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Vendor Management Best Practices

FEB 13, 2012 12:59pm ET
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Field service companies must continuously evolve their best practices to develop and maintain the most effective vendor network possible. Key areas of focus are: recruitment, training, diversity and technology.

Recruitment
The recruitment process begins with analytics to anticipate the various skill sets that will be needed in particular geographical areas. Also key is ensuring the integrity of vendors entrusted to protect and preserve homes. Background checks on vendors and their crews are essential. So is proof that vendors carry both liability and errors and omissions insurance coverage.

Training
Even the most highly skilled vendors require training to assure that vendors follow the policies and procedures of their field service company, as well as the individual guidelines of the servicers and investors. Proper training reduces errors, protects servicers and investors from loss, and ultimately helps to uphold the condition and value of properties. A combination of in-person and online training allows for both flexibility and consistency in training a large network of vendors across the country. Online training is highly effective when changes in guidelines or procedures must be communicated quickly. In person sessions address the need for specialized or intensive training.

Diversity
Vendor networks that reflect the diversity of the communities in which they work offer many advantages. Because they understand the specific needs in their areas, they are effective in protecting and preserving properties and neighborhoods. When field service companies make diversity a priority, they support the diversity initiatives of their servicing and investor clients, and expand economic opportunities to more people, thereby strengthening communities.

Technology
Smart phone technology allows vendors to access their field service company systems, document their work, submit work orders and verify accuracy all with one device that replaces cameras, phones, laptops and paper files. With instant access to current property information, vendors can verify a property’s status in real time to minimize errors.  Depending on the field service company’s system, when work orders are submitted, the system can flag discrepancies to correct problems before vendors leave the property.

Vendors are critical partners in the property preservation field. Field service companies have a responsibility on behalf of their clients and communities across the country to invest in their success.

Comments (5)
I will be glad to be the first to post cause i think networking is the key to success in this business
Posted by | Wednesday, February 15 2012 at 5:10PM ET
When can Vendors expect to see auto filled pricing on the work completed screen of an order submission to be updated to reflect current pricing? For example smoke detectors still auto fill at $50.00 per unit when pricing has been reduced to $20.00 per unit and handrails autofill at $12.00 per foot when pricing has been reduced to $11.00 per foot for quite some time.
Posted by | Friday, February 17 2012 at 10:44PM ET
Most of the major servicing companies excluding Safeguard are corrupt and have no ethics. I have been in construction as a home builder for 35 years and worked with most of the property preservation companies. The pay is 30% below any standard anywhere. For these reasons there will always be huge turnover therefor training will be a constant for all the new vendors and wasted money.
Posted by | Monday, February 27 2012 at 4:32PM ET
I think it's funny that you talk about smart phones, but Safeguard does not use that technology.
Posted by | Tuesday, February 28 2012 at 8:28AM ET
To Avery Construction: Please contact me directly (800-852-8306) and I will be happy to review what the issue is in Vendor Web.

To Dave: Safeguard has inspectors using smart phones now and will be releasing it widely soon for that network. Likewise, work is being done to allow our vendors using Vendor Web the opportunity to use the same technology.
Posted by | Tuesday, March 27 2012 at 1:20PM ET
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