The key to effectively managing an NTE based facility maintenance program is in the set up. You will have fewer issues down the road when you start off on the right track. The biggest objection we hear from FM professionals who resist using an NTE based program is not being able to trust their contractors. Our answer is simple. Don't use a contractor you cannot trust…period. So how do you find a facility maintenance contractor you can trust?
Ask For Their Referrals
I have never referred anything to anyone unless I was a fan of the product or company I was referring. I bet we can agree on this. The best way to find out if you are talking to a trustworthy contractor is to follow-up with their current customers.Think about it. Would you put your reputation on the line by giving a positive referral for a contractor you do not trust or even like? Neither would anyone else. Referrals are valuable.Great facility maintenance contractors have referrals.
Pay Attention To What They Can't Do
This one is most useful for self performing service providers. There are contractors out there who claim to be good at everything. Maybe there is a one out there, a unicorn among horses, who can actually pull it off. But, just like unicorns, I have never seen one in real life.My point is this, a contractor who is honest about his or her company's capabilities before you start sending calls their way is more likely to be honest with you once they start receiving your calls.
Google The Contractor
Bad news about companies tends to bubble up to the top page of a Google search. Perhaps it has something to do with Google's high-ranking of social networks, forums, and message boards. When we are angry, where do we go to complain? Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Yelp, Angie's List, Better Business Bureau, etc.Check out what is being said about the contractor online. What does their website look like? When was the last time they updated their site or blog? What associations do they belong to? What they are saying about themselves?
Ask Questions About Their Organizational Structure
How are they set up to serve you? What people and roles do they have in place to ensure quality and responsiveness? How well do they explain their answers to you? Do their answers sound thought out or thrown together?This is important, so don't miss this. An organization who takes special care to intentionally set up its infrastructure is more likely to deliver on their commitments.If you are not already doing so, start implementing these four items into your vetting process.