Facilities Management 101

It’s true that preventive maintenance is more common in facilities with lots of machinery or potential safety hazards, but preventive maintenance can play a crucial role closer to home.  Facilities maintenance in apartments, condominiums, hotels, and schools is imperative for the wellbeing of the property, as well as those that inhabit it. 

Is Facilities Maintenance Really Necessary?

While on the outside it may not seem like your building needs to be watched too carefully, there are several hazards that could pose risk to your property if left unmonitored.  At best, it could be a minor annoyance or financial inconvenience.  At worst it could be a serious health or safety threat that leads to injury or death. 

No matter your facility, there is always some type of risk or safety hazard involved. 

What is Facilities Maintenance?

Facilities maintenance is all maintenance activities that occur inside and around commercial buildings.  This could include servicing capital assets, commercial appliances, or areas.  This could include maintenance inside of buildings (HVAC, equipment, etc.), building systems (plumbing, electric, etc.), infrastructure (roofing, windows, furniture), and areas around the building (landscaping, parking lot, etc.).  There are tons of maintenance strategies that can be deployed by facilities owners, but by far the best one is to use a CMMS in order to keep all work orders, schedules, and preventive maintenance organized.

What Should Your CMMS be Capable of for Facilities Management?

CMMS in facilities management will have a different use than in a manufacturing setting, but it will still perform the same functions.  Facilities will most often take advantage of an equipment module (learn more about CHAMPS’ equipment module here). This allows for asset tracking, as well as potential parent child asset configurations.  Other functionality that would be essential for your CMMS to have is PMs (preventive maintenance).  You are able to set daily PMs, weekly PMs, or set a PM for a custom amount of time!  Your PMs could be anything from taking out trash to changing air filters.  Your CMMS should also be able to perform not only the preventive maintenance, but corrective maintenance as well.  If an unexpected problem is reported, maintenance professionals can view the work request and fix it.  Click here to for a demo on the full list of capabilities your CMMS should have.

Different Types of Facility Management

While there are many different ways to understand facilities maintenance, one of the more popular strategies is to break them down into two categories: hard facilities management services and soft facilities management services.  The difference between the two are based upon level of priority.

Hard Facilities Management Services

Hard facilities management are services that are directly relate to the physical facility.  They are typically a part of the building and usually required by law.  Hard facilities management services include the following:

• Structural maintenance

• Plumbing

• Electricity

• HVAC

• Preventive maintenance

Soft Facilities Management Services

Soft facilities management are services that improve the wellbeing of those that use the facilities.  While they may not be as much of a priority as hard facilities, they are still highly important.  Soft facilities management services include the following:

• Waste management

• Grounds keeping/landscaping

• Cleaning

• Security

Should I Outsource Facility Maintenance Work?

While there are both advantages and disadvantages to in-house and outsourcing, your decision will truly depend on the type of facility you run.  Also, it’s important to keep in mind that this does not have to be one or the other.  Many businesses will choose to do a combination of the two.

In most cases, it may make more sense to hire an in-house team for maintenance work, as they can become familiar with the building and are usually quicker to respond than a contractor.  However, there are also instances where hiring an outside team to perform maintenance work can save time and money, especially if you are short staffed.

How to Optimize Your Facility’s Maintenance

While there is no one size fits all way to facilities maintenance management, there are steps you can take to promote better maintenance.

1. Use a Facilities Maintenance Management Software

Using a maintenance management software will streamline your facility’s organization and save you money.  A quality CMMS system will help monitor maintenance work in an around your building.  It allows for easy work orders and optimized scheduling without the paperwork that only adds clutter.  If your CMMS has a mobile component, that will make your maintenance even easier.  Your crew can have access to vital information instantly.  They can also report anything unusual they see along the way with just a snap of their camera.  This creates a far better picture (pun intended) than simply filling out a paper report. 

2. Make the Switch to Preventive Maintenance

This is the number one problem with maintenance management.  Some businesses owners still wait to fix after it is already broken.  It costs far less and takes far less time to invest in preventive maintenance than to attempt repairs once something has broken down.  This is true across the board, no matter the type of maintenance.  The more prepared you are now, the less chance of major accidents later on.

3. Make Sure You Have a Clear Path Forward

As with almost any operation, communication is key.  Make sure you and your team understand their individual responsibilities, as well as how this newfound focus on maintenance will impact the group as a whole.  This is especially important if you choose to adopt a CMMS system.  One way to make the transition easier is to allow your maintenance professionals a say when deciding on the type of CMMS to implement.  Allowing them to sit in on any demos or training is key to your CMMS’s success.  After all, they are the ones that will be using the system the most. 

It is also important to keep track of your maintenance goals during the process.  Make sure you take note of the current amount spent on maintenance tasks, as well as the amount of time spent on maintenance and scheduling maintenance tasks.  You should be able to see measurable changes soon after implementation.  If your new system isn’t saving you time or money then it is time to re-evaluate.

Try it Out!

The only way you’ll be able to appreciate a smooth transition to maintenance management is to try CHAMPS CMMS for yourself.  Contact debby@champsinc.com or call (352)-795-2362 to set up a demo showcasing the full functionality of our CMMS.  From colleges to hospitals, our customers keep choosing CHAMPS because it is effective, efficient, and convenient.  Empower your team to have the tools they need to keep your facility in check.

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