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Leading Facility Maintenance Software

Leading Facility Maintenance Software

How Facilities Exchange Became The Leading Facility Maintenance Software In Just 3 Years

In today’s competitive landscape, nothing comes easy. It seems everything has to land just right to thrive. This certainly has some merit, a little bit of luck is in every success story. However, we believe that our success in delivering the best software for Facility Maintenance Management is largely due to the following 5 things:

Domain Expertise:

Everyone who works at Facilities Exchange has worked in the Facilities Maintenance industry in a role other than software programmer. There is over 30 years combined experience here in the industry. We have walked in our client’s shoes. We not only provide great software, but consultative experience about how to get things done and we wouldn’t dare charge a penny for it. I have watched many companies in the industry attempt to build/buy their own software only to fail because the people creating the software have not done the work themselves. Would you have your plumber take out your tonsils? 🙂

Customization From The Core:

When we were dispatching work orders and sending resources out to clean and fix things, one thing we very quickly realized about this industry was this: You will have as many ways of doing business as you have clients. For this reason, Facilities Exchange was designed from top to bottom to be customized. You show me software that can’t be customized at the drop of a hat and I’ll show you a customer in pain. Every facility maintenance contract comes with laborious and unique processes that must be followed to keep the business. In an increasingly low margin commoditized business like this, managing these processes manually wipes away the profits in a hurry.    

Speed:

At Facilities Exchange we turn features around in hours, days and weeks, not months and years. The old software economy worked on waterfall project management methodologies measured in months and years. We use a variation of SCRUM (https://www.scrum.org/). This methodology allows us to focus on targeted and valued deliverables in a short amount of time. Welcome to the new economy “Run, or get run over”.

Focus On and Eliminate Pain:

We continuously and tenaciously focus on the what causes our clients pain. Manual and labor intensive processes are the enemy and must be eradicated. Automating processes like collecting paperwork, and vendor performance tools are just two features that have were born out of this principle. As a team bent on efficiency, we simply cannot tolerate anything that slows our clients down. We hunt down these manual processes and automate them.

Accessibility:

If someone says they provide excellent customer service, well that’s great. Mostly this is just a sentence; you have to live good customer service. We do that by being available 24/7 for our clients. If we need to take care of something at 2:00 AM because that is what is required, we just do it. We don’t charge extra for that. We understand their business may be at stake, so we take that very seriously. We expect the same from the companies we rely on. Our customers can email, call and even instant message our team at any time.

Although the things above are the major tenets of our success as a company, they all share a common foundation. Everyone at Facilities Exchange is treated with dignity, respect, and operates with the independence of an owner. Being an independent thinker who challenges the status quo is a requirement for working here. You don’t like something; fix it! Knowledge is key, but Action is power. Our employees are empowered to take action

 

8 Metrics You Should Be Using

8 Metrics You Should Be Using

8 Metrics You Should Be Using

To Rate Subcontractors

If you're like many National or Regional Facility Maintenance Providers, then you have built a large database of subcontractors that you utilize to serve your customers. Although you may have a good idea about who your most reliable and trustworthy subcontractors are, the reality is, you can only really know this about a handful. Without having a system in place to track their performance, you're really just guessing.  Facilities Exchange tracks the following 8 key metrics automatically and calculates and displays a performance grade for all subcontractors.  Even if you are not using Facilities Exchange, tracking these 8 metrics will put you in a much better position and provide a mechanism for not being blindsided by a loss of business.

  1. No Shows:

Track the number of No shows that a subcontractor commits. When a subcontractor doesn't show up for a job without notice, they are not concerned about your business. The location manager doesn't see the subcontractor as an external resource, when they don't show, you don't show and location manager is likely to report to corporate how unreliable you are. No Shows are deadly and need to be tracked.

  1. Recalls:

Tracking recalls will help you find the subcontractors who are providing unreliable and poor quality solutions on the work you are assigning them. You may be able to send someone out to remedy the solution quickly, but that gets old fast and you'll quickly have a reputation for providing poor service.  

  1. IVR Usage:

In the age where everyone has their own software, using IVR as a control mechanism is often not in your domain of control. Our analysis has shown that as much as 4 out of every 5 calls that require the use of IVR are coming from an external technology system belonging to the customer. If subcontractors don't use it, then you take the hit. As much as IVR has little to do with your ability to perform, trust has likely been something eroded out of existence by your competitors. Tracking Check-ins, Check-outs and Time On-Site will help you sure up your compliance and keep your record stellar with customers

  1. Time To Receive Paperwork:

Getting signed work-orders and invoices back from the field is often a requirement to move along the  process to bill your clients and pay subcontractors.  You could easily be having cash flow problems if paperwork doesn't make it back to your company in a timely manner.  Track the number of days it takes subcontractors to meet paperwork requirements.

