5 Key Things to Consider when Evaluating Your Facilities Maintenance Partner
by Aaron Koon, Regional Sales Executive
The coronavirus pandemic is causing operational disruptions and shutdowns resulting in economic fall-out, volatility, and distress for most businesses. At the same time, companies with a progressive perspective believe that now is the best time to draw up a business continuity blueprint so they are fully prepared to take up the upcoming challenges after they resume operations. It would not be wrong to say that this is an opportunity to hit the reset button and work around the ‘new normal’ after the COVID-19 outbreak is under control and the bans on non-essential businesses are lifted.
Although some aspects of business continuity and plan for recovery are industry-specific, there are some disciplines that remain equally important and relevant for all businesses, such as the professionally handled facilities maintenance function. While businesses will require unparalleled attention on business revival and turnaround strategies in the future, outsourcing this vital function to an expert will be an important undertaking.
Facilities maintenance is a business priority now and is an essential part for backend support, business performance, operational success, and of course the health and safety of all concerned individuals. Similar to other facets of business operations, facilities maintenance service providers also have to deliver solutions to meet newer demands and expectations. With new cleaning and maintenance protocols to deal with the challenges of the coronavirus outbreak, the assessment criteria for these service providers has increased tremendously. The following points provide important parameters to evaluate a service provider based on its response and performance during the pandemic to illustrate its capability to meet the new demands of the future:
- COVID-19 Standard Operating Procedures – Assess the company’s preparedness and responsiveness to the pandemic through its cleaning and maintenance program. It is important to note whether the service provider continued its established practices or re-visited the plans to integrate approved SOPs with additional services such as advanced disinfecting protocols.
- The Selection & Usage of Chemicals – Given that facilities maintenance companies are now focusing on integrating both cleaning with disinfecting procedures as a standard practice, it is necessary to learn about their chemical partners and ability to source the right chemicals and disinfectants, best practices on the application and dwell times, the cadence of spraying, and the schedule followed to ensure efficient results of using these products.
- Special Training Programs Including the Use of PPE – A well-designed employee training program has always been an important element to understand a company’s potential performance, efficiency, and compliance capabilities. However, during this pandemic, a diligent and qualified professional service provider with a proactive approach is one that has implemented innovative training modules to ensure that their employees are up-to-date on new protocols, understand how to work in compliance with new safety guidelines by experts, adequately use and dispose of PPE, and ensure the customer’s facility is cleaned and disinfected to provide a healthy and safe environment for others.
- Quality Assurance – A transparent Quality Assurance plan is an essential factor when evaluating a potential partner for outsourcing the facilities maintenance function. While it is necessary to work with a partner that creates a custom maintenance plan, it is also important for the service provider to design a custom, real-time Quality Assurance Program based on each customer’s scope of work and desired goals. Other elements in ensuring uncompromised quality include routine checks, frequently scheduled supervisor inspections, ongoing communication with customer, documentation and reporting systems, and information-sharing process with customers.
- Business Agility & Financial Strength – Unlike many other market changes, the coronavirus pandemic not only required essential businesses to respond and adapt quickly but also have the financial strength to endure the pandemic. The service providers that were able to withstand the impact of the situation were those with years of experience, workforce strength, and financial stability along with business agility, innovative processes, new techniques and chemicals, and technology changes.
Diversified Maintenance continued to fulfil its role as an ‘Essential Service’ throughout the pandemic. With emphasis on infection control, risk prevention, and new cleaning and disinfecting frequency, Diversified Maintenance responded with the evolving effects of the outbreak while tracking the expert recommendations and health and safety guidelines. To learn more about the benefits of partnering with the Company, get in touch with me – Aaron Koon at email@example.com