Interested in getting a thorough idea of what is facility maintenance?
Understanding the concept of facility management is the first step in putting together an effective maintenance plan.
Different from what many believe, facility maintenance management doesn’t need to be complicated. The amount of time and effort facility managers need to dedicate to it is directly correlated with the resources they have at hand.
Let’s explore this further.
What is Facility Maintenance
Facility maintenance is the administration of physical workplaces, individuals, support services, and capital assets necessary to optimize the operations and back up business goals.
Facility maintenance plans often include a broad spectrum of tools, services, competencies, and processes. When effectively implemented, they prevent risky and costly interruptions, promote a dynamic work environment, and increase productivity.
Even though the term facility maintenance is often associated with industrial building maintenance or with property management, it is applied to commercial buildings where there’s no manufacturing involved.
Facility maintenance programs tend to be implemented in offices, schools, universities, grocery stores, shopping malls, restaurants, hospitals, hotels, and other commercial buildings that have large amounts of people transiting daily.
Why Facilities Maintenance is Important
Having a structured facility management plan in place helps organizations maximize the operations’ efforts.
Facilities management programs ensure that institutions’ spaces are always in proper operating conditions by addressing many of their immediate and long-term needs.
With a well-maintained facility, organizations enjoy the following benefits:
Safer and cleaner work environment
Lower maintenance costs (reactive maintenance is much more expensive than preventive maintenance)
Reduced equipment downtime
More dynamic workflow
Ultimately, regular maintenance activities create a productive work environment that allows the organization to focus on its core goals.
Who is Responsible for Facilities Management
In general, facilities managers are responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of an institution’s buildings, making sure that they meet legal requirements, optimal operations, and safety standards.
This involves overseeing responsibilities such as testing fire safety systems, organizing preventive maintenance schedules, creating janitorial work duties, managing assets lifecycle, and more.
Facility managers often work alongside maintenance technicians, whose responsibilities are more practical than strategic. In a general manner, facility managers take care of the strategy around facility maintenance work and delegate manual maintenance tasks to maintenance technicians.
Both facility management professionals’ jobs vary significantly depending on the industry they work in. However, most technicians’ job description includes several hands-on tasks, including performing scheduled preventative maintenance services, completing work orders, conducting building walkthroughs to check on equipment performance, making repairs on HVAC units, and more.
Maintenance managers, on the other hand, tend to be responsible for setting up the plan of action that ensures that the building is clean, safe, and useful for its intended purposes.
Elements of Facility Maintenance
Facilities are very different from one another, which means the maintenance activities needed in each building vary a lot too. The maintenance work performed in a hospital, for example, involves activities that are not necessary for a school environment.
The maintenance work needed depends on the building size, location, nature of the business, and of course, on the laws. Some laws, such as the Workplace (Health, Safety, and Welfare) Regulations 1992 and the OSHA, regulate building’s cleanliness, lighting, temperature, ventilation, and more.
It’s part of the facility manager’s job to conduct a Facilities Needs Assessment to understand the particularities of each organization and create a plan of action.
The maintenance work is often divided into two categories: soft services and hard services. Let’s explore:
What are soft maintenance services?
Soft facility maintenance activities don’t relate directly to the physical aspect of the building. These activities are meant to make the work environment a better place to be in terms of security, comfort, efficiency, and convenience.
Soft maintenance covers the workplace with services such as waste management programs, parking lots, security systems, cleaning schedules, snow removal, catering, pest control, and other services that promote wellbeing.
Different from soft services, hard services refer to maintenance performed on the physical parts of the building that are part of its structure. These services ensure the safety and health of individuals who work or visit the buildings. Most laws associated with facility management regulate these types of maintenance services.
Some examples of hard facilities management services are energy management, plumbing, heating, air conditioning, general building maintenance, fire safety systems, and other services related to the building functionality.
Keep in mind that all buildings need a mixture of hard and soft maintenance services. This blend of responsibilities is unique to each organization and requires different specialized professionals.
How to Streamline Facility Maintenance
Maintenance activities are meant to solve both daily functions and long-term facility operations.
The ideal facility maintenance plan involves a complete preventive maintenance schedule that proactively operates routine maintenance on critical pieces of equipment to avoid failure, downtime, and shutdowns. Building systems such as HVAC, electrical systems, and security services, are often part of the PM plan.
Machine failure can also be anticipated through predictive maintenance, which uses a sensor to retrieve data about the asset’s performance. However, this type of maintenance tends to be leveraged only by large institutions.
Unexpected issues also happen sometimes and require technicians immediate attention — fixing a leak in a window, for example.
Given all the different types of approaches to maintenance, all the regulatory requirements, the data that needs to be up to date, and the staff to be coordinated, one can imagine the complexity involved in planning, implementing, and keeping track of all the facilities maintenance functions.