  1. Reschedules: 

Reschedules are better than no-shows since they allow you time to deal with the issue before it becomes a No Show. When you have too many recalls the burden is on your staff to perform unnecessary work which slows down production and your response time with customers. Tracking  reschedules will help you find unreliable subcontractors quickly and give you the confidence to route them out of your database.

  1. Customer Satisfaction:

Tracking customer satisfaction is probably one of the most important metrics, but is often overdone. Keep it simple! Asking 3-5-10 questions has limited effectiveness since it is hard to be sure that the questions are always being asked. More often than not, the person having to answer the questions is too busy to answer them and too busy to offer candid feedback. A simple "are you satisfied with our service today?" produces a result that can be quantified and calculated easily. At the end of the day, that's the one true important metric."are you satisfied with our service today?" YES or NO!.  You can easily take a sample of your calls to perform deeper analysis with more questions and get to the systemic issues that are plaguing your organization with service issues.

  1. Completed On First Trip:

Multiple trips to fix a problem unless the work is expected to take multiple days is typically due to a lack of preparation or ineffective communication between your staff and the subcontractor.  Regardless of the reason, the cost of the job is sure to go up, having to go twice or three times can quickly eat up profits since the customer is not liable for a lack of preparation. these expensive calls will pop put on reports as outliers and easily be subject to scrutiny.

  1. Profit Percentage

Some would argue this should be the first. And I wouldn't disagree with that. You have to look out for your bottom line and your customers cost of service. To survive in this increasingly commoditized market, you need to worry about profit more than any other metric. Make sure you are comparing vendors across the same discipline and across the same types of jobs to see how their average compares with industry averages and amongst all other vendors in your database. Facilities Exchange makes this effortless, but a simple data pull into Excel with pivot tables will quickly find the outliers.  Poor profit puts a strain on every area of the business.

Implementing a system to track the following metrics will put you on a path to improve the performance of your organization and will return dividends quickly. Not doing it, is undoubtedly costing you time, money and aggravation. Although I have listed 8 above, you can certainly add more. I'd be happy to hear some suggestions on what your company is tracking on the performance of subcontractors.

Your FM Software Has No API?

Your FM Software Has No API?

Your FM Software Has No API?

That's Costing You, Find Out Why.

For at least a decade, multi-location Retailers and Restaurateurs have been adopting software to help streamline their facility maintenance life cycles. I have watched this transition from spreadsheet to software and the benefits have been amazing. The data has proved to be valuable in speeding up repair cycles and in providing insight historically only understood by the most seasoned amongst us.

What was once decentralized and incompatible information in the hands of the providers of service, is now centrally stored in the client's own database.

Sweet!.....but

In that same time, the providers of service have developed and purchased their own technologies to help manage the myriad of workorders, invoices, technicians, insurances, assets and many other complexities dealing with the management of the facility maintenance lifecycle. While both Retailer and Service Provider software systems offer powerful features to their respective consumers , if they don't talk to each other, information must be put in both systems.  This is commonly know as "Double Posting". Retailers and Restaurateurs may think that this is just something that service providers must deal with as a function of doing business, and that is true, but make no mistake, that cost is passed on to the end client in the form of an increased price for service in one form or another.  Not having a way to allow systems to communicate electronically (API - application program interface) , increases the cost of service since labor is required to do it manually, that is an irrefutable fact.

Depending on the size of a service provider, there can be anywhere from 1 to 6 resources allocated to Double Posting. So let's do some loose math

Average trade show has about 500 service companies that attend. So lets use that as an example.

500 companies, average of 3 resources double posting, 30k per resource annually.  That's 45 million spent at 500 companies in one year on double posting. How much of that number is yours? Any fraction is too much!

Although you may not be thinking  about an API in the daily grind, it is affecting your business and your bottom line.

What can you do? Here are a few suggestions

  1. Expect your software provider to have an API and make sure it's providing what your service providers and clients need to avoid double posting
  2. Support technology or standards committees within your industry organizations so they can develop and agree upon standards for communicating between systems
  3. Reach out to me at marc.balzamo@facilitiesexchange.com if you would like to join me in solving this issue, I am putting a team together to do just that

I would love to hear about your experiences and frustrations relating to this issue. I think it's important to have a dialog about the issues to ensure we are addressing everyone's needs.

Marc Balzamo

President @ FacilitiesExchange