Facility Maintenance Companies: What to Know Before You Hire

When asked what tasks they can perform, many facility maintenance companies claim they can do it all. Many will start off talking about their commercial cleaning services and end with the all-encompassing, “We provide total facility maintenance.” The question is, what specific services fall between these two extremes?

Definitions Vary

The services provided by facility maintenance companies are almost as diverse as the companies that offer them. In part, this is because the term “facility maintenance” can mean different things to various people and companies. Some janitorial services companies that provide strictly commercial cleaning services refer to themselves as facility maintenance companies. So, too, do companies that provide services such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. These varied definitions can make it challenging for those looking to hire a facility maintenance company to ensure it offers the services they need. This is also why it is essential to clarify what services a facility maintenance services provider can—and cannot—perform before you sign the contract.

Facility Maintenance Companies

Tips for Differentiating

Below are a few pointers to help you choose a facility maintenance company that fits your needs.

We do it all. Some large facility maintenance services providers can do it all—from rewiring or replumbing a facility to cleaning and pest control. However, the truth is very few service providers can do all those things, and even fewer can do them all well. When you hear this, it’s time to ask questions, such as:

  • How experienced are the workers doing the work in every area the company says it handles?
  • Is the company and/or are its workers certified to perform all the tasks promised?
  • Does staff perform the work, or do they subcontract the work, which can increase costs?
  • Can the company provide references in all the areas they claim to have expertise?

If the supplier can’t answer these questions in writing, move on.

Timeframe. Another issue to consider with large “we do it all” facility maintenance companies is time. While they may be able to do everything from painting to landscaping, how quickly they can do it may be worth considering. Large companies aren’t as flexible as some smaller ones and must schedule things like repairs or preventative maintenance (see below) days or even weeks ahead. So, for example, they can change a lightbulb or HVAC filter, but can they perform these tasks soon enough to keep your building occupants happy?

Tenant assistance. Many facility maintenance companies perform building or property maintenance only. This means they do not perform what most refer to as tenant services, including providing moving assistance, crib attendance, security escorting, or other occupant-focused forms of building support.

Diversification. While many facility services companies may offer light electrical work or HVAC, do they offer some of the more specialized services you may need, such as facility safety/security, carpentry, or repair work, for example? If these are services you need or may need, the time to find out if they are available—and at what cost—is before you sign the contract.

Preventive maintenance. This is defined as maintenance done before there is a problem with the aim of extending the life cycle of a facility’s assets. It can include anything from steam cleaning a carpet before it is necessary to stripping and refinishing a floor before it is gouged and must be replaced. Good commercial cleaning services and maintenance providers will not only perform these types of tasks, but will create a schedule in advance for what should be done and how often.

Not All Facility Maintenance Companies Are Alike

If your facility maintenance company isn’t providing the services your complex facility needs, check out the facility maintenance services we offer. Discover the Servicon difference.

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