April 15th, 2019, Minneapolis, Minnesota:

Are you wrestling with too many fire and security system vendors? Businesses with multiple locations and property management companies in particular, know the potential and very real vendor problems I’m talking about.

With multiple vendors who don’t communicate with each other, there is no cohesive system or process in place to make sure all locations are kept in compliance. Substandard reporting and difficult access to important documents when you need them is another common issue. Oddly enough, facilities managers don’t always collaborate with purchasing managers and important documentation can get missed. And finally, with no single point of contact with a vendor to coordinate your service, inspections and maintenance, there is usually chaos with no accountability. This is when mistakes and omissions can happen and affect your business.

Yes, I know that fire and security vendors have different specialties—fire alarms, sprinklers, extinguishers, monitoring services. But those specialties all have one objective: Making sure your business, employees and customers are safe.

I like to think of vendor management as a wrestling team. Say what, Steve?

While wrestling is an individual sport on one level, it’s also a team sport with a head coach. The coach and staff guide team members in physical conditioning and techniques, such as throws, take downs, and pins. The points each player earns in his match are part of the team’s overall score.

Now what would happen if each wrestler had other coaches, an equipment manager, a trainer, and a statistician? They would focus only on their own athlete, ignore the rest of the team, and communication would without a doubt break down. What would happen to the team? Well, it wouldn’t be a team. (And the mat would be crowded!)

In the same way, safety and security systems operate separately: alarms warn of danger, sprinklers put out fires, cameras deter burglars. When there are multiple vendors, each cares just about their specialty; they’re in their own little world. Cooperation and communication with other vendors is zero, and your business ultimately suffers.

Unorganized Chaos

What happens when you have multiple safety and security services vendors? Plenty,
and none of it good!

  • You’re overspending on services.
  • A higher risk of liability results in higher insurance premiums.
  • There’s a greater risk of broken equipment.
  • The risk of unauthorized access to buildings grows.
  • Getting a quote for pricing is difficult when you don’t have access to accurate
    records and previous reports.
  • Any of those issues listed above can take your systems down.

Turnover in vendor employees is also an issue many don’t think about until it happens to them, which is usually in the spring. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 51 percent of employees are actively looking for a new job or watching for openings during spring. There’s something about rising temps that prompts people to wake up from hibernation, dig out from 40 inches of snow, and look around at their situation. Suddenly their life is not what they’d hoped it would be and they leave for greener pastures.

If that isn’t enough, the average employee stays at a job for 4.6 years, according to Tanda, a workforce technology company. Just when you “break in” your vendor rep, they leave and you have to start over again, wasting time to get the new rep up to speed with your needs, and you have to adjust to their way of doing business.

Overwhelmed and Under-Served

I know of two businesses that were drowning under multiple vendor issues. A community organization with 26 locations in the metro with its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, had over 60—count ‘em, 60 different vendors.

A property management company with 73 properties was looking for a particular quote for fire alarm services. The company didn’t have access to their current status because they had too many vendors and no centralized location for data storage where records were easily accessible. That spelled disaster because when buying and selling properties, fast access to fire and security records is a must-have. Plus, code compliance proof is essential—you can’t just guess.

The Solution

So what’s the solution to protect your business and operate at optimal effectiveness? Bundling. Brothers Fire & Security combines fire protection, security and monitoring services into a streamlined solution all under one roof. We bring a convenient, integrated approach to mission-critical services that saves valuable time and money. Bundling lets you concentrate on other things—like running your business.

Bundling brings continuity and quality control to businesses with multiple locations. Critical issues of compliance, communication, pricing and recordkeeping are coordinated. Bundled property management services support the quality of life that’s important for residents and management alike. Service and inspections are coordinated instead of numerous vendors causing multiple inconveniences throughout the year.

Let’s Get Ready to Bundle

The first step in bundling your services is to call Brothers Fire & Security. We’ll evaluate your current vendor structure and design personalized solutions to coordinate and streamline services and inspections.

  • Inspections and documents are centralized and managed efficiently. We have all
    the reports you need at your fingertips and can get them to you immediately.
  • Compliance is proactive at the front of the line, not reactionary at the end.
  • We respond ASAP in an emergency.
  • You save 20-30 percent in multiple-vendor costs.
  • A dedicated account manager is a single point of contact.

Back to our wrestling metaphor. Instead of having multiple “coaches” bring chaos to the mat, Brothers Fire & Security builds one cohesive team. The two companies I talked about above now use our bundling solutions to coordinate their services, which resulted in unified winning teams. In other words, they pinned their multiple vendor opponents to the mat.

About Brothers Fire & Security

As one of the premier providers of fire and security solutions in the Upper Midwest, Brothers Fire & Security strives to build long-term, value-added relationships. We work with business owners and property management companies, as well as all types of public institutions to solve fire and security needs. By taking advantage of our integrated bundled services, many of our clients find that they can save 25-30% on their safety services, annual inspections and more. From a single location to franchises throughout the region and the country, our integrated approach saves our clients valuable time, money and stress. We provide fire protection systems, security systems, fire sprinkler systems, fire alarm systems, 24-7 monitoring, fire extinguishers, card access and kitchen hoods.