Mechanical Insights

When to Switch Facility Equipment Service Providers

Jan 5, 2021 8:30:00 AM / by Tate Engineering

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Service providers are a key component to facility operations. Outsourcing repairs and maintenance to a third party is a big move, because you are now relying on a completely different company to look after a key part of your business. Good service providers will increase your efficiency while keeping your costs low. By using emerging technologies and implementing best practices, your service providers should grow with your company and continuously improve. If that’s not the experience you’ve been getting with your current providers, it may be time to look at other options.

Switching service providers is never something a facility wants to do. Maintenance has relationships, often friendships, with these people and companies. These relationships can make it that much harder to switch to someone else. In addition to the relationships, switching over providers can be a headache. A lot of changes will need to be made in a relatively short period of time, and there will be a lot of paperwork involved. As difficult as that may be, it’s important to look at the services that are being provided to make sure they line up with the cost, as well as your facility’s expectations.

Red Flags to Watch Out For

You need a competent service provider who knows what they are doing. Some obvious signs that it’s time to switch service providers are if your provider is:

  • Not punctual.
  • Making mistakes.
  • Slow to fix problems.

Do technicians show up for scheduled preventative maintenance? If not, are they always giving you an excuse? Your facility has deadlines that have to be met, and service providers shouldn’t be making those deadlines more difficult for you. You need a service provider that respects your time and doesn’t waste it. Service providers are supposed to be a tool that you can leverage to be more effective. If that doesn’t sound like your current provider, that’s a problem.

Does your current provider send the wrong type of technician? Even worse, are the technicians they send not trained well enough to fix the problems you called them for? The technicians should be subject matter experts that can quickly and efficiently assess the problem and get you back up and running. This is what you are paying for. Mistakes happen, but if the technician is consistently ordering the wrong parts, or makes other mistakes that keep your equipment shut down for longer amounts of time, it might be time to see what other service providers are out there.

Making the Switch

The grass is always greener on the other side, but new service providers often bring benefits that the old providers didn’t. Take a good look at your facility’s current needs and what an ideal service provider would bring to the table. For example, if big projects are coming up that don’t quite fit into the budget, see if any service providers offer financing options. Flexibility with financing can make some of these important projects a reality.

When looking at new service providers, ensure that they have a transition plan with a proven track record to back it up. Switching providers will be a disruption to your business and could have big financial impacts if you don’t handle it the right way. A clear risk management plan helps to highlight potential roadblocks and outline how they will be mitigated. Also, don’t terminate your agreements with your current service providers until all the details are worked out with your new service provider. Trying to move too fast here may result in your facility having no service provider for a while.

Remember to give notice to your current provider according to your current contract. If your current provider wants thirty days written notice, then make sure that’s what you do. Communicate with your old service provider so that they know what is expected of them during the notice period. It is not uncommon for the level of service you are receiving to drop during the notice period. Be aware of this and monitor the situation closely.

Having the right service providers gives you the ability to focus on the important aspects of your business without worrying about all of the other details. Let Tate’s team of experts take care of your repairs and maintenance so you can get back to doing what you do best.

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Written by Tate Engineering