That’s why most organizations use a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software to streamline facility maintenance. Let’s get into details of how facility managers can benefit from a CMMS.
CMMS for Facility Maintenance
CMMS is a game-changer for facility managers. A modern computerized maintenance management system, such as Limble, stores all historical data about your equipment and assets, keeps all information about work orders and scheduled maintenance in one place, helps you manage spare parts inventory by using AI to make predictions and more.
Here are some of the features offered by most CMMS:
Enterprise Asset Management. EAM allows organizations from different sizes to track up to 100,000 physical assets’ lifecycle, in an easy-to-use and searchable tree structure. With this resource, facility managers know each asset performance at every point of time and their maintenance costs.
Work Order Management. With this module, maintenance managers can access a centralized database from any device to check work order tracking and maintenance requests. Technicians receive instant notifications every time a new work order is created.
Preventive Maintenance Module. PM software allows maintenance managers to easily automate preventative maintenance tasks through simple checklists that guide technicians to make sure the work is done the right way with minimal supervision.
Predictive Maintenance (PdM). PdM allows teams to closely monitor assets with sensors embedded in the equipment. This minimizes unplanned stoppages and downtime due to equipment failure.
Analytics and Reports. Modern CMMS collects, stores, and generates reports based on your metrics. Facility managers can also use custom dashboards to view all details about the organization in one place.
Mobile app. The best CMMS in the market offer a mobile option that allows technicians to use their smartphones to access work orders while out on the field, take pictures of equipment to attach to reports, lookup critical asset information, and more.
Ready to Uplevel Facility Maintenance?
Facility maintenance has been around since primitive buildings exist. But the more complex facilities get, the more work is required to maintain them.
Nowadays, without the right resources at hand, it is hard to keep up with all the maintenance tasks needed to promote a safe environment, support efficient operations, and comply with the law.
With a complete CMMS like Limble, facility managers get full control over all maintenance activities and technicians can produce more in less time.
If you want to learn more about Limble CMMS, don’t hesitate to contact our team. We will be happy to hear about your main challenges to make recommendations for your specific needs.
"Limble made my job easier pretty much right off the bat. Now I create Work Orders on the fly. It takes me about 10 seconds."
— Fraser Cockell Nike
Wow. You guys are amazing...
"Wow. You guys are amazing... your software really one-up's the competition. I've found several with some of the functionality, but much clunkier designs. I reviewed 16 CMMS packages, and yours was an easy choice. Thank you again. Well done."
— Loren Overby Sommer Metalcraft
Limble CMMS is a great product and is very intuitive
"This CMMS checks many boxes for what we were looking for. Flexible. Mobile App for in the field use. Cost-Effective. Reporting. Great Dashboard. Great Support. Cloud Based. Cost-Effective."
— Roger Beck IHG
Great user friendly product
"Love the fact that the product can be used on my phone, tablet, and laptop. It also has made several updates to make an even better product."
— Dave Stern Harrigan Solutions
I spent a long time evaluating systems I'm so glad I chose Limble
"Limble is super easy to use. For technicians receiving work orders, it requires almost no training. The app makes it quick and easy to create work orders (with pictures) from your phone. PM's are also very easy to set up. Limble is also the least expensive."
— Matt Olson FMP Mission Bell
The best value available in CMMS Software
"This software is very easy to use. All CMMS suppliers say that, but I found this one to be exactly that. This software, in my opinion, is the best value out there in the CMMS world. My team of maintenance techs got on board quickly and loves the app. Anytime you can get 8 of 8 maintenance techs to get on board, you have a winner."
— Mark Quillin Roplast Industries
Great Product, Even better support!
"I started using Limble after trying out many other off the shelf CMMS software and I quickly fell in love with the ease of use, intuitiveness yet the power this tool provided me and my team. The ability to see automatically generated and customized reports meant that I could choose whether I wanted to see things at a micro level or a macro one, or both of them together."
— Mohammad Hassaan Akram Unilever
A must for any maintenance department
"The thing that I loved the most right from the start was the ease of use of the Limble software. The customization options available when setting up PM's are great. I love the flexibility it gives to tailor the PM to exactly what your needs are."
— Richard Dunaway
I'm amazed with the functionality & customer service
"Executive summary software produces to give me a snapshot of where each contact center is at in preventative maintenance on critical building assets."
— Kris Anderson IHG
Awesome Product with REAL support!
"Our team reviewed & demoed 6 different CMMS companies and the decision was easy! The functionality was extremely easy, but still provides the analytics needed to track our companies time and money spent on maintenance. Their support is top-notch! I've dealt with numerous software companies in my position and can tell you, you will not find one better!"