You’ve heard it before: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
While this phrase may apply to certain industries, facilities and maintenance management is not one of them.
Maintenance of a real estate facility typically accounts for about 35 percent of the facility’s overall operating cost. It’s nothing to scoff at. But, when facilities managers take the approach of not fixing things until they’re broken, they’ll soon find that statistic ballooning — and their clients increasingly unhappy at the results.
At CTG Real Estate Services, we understand just how important good facilities management is to the health and success of a property. That’s why it’s so surprising to us that facilities managers continue to be stuck in the past when it comes to managing their properties.
Below, find out a bit more about the two different approaches to facilities management and maintenance — and how one is overwhelmingly the most productive choice for your clients and business.
Reactive Maintenance: The Status Quo of Facilities Management
For many facilities managers today, there is only one way of providing maintenance to properties and clients: through the reactive maintenance process.
In reactive maintenance, no repairs or major upkeep is completed on systems until a repair is absolutely needed. But, by “saving” money but not spending until the system is broken, managers are actually ensuring those repair costs will be at a maximum — not to mention that their clients will have interruptions in services until those repairs are made. So, in essence, reactive maintenance isn’t “maintenance” at all; it’s simply a method of repairing broken systems and processes.
Many clients (and facilities managers) use a reactive facilities management model because it costs less in the short-term. Of course, it will cost more in the long-term, but many clients and facilities managers only focus on short-term budgets if they are strapped for cash. While this method may work when equipment is new, it is inadvisable if equipment is older. Using reactive facilities management methods will increase labor and repair costs when repairs are necessary and will lead to an inefficient use of staff resources as “back-ups” must be relied upon.
Unfortunately, about 55 percent of all maintenance programs are reactive — which means more than half of the clients out there are receiving subpar facilities management services. But, this actually means good things for you as a facility manager — it means there is a greater opportunity to sell your predictive facilities management skills instead!
Why Choose Predictive Maintenance Instead?
Before we get too detailed about the pros and cons of predictive maintenance, it’s important that you understand the nuanced difference between predictive and preventative maintenance. While both work to prevent future repairs, they are accomplished in slightly different ways.
Between these two maintenance methods, preventative is the most common — but it’s not actually the most beneficial. With preventative maintenance, facilities managers perform regular, prescheduled maintenance checks and repairs, without taking into account whether or not they are needed.
The better option is predictive maintenance, in which managers complete repairs and check-ins based on the actual condition of the equipment, not just on a set timetable. Unfortunately, only about 15 percent of respondents on a facilities management survey indicated that they used fully predictive maintenance tools in their real estate properties.
So, why do facilities management experts recommend predictive maintenance over other maintenance methods?
- Reduction in maintenance and energy costs: When systems and processes are maintained on an appropriate schedule, they are far less likely to be damaged or require repairs. Even when they do, they are often minor repairs. Proactive, predictive maintenance coupled with analytics has been shown to reduce a building’s maintenance and energy costs by up to 20 percent — savings your client will certainly appreciate.
- Digital tools make it easier than ever: While 90 percent of facility managers think that connecting their management systems to the internet will ensure productive and profitable operations, implementation of these systems is not yet that common. However, by using digital tracking and analysis systems with your real estate properties, you can more easily see when repairs are necessary by monitoring your machines’ productivity.
- Equipment is maintained on the highest level of performance: When facilities managers pay close attention to their systems all the time (not just when they are broken or malfunctioning), they are able to ensure their equipment is performing at its best. In return, this saves their clients money and energy and maximizes their organization’s productivity and profits.
- Repairs can be prioritized: When all systems are maintained at a high level, clients and facilities managers can build up a rainy day fund for the time when something does break. When that day comes, they won’t have to pick and choose which systems are the most integral and be forced to live with malfunctioning systems until they can afford new repairs. Similarly, if a facilities manager knows that all systems are able to operate on an acceptable level, they can prioritize big repairs and improvements of the most important systems, knowing the others should not fail in the meantime.
Clearly, predictive maintenance is the future of facilities management and will play a huge role in the productivity of real estate spaces. Whether you’re a facilities manager or a property owner, Chris Gardner at CTG Real Estate Services can help you maximize your profits and more efficiently manage your space.
Want more tips on effective facilities management? Schedule a consultation with Chris Gardner today.