By: Mike Lapointe, NEST EMS/HVAC Manager

Whether you own two dozen business locations or two hundred, your assets and equipment are what keep your facilities running like a well-oiled machine. These assets come with a substantial upfront cost and can be onerous to fix, making equipment maintenance even more important when it comes to keeping expenses down.

If you find yourself in this boat, a preventative maintenance plan of action could be exactly what you need. Having a plan for preventative maintenance can help preserve the integrity of your equipment—from your HVAC units to your floors—while shrinking facilities spend. You’ll also uncover ways to increase efficiencies that can contribute to a better overall facilities management (FM) strategy.

To extend the lifespan of your existing assets, take these steps toward building a proactive maintenance schedule.

Record Key Data for Easy Tracking         

You can’t track what you don’t document, which means you should consider kickstarting your efforts by gathering as much asset data as you can, including:

  • Serial number
  • Make and model
  • Asset age
  • Maintenance guidelines and how to address repairs and part replacement
  • Warranty information
  • Usage and repair history

Assess Utilization (Including Anomaly Events!)

No two stores are exactly alike, and different locations will have different asset utilization rates. Equipment downtime impacts these rates, as well, so it’s important to calculate a reasonable baseline that accurately reflects usage.

Keep anomalies in mind when reviewing asset history. If your automatic doors break down, for instance, and you’re forced to keep them open so customers can enter your facilities, you could wind up losing money in more ways than one. By leaving your doors open—even for a relatively brief period—your heating or cooling unit(s) will likely have to work overtime to maintain a comfortable indoor temperature. Not only will you run up a costly energy bill, but you’ll also overtax your HVAC system and increase the risk of an emergency breakdown.

When preventative measures are put in place to keep things like your doors and HVAC units in working order, you can avoid unforeseen issues that lead to overspending.

Capture Your Entire Facilities Footprint

Most organizations focus primarily on their indoor spaces, but it’s crucial to include any outdoor real estate—parking lots and sidewalks, for example—in your preventative plan. And although they don’t fall squarely in the “equipment” bucket, your floors are an integral piece of the FM puzzle. Like other aspects of your preventative maintenance program, your floor care routine should evolve with the seasons, so be sure to schedule extra floor treatments when the holidays and other elements threaten to increase wear and tear.

Coming up with a concrete plan and putting it in writing is strongly advised, but don’t feel beholden to your first draft. Remaining flexible and open to adjusting what isn’t working will allow you to perfect your preventative schedule over time while reducing unscheduled downtime and preventing equipment failures.

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