Facility vendor management is one of the primary roles of the commercial real estate facility manager. Depending on the location and facility, vendors could include lawn care, snow removal, maintenance, renovations, pest control, and more.
Below are the top six ways in which you can streamline vendor resources to create a customizable, dependable, and more effective facility management program.
1. Source and rigorously qualify appropriate vendors. In order to effectively manage each property, you must be knowledgeable of the types of vendors required at each locale. This front-end role requires sourcing top-notch vendors, reviewing references, searching databases for appropriate certifications, and conducting interviews.
2. Be respectful to vendors. You need to be as respectful to vendors as you do your clients. If not, the relationship will be short-lived. Vendors are an extension of your organization. If they are not treated as such, they will not perform to your satisfaction.
3. Hone strong negotiation skills. Contract negotiation is a multi-step progression requiring financial insight into each vendor’s sector. As a facility manager, your time, skill and know-how can help you successfully negotiate long-term contracts with a myriad of proven vendors. It’s more than just pricing. It’s a 360-degree relationship.
4. Maintain effective communication systems. Facility vendor management involves ongoing communication between vendors, property managers, and tenants. Your management of routine or unexpected issues that arise is a godsend to your commercial real estate property. Failure to clearly communicate expectations will lead to disaster.
5. Implement vendor management technology. With technological advances bringing the world to our fingertips, facility managers can orchestrate vendors from miles away. Your implementation of facility vendor management software will allow you to manage more efficiently, thereby improving vendor service and tenant satisfaction.
6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Vendor management service providers such as M|SOURCE are available. M|SOURCE manages all vendor relationships throughout a real estate portfolio while allowing you to maintain control of facility management.
From pinpointing the most qualified vendors and negotiating contracts to facilitating communication and implementing managerial technology, the facility manager maintains a crucial role in vendor management.