Building owners generally view maintenance as a sunk cost. Facilities are often underfunded, which forces building operators to be resourceful, creative, and downright magicians to keep buildings and assets operating. Over time, this lack of funding creates the reactive state that many facility teams find themselves in today. This reactive state breeds a whole host of costly problems for organizations, such as emergency maintenance, higher energy costs, and high turnover rates from staff.
Building operators have the power to leverage maintenance to maximize the value of their facilities. Use the four strategies below to optimize facilities management at your organization and reduce maintenance costs.
HOW TO REDUCE BUILDING MAINTENANCE COSTS IN YOUR ORGANIZATION
1. Improve Your Team Training
Reducing maintenance and operations costs starts with your teams knowing what to do. Your teams need technical training so they can repair equipment properly and complete preventive maintenance tasks, but also training on the type of culture that celebrates proper maintenance and collaboration. Doing regular training sessions may not seem like a high priority, but the more skilled your team is, the less time they have to spend waiting on instructions or help, and the less rework other team members will need to do. To get an idea of where to start, review your team's key performance indicators (KPIs) to see areas that need improvement. Your facility management software's reporting dashboard can also provide helpful insights into what training your team may need.
2. Track Asset Work Order History
History can be boring, just ask any high schooler. But it is vital to making cost-effective facilities decisions. Knowing when and what work has been done on different assets can provide insights into whether an asset should be replaced, identify changes to preventive maintenance schedules, or indicate when to bring in an outside consultant. Without this tracking, you have to rely on your memory or search through mountains of paper work orders which can lead to decisions that cost your organization money. With easily accessible documentation, you see things, like how your team replaced the same motor in your HVAC system three times over the span of a couple months because it kept catching fire (yes this happened!)
3. Automate Preventive Maintenance Schedules
Most facilities teams feel that their teams are "firefighters" and stuck in a reactive maintenance cycle. This reactive cycle can act like quicksand for many teams, where no matter how hard you fight, you keep falling further and further behind. Part of the problem is that when things get hectic, preventive maintenance tasks are almost always the ones to get pushed. It makes sense right? There isn't an angry occupant on the other end or a boss who is hearing it from executive leadership to get that broken equipment fixed. Yet this causes that reactive cycle to continue to spiral as these preventive tasks lead to future breakdowns that end up costing way more to fix in the future. Automating your preventive maintenance schedules in a facility management software can help these tasks from falling through the cracks and keep them top of mind for your team. Preventive maintenance is a proven way to reduce maintenance costs and extend the useful life of your assets.
4. Find the Right Facility Management Software
One of the biggest drains on facilities maintenance budgets can be the training and onboarding of new staff. During the onboarding time, your team has to deal with reduced productivity as new hires are still learning the ropes, while veteran staff have to take time to train the new hires. This can become a real blocker to getting things done, especially if you have had or are about to have veteran staff retiring. If your team is using a facility management software, especially a software that has asset mapping and digitized floor plans, your new employees can quickly learn the ins and outs and routes of your facilities with ease. Your software can also save them tons of time when it comes to looking up critical information, such as any maintenance histories, asset O&M manuals, or special notes left by their team. With the right facility software, new employee training can be cut down from months to weeks and save your department tons of additional dollars in the operations budget.
Looking for more ways to cut costs? Learn how a software solution like AkitaBox can help you reduce maintenance costs and improve the efficiency of your teams.