I will start this article by assuming that everybody understand the importance of preventive maintenance on a facility and all the avoided replacement and repair cost that an adequate and well managed maintenance plan can produce for a facility. In simple terms, proper preventive maintenance save big bucks as it is estimated that every dollar spent in preventive maintenance saves four dollars ($4) on capital expenditures due to replacement and repair costs. That being said, various important questions arise when evaluating the necessity of a maintenance plan and guidelines. These are:
That's where a complete and comprehensive maintenance plan and guidelines, and its proper implementation come into playing a major role as part of any facilities management initiative. It doesn't matter if a facility maintenance is performed through outside contractors or in-house personnel. Everybody involved in the process must have a clear understanding of what are the steps, scope, statement of work, frequencies and check points that are necessary in order to make sure proper maintenance is implemented.
Even more important, for facilities that use any type of Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) that produces and tracks maintenance work orders, the information provided in a maintenance guideline is necessary to feed the system and make sure that maintenance performers comply with work checklists and cover all required aspects of maintenance in any particular equipment or area. In other words, when putting out a work order for maintenance without the necessary information or the detailed scope for it, the facility manager is putting the facility and its equipment at risk, as some of the required and recommended work probably won't be performed by the maintenance staff. More over, in outsourced services a contractor could be performing less work than contracted if not directed properly to do the required work.
A comprehensive maintenance plan and guidelines should take in consideration all areas of a facility including equipment, structures, landscape and any other that require any type of maintenance intervention no matter its frequency. Fire protection, and any other systems that require inspections and certifications shall also be included as part of the plan in order to keep close track of their compliance. A complete guideline should include, depending on the type of facility, some or more of the following as applicable:
- HVAC systems and equipment of any type
- Battery chargers
- Water pumps
- Automatic Controls
- Water heaters and boilers
- Air and water compressors
- Control panels
- Drainage systems
- Lighting systems including emergency lighting
- Electrical power systems
- Control valves
- Fire Protection Systems
- Landscape areas
- Other areas and equipment depending on the facility
Every area or equipment of a facility shall be labeled and identified in the plan and shall have at least the following information regarding its maintenance requirements:
- Special Instructions
- Check points
- Maintenance frequency
- A well balanced work schedule per month
The creation of a facility maintenance plan and guidelines requires that a comprehensive assessment of the facility is performed in order to identify all the equipment and areas that will be included in it. In addition, an analysis of the in house personnel and their capabilities shall be performed in order to determine which work will be done by available resources and which will be performed by specialized outsourced contractors. A frequency balance is also very important in order to maintain uniformity in the related expenditures and budget management. A complete scope of work is necessary when requesting proposals from contractors to make sure all the work required is included in the price.
In conclusion, any facility owner or manager that wants to extend the useful life of equipment and structures and at the same time avoid unnecessary capital expenditures in replacement and repair costs shall consider incorporating a comprehensive maintenance plan for his/her facility. In addition to that, a proper maintenance guideline provides the facility manager the necessary tools to supervise and ensure compliance by in-house staff and outsourced contractors, maximizing the investment in maintenance activities. Incorporating such an effective tool into your operations procedures will save you a lot of headaches and money in the bottom line.
If you have any questions or need more information regarding maintenance plans feel free to contact us.
The author, Joaquín López is the President of VPC Building Solutions and VPC Management Group. With an experience of over 21 years in the construction, development and facilities management industries, Joaquín provides consulting and advisory services through strategic and smart solutions development and the implementation of integrated project delivery initiatives.
Sobre el Autor
Joaquín López cuenta con mas de 20 años de experiencia en la industria, participando desde diversos aspectos y gestiones tanto públicas como privadas. Esta combinación de vivencias fortalece de manera significativa su visión y manera de abordar los temas que aquí se publican