What does your bank look like?
For facility managers and other key banking execs, the range of tasks required in building, remodeling, upgrading, and maintaining branches and admin buildings is long and varied. Today the parking lot may need restriping, tomorrow there’s an expansion for another drive thru ATM. Next month a branch office will need a complete remodel, while another has a roof leak. By winter there will be routine shoveling, an emergency HVAC upgrade, and broken pipes to repair. And occasionally you have to deal with vandalism or even cars that unexpectedly crash into your front doors.
Some of these jobs are handled “in house”, others by hiring contractors to complete the various tasks. Everyone is conscientious about budgets and looking for opportunities to work efficiently. If you do hire someone to handle work orders at your buildings, here are some qualifications that you need to be sure to look for when finding solutions to your facility needs.
Banking is a specialized industry. Your customers trust you to maintain their security in all your business practices. Be sure you hire a contractor that has experience working in a financial institution. Verify that a background check has been completed on any employee that will be in your bank after hours.
Contracts and confidentiality agreements
In a highly regulated industry like banking, customers have every reason to assume their money and their information is protected. Be sure to get confidentiality agreements with each subcontractor you utilize. If you are hiring a general contractor, verify that they require the same security assurances with their subcontractors.
Routine verification of required licensing
Every contractor that you hire must be registered with the state in which the work will take place. Take the time to verify that they have the proper licensing and that the specific licensing is appropriate to the work you are requesting. If you hire a general contractor, make sure they verify their subcontractors’ licensing.
Accidents do happen. Know your institution’s requirements and get a certificate of insurance to verify current and adequate coverages for any contractor that does work in your institution. These policies need to be updated annually. Again, a general contractor should monitor insurance on any subcontractors hired.
A small two to three branch community institution should not have a problem keeping up with managing a small list of contractors. But when is the right time to outsource? That depends on where the value is perceived. Some prefer ‘hands-on’ control with a larger facilities staff. Others see the value in completing projects as quickly as possible with fewer people managing the details and record keeping of every work order and subcontractor. A General Contractor for your maintenance needs can offer benefits that often get overlooked.
Rate negotiations with subcontractors
A General Contractor that utilizes subcontractors for multiple projects has the ability to negotiate discounted rates, passing savings on to their bank customers. Because these General – Subcontractor teams have established relationships built on trust, performance, and repeat business, banks realize the additional benefit of prompt response to standard work orders and unforeseen emergencies.
All phone calls and paperwork go through one centralized dispatch location. All work orders, regardless of scope or trade, are managed through one office. Multiple questions for multiple projects can be addressed with one phone call.
A history of projects and maintenance items can be maintained by location. As facility managers and project managers change positions, the information for the specific branches is consistently maintained.
Project scheduling, supervision
The details of any work order or project are handled from start to finish, allowing facility managers to focus their efforts on more pressing issues. Partnering like this frees managers to administer more projects.
Emergency contacts and procedures
Expect the unexpected. And expect it in the middle of the night. Establishing a relationship with a competent maintenance contractor will give your facility manager the peace of mind that an emergency system is in place.
There’s no denying it. Construction and maintenance projects can be numerous and varied, and the solutions to those projects can be just as vast. The best practice for efficient and dependable execution is to utilize professionals who are focused and experienced in the intricacies of working for financial institutions. With the jobs under watchful control and accountability you are able to manage and advance a prosperous business.
For more information about construction practices unique to the Financial Industry, contact Bob Cross, owner of Lee-Built Construction, specializing in bank construction and maintenance for over 30 years. Phone: 541.688.2042 or email Bob here.