Having been a sales consultant for over 15 years, there is one phrase I have heard thousands of times: “Your proposal is more expensive.” Usually I know my competition and I am aware of this before I even walk into a meeting. So why not just turn and walk away? Because I am confident that I represent the better value. I understand that managing costs is important in any business, but price should not be the deciding factor and it is my goal to show you why.
In any industry, including Fire Protection, value comes in many forms. Reliability, attention to detail, customer service…and the list goes on. All of the aforementioned forms of value directly relate to unrealized cost savings. Unrealized cost savings are exactly why value is more important than price. (Read that last sentence again, it’s an important one!) Let’s take a closer look at how unrealized cost savings increase value in Fire Protection.
Reliability is one of the most underestimated forms of value. If your service provider is consistently late or doesn’t show up at all, you know about it. But have you taken into consideration that you have been paying your staff to wait? Sure, you are getting a low price for the service but your labor costs are going up, diminishing, if not eliminating, any cost savings you had. In addition, you now have to coordinate and reschedule with the provider, taking up more of your valuable time. Being able to rely on and trust your service provider can definitely be an unrealized cost savings.
Now, what if you consider attention to detail. Are you getting the attention to detail that you are paying for and deserve from your Fire Protection provider? Attention to detail is everything from cleaning your exhaust system thoroughly to making sure your fire extinguishers are charged and ready when needed. One of the biggest unrealized cost savings in your kitchen comes with having a clean exhaust system (fan, duct, filters, etc). When your exhaust system isn’t running at its maximum efficiency, you could be wasting hundreds of dollars to heat and cool your facility. And if that wasn’t bad enough, additional stress is being put on your equipment, potentially shortening the service life and costing you serious money. Below are some additional attention to detail items that can help you increase your unrealized cost savings and add value:
- Does your roof have grease sitting on it? Grease is detrimental to roofing surfaces and can cause leaks and require expensive roof repairs.
- Does your hood cleaning provider check your fan belt at every cleaning to ensure it is in good condition? Your fan going out in the middle of service will cause your restaurant to fill with smoke. Just a couple unsatisfied customers can eliminate any cost savings you may have had.
- Has your kitchen suppression system been inspected and tested by a trained professional to ensure that it operates when you need it most? Your first line of defense to protect your investment from fire is your suppression system. Fires cost a lot of money!
- Have your exit lights been tested to ensure that they work properly in the case of an emergency? Increased liability risks can cost you money in the form of lawsuits. No matter the outcome there never seems to be a winner when lawyers are involved.
- Do you get a detailed service report from your service provider? You can’t correct an issue if you don’t know about it. Issues that are not addressed can snowball into larger problems that cost you more money than it should have in the first place.
- Are your kitchen exhaust and fire suppression systems up to code? Many municipalities are being more diligent about enforcing fire codes. Lack of compliance could lead to expensive fines.
But ultimately, having a fire protection provider that is reliable and pays attention to the details means nothing if they can’t help you when you need it most. Customer service is the all-encompassing unrealized cost savings. A service provider that is responsive and wants to go the extra mile to help will save you money in the long run. Every minute you spend having to solve a problem takes your focus away from running your business and making money.
At 360 Services ensuring that our customers are getting the best value is very important to us. We don’t want to be the low cost provider, we want to be the best value. Being reliable, paying attention to the details, and providing top notch customer service is our goal every day. Remember that when you are selecting a service that the lower price is quite possibly the more expensive option. Go for the best value!