As a rule, most facility managers take advice from their supplies and equipment vendor with a grain of salt. That’s to be expected. In fact, in our next article, we’ll talk about the biggest challenges of benchmarking through your supplies vendor. For now, however, we’ll examine how you can benefit from an active relationship with a supplies and equipment vendor.
First advantage: most vendors are trained on the latest and most up-to-date equipment. While you’re busy with the day-to-day activities that full-time facility management requires, vendors are immersed in the world of new products and services. Most vendors give their salespeople regular training on equipment and processes in an effort to give them an edge in the market. This makes them valuable sources for benchmarking.
In addition, vendors make calls on other facilities. This gives the vendor firsthand experience and on-the-ground information about where his supplies and equipment have been most effective. He sees his products in action at universities, colleges, and facilities across the country – more valuable information for benchmarking.
Lastly, vendors have the support of manufacturers. Manufacturers provide training to salespeople and, perhaps even more valuable, access to productivity information. Being active in your relationship with a vendor means knowing what information he has that will benefit your organization. Ask the right questions and you might be surprised what you can find out.
As promised, in our next article we’ll discuss the challenges of benchmarking through your supplies and equipment vendor. Stay tuned!