Your guide to boosting service provider efficiency

Dylan Rogers

Let’s begin with the obvious: Managing your facilities portfolio is hard work.

On any given day, things around your locations are breaking. Schedules are changing. Your technicians are either overwhelmed or waiting for the next emergency. And you might have maintenance needs you don’t even know about yet.

At the end of the day, the success of your portfolio depends on your technicians. Are they productive? Are they motivated? Are they trustworthy? You can’t afford to not say “Yes” to all three questions. Your business depends on it.

Here’s our guide to making that happen.

Keep an eye on performance metrics

The old saying holds true: You get what you measure. This idea applies perfectly to the world of facilities management, where a complex web of needs and priorities is constantly vying for attention.

The best way to get a handle on provider performance is to track the numbers that matter most to your portfolio:

  • Work acceptance rate
  • Time to arrive on site
  • Time spent on site
  • Time to invoice
  • First-time fix rate
  • Work recall rate

After gathering this data, you’ll be prepared to make more finely tuned decisions about provider dispatch choices, the future of budgets, and which of your locations require more attention—even down to specific trades and ticket types.

Create performance incentives

Your service providers will appreciate being rewarded for a job well done.

After you’ve collected the performance data mentioned above, you can use it to motivate and reward providers who consistently perform exceptional work.

Consider awarding more work on a merit-based approach. Providers with the best rates of acceptance, first-time fix, and invoice turnaround time are letting you know that they value your partnership.

And as your providers receive more work, they have greater opportunities to build capital and expand their businesses.

In turn, the maintenance market becomes more competitive, enhancing value.

Reduce drive times

To get the most out of your providers, make it easier for them to get from one job to the next. This means optimizing maintenance schedules with certain factors in mind.

How close is job site A to job site B, C, D, and so on?

What’s the average length of time required to complete certain kinds of work requests?

How closely concentrated are similar work orders in a given region?

With this information on hand, you can assign maintenance work schedules with more precision. Your providers will appreciate having a more logical schedule, and you’ll get more work done every day.

Get smart about sourcing

To get the most out of your providers, make sure you’re sourcing the right ones.

In general, you should be sourcing with an eye to depth, trades, and trust.

Sourcing for depth means maintaining consistent coverage and provider relationships. When sudden maintenance needs arise, make sure you have a deep provider bench you can count on. And if your preferred provider isn’t available, you’ll have a list of dependable options.

Sourcing for trades means maintaining the right kind of coverage. Cover the bases for the most common facilities needs—HVAC, plumbing, electrical, flooring—and then focus on specialty trades unique to your portfolio. Ovens, automatic doors, and walk-in coolers may require special skills not known to most handymen.

Sourcing for trust means maintaining trusted partnerships with insured providers. Ask service providers how they track insurance information throughout their network. And before you dispatch a new provider, verify their insurance certificates and endorsements.

Send technicians on bundled trips

It can be tempting to fix new problems as soon as you see them. After all, your brand matters.

But not every new issue needs to be resolved immediately, and it’s far from being a cost-effective approach.

So rather than sending a technician to address an issue the moment it arises, make an effort to defer any non-emergency work.

For example: Under most circumstances, you’ll find that leaky pipes, flickering lights, and temperamental door locks can all wait a few days.

And when there’s a handful of small requests that crop at the same location, just dispatch one technician to handle all of them in the same visit.

Not only will you reap considerable savings from fewer trip charges, but you’ll optimize your maintenance schedules and see better overall portfolio performance.

The continued success of your business depends on the state of its facilities. And to achieve exceptional quality, your portfolio needs expert service providers. So it’s well worth the effort to draw out the very best in your provider network. By collecting the right data, promoting schedule efficiencies, and incentivizing great work, you create the conditions for lasting success. See how SMS Assist gives providers the tools to make every property better.