How to Build the Best-Fit Maintenance Strategy for Your Business

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Piecing together the best maintenance strategy for your business is akin to baking a cake from scratch. While the foundation of the cake stays the same, there are going to be opportunities to make it unique and improve the final product each time you revisit the recipe. Whether we are talking about your homemade cake or your maintenance strategy, revisiting and improving on the recipe will lead to more consistent results. 

Like the special touches of baking a unique cake, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all maintenance plan in the facilities world. Each facility faces unique challenges, whether they are related to the equipment you use or the location of your facility. Your goals, budget, and scope, among other factors, will also have a hand in determining the best course of action for your business. 

But it is essential to get the foundation right. This starts with implementing consistency and scalability in your approach to repairs and maintenance, where everyone is on the same page to achieve the best results. Without this foundational element in place, each repair or maintenance work order tends to be ad hoc, which increases costs and can diminish results. That is, your facilities “cake” will have fallen before you even take it out of the oven.

Below, we explain how these considerations and methods will help you build the best possible strategy to stay within your maintenance budget and improve the efficiency of your team:

Common Maintenance Strategies 

When thinking about spending related to facilities, it can be broken down into maintenance, repairs, and capital expenditures (aka replacing an asset instead of continuing with repairs). Understanding the difference between common maintenance and repair methods is critical to limit wasted spend. In addition, being overly reliant on one particular method will limit your strategy’s effectiveness. Let’s take a closer look:

Predictive & Preventive Maintenance

Predictive and preventive methods work hand in hand, in that they focus on eliminating future problems and keeping money in your pocket. It can be as simple as replacing the seals on windows and doors before they deteriorate. Doing so will maintain your energy efficiency, lengthen the life of your doors and windows, and reduce future repair costs. 

These maintenance methods require visibility into your facility and all of your equipment to help you identify what work needs to be done so you can avoid costly last-minute repairs. Consider this: your HVAC system is a critical piece of equipment to the function of your facility and the customer experience – without regular maintenance checks you may end up having an equipment failure, and an expensive emergency repair or total replacement on your hands. 

Preventive methods are critical to extend the life of your equipment and reduce the likelihood of costly repairs. However, if a surprise does present itself, you can fall back on your reactive maintenance budget. 

Reactive Repairs 

Sudden failures or unexpected damage does happen. So, you need to factor reactive repairs into your strategy and budget, but they should only be used when putting out fires, literally or figuratively. 

If an intense storm damages the windows or doors of your facility, you need to make immediate cosmetic repairs and address the energy deficiency that stems from that damage. The role of reactive methods is meant to supplement the predictive and preventive aspects of your strategy. 

Limiting downtime and reducing costs are the notable benefits of developing a comprehensive maintenance strategy that includes both preventive maintenance and reactive repairs. Finding a balance, rather than solely relying on any single method, is critical. It’s all too common for organizations to wing it and wait until their assets break down before paying any attention to the issue. Without the ability to prioritize repair and maintenance issues, each work order essentially becomes an emergency. There goes your operating budget.

With a firm grasp on the methods that will go into your strategy, personalizing it is the next step.

3 Considerations for Personalizing Your Maintenance Strategy 

Understanding what your business and facilities require to be more efficient and cost-effective starts with the review of four critical aspects of your operation:

  1. The Scope of Your Network

Your maintenance strategy will consist of different elements and procedures if you are managing several facilities in one area, compared to managing a vast network of facilities that span across the country. 

A complex network of facilities will require a multifaceted strategy including many different sets of hands all working in unison. A facilities management software that allows you to manage your repair & maintenance for all locations from a single dashboard is just what you need.

  1. Budgetary Restrictions

Develop a maintenance strategy with your repair budget in mind to maximize each dollar. Look at the successes and failures of your previous strategies to ensure your maintenance decisions are backed by data and don’t strain your FM budget. More than likely, this means placing a heavy emphasis on smart preventive maintenance to limit costly, time-sensitive repairs.

Ultimately, staying mindful of your budget restrictions also reduces the amount of time the team spends on repair and maintenance activities, because you aren’t wasting money or hours on reactive repairs that can be avoided with more consistent equipment maintenance.

  1. Available Resources

The resources you have at your disposal will ultimately set the limit on how intricate your strategy can be. Having access to facility management software will make the human aspect of your strategy more efficient, and executing it to maximum efficiency will be less of a challenge.  

Software solutions simplify processes that require manual data collection and analysis, and thereby enhance the visibility you have into your repair and maintenance activities, across all facilities. It can also, in some cases, actually take tasks off of the team’s plate – take scheduling preventive maintenance or administering invoices as two examples.

Ultimately, the benefits of intuitive FM software are improved efficiency, vendor accountability, and data insights — resulting in smoother operations and effective cost containment.

Final Thoughts

With the assistance of facilities management software and technology, you can exceed the limitations of your budget and solve problems before they present themselves through preventive and predictive management methods.

Your management strategy is what keeps everything up and running. Reducing downtime and improving efficiency will result from a strategy that is built to fit your needs, but it’s not as easy as it sounds! Leveraging the proper methods and utilizing all of your available resources goes a long way to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of your repair and maintenance activities. It may not be easy as cake but you’ll be far better off for it.

Learn more about reducing spend and boosting your strategy by utilizing facilities management software.