Brady Blog- Trends and Talk

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Boiler Service Provider

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Looking for a new boiler service provider? How do you select the right provider for you? Asking the right questions during your search can help you find a long term partner that can keep your facility running and efficient.

steam plantSafety First:  Compare service provider safety plans. What steps does the company take to ensure their technicians and your employees stay safe? Do they have a safety program that offers regular workplace safety training? How many days they have gone without an accident? Are they willing to abide by your facility’s boiler safety plan, or any specific safety policies and procedures that are unique to your facility?

Manufacturer’s Representative: Are any of service providers also a manufacturer’s representative?Having arelationship with the manufacturer gives these companies an advantage because they can stay up-to- date on the product line, and technicians can receive training on specialized and new pieces of equipment.

Technician Education and Experience: Are the technicians trained to work on your equipment? Did they receive training directly from the manufacturer or did they learn on the job? Technicians that receive training directly from the manufacturer are educated on special features on the equipment, and have access to the manufacturer for support and other resources.

Reliability: Selecting a boiler service provider can be a long term commitment. By choosing a provider with years of experience and ties to the community you will be more likely to select a partner that will be with you for years to come. Where is their closest office located? You may want to consider a company with an office within a 100-mile radius of your location for a quick response time if unscheduled service is needed. Will you have an assigned technician? Having the same technician for the majority of your scheduled preventative maintenance visits allows the technician to become familiar with your equipment, facility, and staff. How many of the provider’s technicians are trained to work on boilers and burners? The size of the heating service group is especially important to ensure there will be coverage to fulfill the requirements of the service agreement.

Preventative Maintenance Program: Now review the preventative maintenance agreements from each provider. Does each agreement have a clearly defined scope of work and a predetermined schedule? A clearly defined scope of work will establish the service expectations between you and the provider. Are there benefits to being a preventative maintenance customer? Will you get service priority or a special service rate if repair work is needed? Finding a service company that has benefits for their preventative maintenance customers can save you time and money when unscheduled service is required. Also ask about the provider’s approach to truck stock and parts availability. A stocked truck reduces the overall project time by avoiding the need to make multiple trips to your site with parts.

Pricing and Cost: How can you compare service providers when the cost of service can vary? Though a lower price on a service agreement may save you money at first, a higher quality provider can save you money in the long run. Service agreement pricing should always be compared to the level of experience, skill, and safety record of the boiler service provider. The consistency of the regularly scheduled preventative maintenance inspections need to meet the service recommendations of the equipment per the manufacturer, and the documentation of these visits should meet the needs of your facility and organization.

Referrals and References: How did you hear about the service provider? Were you referred by a colleague or through a professional association? What service providers are being used by businesses similar to yours? Often times when a provider does work for a specific type of facility- hospitals or schools for example, they are more in tune to the needs of the organization and their business objectives. Do they have a list of references? An experienced provider will present you with a list of clients with similar facilities and needs. By asking questions on the professionalism, performance, and customer service of a provider you can gain insight into how the service provider manages their business and supports their clients.

Doing a thorough analysis in each of these key areas before selecting a boiler service provider can help ensure that you select a long-term partner that can maintain a safe, and efficient service plan for your facility.