Responding to COVID-19: One national retail bank updated its maintenance strategy with nightly cleanings and new HVAC filters
As the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the U.S., companies deemed essential were allowed to continue business—but there was nothing usual about it. One national retail bank worked to limit face-to-face interactions at its branches by revamping its approach to customer service: restricting the number of people allowed inside, leveraging drive-through options, and requiring appointments. And immediate changes to its maintenance...more
When you run a business, your facilities service providers are an essential source of support. Every location goes through storm and stress—and your providers are there for you through it all.
They make it possible for you to continue serving customers. They give an important kind of help you need to continue growing your business.
Especially in hard times, it’s important to do what you can to help your providers succeed....more
As more businesses have started offering curbside pickup and as more consumers are realizing its convenience, curbside pickup is proving itself as a trend that is here to stay.more
Your facilities budget is shrinking. Your maintenance staff is being reduced. There’s always uncertainty in business, but this feels a step above the norm.
And through it all, you’re being challenged to do more with less.
As states prepare to more fully reopen, customer experiences—and your facilities—will take the spotlight. Customers are joining you in this uncertain time. Like you, they’re concerned about safety and stability....more
Running a business means making lots of choices. When it comes to facilities management programs, designing one can feel like encountering a crossroads. Self-managed programs. Outsourced programs. Hybrid programs. They all have their benefits and challenges—your facilities program can be just as unique and tailor-fit as the rest of your business.
Whatever your game plan, scalability matters. When business needs change, your facilities...more
We are currently facing one of our mightiest struggles, and COVID-19 is changing our world as we know it. But we are learning a lot from this pandemic, including our need to connect and the importance of being creative and adaptable.
The same can be said for businesses, especially retailers. As we continue to navigate the current state of our world, we must also look to the future. What trends do we anticipate coming out of this...more
The benefits of implementing a deep cleaning program are many, and if you do it now, you’ll be ahead of the new expectation of clean coming out of coronavirus.
It’s up to us—companies like yours and maintenance providers like SMS Assist—to do our part in preventing the spread of coronavirus in our communities. So we’ve been having a lot of conversations with our customers around deep cleaning programs.
Our day-to-days are changing. New trends are emerging. But business will continue to move forward. Earlier this week, SMS Assist’s president of residential services, Adam Love, and a panel of property management experts discussed how they are navigating the new normal during a webinar hosted by REI INK magazine.more
With more and more customers flocking to your essential business, your employees are busier than they’ve ever been, manning registers, greeting and assisting guests, and restocking shelves. That means they’re not always able to disinfect a shelf, sweep the floor, or take out the garbage. But now more than ever, your customers and employees are looking at the cleanliness of your stores.more
If your locations are temporarily inactive during this time, it’s important to do everything you can to make sure they’re prepared to reopen at the first available opportunity.
Even when your locations are experiencing minimal or no foot traffic, your facilities will continue to change as time goes on. Problems that were minor or insignificant before the closure might deepen and present serious obstacles. If your stores go unattended...more
Essential businesses are currently seeing a surge in traffic during a time when most of the world is slowing down. But with increased visitors comes new challenges, including the need for new and more frequent maintenance services. To keep up, you need providers who are not only able to perform work, but who are equipped with necessary defenses. Now is the time to ensure your provider network is stronger than ever.more
Every business has focused its attention on how to properly ensure the safety of employees, customers, and partners in light of the challenges presented by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Maintaining smooth operations during a time like this isn’t easy. Even if your business is temporarily closed, there are core facilities services you should maintain to ensure health, security, and optimum functioning.more
As businesses remain open to deliver essential goods and services during this uncertain time, it’s important for providers who are working at these properties to remain aware of protocols that can help keep their team and customers healthy. The guidelines below can bring you peace of mind that you’re doing everything you can to keep your technicians safe, so that you can continue to serve your customers and communities.more
Whether you manage a network of convenience stores or are the regional facilities director for essential healthcare treatment locations, controlling the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is of critical importance.
