Back to Blog

The Top 3 Reasons You Need The Connected Workplace for Vendor Management

Apr 20, 2020
By Lisa Laczynski

The Top 3 Advantages

Successful retail executives have very high standards when it comes to equipment maintenance and store cleanliness.  They understand that the in-store experience is what keeps customers coming back, again and again.

If you’re a facilities manager, you are expected to uphold the corporate image while keeping budgets under control.  With the current shortage of skilled labor, this is a herculean task.

You can use third party vendors to save time and money, but what happens when you have very little visibility into those vendors?

You start to wonder if you’re really saving money. You think you’re being overcharged; you suspect the quality of service is subpar, but you’re not sure.  It’s just a hunch, you have no data to back up your suspicions.

In today’s competitive marketplace, you need your vendors to be trusted partners.  You need transparency.  With transparency comes peace of mind and measurable cost savings.

Legacy CMMS or vendor management software will not give you the ease of use, transparency and data you need. A solution built on your corporate enterprise platform, shared with your vendors, is the answer.

That’s the Connected Workplace and it’s the mecca of Vendor Management.

Here’s what happens when your vendors share your platform.

Fast and Accurate Corrective Work Orders

Your vendors probably aren’t intentionally overcharging you; they just don’t have an easy way to figure out where the problem is and what they need to fix it.

Speed up work by giving your vendors access to the same platform as you, through a mobile application.

They complete the assigned work directly from the mobile application, submit invoices and track their own performance.  Vendors can also create subcontractor access to the portal, consolidating all work (and data!) into a single location, whether it’s accomplished by the vendor, or the vendor’s vendor.

Technicians have instant access to asset service history, service manuals, knowledge bases, spare parts inventory, and training videos.

Let’s take a coffee shop example.  We all love coffee!

When the fancy Latte machines goes down, time is important.   A coffee shop with a coffee machine down is critical.  We need our coffee!!

The employee at the store takes a picture of the broken machine and submits the work order.  The vendor technician is alerted on their mobile app.  He pulls up the work order history and sees the machine is under warranty.  He looks at the submitted picture and thinks he knows what’s going on, so he checks if the part he needs is available in the warehouse.  He’s ready and uses the app to navigate to the store.

He arrives at the location fast with the part he needs, he pulls up a tutorial video to ensure he’s replaced the part properly.  He closes the work order and submits the invoice from the mobile app.

All the relevant data was accessed to fix the machine and, even as important, all the data associated with fixing the machine is captured to the same platform.

A Well-Designed Preventative Maintenance Program

Trusted transparency falls into place when your vendors work off the same platform.  On the connected platform, you have the asset and vendor data to design a well-structured preventative maintenance plan.

Use smart dispatching by creating business rules that automate preventative work intelligently.  Preventative work orders can be auto routed based on location, certifications, vendor preference, etc.  In the café case, the nearest technician in the field with the right latte machine certification is assigned the work order.

In addition, your vendors can be assigned checklists when performing periodic inspection tasks, such as safety equipment inspection or custodial rounds.  If a checklist item fails, the technician can submit a corrective work order in real-time from the mobile app.

Creating an organized and intelligent preventive program with your vendors will keep the café clean and safe.  Keeping the Latte machine well maintained will save time and money, and, help to avoid those emergency Latte machine breakdowns.

Engaging and Effective Analytics

The most important value you get from a shared vendor platform is effective reporting.

When you’re dealing with a lot of stores, having all locations, all assets, all work and all vendors on one platform gives you powerful insight.  Creating dashboards from that data instantly tells you if there are any problem areas and where you can find cost savings.

Dashboards provide real-time information on what vendors are performing well, and which continually breach their service agreements.  Find out what locations have a disproportionate amount of work orders and figure out why.  Measure service levels against contract costs and details.

This makes future vendor negotiations simple. You’ll have vendor performance reports on hand to discuss response times and negotiate from an informed position.

You can now measure cost savings and vendor performance easily.  Your vendors become trusted partners thanks to the transparency of a shared and connected workplace platform.