It can be difficult handling safety, code requirements and maintenance while keeping a keen eye on the budget. The list of tasks may seem never-ending, but proper planning can make the difference. A Facilities Manager knows how and can help you cut maintenance costs in your commercial or industrial premises.
Effective cost-cutting measures for building maintenance
Finding effective and efficient ways to cut maintenance costs is a priority, especially with the economy going through such a rough time. Here are 10 ways that an FM can look at your premises and help reduce costs:
1. Check the lighting
A significant amount of maintenance costs can be attributed to energy usage. Upgrading the lighting to LEDs will last longer without putting out so much energy. It also makes sense to add sensors to certain areas so the lights will go off when the room is empty. Finally, shutting off lights at night can add additional savings.
2. Make preventative maintenance a priority
When maintenance is conducted ahead of schedule or immediately when issues arise, it could mean choosing to spend thousands of dollars or staying within the budget. Having a risk assessment and preventative maintenance schedule can make the difference in facility management.
3. Promote employee safety
All employees should be aware of safety protocols in place. The second step is to follow the rules. While many employees consider their roles as one they can do faster or skip a few steps, this could lead to unfortunate accidents. Safety training is paramount, and an ongoing, rotating schedule must be implemented to ensure all employees know and understand standard practices and procedures.
4. Keep maintenance procedures in order
One of the best things you can do is have a procedures manual in place to protect the employees and your company. The manual should be reviewed once a year to ensure all policies and procedures are up to code and following local, state and federal regulations. There should be a concerted effort to have the most efficient procedures available based on best practices to ensure employees are using the latest standards.
5. Training is a must
All employees and technicians should be trained on an ongoing basis to avoid repetitive maintenance. This plays a huge role in facility and building management, contributing to high costs. When working staff don’t have the right training in place to properly do their jobs, this causes further damage. Maintenance costs can be reduced by using certified technicians and employees within your facilities management company.
6. Adopt an asset management system
An asset management system helps keeps spending costs low. This helps provide real-time data from areas such as installation, maintenance, operations and when upgrades are needed. If you have an outdated system, this is the time to start looking at a new system to replace the old one when the funds are in the budget. Knowing which assets you have and how they are operating to add value to the organization and facility as a whole can shave costs in a short period of time. This investment is key.
7. Infrastructure management software
Infrastructure is the key to cutting costs. Having a robust infrastructure management software program in place that provides reminders for maintenance; can assign tasks to employees and creates an entire portfolio of electrical assets for at-a-glance access can help with preventative maintenance. The beauty of having this type of software is that it moves when you move as the manager and can be accessed on a tablet or phone.
8. Check the HVAC system
It’s no surprise HVAC systems can cause a lot of unexpected costs. When the unit malfunctions and compromises indoor air quality, the situation becomes a high priority. If a technician has to come out immediately, the costs associated with repairs could be costly. HVAC maintenance should be part of the preventative maintenance schedule to be carried out at least twice a year.
9. Inspections and testing
One of the most important things a facilities manager can do is conduct predictive testing and inspections of all equipment and facilities operations. This will not only reduce maintenance costs, but every system will be working at optimal conditions. Being proactive in doing this will help detect when machinery and other equipment is due for repairs or replacement in enough time to budget accordingly.
10. Itemise energy usage
This is a crucial task for a facility manager. Having a spreadsheet where all the energy usage can be viewed at a glance can help estimate the budget and where costs can be cut. The way energy is used within the facility should always be audited and evaluated monthly, quarterly, every six months and yearly to have accurate readings to compare.
By implementing these 10 steps in integrated facility management, your facility will operate more efficiently, which helps with productivity and cost-cutting. Being able to reduce the costs within a facility not only reflects highly on the facilities manager but can serve as a model for other facilities to follow in getting their facilities in shape.