Here are a few simple steps you can take with your HVAC units to protect your physical locations, your employees, and those you serve during this global pandemic:more
During these unprecedented times, it’s understandable if you have some uncertainty around the appropriate measures to take for the health and safety of your customers and employees. The 10 items below will give you actions you can take to maintain cleanliness and ensure best practices are being followed, so that you continue to provide the services your communities are relying on.more
Do you find yourself wondering how you should be prioritizing maintenance services in the face of coronavirus (COVID-19)? Take comfort in knowing that even in this time of uncertainty, there’s actually so much you can do to help. These interior and exterior services can impact much more than your brand perception—implementing them can help protect the health and safety of your customers and employees.more
In honor of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting a provider who is defying stereotypes and making her mark on the facilities maintenance industry. Elaine Huffman has been the majority owner of Tropical Air of Central Florida since 2012, when she and her son—a licensed HVAC technician—took it over from a provider who had previously worked on her home. Four years later, Tropical Air joined the SMS Assist network of providers. While...more
In honor of Presidents’ Day, we sat down to talk leadership with SMS Assist President of Residential Services Adam Love. He leads more than 370 members of SMS Assist’s residential department and brings more than a decade of experience as a business owner and leader at companies like Invitation Homes and Opendoor.more
Marc Shiffman added the title of president to his chief financial officer role in January—his promotion was recently mentioned in Crain’s People on the Move section. During his nine years at SMS Assist, Marc has gone above and beyond in all aspects of the business, including accounting, corporate finance, human resources, legal, marketing, compliance, training, and operations.
In honor of Presidents Day, we sat down with Marc to talk...more
We are so excited to announce that we have opened a new office location in Naperville at CityGate Centre to accommodate our continued growth! We chose Naperville for the new office because of the city’s robust business environment and highly-skilled workforce. Our new home has space for up to 400 SMSers. We’re starting with about 30 customer-service roles in October. Interested?...more
Everyone knows HVAC expenses can be challenging to measure and manage. Understanding your true costs for service and repairs, installations, and energy can improve your ability to manage the long-term total cost of ownership. Confronting these financials will help organizations develop and manage a budget objectively. Below are some common cost components of an HVAC system and the strategies to optimally measure and manage them.more
Commercial flooring is extremely durable, but many different factors can affect how long it lasts. The geography of the location, dolly transportations, gondola movements and consumer traffic all put the floor at risk for damages. It’s vital to have a reactive plan in place when the unpredictable happens because commercial flooring doesn’t show signs when it is near the end of its life. When accidents and damages occur, a store manager can...more
Heads-up! Keep your PRSM login information handy as we dive into the ways a facilities maintenance partner simplifies floor care.
Sixty-nine percent of nationwide retailers schedule recurring floor care services at more than half of their locations, but a majority of stores don’t have the necessary support they need. The execution of a...more
We all know the sense of regret in the pit of our stomachs after making a shortsighted purchase. Facility executives who are the decision-makers behind snow removal programs can also identify with buyer’s remorse when a snow season ends and they have to pay the operational and financial costs for inadequate snow removal services.
Facility executives should change the way they select their snow removal plan if they want to prevent...more
Do your facilities have a snow and ice escalation plan? Creating a strategy for different storm levels that cover all the bases will provide peace of mind for everyone involved: facility managers will know their next steps and service providers will understand what is expected of them. However, creating a strategy takes planning along with trial and error.
We understand managing multiple facilities during snow and ice season is...more
The unexpected nature of a snow season can leave a facility maintenance executive on edge when approaching a new snow season. Huge blizzards can strike a facility and leave budgets unbalanced and facility executives scrambling to find last-minute service providers. If a disastrous snow season occurs, frustration can arise and poor decisions are made, which is why a fresh approach is necessary when entering the next snow season.
The National Restaurant Association 2018 show is in Chicago for their annual conference in May. During this conference, facility professionals and vendors get together, share their industry knowledge and build relationships.
Restaurants rely heavily on maintenance vendors to stay operational. However, the maintenance process must be effortless, timesaving and reliable to run a lucrative restaurant with service providers. Facility...more
A snow drought may seem like a positive for your operations until you realize the lack of snow can negatively impact your facilities’ landscapes. Snow is a natural insulator for the ground and the roots that grow within it. If temperatures drop below freezing and your landscape has no coverage, you might be at risk for a bleak spring.more
Tracking facilities data is a complicated, end-to-end process that takes time and organization to complete. Collecting information alone does not mean you will get the best results. The key is to maximize the time and effort you put into collecting data, which is why implementing Business Intelligence (BI) is so important.
As 2018 begins, retailers need to get in tune with the seasonal trends. While every location is unique, we can all agree that landscaping is beneficial for business and costly at the same time. To kick-start the year, here are a few trends in the facility maintenance industry, and the methods of obtaining them.
Before you know it, another season will be here to put your HVAC program to the test. For those who want to create the best HVAC program for their company, you must be willing to investigate why maintaining your HVAC is so costly, examine the health of your current HVAC assets and understand what you can do to drive up your maintenance and energy savings. Prepare for the upcoming seasons by asking yourself the following questions.more
Surprisingly, the typical R&M operation includes a large amount of data. Simple data, (e.g. vendor names) and rich data (e.g. work order details and pricing) can be equally challenging to organize. When managing thousands of locations, it only gets harder to use data to scale up and manage effectively.
