Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 9 No 3 Contents FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 9 NUMBER 3 89
MAINTENANCE + ESSENTIAL SERVICES |
Conversely, maintenance can also be
overscheduled, putting a strain on labour and
outlaying funds that don't need to be spent.
There are many problems stemming from
inattention to preventative maintenance.
Reactive maintenance, which is the
tendency to only address maintenance
when something like a breakdown occurs,
can often be approached with a 'quick fix'
mindset, leading to temporary or slapdash
repairs. These, in turn, require extra labour
when the asset inevitably fails again, as well
as incurring potential extra costs due to the
need for equipment replacement that could
have been prevented.
In addition, there's a chance of
productivity being lost when resources
are allocated to frequent maintenance
tasks as a result of reactive maintenance;
budget reduction can occur due to high
maintenance costs, leading to personnel
numbers being cut; and morale might
decline as a result of job losses and
unreliable assets. Once a cycle like this
begins, it is at risk of becoming perpetual.
So, what steps should you take in your PM
program to avert such a cycle in your facility?
First, take inventory of your building and
its assets. You will need to identify all
equipment and items in the building, and
compile a list including descriptions:
manufacturer, location, installation/purchase
date, warranties and operating procedures.
Include serial numbers, parts suppliers, and
anything else you can think of that might
be useful when the time comes to perform
maintenance on the item. If you have an
existing building asset inventory, check to
ensure that it's up to date.
Once you have an exhaustive list,
determine what types of maintenance
should be carried out on each item, and
how frequently. Most equipment
manufacturers will suggest a schedule
for maintenance; cosmetic maintenance
needs less frequent attention, while large
plant might need weekly inspections and
servicing. Anything with a pump, motor or
engine will require regular attention, as will
items that might affect hygiene or safety
within a building, such as dishwashers,
HVAC systems, elevators and anchor points
for abseiling works.
Consider that, for some equipment, it
may be more cost-efficient to let it 'run to
fail'; meaning that the asset is deliberately
allowed to run until it breaks down. This is
an effective cost-management strategy if the
cost to maintain the asset outweighs the cost
to replace it.
When your maintenance needs have
been assessed, work out a budget for the
PM program. You will need to take into
account labour and parts for each item's
maintenance requirements -- you should
have a fair idea of the amount of work
needed for each maintenance job based
on tasks that have previously been carried
out. Otherwise, consider getting quotes to
inform your budget.
Rather than scheduling maintenance
in an ad hoc fashion, prepare an annual
maintenance agenda that covers each asset,
scheduling maintenance intervals according
to the frequencies that you decided upon
earlier. In order to cut costs, try to ascertain
whether maintenance visits for individual
items can coincide with those for others,
creating time and cost efficiencies. When
complete, your schedule will give you an
overall idea of annual maintenance spend,
and you can then determine your preventative
With each maintenance job that occurs,
keep records. Make notes of the trades
employed, the time taken to complete
the task, the type of maintenance carried
out, and the cost incurred. This can be
added into the inventory to create a vital
database for future maintenance, as well as
a record of spend so that cost efficiencies or
inefficiencies can be identified.
If you follow this process, the incidence of
reactive maintenance is likely to drop, and
costs along with it.
Preventative maintenance software
is a great investment, and there are
many options on the market. PM
software offers everything from basic
data management, such as inventories,
maintenance calendars and work order
tracking, to the capability to upload
your building floor plans and drawings,
allowing you to manage your assets and
equipment using a customised interface.
Some software allows multiple users
to share data, while others will source
suppliers and labour, process payments
and track jobs in real time.
You will need to take into account
labour and parts for each item's
-- you should have a fair idea of
the amount of work needed for
each maintenance job based on
tasks that have previously been
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