Why Your FM Team Needs A Strong Maintenance “Blueprint”

by Jul 27, 2018Preventative Maintenance

With O&M as the greatest expense over the lifetime of a building, the “blueprint” of your routine maintenance plan should be as thorough as your architectural blueprints.

Blueprints convey lots of information about a structure. They can easily share an overview and, as you look closer, reveal the finer details that make a construction project successful.

Take this old gas station project. Note how the style and details in the drawing were built into the structure:

It’s no surprise that with all that good info upfront, the project came out looking pretty sweet. The contractor’s final product met the client’s expectations because good blueprints kept everyone on the same page.

Large buildings need more than just structural blueprints and system drawings to work; they need maintenance. That’s where facilities maintenance (FM) teams come in! Just like the contractor’s product is the gas station, your FM team’s product is a healthy functioning building.

Your routine maintenance plan and the records you collect make up a “blueprint” of how your building runs.

A “maintenance blueprint” provides many of the same benefits that a construction blueprint does:

  • Documentation of the agreed product – Construction blueprints are part of the contract between a contractor and a client. If there were a discrepancy with the construction of the gas station, you’d reference the blueprint. Someone have a problem with maintenance? Your routine maintenance plan can be referenced in the same way.
  • Provides detail and trends – A routine maintenance plan can provide details about how a piece of equipment runs or how it’s maintained. A blueprint conveys details that reveal construction styles, dimensions, materials.
  • A place to document changes – Engineers update blueprints or drawings when changes are made. This could be simple like adding a window or could involve something complicated like piping, HVAC, or wiring drawings. When you want to make changes to maintenance at your building, say adding the gauge readings for a new domestic water heater, you edit the maintenance plan to roll out changes to your team.
  • Investigations – Most of us can’t see through walls. If a structural issue is suspected or a hard to reach part of the building needs inspection, architectural blueprints will prepare you for the job. In the case of an equipment failure or unexplained increase in utility expenditure for example, your maintenance blueprint will have the procedures and historical records to assist your investigation.

Have a good blueprint?

That’s great, you’re ahead of the curve. My advice: invest in a simple digital rounds solution. It is an effective and easy to implement way to maximize the value of your routine maintenance plan. A system like LogCheck provides far more value than its cost, especially for a team motivated to improve.

Good plans yield good products. Bad ones, on the other hand…

A bad blueprint, whether it’s architectural or it represents your maintenance plan, will make a BAD PRODUCT. This wonky shack above may as well have been sketched on a cocktail napkin and sure enough, it’s bad. If someone were to ask to see your maintenance plan, make sure it looks more like the gas station.

Make maintenance a priority before the shack falls down.

Set some time aside to assess your maintenance plan, and do it regularly. Since O&M is the greatest expense over the lifetime of a typical building, it’s worth the effort to do it right.

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