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Generic Service Provider Names

From time to time, customers who have been subject to a high service-provider/contractor turnover, ask about using generic names for service providers and contractors. These generic names would reflect to type of work being done, with examples being ELECTRICAL, PLUMBING, HVAC, FURNITURE, etc. The benefit perceived by these customers is that they could leave the main work type background data in place, and just change the name/phone/address/email against the generic name, when the contractor changes.

The main work type background data determines which contractor does each type of work in each building, for each customer, or as a default; it also contains the allowable response times and work hours which make up SLA’s.

This sounds like an attractive, straightforward approach, but a great deal of crucial, analytical information may be lost. It is likely that the business owner or facilities manager who operates the maintenance management system is being measured in terms of performance, but it is also crucial for the business owner or facilities manager to be able to measure the performance of his or her own service providers. If generic service provider names are used, the latter will likely not be possible.

Maintenance Management Systems such as the Fast Track Help Desk & PPM software provide much reporting and analysis around contractors and service providers, including comparative costs, SLA responses and KPI’s. If generic names are used, this detail would be available over time by the type of work, but not by the individual service-provider/contractor. We might be able to quickly determine that, for some reason, we get a better responsiveness for our ELECTRICAL jobs, when compared to our PLUMBING jobs, but we’d presumably have to generate reports by the date range that each service-provider/contractor was recorded as the current generically-name service-provider/contractor. This analysis approach would be seriously prone to error, and could be a great deal of work. It is not normally needed, because each job has the real service-provider/contractor/crew/team/person recorded against it.

Additionally, when the Maintenance Management System is being set up and used in its initial stages, the service-provider/contractor background data management may seem intensive, but once automation has been established, performance measurement will likely be of very high priority, and of bottom-line importance.