To Self-perform or not to self-perform
Retail, restaurant and convenience store Facilities Managers have long grappled with the question of hiring Self-Performing vs. Sub-Contracting property service providers. Topco, an Indirect Spend Solutions provider says the many retailers prefer the straightforward relationship of using self-performers stating, “Simply put, self-performing suppliers have more skin in the game. It is their name on the side of the service truck that pulls into your store, and when a vendor goes above and beyond or makes a critical error, reaching the responsible party is easy.”
That said, national self-performing contractors are sometimes seen as an expensive solution while service companies that sub-contract nationally or regionally, may offer more competitively priced and scalable solutions. For the service company owner seeking to expand their business geographically, the appeal of sub-contracting is clear: save on labor costs across a variety of trades and skill sets. It’s also certainly much easier to deploy local contractors, as needed, versus the cost of hiring and training new full-time crews that you won’t need year-round.
Service companies that outsource their workers also know the challenges of managing a sub-contracted network, especially when it comes to SLA compliance and quality assurance. Click Software, a mobile Field Service Management Solution provider, say this:
“While the benefits are tempting, outsourcing workers also creates challenges for the (service) company that owns the customer relationship. Without clear visibility into contractor service delivery, customer service, and SLA compliance, the (service) company’s brand could suffer.”
As someone who worked for a large national landscaping contractor that sub-contracted as well as self-performed, I knew these challenges all too well. For us it was next to impossible to get sub-contractors to fulfill the SLA requirement of providing photographic proof-of-service. Their goal was to get the job done in a timely fashion and move on. This is not a knock on our subs – they just weren’t in the business of documenting their work in a way that would satisfy the service contract or our customer.
While many service aggregators have invested heavily in communication systems and call centers seeking to increase their operational transparency there are some innovative service companies that are meeting these challenges and increasing their SLA compliance without a heavy technology investment and without making a single hire.
By leveraging the gig economy, these service providers can quickly and cost-effectively provide their facilities clients with instant proof-of-service, verification of SLA compliance and real-time information on the locations they service without hiring additional staff, changing subcontractor behavior or investing in new communication systems.
Solutions like iVueit provide sub-contracting national service aggregators and contractors with the ability to verify the work of their subcontracted networks and meet the facilities management industry’s never-ending requirement for real-time documentation.
IVueit’s software platform and mobile app were built for this purpose by those frustrated by wasting time and money trying to verify the work of subs.
With more than 30,000 registered ‘Vuers’ with smartphones in 50 states, iVueit enables anyone required to cost-effectively deploy independent locals to photograph work done at a specific property on-demand. The result is increased visibility across all of the sites you service with photographic verification on-demand, including GPS and timestamp coding, and simple survey reports by independent workers who are being paid by the project to deliver the requested information.
Are you a contractor with an innovative solution for service verification?
Let us know so we can share it with the industry!