Why You Need Facility Management Software: Part 1

How do you track and process work requests at your facility?

Legal Pad?

Excel spreadsheet?

Post-it Notes?

Cross your fingers, then hope and pray?

I would like to explore other options for tracking work orders, service history, equipment inventory and condition, capital improvements, defective equipment log, vendor log, on-site maintenance staff assignments...and so much more.  We will take the next several weeks to investigate the needs of most organization to track work requests and work orders as well as being proactive in tracking capital improvements to assist in your budgeting process.

To get started, let's develop some common language...here are some words and phrases that will help us in this discussion:

1. Work Request: A request from within your organization that someone is asking to be addressed (i.e. It is too hot in our classroom, the copier is not working, the toilet is clogged, etc....sound familiar)

2. Work Order Process: The system/process that you use to facilitate the inspection, review, acceptance and fulfillment of the Work Request.

3. Scheduled/Preventive Maintenance: Items that reoccur on a regular basis (or should occur on a regular basis).  These can include Preventive Maintenance items (i.e. HVAC servicing, changing filters, systematic replacement of light bulbs, certification of fire extinguishers as well as regular maintenance on elevators and other systems with moving parts) as well as other items that need to be scheduled and tracked on a regular basis (i.e. housekeeping items, yard maintenance, mulch in the plant beds, window cleaning, carpet cleaning, back-flow preventer inspection, etc.)

4. Capital Improvement Needs: These are items that are identified as having a predicted life cycle with a predetermined or expected end of its useful life/service. These would be items that would require capital funds to replace or significantly modify in order to extend or start a new Life Cycle (i.e. Replacement of HVAC equipment, paving in the parking lot, replacing or re-coating roofing materials, replacement of floor coverings, etc)

5. Vendor Management: Who does work on your facility?  Is it performed by on-staff personnel...outside vendors...volunteers...your kids (HA HA)?  Regardless of who does the work, you need to assign the work and then follow up on the completion of the work. There needs to be clear and definitive communication to all personnel that are performing services for the organization including assigning of work, tracking of the work, issuing the proper paper work, warranty fulfillment...and so much more.

6. Equipment Cataloging and Tracking: Your facility has HVAC equipment, light fixtures, plumbing fixtures, water heaters, kitchen equipment, IT equipment, office equipment, yard equipment, cleaning equipment...and the list goes on.  So...what is your process for tracking the manufacturer, make, model, components, warranty remaining, quantity of items, service history (when was the last time this was serviced, repaired or replaced) and other aspects associated with this equipment?  Do you currently have a system/process to schedule work orders and/or preventative maintenance to each specific item?  Do you even know the make and model number of all of your equipment...if not...why not?

7. Inventory Control: If you have restrooms, you consume a certain amount of paper products.  If you have have light fixtures, you will have bulbs that need replaced.  How do you know if you have enough inventory at any given time? Inventory control, especially of your regularly consumed items, is a critical facet of your facility management initiatives.

Now that we have started to develop a  common language, we will explore how a process and system can be developed to help you with managing your facilities.  To keep this all in perspective let's not forget that your facilities are large complex commercial structures...with lots of very expensive moving parts that need to be maintained, serviced and repaired.  These facilities have been ENTRUSTED to us...so let's do our part to steward them.

More to come next time...