So, where should we start? Well, effective data utilization begins in the overlooked task of recording your FM results in an...more
Many national retailers started small and grew their store’s footprint over time. However, as portfolios grow and locations age, the need for maintenance becomes exponential. Over time, this growth and aging exceeds a retailer’s ability to keep up, so they add a head count and consolidate vendors. In this situation, we see that the growth pace outruns the ability to hire, which creates new problems.
As these problems arise,...more
We’re all familiar with the harsh reality of the liabilities associated with the slushy and icy conditions of the winter. From a snow plow hitting an employee’s car in a parking lot, to a customer sliding on ice right into a drive-through menu, winter brings plenty of risks that are inevitable. However, you can lessen the blow of these facility maintenance hazards with the right preparation.
Here are 3 ways to mitigate the risks of...more
The best companies stay ahead of the curve by predicting and preparing for the worst. The winter is inevitable, so a pragmatic and effective snow removal plan during the season should also be on ice. Before it’s too late, ask yourself the following questions:more
As competition rises among convenience stores, retailers have been on the lookout for the perfect opportunity to tie-the-knot with the foodservice industry. Traditional convenience stores may offer a smaller variety of accessible snacks for consumers on the move. However, adding fresh, made-to-order products, ready-to-eat sandwiches and salads to their inventory will give consumers an added reason to shop their brand.more
At SMS Assist, the retailers we work with see the benefits of integrating mobile technology into their FM tasks every day, but where does the rest of the industry stand? How do retailers from around the country feel about the adoption of mobile technology into their facilities maintenance workflow?
We partnered with the PRSM Benchmarking Committee to find out. At PRSM2017 National Conference, PRSM retailers had the opportunity to...more
Any retailer knows that in-store temperature matters a great deal to customers due to its affect on their overall shopping experience. Imagine trying on new clothes while perspiring in your dressing room or browsing a store while shivering. Retailers are privy to the fact that most heating, ventilation, air conditioning (HVAC) equipment breaks down at the worst imaginable times. Situations like these are caused when the equipment’s...more
For the average person, lighting is no big deal. Flip a switch. Change a burnt out bulb. That's about it. It's a completely different story for retailers, where lighting literally sets the stage, the mood, and even focuses customer attention on predetermined locations and products.more
The long-term value proposition of asset management combines asset optimization, strategic decision making and a higher return on investment. In the narrowest sense, it monitors costs and supports peak asset performance. Broadly, it facilitates vital document storage and accessibility, maintenance and repair cost management, vendor management and regulatory compliance.
Here are three ways asset management helps your business use...more
At SMS Assist, we’re always looking for the best talent to bring to our fast-paced, high energy, and rewarding work environment. Our core values of entrepreneurial spirit, teamwork, passion for service, and integrity guide our hiring process and help us find the right individuals to continue building one of America’s fastest-growing technology companies.
We’ve come to find that Veterans at SMS Assist are some of the strongest...more
The Internet of Things is transforming the in-store experience. From smart thermostats that improve energy use, to smart shelves that detect low inventory, the entire retail experience is going through a transformation. These upcoming advances in technology can also help mitigate risk down the road.
With facility safety, the IoT is like a watchdog. If a refrigerator door is left ajar, a light in the parking lot goes out, glass...more
Indirect costs are often overlooked and are not applied back to direct ticket costs because they are less tangible than hourly rates and trip charges. This makes them harder to calculate for the total cost of ownership. However, without evaluating these indirect costs, you lose transparency to accurately calculate the financial impact on your business.
Below we’ve outlined a few of the indirect operational costs for facilities and...more
Brand extends far beyond a logo. The best companies have a strong experiential component that relates to the way they use their space to make you feel specific emotions as part of their brand experience. Think about the best-in-class restaurant brands and how they set an exact tone and feel the minute you enter the door. The way a restaurant looks and the way guests feel during their dining experience affects brand arguably more than a...more
We’ve entered an era where ratings rule. Whether it’s a Yelp review of a restaurant or a driver’s score on Lyft, consumers are now accustomed to having the instant satisfaction of applauding excellent service with five stars and reporting bad service with less. In fact, 62% of businesses now use a customer experience analytics reporting system (...more
Digital shopping is only part of the average buyer's journey. The physical retail environment is still going strong, which is why so many brands maintain retail buildings and some online-only retailers are now opening brick-and-mortar stores.
In a physical store, atmospheric details aren't just nice, they drive business.
The sights, sounds, and smells of a physical location are cogs in the customer experience machine. With a...more
The hard-dollar bottom line of preventive maintenance is this: It has a demonstrable impact on the budget.
