Resource Center

Service Response Work-Flow

Many lessons have been learned over decades of providing service to and interacting with facility managers.  Perhaps the easiest step which will minimize frustration by all parties is to clearly define the service call work-flow.  IT IS IMPORTANT that a facility’s service vendors make clear and COMMUNICATE their preferred service response work-flow; this will enable a facility manager to either incorporate or request revisions to the work-flow.

Presented here is a sample service call work-flow which a number of Dash Door facility manager clients have elected to utilize.  There are many variations of this workflow; however, the basic elements of communication remain.  This sample will not work for every facility; the important point is to have the discussion early with whatever type of vendor you are considering bringing aboard your team.  Defining expectations formally will serve as a guide to evaluate performance and save time.


Service Call – 24 Hour Dispatch

The backbone of a solid service / maintenance work-flow is a 24 hour dispatch capability.  If this is not required by a particular facility, it is important to have responsive dispatch during the required working hours.  Redundancy is key to any dispatch.  Multiple dispatch staff must be sharing the SAME data.  Service dispatch software integrated with the office network will ensure all are working form the same data.

Technical Expediter

While not necessary for some trades, the inclusion of a technical expediter for after-hours calls will ensure that a service technician has access to in-house technical support.  This will often times mean the difference between a completed after-hours call and a call that must be revisited after a temporary fix has been employed.  Two heads are better than one and the experience of a seasoned technical expediter does not cost the end-user added labor on the service call.

Work Order Generation

Work order generation may begin with a formal work order being issued by the facility being served.  In any case, the service vendor will create an internal work order via the in-house dispatch / Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.  Location history and existing equipment warranty information may all be accessible via mobile applications available to today’s service technician via smart phone or tablet.  The home office and service technician are working from a single work order via cloud /  mobile network communication.  Less data entry yields less human error, saved time / greater efficiency.

Technician Dispatch – 24 Hour

Technician dispatch is as easy as sending the work order to the desired tech via the dispatch board at the home office or any number of mobile management tablets that are also in the field.  Integration of vehicle GPS adds another level of competency in being able to “survey the battlefield” and make intelligent “tactical” decisions regarding technician competencies and equipment they possess on their particular vehicles.  Intelligent vehicle routing for on-the-fly work order assignments also saves time by considering existing traffic conditions.  Technicians are able to be dispatched quickly without multiple phone calls and requests for directions.

Site Arrival Notification

Many software packages with GPS integration permit an imaginary boundary around the facility within the software called a “geofence”.  When a work order is assigned to a particular tech, and that vehicle crosses into the geofence, a text and/or email may be automatically sent by the software to the facility manager(s) to notify of the service provider’s arrival.  The clock starts ticking – this ability helps with time and material contracts in terms of tracking technician movements.  Vehicle movements can be tracked on a large college campus for example with work status updates “In Process”, “Need Parts”, “Work Complete” being set by the technician via mobile device.   It’s a brave new world!

Parts Acquisition

If it is found that non-stock parts are required (or parts are not present on the responding technician’s vehicle), a “Parts Needed” status will be communicated to the facility manager representative.  Communication of this status is important as is noting the lead-time of the required part.  Any circumstances where parts are delayed by a manufacturer for example would be communicated to the end-user – it is always good to make those unsolicited “we haven’t forgotten about you” phone calls.  Even with the technology available today, a service provider should understand that a phone call beats an email any day when it comes to communicating unforeseen delays or scheduling issues.  Technology should be a tool – not a crutch.

Problem Resolution

The resolution of the problem at the initial service call or after a part has been ordered and installed, data collection for the service call is included in the history of the work order, location and equipment installed.  Many service provider software packages permit access to this data through a web-based customer portal which shows outstanding invoices and location based history.

Site Exit Notification

Similar to the geofence capability in the site arrival step, the same geofence may be employed to signal the exit of the responding technician to the end-user.  Service call status may be elected to be communicated at this step rather than an intermediate communication step while on site.  Many facility manager’s would rather receive a single notification upon exit along with the status of the call.


Again – the sample work-flow above is just that, a sample of steps which works for a number of our existing clients.  There are many small variations preferred by other end-users.  The main point again is to communicate the expectations and arrive at a work-flow that is acceptable and useable for both the service provider and the facility.


Service Response Work-Flow – SAMPLE Download

Daily Safety Checks

While Hold Harmless clauses may appear in many automatic door PM / service contracts, it should be noted that the automatic door professional is not typically on site 24/7 to address deficiencies as they appear. Tampering with equipment by on-site engineering or pedestrians is not and cannot be the responsibility of a door professional contracted to provide quarterly inspections, for example. Daily safety checks are the responsibility of the automatic door end-user. Instructions on how to conduct standard safety inspections are provided by your AAADM provider at door installation in the form of a sticker on your door (typically on door frame / jamb) and a user manual. If you do not have instructions on how to conduct safety inspections, you may contact your AAADM service provider for information.

