All building products and systems are not created equal. Too often systems are grouped together by function or application. A good example is life safety systems. By a broad definition these systems include fire alarm, security, sprinkler, suppression, nurse call, sound, etc. All of these systems have life safety implications, but their service requirements are quite different. Fire Alarm, sprinkler, and suppression systems are passive systems. Unlike interactive systems like card access, CCTV, HVAC, or elevators, no one is interacting with them on a daily basis. Typically the building operator is made aware for the need for service when interactive systems fail. These failures are typically brought to the attention of the building operator quickly, often by multiple parties. This is not the case with passive systems.
Interactive systems do require maintenance and inspection. Unfortunately all too often building operators are not persuaded to purchase maintenance agreements. A common refrain, “I’ll call you when I need you”. This is not the case with passive systems. It can be too late to call for a repair when these systems fail. The risk is high and the outcomes can be catastrophic. Preventive maintenance is required.
This is an area of service marketing where many firms fall short. They don’t properly enlighten the prospect to the difference between passive and interactive systems. I’ve always made this a major point in my service sales training. I think potential clients, like many who sell building systems, tend to see systems grouped by function. This is another reason why firms need to educate their sales people regarding service sales. There are relationships between systems function when selling systems. They are often engineered to interact. Once installed things change. From my perspective each system needs a unique service solution. It’s the service company’s responsibility to ensure clients understand each systems service needs.