Facility Dude

The Eleventh Day of Maintenance: Planning Ahead

By FacilityDude
Dec 18, 2013

Maintenance, Facilities Management, Asset Management

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#11 The holidays are all about planning ahead. You plan to salt your sidewalk before snowfall to prevent people from slipping. You also plan a place to hide presents in order to prevent your family from opening them too early. The same is true of your facilities. While an effective planned maintenance program may seem pricey, you don't have to put it on your wish list in order to get one. Implementation is easy and will ensure that you increase efficiency and lower facility maintenance costs.

Lasting until the new year

There are enough benefits for planned maintenance that you could thread them on a string and use them as a decoration on your Christmas tree. If nothing else, you'll extend the life on many of your mechanical components by maintaining them before they start to develop substantial wear. Planned maintenance for mechanical operations is no different than watering the tree everyday or checking to make sure the car has the right fluids before driving in the snow. Fewer major repairs and replacements means money saved in the long run.

Making people happy

This season, you want to spread some holiday cheer. Well, planned maintenance brings a bag full of facility tenant joy. For example, by checking the operational capacity of your HVAC system regularly, there will be less of a possibility that it will break down. The less it breaks down, the fewer number of times you'll receive work orders about offices that are too cold or too hot.

Planned maintenance also means guaranteeing occupation satisfaction in big and small ways. It means checking for holes in the roof before it snows. You can implement planned maintenance measures by checking to make sure that food is put away before there is a bug infestation. Maintenance measures even include putting out mats on rainy days so that people don't slip.

Boy with binoculars All of these things seem like small kinds of planned maintenance, but in each instance, there is the possibility of liability. A collapsed roof, a build-up of mildew, the spread of disease or a perilous fall could harm occupants and bring the facility under scrutiny. With a proper maintenance plan, however, you can do your job properly and guarantee that occupants can go about doing theirs.

The importance of balance

An effective facility maintenance plan maximizes safety and minimizes costs. To attain the perfect plan, you must strike a balance between preventive and reactive maintenance. Leaving maintenance work for only after equipment breaks down is reactive, and will be incredibly costly. On the other end of the scale, spending every waking second of the day implementing preventive measures is also expensive. That would be the equivalent of checking to make sure that the lawn ornaments are still lit and safe by walking outside every 5 minutes and inspecting them. It's a poor use of time, especially if you've already taken proper safety prevention steps, such as using a surge protector and making sure not too many electric cords are plugged in at once.

Developing a proper balance between planned and reactive maintenance starts with implementing common sense preventive measures. It also includes having a well-trained and equipped staff that can make emergency repairs. For either kind of maintenance, you will want to create an efficient schedule for routine equipment checks as well as an organized database for keeping track of work orders. Maintenance management software can help with all of this. Pretty soon, you'll be able to keep better track where your energy and resources are being spent, and create better preventive plans in the future.

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