We love to advocate for educating organizations regarding what facility maintenance departments actually do and we believe leadership teams need to clearly understand how Facility Maintenance in place impacts its occupants.
We have a strong component for preventive maintenance for organizational facilities along with the proper use of such in today’s ever-demanding space.
As facility management professionals we believe there are many challenges that the facility maintenance department faces while trying to discharge their responsibilities.
Below we have highlighted some of these challenges and possible ways to overcome them for any organization.
The Challenge of Funding
Funding really is the number one challenge in facility maintenance and to overcome this in the best manner possible, it simply requires robust planning.
For an organization that is always limited by the number of funds allocated to the facility maintenance department, it is really based on to fully understand what they do and how they do their maintenance and operation tasks. Part of the reason why funding is a major challenge is just due to the fact that the work facility managers do is unseen.
Everything that people expect whether it’s the staff, a customer or just someone from the general public, from a facility is to have it always to be perfect. They think it just magically happens. That way the snow gets removed in presence of sunlight… the floors are clean when you walk into an office, the lights come on when you turn on the switch, you simply plug and turn your computer on, we all expect that’s the norm.
It’s kind of a double-edged sword for the facility managers because we work in the background and we make things perfect and we continue to make things perfect even with slim budgets.
But what is that tipping point when the facility manager can’t meet the need that is expected?
Some of the complications are that facilities acquired within the last 10 years can easily become obsolete. there’s a lot of the advanced technology used in building systems. What we’re quickly learning is that some of this technology becomes obsolete or it becomes non-supported or defined as legacy equipment in about a decade or a little bit long maybe twelve years and sometimes the lack of manufacturers support for this technology and control systems for example just results in a high-cost upgrade more frequently.
Access control is a prime example.
We are aware of access control doors in most organizations. It is expensive to install but it’s also very expensive to upgrade as well when items become legacy.
2. Technical Know-How
Another challenge in facility maintenance for organizations is hiring and retaining qualified people to meet the need. People that have the skillset that can work on the high technology or new technology components of a facility require just a completely different skill set than what was required to operate a coal boiler or a gas coal boiler some years ago.
So, most organizations lack the resources to hire the trained person to manage, maintain and operate these systems some examples include building automation control sequences. The organization can simply capitalize on outsourcing their facility maintenance activities to the agencies that specialize in facility management like SORS Investment company Limited.
3. Not having a future plan
It’s costing more each year to run maintenance on facilities that are in use because we have to be aware of the impact the activities will have on the users. Many organizations are trying to find a balance with the act of doing what they can, doing the right projects, deferring what they can defer and do what makes sense and that’s why it’s really critical for any organization to develop proper facilities management plans.
Proper processes and properly used resources allocated is another complicated challenge. It takes a lot of time. it’s a relationship between deferred reactive and preventative maintenance. The deferred maintenance category is ultimately a negative impact and that results in reactive maintenance. Doing reactive maintenance increases the cost and it adds to the downtime so it negatively impacts the users. It is a really difficult cycle to get out of.
The goal really is to balance your organization’s repair maintenance, deferred maintenance, and preventative maintenance.
We always recommend to our clients the use of a computerized maintenance management system and if your organization has one, you really need to understand how it works, fully implement, fully utilize and then you really have to train your team with the proper techniques.
Deferring maintenance can cost an organization fifteen times more than what they would have paid if they had dealt with it on time or with preventative maintenance. Ultimately for facility managers and business owners, it’s just as a headache that just doesn’t go away.
The reactive maintenance seam to always finds a way to negatively reflect on facility maintenance department. we don’t like it. it makes us look bad and in reality, the end-user they just expect the normal fully functioning facilities and if one component fails, they really think the organization generally is doing a poor job.
We really don’t like reactive maintenance and it is a fact of life. Organizations have to do the best to stay away from that and try and address facility issues in preventative maintenance.
To address reactive maintenance, organizations need to define goals, set priorities, define a plan and need to implement plans, priorities, and goals on the budget available. or better outsource completely the facility management processes to a third-party agency.
Our goals at SORS Investment company Limited is to maintain facilities that are conducive to our clients and pleasant for the public to visit.
Best practices would suggest using a maintenance management software system for all your facilities that require constant maintenance and even track facilities that don’t so at least you have a history of when it was installed and how it’s being used.
This will help organizations to have proper documentation to allow the whole team keeps up with appropriate scheduled tasks so in summary if you have the hard data to support budgetary needs and requirements it’s a much easier call.