Top Facility Maintenance Tips from 2016
Hard to believe but 2016 is almost in the books! It seems like only yesterday we were ringing in the New Year, and now it’s already time to start planning for next year.
But before we start looking forward to the year ahead, let’s take a moment to look back on the year behind us.
What did we learn in 2016? And how can we apply those lessons to make life and work a little easier in the coming year?
These are questions we like to ask at DPM Care. Even for a company like ours, which has been around for almost two decades (2017 will mark our 20th year in business!), we learn something new every year. We’re always looking for ways to improve and become more efficient.
It’s no different for facility managers. Especially right now, as the role of FM continues to expand and new technology continues delivering new ways to make buildings more efficient and easier to manage.
With that in mind, here are our top facility maintenance tips from 2016—along with some sage advice from a half dozen facility managers for you to carry with you into next year.
Top 5 Facility Maintenance Tips of 2016
Key trends and takeaways from the past year:
1. Get Preventative
Across industries, more FMs discovered the value of taking a more proactive approach to maintenance in 2016. Rather than waiting until equipment or structures fail, preventative maintenance programs address assets on an ongoing basis to help FMs avoid unexpected, budget-breaking repairs and replacements. This also gives FMs more freedom to focus on critical issues and less time spent managing emergencies.
2. Lighten Up
More FMs made the switch to LED lighting in 2016—and with good reason. Though they require a higher upfront investment than standard lighting, LEDs justify that investment by lasting longer and reducing operating costs. Best of all, because they’re longer lasting, LED lights drastically reduce maintenance time. That’s a win, win, win for FMs.
3. Embrace Data
From home heating systems to major league baseball, data is being used increasingly in all walks of life to identify and solve problems. Facility management is no different. Collecting and analyzing data on all aspects of a facility, and using tools like Building Information Modeling (BIM) solutions, is helping FMs find out where problems or inefficiencies are occurring and how to best address them.
4. Maximize Carpet
More FMS are recognizing that commercial carpet is an asset and extending its life by even a few years can save big money. The best way to do that? By implementing a carpet maintenance program. Having a strategic program in place will help preserve the condition and appearance of your carpeting, and prevent untimely repairs and replacements that can put a major dent in your budget.
5. Go Mobile
Mobile technology is quickly becoming the facility manager’s best friend. With many managers constantly on the go, smartphones, tablets and apps are giving FMs access to information about a facility from virtually anywhere. With mobile technology, you can quickly pull up blueprints to view what’s behind a wall, adjust the heat settings for a specific building, and access inspection reports, work orders, maintenance schedules, or vendor apps whenever you need them.
5 Great Pieces of Advice from Fellow FMs
For our “Meet the Manger” blog series we’ve interviewed a number of different facility managers throughout the year. One of the questions we like to ask during the interview is: What is you best piece of advice for other facility managers?
Here are some of the top responses:
1. Take each day in stride
Donna Wheeler, Senior Property Manager for Cushman & Wakefield, notes that: “Some days are overwhelming, but know that tomorrow is another day. Every day presents different opportunities. Seize them with a positive attitude and determination.”
2. Leverage the knowledge resources around you
Dan Walther, Director of Facilities for Elavon, reminds FMs not to overlook the great insights and ideas readily available from “your manager, your team members, your peers, service partners and customers.”
3. Make the workplace fun and exciting
Tim Friedenberger, Vice President of Facility Operations with Powers Management at Bridgestone Arena, suggests: “Reward excellence and work to grow all staff members so that they have the ability to contribute in a meaningful way. A wise man once told me, ‘You are only as good as those around you.’ It is our job to grow those around us and make them better.
4. Anticipate your client’s needs
Debra Howell, Senior Facility Manager with JLL, reminds FMs to see things from the client’s’ point of view, stating: “We have five fundamentals to building relationships with clients—provide quality, maintain integrity by keeping our commitments, communicate effectively, keep focus but be adaptable, and become a long-time partner with your client.”
5. Be prepared
Walter Overton, General Manager of Nissan Stadium, notes the importance of looking ahead and being ready for whatever might come your way. He says: “Develop plans, policies, reports, and systems as they are necessary for the operation and administration of the facility.”
Keep Calm and Manage On
One final piece of advice we’ll leave you with comes from our friend Keith Hargis, Global Facilities Manager at Caterpillar Financial Services Corporation, who states simply: “Don’t get stressed. Remain calm and know that everything will work out.”
Every year is filled with ups and downs, rewards and challenges, and 2017 is sure to be no different. The key is to be strategic in your thinking and work toward continual improvement; to learn from the past and always keep an eye on the future.