Facilities Management Resources: Where to Begin with Sourcing Hardware?

Meeting needs of facilities management resources can be tricky if you do not know where to begin. There are many things to consider when choosing the right manufacturer to outsource your needs for hardware. Hardware in this case meaning the supplies needed to complete the project at hand. Interview the manufacturers you are looking into. Create a check list.  Cheap is not always the best way to go, but they do not need to nickel and dime you either.

Do they Know Your Industry?

Facility managers should always consider the level of competency the manufacturer has with working with their particular industry.  Are they new?  Are they a legitimate company?  Do they have a consistent track record providing your hardware needs to other reputable companies? Managers should carry on a conversation with the prospective company about their needs and listen to how the manufacturer responds.  If the manufacturer does not know what you are talking about, this manufacturer is not the best one to go with.  In fact, that should be a red flag that you should move on to find someone who is knowledgeable about your industry. If you have a bad feeling, do not invest with the manufacturer.

How Accessible is The Manufacturer?

Meeting the needs of facilities management resources requires communication.  Is this manufacturer located in a time zone that is compliant with the time zone you are working from?  If they are local, visit their shop. Get a feel for the company and have a meeting with the management you are about to fork over money to.  It is important to know your suppliers.

  • Does this manufacturer offer online customer service?
  • Do they have a 1-800 number that you can call anytime?
  • How long does it take them to ship your orders?
  • How do they inform you that your shipment has been sent off?

These are all questions you should ask customer service.  Information on facilities management resources should be easily accessible through a website, a telephone and by any other means of communication.

Are They Growing?

When you are dealing with facilities management resources, make sure this business isn’t closing.  Make sure that they can handle your needs as well as the next facilities manager’s needs.  If you can’t find much information about the contractor or manufacturer, this is not a company to invest in.  You don’t want to hand money over to someone’s business that is going to close down tomorrow.  Know where they stand in the economy.

How Much is it Going to Cost?

With the economy downfall, it really is a buyer’s market.  When considering facilities management resources, consider the cost you are going to pay.  Do they offer competitive pricing?  Do they offer incentives if you choose to invest in them?  The manufacturer should be trying to sell their services to you, not the other way around.  If they are not willing to negotiate to meet your needs, you should understand that this is not the company you want to invest your facilities management resources needs into.  If you are switching companies and are paying less than what they are offering for the same services, tell them that you can stay with the manufacturer you are with.  If you are assertive, you will find the quality you are looking for at an affordable rate.

Consider these four things before you invest your time and money into a manufacturer. Choose wisely and take time to research and plan so your decision will not be a regret. Know what you are looking for so your needs as a facilities manager will be properly met. For more resources as a facilities manager, visit our resources section.

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