How To Better Manage Service Providers?

It is often said that the industry handles 75% of its industrial maintenance needs only internally: why?

One thing is clear: many companies still are afraid to work with subcontractors for many reasons. They might find it difficult to properly control the work done, they might want to preserve their manufacturing know-how or might find that they are not self-sufficient. Moreover, many companies claim that they fear to become technically dependent on their service providers or to see their production costs increase if they don’t have a clear visibility on the operations.

Yet outsourcing can allow them to maximize their manufacturing or industrial maintenance processes and even to reduce internal costs especially as they always want to rationalize costs. That is why companies need to have the possibility to manage services. The right CMMS software and a good maintenance contracts management ensure an easy and successful outsourcing.

What are the different types of outsourcing?

Before a company chooses a service provider, it needs to have a clear strategy. To begin with, there are different types of outsourcing:

  • capacity subcontracting: the company has a full capacity to do a given task but it prefers to work with a service provider;

  • specialist subcontracting: the company doesn’t have the technical means to carry out an operation because that is not its usual field of activity (because it is too technical for instance);

  • further subcontracting: the company A will call on company B, which in the same time will call on company C, etc. This method aims to respond to an urgent need for more flexibility and reactivity (segmentation makes the stakeholders more efficient);

  • first-tier subcontracting: the company directly works with many service providers and writes a contract for each one of them, without any intermediary.

We can now better understand why subcontracting can be a thorny problem for a lot of companies that need to be reassured about the whole process.

Looking for subcontractors can become problematic

Companies are often reluctant to work with service providers because it is a long and complicated path to outsourcing. Many of them have been used to work with one and only partner for many years because they eventually managed to build a relation of trust and they don’t want to take the risk to compare with the competition.

It can still be unavoidable to outsource part of its activities for multiple reasons: a service can, at any time, have too much work to do, it can also be unable to perform overly technical tasks (thermography, etc.) or face huge recruiting issues.

At the same time, companies often complain about the fact that they cannot fully manage their subcontractors. It can be hard for them to follow signed contracts, completed tasks or techniques used and they can have the feeling of not being able to control what’s important. It eventually becomes very problematic if the service provider makes mistakes or causes a piece of equipment to break down because it will automatically incur costs. It is therefore essential to strictly manage documentation and to implement a certain number of norms so that working procedures can be clearly set and that the company can protect itself.

Take stock of your service providers

To find a solution to all these problems, CMMS and service providers must be linked to each other. Indeed, if your tool allows you to follow and check interventions, all your productivity will be enhanced and increased.

Our solution Mobility Work gives you the possibility to create providers sheets directly in the application in order to list all the subcontractors you’ve worked with. This feature helps you to keep an eye on all the services: you simply enter all the information in the sheet (name, field of activity, location, etc.) and, when you save it, it is automatically shared with your network. Thanks to the whole community, each user has access to a unique directory gathering maintenance professionals and they can benefit from an enhanced collaboration. The perfect service provider is only a few clicks away! You can also find, in the application, a catalog of Official Providers approved by Mobility Work to quickly find a solution and avoid losing time.

The subcontractor is therefore integrated in the CMMS, has access to the task calendar and it should therefore work with the tool to provide you with a precise overview of his work. He will be like any other technician of your company and will need to give as many details as he can about his activities. As a result, the provider is not a separate entity anymore but it really becomes part of your network and its actions are coordinated with those of the technicians and maintenance managers.

You have the possibility to directly save all the useful documents in the application: official documents that the official manufacturers have put online, technical files, company’s standards, etc. This resource progressively transforms into a real maintenance library, which allows all stakeholders to start on the same basis. As a consequence, confusion and misunderstandings are avoided to be more efficient: the service provider knows exactly in which structure he is going to work, he knows about the manufacturing processes and about the machines he is about to work on, he better understands the work environment...

All this makes you save a lot of time and money. You know about the amount of work that has been done and are able to quickly intervene when the service provider encounters a problem and before he makes a mistake. Thanks to this follow-up, you can control certain criteria on the equipment and make sure that there isn’t going to be any breakdown. The entered data give you an overview of your equipment and help you anticipate these potential breakdowns. You can evolve from a curative maintenance to a preventive one and therefore save time, money, people… Thanks to all these features, the data that are progressively saved and the activities generate tables and graphs which you have access to in the analytic part of Mobility Work and which allows you to interpret results and anticipate future breakdowns.

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Trust your community

To address companies’ concerns and solve the issues they were facing, the next-gen maintenance management platform Mobility Work chose to put the emphasis on the community dimension. The application encourages exchange and mutual help so that each user and maintenance expert (more than 10,000 people) can find the solutions they need.

For instance, if one of your motors needs to be fixed and that you don’t have the sufficient resources at the time in your company, you can use to search toolbar, enter the keyword and see a whole list of specialized service providers. This list gathers all the information that the community members entered in subcontractor sheets. It truly is a solution with added value for all the companies that are looking for an external service provider.

To make your choice you can take the ratings that were given to the subcontractors into consideration. Indeed, after each service, users have the possibility to leave comments and to rate providers according to the quality of the intervention. This sure is an important argument for companies because, as said earlier, they tend to keep working with subcontractors they are used to, even if the service is not perfect, just because they are too afraid to get involve in any competition analysis.

If you are still reluctant, you’ll be happy to learn that Mobility Work’s geolocation feature will make your life easier. It isn’t just about knowing where to find your service providers thanks to their company page saved by the hundreds of technicians working with the application, it is also about geolocating your equipment. Generally, when a service provider arrives in your plant, he doesn’t know a thing about your work environment, about where exactly the equipment he has to work on is located… Thanks to the CMMS software, this isn’t a problem anymore: the map available on the mobile version shows him the exact location of the machine so that he can work on it quickly. Once again, these features aim to help you be always more effective.

Having a long-term vision

If we had to name another major issue that the industrial maintenance sector is facing, we’d have to talk about temporary employment agencies, which struggle to recruit new people. Community-based, intuitive and next-gen tools like Mobility Work could help these structures because they could benefit from a real professional network that puts maintenance experts directly in relation.

We are witnessing a real revolution because all companies’ departments work together and get involved to achieve a common objective. Once again, this more open work model, where people could freely choose who they would prefer to work with, would be completely relevant.

This approach is in line with a progressive change of attitude: maintenance professionals become more independent as the time goes by and get to work with the people they choose thanks to users’ opinion. In today’s world, people are used to connect with each other and to work closely: industrial maintenance has to work the same way to modernize.

 

To conclude, industrial maintenance is facing a whole new world with a lot of possibilities thanks to 4.0 user-friendly CMMS solutions like Mobility Work. On our platform, you get to discover a lot of service providers, from consulting firms to curative maintenance companies.

According to Louis Delahaye, project manager at Lormatech (a French society working as a provider in order to help companies maximize their performances), service providers are already convinced: “Mobility Work is easier to implement that any other CMMS software. It’s even fun to use: each generation can quickly get accustomed to it. We rapidly feel comfortable, it is really user-friendly”. If you want to be registered in our Official Providers catalog, don’t hesitate to contact us to learn more about it!

In order to discover our user-friendly next-gen maintenance application, benefit from an entire community’s help and make your daily-life as well as your technicians’ daily-lives easier, watch our video presentation and test our tool for free!

 

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