Preventive Measures to Improve Your Facilities

By: Mark Hagan, Director of Operations, Trade Services

In a perfect world, facilities managers would have all the time, resources, money and manpower necessary to craft a foolproof preventive maintenance plan. With this kind of proactive plan in place, they could accomplish all their FM goals and then some: Assets would receive routine tune-ups; long-term projects would stay on track, on time and on budget; and facilities teams would have the bandwidth to act strategically versus tactically.

Sound too good to be true? While having the funds to budget for preventive maintenance is often the biggest hurdle facilities managers face, there are small steps even the most cash-strapped companies can take to become more proactive and less reactive.

Prioritize Your Goals

Before revamping your FM program, it’s helpful to take a step back and assess your priorities first. If your goal is to save on operating costs, take inventory of your equipment and identify which assets could stand to function more efficiently. HVAC systems, for example, require lots of energy—and therefore, money—to run. A preventive maintenance plan that includes routine chemical cleaning of the condensing coils will ensure your HVAC units run less and cool faster.

Focus on Customer-Facing Initiatives

How your facilities look and feel has a huge impact on the customers who walk through your doors. In fact, 1 in 3 consumers will abandon a brand they love after just one bad experience and 95 percent of shoppers say exterior appearance influences where they choose to shop.

Look around and ask yourself: Do your facilities suffer from a lack of TLC? You might not consider a few broken lightbulbs a crisis, but something that’s harmless on the surface might cause your customers to wonder if you’re going out of business. If your carpets look ragged or your parking lot is full of potholes, you might consider engineering a preventive maintenance schedule, complete with automated prompts, that will help you address wear and tear.

Remember the three “S’s”

When you’re uncertain whether a particular project is worth pursuing, remember the three S’s:

  • Sales
  • Safety
  • Security

If the project in question won’t directly improve your company’s sales, safety or security, don’t bother wasting the expense. Keep these priorities top of mind when putting together your next preventive maintenance schedule to ensure you remain focused on initiatives that move your business forward.

Organizations wind up deferring maintenance for one major reason: money. But in the end, you’re going to have to spend those dollars anyway. By spending a little upfront, before major malfunctions or breakdowns threaten to derail your entire FM budget, you can save on costly repairs in the long run. Preventing issues rather than deferring them will also ensure your store is a place customers want to visit.