Reliability is the most important deliverable for your facilities maintenance team. It’s your product: the resulting state of your building after everyone has done their jobs right. Once you start thinking about reliability as your service or product, you’ll unlock ways to improve it, making you more valuable to your stakeholders and your work more rewarding.
Every product needs a customer
In facilities maintenance, your stakeholders are your “customers” who each rely on your building for different things: Tenants want their building to reliably be safe and comfortable – the lights and a/c need to work. Property managers rely on their buildings to be in good shape so they can attract and retain tenants. Building owners and investors depend on their buildings to work effectively (for a long time) so they can deliver a reliable return.
Ultimately, every FM pro’s responsibility is to ensure their facility runs safely and efficiently. But remember to consider each customers idea of “reliable” and how that may mean slightly different things to different types of customers.
How do you improve reliability for your customers?
First of all, you MUST stay on top of routine maintenance – Buildings are just like anything else: when you take care of them, they last longer and perform better. Routine maintenance is the foundation of reliability.
Be diligent with maintenance and stay on schedule. Discovering an overdue PM after a breakdown won’t go over well.
Be thoughtful and flexible – Instead of mindlessly completing tasks because “that’s just how we do things”, think about how each timely and well executed maintenance task you perform improves your product, and in turn your team’s brand – your brand is your reputation so build it and protect it.
Embrace “Predictive Maintenance” – Take what you know about a service or piece of equipment to predict issues and bring reliability up a notch. Review your maintenance records to predict trends in equipment behavior, like rising boiler stack temps when it’s time for cleaning or degrading HVAC performance when filters start getting dirty.
Use this info to adjust for more efficient maintenance schedules or inspections. If your boiler stack temp is rising too soon before a maintenance call, you’re wasting energy and stressing the equipment. Increase the service frequency and increase the boilers’ reliability. Use the same process to reduce premature service costs.
Be careful here, study your data, and make incremental changes. You don’t want to cause what you are trying to prevent.
Be proactive and resourceful – Do some research, get some training, be open minded. Learning about your facility is an easy way to be more engaged with your work. Keep up with your industry. Read trade publications. Try new systems and styles. Learn from your mentors.
Get good tools – Yes, good hand and power tools are the best, but technology tools can help you improve reliability as well. LogCheck is a digital logbook that increases reliability by eliminating paper log sheets, promoting collaboration among users, and distributing results to decision-makers. It might be worth taking for a test-drive.
Make sure you’re “the dependable one”
When people rely on your building, they’re really relying on you. The more you’re able to improve your building, the more you’ll can also build your reputation as someone who can be depended on. In this industry everybody knows somebody and you want people to know that you’re for real.
So do what you can to improve your “product” of reliability for your tenants, property management, building owners, and yes, for yourself too.
A digital maintenance could be a simple way to make your building more reliable. Using a paper log sheet routine maintenance system? No log sheets at all? If you want talk about how you can be a hero for your customers and make your team look good while doing it, click below.