Long gone are the days of paper and pencil recordkeeping. The best and brightest facilities managers of today recognize that software isn’t just a necessary evil, but a three-dimensional tool that addresses a range of organizational tasks and data-keeping. These include everything from asset mapping and management, automated maintenance scheduling, work order management, automated reporting, QR and barcode scanning, and more.
Whether you opt for a facility management system (FMS) or a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), it’s key that you choose one that supports maintenance planning, with modules and features that fit your leadership style and bolsters your business. Because, when maintenance planning is done “right,” it can make for a more productive, safer, and more streamlined workplace.
Here are some of the many reasons why maintenance planning should be at the top of every facility manager’s list.
Did you know that, in most situations, reactive or corrective maintenance costs are higher than any preventive associated costs (especially those tracked and implemented by facilities management systems)? In addition to being a long-term cost-saving solution, maintenance planning also ensures that all of the equipment is being used at its optimal levels. By doing this, energy usage can be reduced, thus extending the life of the consumable parts. When preventive maintenance is executed with a careful and strategic plan, you can increase profit by increasing product output, all without adding unnecessary assets.
As mentioned, centralized software provides facility managers with a mapping and management strategy that’s easy-to-use and predictable. It should also be noted that these systems also give facility managers the platforms they need to make swift changes to work processes in a fraction of the time than using traditional spreadsheets and email alerts. Furthermore, maintenance management systems provide transparency and visibility into all aspects of the maintenance operations so that they can see the entire picture of their business, right on their smartphone.
Of course, these systems come with a host of other helpful process-based tools including automated reporting based on scanned facilities asset management tags and labels, which allows FMs to make full use of data sets to improve facility decision-making as a whole.
Ultimately, the goal of maintenance is to maximize the useful life of equipment in an efficient way. Because of this, mid- and long-term planning are required to account for the entire life cycle of each individual asset. Planning also allows facility managers to prepare for end-of-life processes, as well as account for big capital investments like facility upgrades and location history.
Management platforms, coupled with facility asset management tags and other asset tags and labels for your assets, empower facility managers with accurate and up-to-date asset history, information about costs, past maintenance schedules, and other considerations that can impact life cycles. As a bonus, maintenance planning with software is also key for regulatory needs such as audit preparation because all the necessary information is completely centralized. With the right planning in place, your software should automate all alerts that affect the maintenance, life cycle, and auditing attached to each and every asset in the facility.
Maintenance work isn’t just hard to manage without set schedules and budget plans, but it’s also extremely risky. Fortunately, it’s simple to streamline a budget as part of the maintenance planning process as most software solutions offer built-in, and in some cases customizable, tools that work to set goals and keep the books balanced. In a nutshell, creating a maintenance plan makes it easier to schedule work orders, balance budgets, and reserve other resources that are required to keep a facility running in top condition.
With employees, vendors, contractors, and service providers working in most facilities, it’s clear that not every facility follows a straightforward workforce management plan. But, with the right type of maintenance planning in place, facility managers can address the many facets of their workforces, both for in-house processes and those delegated to third-party vendors, in one centralized system that can be accessed any time of day.
Whether you choose an FMS or CMMS, your software should offer automated tools for the management of vendor service-level agreements (SLAs) so that the facility manager can plan for monthly and annual needs. Additionally, direct managers of third-party contractors and other maintenance service providers can be equipped with simplified scheduling that can be agreed upon months in advance. Planning also provides leadership with a comprehensive view of a site, including all staffing and other considerations, all in real-time.
For facility managers, maintenance planning has never been easier. That said, it’s important that FMs embrace both software and strategy. When a plan is fully optimized, the FM is guaranteeing that everything from assets to people management is easy to access, thus always available to improve.