As an FM (Multi-Site Facility Manager), and with so many choices out there, knowing which company to choose can be a crapshoot if you don’t know what to look for. It can also be an expensive lesson, if you choose poorly. But if you arm yourself with a little information beforehand, finding the right provider for your Fire and Life safety needs will be whole lot easier—and cheaper—in the long run.
Optimize Your Search
The internet is a great place to start your search. It’s a virtual watershed of information waiting to be tapped. Start by honing in on search terms that describe exactly what you’re looking for, like “fire extinguisher service” or “commercial kitchen hood system cleaning”. And don’t limit your search to companies only in your area, because it may omit some of the better choices who operate nationwide. Your search is bound to return pages of prospective companies that you’ll need to parse. At this point, it’s good to pay particular attention to those companies who are on the first or second page of results. That’s because they have done a great job of convincing Google of their overall relevance to your search terms. It doesn’t guarantee a great choice, but certainly helps you narrow down the field.
Do Some Shopping
Once you’ve narrowed your choices down to the first couple pages of search engine returns, it’s time to start clicking on some of them—from the top, and work your way down. What you’re looking for are companies who have smartly designed homepages with the types of services/products you want—front and center (you don’t want to have to click a half dozen times to find what you’re looking for). These sites should be informational, easy to navigate, and properly themed for the work, services, and products they offer. These sites need to impress you. If they don’t, move on to the next one until you have two or three choices you are comfortable with.
Time To Dig
Okay, let’s say you found three Fire and Life Safety Providers that meet all of the criteria we’ve just discussed. Now what? You only need one, but which one? Well, this is where you have to do a bit of digging to drill down to the best choice for your needs. Here are some questions you’ll need answered to help you make the best choice between these three companies—
- Can they provide the work, parts, and products you need?
- Can they meet your service levels?
- Do they guarantee their work?
- Do they have favorable reviews?
- Are they capable of servicing all of your locations?
- Do they offer a 24/7/365 call center for any related service emergency?
- Are they competitive price-wise?
- Do they have a friendly, experienced, and knowledgeable team to manage your day-to-day requirements?
- Can they cover all of your needs or just a few?
- Do they have COVID-19 protocols to protect you and their workers?
- Do they offer digital solutions for invoicing, appointments, record keeping, etc.?
- Do they promote trustworthiness and transparency?
- Can you connect…Linkedin, Facebook, YouTube?
Making The Decision
Having applied all of these questions to each of the three companies, the one with the most yeses would seem to be the overall choice. However, there are some intangibles that you should consider that relies on intuition more so than just a yes or no answer. When you went through the suggested steps and asked the suggested questions, you probably came away with a “feeling” about one or more of the companies. Intuition is also a valuable tool in helping you decide which company to go with. You may not be able to put a finger on exactly what it was that left an impression. Never-the-less, good or bad, it’s important to consider it when weighing one company against another. Hopefully, once you have done all of this, you have settled on the best company for your particular needs. It’s not an exact science, but all of this does help put you in the best possible position to make the best possible decision.