— By Jason Menser —
Knowing the right people in 24-hour facilities management helps improve the overall flow of business and maintenance concerns.
Building maintenance is a part of sound building management. It raises the property’s total value, boosts user experience and removes potential safety hazards. Routine and planned maintenance is beneficial and preferable, but not all maintenance problems happen at an ideal time. Therefore, a dedicated resource is vital to keep things running smoothly and mitigating risk.
Around-the-clock maintenance facilities management improves the lifespan of the building and its components, aiding in the prevention of future issues. However, improper equipment maintenance, such as commercial HVAC maintenance, also leads to excessive power usage, resulting in outages and overheating circuits. According to ENERGY.GOV, “Commercial buildings consume 13.6 quads of electricity (35% of electricity consumed in the U.S.).” The highest drivers of that consumption typically revolve around or include the HVAC system.
Lack of routine maintenance causes systems to fail faster, mainly when other unpredicted occurrences such as an act of nature occur. For example, currently, Texas is experiencing a heat wave testing the Texas power grid and HVAC fleets. The high temperatures are causing an unprecedented strain on units, especially those lacking routine maintenance.
Why Facilities Management is a Nonstop Need
Without a good management team, the safety and satisfaction of tenants, patrons and your “brand” are at risk. Integrated facilities management is a full-time, nonstop necessity for multi-site operators. Businesses have working hours when they are open to clients. Maintenance issues can arise at any time.
Even routine procedures occur after hours, such as night workers prepping the building for the next day of business. The world never stops, and neither does facilities management.
What Can Go Wrong Often Does So at the Most Inconvenient Time
Planning scheduled maintenance, such as a pre-summer HVAC checklist, is proactive and preventative maintenance. The building is frequently examined and maintained by the facilities management team to avoid significant problems in the future. In addition, many repairs and issues are avoidable with the implementation of scheduled maintenance. These issues include but are not limited to age-related roof leaks, mildew, safety risks, pest infestations, clogged pipes or drain lines, and inefficient HVAC systems that may be avoided with routine maintenance.
Proactive planning helps to protect the health and safety of building occupants, team members and guests. Even if there is no current issue, maintaining critical equipment and all other building components is essential for avoiding issues and extending the useful life of equipment, maintaining the value of the structure and its assets.
A Lacking Network or Plan Results in Higher Costs
Lowering the repairs and maintenance costs are significant reasons to start planning, preventing and establishing a preventive maintenance program. Unfortunately, that is only possible if the maintenance network is alive and well. A successful network is a vital component of quality service. According to ACHR News, “Most of the ingredients that make a successful tuneup and outdoor unit service visit break down to doing the usual things well and efficiently and finding little things to do that distinguish the company’s service. Given the integrated nature of this maintenance visit, some advice extends beyond the outdoor unit.”
On-demand services necessitate immediate action, incurring higher costs and fees. This can entail making after-hours and overnight repair calls, hastening the shipment and delivery of components, and postponing other tasks and customers to meet maintenance needs.
Established Partners Have a Network With On-Demand Assist
Support services with a partner with extensive experience ensure demands are completed professionally and competently. Facilities managers can handle the stressful nature of the job while providing a professional experience. An integrated facilities management (IFM) partner can cross-identify issues, leverage resources to react promptly and solve the problem as quickly as possible.
A professional partner has a network of established resources (i.e., service providers) to help with on-demand and urgent maintenance issues. An established network means that if one or more service providers are busy, the partner can find other experienced service providers in their network. This creates less stress for the multi-site owner, allowing them to focus on other priorities.
That Added Value and Peace of Mind Means Getting Back to Usual Operations
The added value of a service partner ensures the business can get back to normal operations as quickly as possible without interruption of the day-to-day tasks. For example, a retailer that has an HVAC problem can lead to high temperatures. The increased interior temperatures lead to unsatisfied and uncomfortable customers and compromise the retailer’s “brand.” This damage to the business’s brand affects the retailer’s profitability. These are all things to consider when developing and implementing a maintenance plan.
Expect Disruptive Events Within Your Facilities and Establish Partnerships That Can Help Mitigate Risk
Lacking a maintenance plan is detrimental to facilities management. Ensure that you choose a provider with an array of experienced and vetted service providers in their network, proficient skills and adequately trained for emergency and routine maintenance, and customer service that exceeds all others. Extending the life of all building assets and critical equipment will not only leave a greater satisfaction with guests and team members but also improve the overall RO and reduce risk.
Get more from your budget by outsourcing your facility’s maintenance concerns. Stay ready as disruptive events will occur. Establish proven partnerships for your facilities management.
— Jason Menser is the executive vice president of strategic initiatives for Manasquan, New Jersey-based SMG Facilities. For more information, visit www.smgfacilities.com.