No two days are alike when you are managing buildings. Stuff breaks and tenants complain. Lighting fixtures dangle. Not enough heat (or too much heat).
Whether you’re a Property Manager or Building Engineer, “rolling with the punches” is part of your job description. Quick on your feet, with a wide-ranging knowledge of building operations, you've designed, administered, and enacted maintenance plans that solve the problem.
This spontaneity and uncertainty of building maintenance will never go away. Your fast response time will always be a reason why your tenants love having you around. But, what will make them, and your clients, appreciate you even more is the behind the scenes work you do to prevent problems from occurring in the first place.
So in this post, we will share ways to streamline your Preventative Maintenance plan and Daily Rounds program. That way you can slow the flood of work orders and spend more time strategizing about how to improve your operational efficiency.
Streamlined Preventative Maintenance Reduces Operating Costs
Streamlining your preventive maintenance and daily rounds processes will result in fewer equipment failures.
It will also lower operating costs in a few ways:
- You spot problems early — before they become overwhelming and require more expensive fixes or full replacement.
- You extend asset lifetimes — or at least reach the expected asset life.
- You save time — by spending less of it organizing and performing repairs.
So, let’s go over how to streamline your preventative maintenance plan and daily rounds.
Track As Much As Possible
The maxim stands - You can only improve what you track. Therefore, you need a system to track and analyze your team’s performance. Whether it’s in a Mobile App or an excel spreadsheet, you want to track each action you and your crew take during your daily rounds and maintenance work.
When you have this information at your disposal, you can ask questions like these:
- How much time are we spending on average doing documentation?
- How much time are we devoting to preventative maintenance work compared to reactive maintenance?
- Which steps do we routinely miss during our daily rounds?
Answers to these questions will help you spot areas for improvement in your daily rounds and preventative maintenance process.
Analyze The Health of Your Assets
When you have a physical with a doctor, the first thing they pull up is your history. In essence, they are running an analysis on your health. And, using the trends they find, they can recommend preventative health plans. See where we’re going with this?
Building engineers need to do the same thing with their facilities. Besides the current status of your assets, you should also be looking over and analyzing the history of those assets. This will allow you to spot trends and make predictions about the best ways to maintain your equipment, whether it’s a boiler with constant warning signs or an area of sidewalk that seems to be acquiring a new crack every month.
When you have this historical data you can ask questions that will help you create the most effective preventative maintenance and daily rounds plan:
- How many window repairs have we done at 123 32nd street this year?
- How many pipes have burst in building A compared to building B over the last three years? And why is this happening?
- Which readings are consistently out of range?
- Are we doing chiller inspections as often as we should be?
This need to make data-driven decisions is causing a lot of property managers and building engineers to ditch pen and paper for operations technology such as Smartrounds, which allows them to easily capture and analyze equipment data in a mobile app.
Don’t Forget The Lower-Priority Equipment
Most teams devote the majority of their preventative maintenance efforts to critical systems such as safety infrastructure and uninterruptable power lines. While this is crucial, it is important not to neglect your other lower-priority equipment.
“Often, we find that non-critical base building infrastructure, things like HVAC systems, air handling units, fans, rooftop package units, and even sometimes electrical and plumbing systems, are ripe for deferring maintenance.”
And this deferment can be a problem. When these less-critical systems don’t get the routine rounds they deserve, they can catch you by surprise, breaking down and leading to immense costs. For instance, roofing and pavement are areas that often escape preventative maintenance plans, but if damaged, they can be extremely costly.
Fewer Breakdowns Gives You More Time For Strategizing
What sets the best building engineering teams apart from the others is their ability to strategize on how to improve their building operations. Of course, they need the free time to do this — something hard to come by in this line of work. That’s why streamlining is so critical.
When your team has faster daily rounds and more effective preventive maintenance plans, you will spend less time putting out fires and more time brainstorming ideas, bouncing them off of your teammates, and implementing the good ones.
Time to strategize will lead to a more efficient facility management team, and often, a more fulfilling and stimulating work environment.
If you are interested in streamlining your maintenance process with mobile technology, learn more about how Vitralogy can help you achieve that.