IT IS IMPORTANT that any facility be knowledgeable on how to conduct such automatic door inspections and make it a standard practice to conduct them prior to the start of business EVERY DAY.


In order to aid facility managers and end-users in their daily safety checks, Dash Door has recently made available reissued versions of the 2009 AAADM educational videos. These videos provide clear instruction on how to conduct daily safety inspections on standard automatic door types.

Previous posts pertaining to this topic include:

The Importance of Door Safety Checks

Automatic Door Maintenance

 Automatic Door Preventative Maintenance / Risk Management

Facility-wide surveys conducted by an AAADM certified qualified firm should be the starting point in initiating a long-term preventative maintenance (PM) / risk management program.  Negotiation of an automatic door PM program with your automatic door professional entails the assessment of the existing equipment in relation to ANSI and ADA code requirements as well as AAADM standard of practice recommendations.  Before regular PM inspections and serve may be conducted, existing automatic door openings must be brought up to standards as a “baseline” starting point for your contract.

A facility cannot expect the door service professional to hit the starting block at a  400 door facility with 200 doors not meeting code requirements and AAADM recommendations.  Repairs required to bring these openings to standard would undoubtedly occur within the first term of the first year of inspection cycles.  These one-time costs always “muddy the waters” by showing what appears to be standard maintenance costs in a budget that was intended for the same.  The PM budgets for following years are overestimated and some facilities leave funds on the tables when they realize that the PM budget for year two was overestimated because of year one’s one-time costs.


It is suggested that initial PM surveys be broken out as a separate proposal / purchase order prior to the formal commencement of the PM / inspection contract.


This gives your automatic door professional the opportunity to survey the site and log the condition / equipment type at EACH OPENING.  Hold Harmless clauses in standard facility contracts would appear to indicate that the service professional has had an opportunity to visit, assess and make repair recommendations for each opening proposed under a forthcoming PM / service contract.  Allowing your door professional to address any deficiencies found prior to the execution of a PM contract provides a starting point for both the door professional and the facility seeking a contract Hold Harmless clause.


When requesting a facility-wide existing condition survey, be sure to ask your automatic door professional for the following in order to facilitate future communication :


Qualified Surveys

  • Maintenance surveys are conducted by AAADM certified personnel
  • Final review of conditions made by Special Services Group for code compliance
  • Option to provide Preventative Maintenance Service during recurring surveys scheduled each year (includes equipment adjustment and wear item replacement)


Organized Summary

  • Point by point inspection checklists from both a maintenance and risk management perspective are utilized and summarized in a final report.
  • Recommendations are made based on level of importance with respect to code compliance and day-to-day maintenance of wear items
  • Both written report and sortable summary MS Excel spreadsheet / database table can be provided so that you may view the results in any way you choose (sorted by entrance numbers, issue type, etc)
  • Compliant entrances provided with final report noting compliance and inspection by door professional as the certifying party for your record


Facility Managers are encouraged by Risk Management professionals to utilize the services of qualified and certified entrance solution providers in order to mitigate the associated litigation risks and costs associated with using “leaner” or no such services.

Dash Door’s well-received Facility Manager Education Series topics have been previously presented in a classroom setting as requested by a number of our South Florida Facility clients.

Some years ago, some of our more forward thinking health care system and higher-education facility managers and procurement staff had requested regular on-site classroom presentation on a number of topics which they wished their site engineers / staff to be more well-versed.

While Dash Door offers these technical information / education sessions at no cost to existing clients; not every facility may be able to host opportunities for various reasons (time constraints, employee shift logistics, etc).

In response to client requests, Dash Door is proud to announce our online Facility Manager Education Series.  Dash Door will distill our classroom discussions into “bite-sized” posts on our website Resource Center.  Facility Managers may conduct their own in-house information sessions using materials presented in the Dash Door Technical Articles section tagged as “Facility Manager Education Series”.  Any topics with printable Reference Tools will be tagged in the Reference Tools section of the Resource Center as well.

Our goal is to offer educational opportunities and resources to the facility management community as a whole.  Dash Door’s almost 60 years of experience relative to our six service groups offer expertise across door, hardware and glass/glazing topics.  Our motivation is to improve communication between clients and their door / glazing professionals.  When we speak the same language – we get more done!

Part I – Automatic Door Preventative Maintenance / Risk Management

Part II – Automatic Door Daily Safety Checks

Part III – Anatomy of a Service Call

Stay tuned for regular future posts to this series.

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