This is the first in a series of posts highlighting critical Action Items that every facilities manager should be focused on always but especially during certain parts of the year. You may learn about them all in the popular ebook, What Every Facilities Manager Should Do Now.
In an earlier post, we explored how facilities managers or anyone else responsible for managing stores, restaurants, centers, buildings or any type of location has to focus on certain tasks during particular times of the year.
Come spring and summer, before you know it, the temps start rising. And when that happen, it’s critical that A/C and cooling systems are in top order. Then come fall and winter, and before you know it, the temps start dropping. And when that happens, you don’t want to find out your heating systems have problems. It’s imperative that all this equipment be serviced properly and regularly as recommended.
Ensuring preventive maintenance (PM) happens as scheduled should be at the top of any facility manager’s responsibilities. But if you spend your time tracking these PM jobs, from scheduling contractors to ensuring the work’s been completed, let alone try to stay on top of all the associated invoices and payments, you risk being inundated with lots of trivial tasks and distracted from where you really should be focusing.
Automating Planned and Preventive Maintenance
Today, the best facilities management software automates much of the planned and preventive maintenance process. It ensures all locations and assets get the services needed, at the times and frequencies required. For example, work orders to maintain HVAC units get automatically created and directed to the appropriate vendors.
This way, there’s flexible scheduling and real-time monitoring, resulting in everything from automated service validation to billing. Most important, environmental problems (from heating to A/C) - and complaints - during the year will be eliminated.
Customers have shared some other advantages from automating scheduled services. One is on the financial side. By having such services set in advance, financial tracking becomes much easier. “I know exactly every penny we’re going to spend each month, on the first of the month,” said one facilities manager I spoke with recently.
Invoicing also becomes more efficient as such scheduled work orders can be automatically opened, closed and and corresponding invoices approved.
A common thread we hear all the time is how automating preventive maintenance enables small facilities teams to manage hundreds of stores. In fact, one retail FM shared how his two person team manages over 1,000 stores - and relying on facilities management software with planned maintenance capabilities is a big part of supporting that.
In future posts, we’ll highlight where other top performing facilities teams focus their efforts during the year, from service provider performance management to contractor-initiated work orders.