Price is not the only factor to consider when selecting a service provider.
Quality should always be placed above cost, as it is not price alone that should be the determining factor, other points come into play in any decision. Cost alone should not be the deciding factor as in any ‘quote’ it is not always possible to compare between service providers. Some quotes might be missing some important factors that you might not have considered would not be excluded and you would get a shock when the firm you chose based on their low price advises you that these thing will cost extra. It is hard to compare ‘Apples with Pears’ and the most important point is to get VALUE. After all the Yugo was a cheap car and should have moved you from A to B but if you wanted reliability, comfort and long life you would have had to pay a lot more for a Chevy and even more for a Cadillac.
You can evaluate prospective service providers against a set of guidelines by the acronym PICK.
P is for price. Actually, if it were not for the convenience of a relevant acronym, price would be listed last. I prefer to qualify according to the three other guidelines and use price as the tiebreaker. The caveat here is to only bid providers you feel comfortable having as part of your team. This means establishing a pool of service providers by constantly evaluating contractors. Keep in mind what we seek is value. The benefit may come in the form of superior workmanship, expedient performance or some other intangible. The low bid can be a tempting seductress that leads to disappointment.
I is for Integrity and this is high on my list of priorities. A wise person once advised to never do business with those we do not trust. We want team members who will stand behind their work, willingly correct mistakes, never take advantage and on whom we can count for schedules and quality. What is their reputation among peers, customers and the business community? I believe we truly are judged by the company we keep.
C signifies capability. The partner should not only possess necessary skills, but also be the right size to effectively perform the task. Some projects require a large, diversified contractor and others are best accomplished by a small mom-and-pop operation. Each will be more cost-effective in its particular niche.
K is the service provider's industry knowledge. Property management has become so complicated and varied, we must rely on our contractors for expert advice. As our consultants, what are their qualifications? Are they certified? Do they hold designations? How about training on the latest techniques? Can we count on them to be our experts when it comes to compliance with government codes, rules and regulations?
There you have it PICK the right partners for your team. Partnering is a concept garnering a lot of attention lately. It is a paradigm shift for most of us, which brings us back to the beginning. To practice partnering, treat your service providers as true members of the team and establish long-term relationships. This will ensure loyalty and a level of performance well beyond that attained by constantly seeking the best price. Can customer satisfaction and, consequently, value be far behind?
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