Like all other areas of a business, facilities need to look at their options from time to time. And, with so many things happening today in the world of facilities maintenance and myriad vendor options to explore, now may be the perfect time to take advantage of a request for proposal (RFP).

But what should facilities management look for in terms of getting the most out of that RFP? To get the most out of the process, Rick Upton, Sr. VP of Sales and Marketing for Vixxo, offered up some insights and suggestions.

“When you look at the marketplace today and the changes going on both in the retail and restaurant landscape, companies are having to make some tough decisions in terms of how they remain competitive,” Upton said. “How do they position themselves better for when, hopefully, the marketplace opens back up and things return to some semblance of normality? So, facilities face tremendous pressure today to cut costs at the operations and headquarter-spend side. This is one of the primary reasons we see customer’s going out to market today.”

There are many reasons beside cost that lead facilities to seek out a new maintenance vendor. Some may include the desire for new technologies to achieve efficiencies, or perhaps a company’s current vendor fails to provide the level of expected service.

And, as Upton noted, sometimes a company enters an agreement with a vendor. During the contract, the vendor makes their own staff or process efficiencies that may reduce the service quality over time.

Upton recommended one crucial step when considering an RFP: first consider an RFI, or request for information. Sometimes, it is a worthy option to explore before even undertaking the RFP process to cast a wider net.

“You may think you know who the players are – the most innovative, the most successful,” Upton said. “But why trust that potentially dated information? You may also have some incumbents out there who have struggled recently to stay current and thriving and growing. So, we would strongly encourage you to go out with an RFI and test those assumptions on what you believe are the current providers.”

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