What are you doing to prepare for increasing skilled labor rates?

I am bullish on this topic which, is why I talk about it so much.

Maintenance repair rates are increasing and will continue to do so exponentially over the next 3-5 years.

  1. Repair contractors point to finding qualified people as the number 1 obstacle to running their businesses.
  2. They have to pay people more to attract them to their companies.
  3. As this problem increases…and it will for a period of at least 3-5 years…smaller repair contractors who aren’t able to command higher rates and pay hire wages are going to go out of business.
  4. This decreases the supply of contractors and increases demand…and rates…even higher.

Why am I telling you this?

Because the maintenance industry is too reactive. Because this reality is going to cause problems for those who don’t see it coming. And…because it’s going to affect your job as a facilities manager. It’s going to affect the skills you need in order to be effective. And…it’s going to affect the partners you choose to work with.

And you will need partners who act as an extension of your company instead of like a vendor.

You need partners to…

  • Compile new information daily so you aren’t blindsided by a setback.
  • Collect and analyze repair data. How will you find the root problems…the operational and personnel problems…that are leading to your maintenance issues.
  • Negotiate on your behalf…and I’m talking about more than pricing. You will have to negotiate to get your jobs scheduled first. You will have to negotiate to get someone to take you on as a customer. You will have negotiate on payment terms.
  • Look out for your best interests. When vendors believe they can get away with something, they will. What are you going to do when someone is overcharging, but they are your only option to get the work done immediately? Meanwhile, there are 4 other jobs under the same situation.

You have to start changing your mindset. You have to start looking down the road. Don’t wait. Stop reacting. Because if you don’t change, someone will come along who will.

Also published on Medium.