Preventive maintenance can prove its ROI if facilities managers know which metrics to analyze. These stats vary by facility, and they aren’t always cut-and-dried. For example, even soft benefits, such as customer perception and satisfaction, carry weight, according to...more
Although the Patriots and the Falcons are the teams on the field playing for the ultimate NFL title, SMS Assist knows who the real MVP is during the big game. The facility maintenance team has a lot of preparation and elements to consider before they can call one of the biggest sporting events of the year a “win.”
Many stats are analyzed prior to Super Bowl Sunday, so we’re following suit. Here’s the play-by-play of all the facility...more
How do you know if your facilities maintenance program is running efficiently? From a high level, it’s hard to tell. However, if you know the right KPIs to measure performance against, it is easier to monitor the efficiency, effectiveness and overall success of your facilities maintenance program. Keep reading to learn more about the four key performance indicators you should be tracking in 2017 and beyond.
Over the last few years, investing in Single-Family Rentals has been a great opportunity for many institutional investors, but at the same time, the nature of the SFRs and characteristics of its residents provide unique challenges, especially from the property maintenance perspective. Here are the top three facilities maintenance challenges for an SFR portfolio to consider this year:
Work order avoidance is the process of preventing costs associated with work orders by actively troubleshooting maintenance requests. When done correctly, work order avoidance eliminates expenses associated with work orders such as trip charges, service charges and more. This not only avoids waste for your business, but can also increase your resident satisfaction.
For example, if a resident calls in and reports that their A/C is...more
In this post you'll learn that in order to calculate the total cost of ownership of a facilities maintenance management program, you have to analyze and consider the overhead because that is where there is an opportunity for improvement.
You're Asking the Wrong Question
To the untrained eye, the facilities maintenance arm of a business appears to be a black hole of cost. The costs of these FM...more
Mayor Rahm Emmanuel paid a visit to the SMS Assist headquarters in late June, a company he learned about over five years ago. At that point, the office staffed less than 50 employees.
Much to his surprise, the technology company’s headquarters has expanded to three floors of the iconic John Hancock Center and is chock full of over 500 bustling workers, many of whom have started careers at SMS Assist within the last 12 months....more
On June 16th, SMS Assist’s CEO Mike Rothman received the EY Entrepreneur of the Year® 2016 Technology Award in the Midwest category. The award recognizes outstanding entrepreneurs who demonstrate excellence and extraordinary success in such areas as innovation, financial performance, and personal commitment to their businesses and communities.
Mike was selected by an independent panel of judges during a black tie award ceremony held...more
To fuel our continuous growth and market expansion, we rely on the support of investors that value innovation as much as we do. Prior investors such as Pritzker Group Venture Capital and Insight Venture Partners shared our vision and have empowered us to transform the facilities maintenance industry and develop our world-class technology platform, One by SMS Assist.
Today we are celebrating the next wave of growth for SMS Assist....more
SMS Assist is proud to share that our CEO, Mike Rothman, is a finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Recognized as one of the most prestigious business award programs in the country, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year awards celebrate the country’s most innovative business leaders.
One of SMS...more
As one of the largest, most widely recognized retail facilities management events in the country, PRSM National Conference is always an exciting event for our sales and operations team alike; and this year’s conference did not disappoint.
A Decade of PRSM Success
2016 marked my tenth year as a PRSM association member and my first year exhibiting at...more
From improving your customer experience to responding to unanticipated asset repairs, having a facilities management plan in place is crucial as you evolve your business. With SMS Assist, facilities management planning is simple, and our professional and extensive Affiliate network ensures that help is only a click away. Our facilities management platform goes even...more
When it comes to business expenses, many companies overlook the importance of preventative maintenance and don’t concern themselves with repairs until there are visible signs of damage. While you'll spend less money in the short run, ignoring preventative maintenance and waiting until issues become problematic to address them is costlier in the long run.
For example, you might be tempted to ignore a roof that's in poor condition,...more
At SMS, we are known for a lot of things: our technological advancements in the facilities maintenance industry, our start-up spirit, even our location in Chicago’s iconic John Hancock Building. But there is one unknown that is asked by virtually everyone we meet…
“What does SMS stand for?”
This ambiguous acronym is always a glaring query in the minds of prospective hires, clients and Affiliates alike. You...more
You’ve cleaned out your closet and scrubbed your floors, but what about your company’s spring-cleaning checklist? As warmer weather approaches, now’s the time to think about landscaping services for your facilities.
Below are a few reasons why landscaping services should be a top priority for your exterior facilities management plan:
1. Landscaping Can Help Make a Positive First Impression