Whatever business you are in, if you have multiple sites your HVAC service provider can play a key role in the smooth operation of your company. Establishing a formalized system to evaluate vendor performance is essential to making the best informed decisions for your company.
Successful companies embrace their suppliers and vendors, viewing them as partners in helping them to operate their business. “Making sure that this is a mutually beneficial partnership will impact the price you are negotiating today and the quality of service you get in future,” says Dennis Wright, a management consultant from the SCORE Orange County office. If a vendor offers a key service to your operation, invite that vendor to strategic meetings that involve the area they work within. A common mistake companies make is to have a combative relationship with their suppliers and vendors. “That is the opposite of what you want to do,” says Drew Greenblatt, President of Baltimore-based Marlin Steel Wire Products, which makes custom stainless steel metal baskets, brackets and other parts. “A lot of companies will actually have an adversarial relationship where they hire people who have brass knuckles and try to beat up vendors to get better prices or better terms.” That is a very shortsighted way to do business, according to Wright and Greenblatt.
Instead of getting stuck on price, focus on the quality of service. A vendor can have the lowest price and the lowest quality of work, too. Your goal is understand what value-added services a given vendor is bringing to your company. Your business should have a system in place for evaluating, selecting and then reevaluating the vendors it works with.
Next week, we’ll post some tips and tools you’ll need to effectively rate your HVAC service provider, track their performance, and ultimately increase your company’s bottom line.