Why FM’s Incorporate Service Request & Preventive Maintenance

BY: James McDonald

Today’s Facilities Manager wears many hats, each an equal contributor to the success of the company and its workforce. Ensuring equipment is running smoothly and that downtime is minimized directly contributes to the productivity of employees, making its benefits twofold. Until recent, most companies relied on service requests to maintain their equipment, arguing against the value of preventative maintenance. In the business world, numbers rule, and many found it difficult to quantify the relationship between the cost of preventative maintenance programs and the returns such activities are able to deliver. Those who have found the most success maintain a balance between service requests and a preventative maintenance program. What is the difference between the two and how does one determine which strategies are right for what equipment? That’s what we are here to answer today.

Service Requests

Facility maintenance, work order, maintenance request, or service request. The name varies from company to company, but the meaning remains the same. It is the communication between your users and the servicing department and technicians. Reactive requests occur when an issue arises and repairs are requested ASAP. Equipment has failed and every moment of downtime means productivity is suffering. They also come in the form of regular, routine maintenance, also known as preventive maintenance, and installation of equipment.

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They can be handled via email, phone calls, or, for increased efficiency, through FM software. Details regarding the work order should be included and the process should be user-friendly, so as to leave no room for error. With the added technology avenues, requests can be processed faster than ever before. Still, there is another service which can be even more effective at reducing downtime and helping the bottom line.

Preventative Maintenance

Those who wish to get the most out of their organizational budget often choose to incorporate preventive maintenance (PM) into their service request program. While it may require more forethought and planning, PM services help monitor all areas of management via regular service calls as well as assist in predicting (and avoiding) future breakdowns before they occur. FMs are also able to identify and define the financial benefits of preventative maintenance, both short and long term. By analyzing the potential profit loss of extended downtime of software and hardware, service call fees or total equipment replacement, then comparing with the cost of regular PM services, most organizations quickly come to recognize the benefits of preventative maintenance.

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Facility managers can quantify the value of preventative maintenance by identifying the following:

  • Actual PM costs
  • Cost of repair maintenance
  • Cost to replace equipment
  • Expected remaining useful life of equipment
  • Impacts preventative maintenance can have on expected remaining useful life
  • Frequency of repairs if PM isn’t implemented
  • Effect PM has on energy consumption

Once the above has been taken into account, your FM team must make additional individual considerations to determine the financial benefits. What is the type of equipment? (air conditioner, for example) How many of each type and what is the size and age? This will help you in determining the annual cost for equipment and identify the best course of action.

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Individually, service calls and preventative maintenance both have their benefits. When combined, though, C-suite, employees, and the FM team are all able to work together to ensure the entire operation moves forward, while maintenance issues are reduced to a minimum. A winning solution for all involved.

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