CONFLICT OF INTERESTS? No thank you! Clients and contractors join forces
Customers in the field of services expect the fastest possible response times and comprehensive documentation? Contractors, on the other hand, want to take as much time as possible when planning upcoming orders? Only what is absolutely necessary is documented? We made these claims before our panel discussion – BUT: Are they true? That is exactly what we were able to find out during our panel discussion with experienced industry experts. The result of the one-hour conversation: Communication is THE success criterion for a successful collaboration. The industry professionals also agree: Wowflow supports and facilitates the communication process significantly.
In the following blog post we summarize the most important findings for you. We are also happy to provide you with the video recording of the discussion.
Client vs. contractor?
When asked “Is there really a conflict of interest between the person who uses a service and the person who performs it?”, opinions do not differ. Both Mr. Fischer from the property management department and Mr. Nikolic, who, as managing director of a cleaning company, embodies the contractor side, agree. The focus of the cooperation is on the interests of both parties. In order to guarantee a long-term cooperation, the union of these is particularly important. Nikolic: “For me, trust is the top priority. I want to offer my customers the best possible solution and I also like to be flexible.” This is reflected in the drafting of the contract. Annual contracts that can be terminated on a monthly basis are common.
Of course, on the other hand, the price also has to be right. A much-discussed topic, especially in the cleaning industry: the large range of products means that companies undercut each other in the highly competitive market. In the end, the customer has to decide whether quality should come before quantity or vice versa.
One or more service providers?
In property management in particular, properties and their owners are very individual. For this reason, it is difficult for a company like Ludwig Hallas Immobilienverwaltung to choose a service provider. “Of course we don’t want to force anything on our homeowners. That is why the facility services companies we work with are diverse. For example, we currently employ between 30 and 40 cleaning companies. Depending on the needs and wishes of our customers, we look for suitable partners,” says Fischer. He also sees this approach independent of the quantity of buildings to be managed.
In the case of Manuel Jarc, technical director of Forstinger Austria, things are a little different. “We have trade-specific companies at hand that cover all 88 branches in the country, if possible. It is easier for me to have just one contact person than several – the effort is less. We would need more manpower to coordinate with several companies. ” If this is not possible in some cases (e.g. electrical engineering and installation), Jarc naturally also consults regional service providers. In this context, Nikolic also points out that as a Viennese company it is not easy to look after customers throughout Austria. For contractors, the travel times alone are in no reasonable relation to the earnings for the service. As an alternative, new branches would have to be opened or subcontractors would have to be worked with. But who has to guarantee the quality of this subcontractor? The client. And that can get tricky.
Conclusion: Communication is essential
Both the panelists from the client and those who accept the orders agree: Communication is the top priority when it comes to response times and documentation of services. It is a decisive factor for a successful cooperation. Wowflow does not play an unimportant role here. Our maintenance software simplifies the exchange between work colleagues as well as between the client and the client.
When asked by Andreas Daoud, Managing Director of Elumine Elektrotechnik, what a property management company would like from a service, Fischer replied: “I would like to be informed as soon as the order has been completed. This is very important.” In the case of smaller companies in particular, there is usually direct contact with the contact person, which is why both Fischer and Jarc prefer them as partners. Daoud sees it this way: He and his team of nine are always available. They are on site in 1-1.5 hours to remove any disruptions that arise – and when the right employee is on vacation, the boss himself moves out.
Communication also counts – or especially when it comes to looking after large properties. Ivanis, who was the technical manager of the Donauzentrum in Vienna for several years, attaches great importance to the fact that the service provider knows the building. This is the only way to ensure that response times are not delayed. The same applies to residential real estate: If the caretaker is provided with a company apartment in the building, acute problems can be responded to particularly quickly. Fischer recommends this approach in order to also ensure the satisfaction of the owners.
Finally, we would like to thank all speakers and participants in the panel discussion. We really appreciate this exchange among industry professionals and promise: This was not the last!
- Martin Fischer, Ludwig Hallas Immobilienverwaltung GesmbH
- Andreas Daoud, Elumine Elektrotechnik
- Mica Nikolic, Sun Shine Nikolic Gebäudereinigung KG
- Drazen Ivanis, Wowflow CMMS
You are welcome to watch the recording of the panel discussion (in German) above.