You’ve evaluated partners, checked out technology vendors, and found one that feels right for your organization.
Now it’s time to review the contract.
Reviewing partner contracts is an important part of the paperwork process for field service companies, an article on Cisco’s blog explains. Outlining exactly what is included in the contract will serve both parties during the term of the service.
When a customer calls about a repair or service, the field service company needs to have a perfect understanding of their agreements to answer that question. They must have a system that allows them to instantly see exactly what equipment in a building is covered by their own agreement and what equipment is serviced by another agency.
Field Service software needs to be configured to incorporate subcontractors and partners into the workflow. Your software should include a partner portal for them to update call status and timesheet information.
Automatic payments based on pricing agreements save you from creating purchase orders every time a call comes in. If you don’t, prepare to add considerable administration costs to your service contract price, which may not make you competitive.
The Cisco article recommends also considering these three questions:
- Is there exclusivity? There will be for project-based deals, but ongoing maintenance contracts shouldn’t be exclusive in most cases.
- What if you want to cancel the contract? A cancellation fee typically is included in project-oriented contracts to recoup any lost time or resources that were devoted to the project. There often is more flexibility in service contracts.
- What if your partner cancels the contract? Make sure that your partner is the right choice, especially in situations involving remote offices, which is when you’re most likely to see subcontractors.
Source: Cisco, February 2011