining and repairing equipment. Because of this, many operators will simply look for the lowest cost for equipment and repair. But this isn’t telling the whole story.
Indirect costs are often overlooked and are not applied back to direct ticket costs because they are less tangible than hourly rates and trip charges. This makes them harder to calculate for the total cost of ownership. However, without evaluating these indirect costs, you lose transparency to accurately calculate the financial impact on your business.
Below we’ve outlined a few of the indirect operational costs for facilities and explained how they impact your bottom line.
Sourcing and Managing Vendors
One critical aspect of managing indirect facilities maintenance costs for telecom stores is effectively sourcing and managing vendors. Telecom stores require various types of maintenance services, such as repairs, upgrades, and installations, which are typically performed by third-party vendors. To manage these costs effectively, it is crucial to establish a rigorous vendor selection process to ensure that vendors are reliable, qualified, and cost-effective.
However, for facilities and location managers, it takes time—and often money—to conduct a thorough evaluation of potential vendors, including their capabilities, reputation, and pricing. There are multiple hidden indirect costs in this process:
- Requesting quotes from multiple vendors and comparing them to identify the most cost-effective option
- Establishing clear service level agreements (SLAs) with vendors that outline expectations, deliverables, and performance metrics
- Regularly reviewing vendor performance against SLAs can help ensure that vendors are meeting their obligations and provide an opportunity for feedback and improvement
Doing all of this while building strong communication channels and relationships takes an enormous amount of time. Even though this doesn’t show up in the vendor cost, the time spent doing these tasks takes away from other responsibilities and can even require hiring someone in house to manage them.
Time spent by general managers on maintenance
Another aspect of managing indirect facilities maintenance costs for telecom stores is the time spent by the general manager on maintenance-related tasks. General managers are typically responsible for overseeing various aspects of store operations, including maintenance. Because telecom stores rely heavily on the customer experience, general managers might feel more obligated to ensure stores are operating at their best. However, excessive time spent on maintenance-related tasks—especially when done to reduce monthly P&L costs—can detract from their core responsibilities and impact their productivity.
Implementing a streamlined system for reporting maintenance issues, such as using a ticketing system or a digital platform, can also centralize the process and enable efficient coordination and tracking of maintenance tasks. Regularly reviewing and optimizing maintenance processes can identify areas for improvement and streamline the overall maintenance management process, allowing the general manager to focus on their core responsibilities.
Minimizing operational disruption
Minimizing operational disruption is a critical factor in managing indirect facilities maintenance costs for telecom stores. Unscheduled downtime due to maintenance issues can result in lost revenue, dissatisfied customers, and additional costs associated with emergency repairs or workarounds.
One key strategy to minimize operational disruption is to implement preventive maintenance practices. Regularly scheduled maintenance tasks, such as inspections, repairs, and replacements, can help identify and address potential issues before they become critical problems. Establishing a preventive maintenance schedule based on equipment manufacturer recommendations, industry best practices, and historical data can help ensure that maintenance tasks are performed proactively and minimize the risk of operational disruption.
Calculating total cost of ownership
Calculating the total cost of ownership (TCO) is an important aspect of managing indirect facilities maintenance costs for telecom stores. TCO includes not only the direct costs of maintenance, such as labor and materials, but also the indirect costs associated with downtime, lost revenue, and customer dissatisfaction.
To calculate TCO, it’s important to track all direct and indirect costs associated with maintenance activities. This includes costs related to vendor contracts, labor, materials, spare parts, emergency repairs, operational
Getting the most out of any facility maintenance program will help to ensure that locations maintain the comfort and cleanliness customers expect in an increasingly competitive landscape telecom retail. To ensure they keep receiving excellent service, make sure to look at the total cost of facilities maintenance and not just the vendor charge.