July 31, 2018
Using a Vendor Management System for Condominiums
For property management firms or condo boards, overseeing condo repairs and maintenance is critical to owner satisfaction and asset management. Your vendors are an extension of the building’s brand, and in a split second, if they mess up, it can put you at risk and damage business growth. But overseeing HVAC people, orders for salt in the winter, elevator repairs, plumbers, electricians, landscapers, painters and an endless list of contractors can be tricky if you aren’t using a vendor management system.
We’ve heard stories of invoices or work orders forgotten on a vacationing board member’s desk. Or, cheques written from the wrong bank account—or, worse, paid to the wrong vendor. And even invoices that cannot be matched to a P.O. or work order, which causes everyone frustration. A vendor management system helps eliminate stress, reduce errors and cut costs in a few key ways.
More Control With Centralized Vendor Management
A good solution will provide you with a centralized repository for all key vendor information, including but not limited to vendor financials, contracts, insurance certificates and other information. This accomplishes two main things: risk reduction and consolidation for cost reduction.
Risk Reduction: Being able to centralize all documents ensures better compliance the condo board’s policies. You can verify that the vendor’s business information is valid, and all certificates and required insurance are up to date and that your vendor follows your policies and procedures. In short, it ensures you have the right vendor for the right job. You can also digitally store inspection reports for legal documentation.
Cost Reduction: Having a centralized list of approved vendors eliminates rogue spending, and prevents the building manager from hiring the guy down the street or a relative to make some repairs. With a consolidated vendor list, you can more easily review to see that multiple vendors are not performing identical or near identical work. If so, review contract fees and work quality, and scale up one of the vendors to obtain a volume discount or more favourable payment terms.
Better Vendor Communication
A vendor management system helps you to improve and streamline the way you communicate with vendors. How? Firstly, a vendor management system acts as a centralized platform. It allows all parties to discuss expectations, deadlines, quality expectations or guarantees. It greatly improves collaboration between you and the vendor, or multiple vendors where coordination is required. Secondly, you can do it all with complete transparency and a digital record of any milestone dates, delays, etc. Lastly, a vendor management system streamlines communication from work order to purchase order to final invoice, keeping you efficient and organized.
Insights into Performance & Repair Quality
Any negligence on the part of the vendor can have a direct impact on your business. You need to know which services are being performed, and the quality of the service in relation to the cost.
With a vendor management system, you’ll be able to improve due diligence and rate your risk. A sudden drop in the quality of pest control services or plumbing repairs, for example, might signal that the vendor is cutting corners, has hired junior-level employees and is unable to supply the best client care. Late deliveries of goods and supplies needed to run your building could denote material problems or even financial issues.
So, how can you tell if your vendor is doing a good job? Maintenance ratings by condo owners as well as inspections performed by the maintenance manager. A performance scorecard quantifies the vendor’s service, repair quality, and efficiency. Therefore, these reviews help pinpoint vendors that may not be performing as expected. Because you’ll also be able to see high performers, you’ll know which companies to negotiate a better price in exchange for increased work.
How Property Vista Helps
The best way to manage vendors is through a vendor management system. It can help you to share information amongst your team, keep track of contractors and communicate with all parties. We have the solutions you need. To learn more, get started here.