man chained to computer The promise of a better process is always going to grab your attention. Software and app developers are all too eager to promise you easier, faster and cheaper field technician services with robust reporting features and in a lot of instances, they are right. However, before you commit to a long-term relationship that may be difficult to reverse, there are some important questions to consider.

What is the service provider’s real business?

Are they offering a structured platform to help communicate service requests and work orders with your vendors or is it something more? Are they also trying to be the vendor? There is no right or wrong, as each client has their own culture and preference. However, it is a key fact to understand clearly upfront, especially if you are paying for the use of their software. There are players on both sides of this fence, those that limit their revenue to the functionality of the software and those that add to their bottom line by also coordinating the services. In essence, sending the work orders to themselves.

Breaking up can be hard to do. Sometimes harder than you imagined.

Here’s where the two different models have a serious impact to your business. Rarely do we hear from clients that the software is the issue. Most are efficient and can easily be integrated into a multi-site facility manager’s current program. However, the downside occurs when a client has challenges with the performance of their maintenance vendor on the other end. Reasons can range from delayed response times and poor correspondence to high costs. Regardless, if the software is designed to truly be a communication based program, then it’s just a matter of assigning the work orders to a newly sourced service provider or asset.

On the other hand, if your software partner is also your aggregator or facilities service partner, you may face some bigger issues. Abandoning the software altogether sounds simple enough, right? Well that will depend on how many users you have on-boarded and relying on it. Hundreds or more of your co-facility managers, store managers regional/district managers and retraining to use another program may seem like a monumental task. Maybe not the end of the world, but something to consider.

UmbrellaOne is decidedly not a software company or an app. We are a multi-site facilities maintenance service provider.

We know it doesn’t sound sexy, but we take great comfort and pride in understanding the expectations of the role we offer our clients. We strongly believe in the importance of technology, both our proprietary systems and that of third party developers. But in the end, we also appreciate the transparency of our business model and knowing that we can rely on the value of our performance to fuel our growth and nothing else.