Better Facility Management with Maintenance Management Software

Even with superior attention to detail, managing the maintenance within a large facility can be greatly improved with the use of facility management software. This software eliminates the need for a paper trail, and improves everything from organization to communication. Below are just a handful of ways in which maintenance management software can help to improve the maintenance and repair workflow within your building.

Managing Your Seasonal Checklists

You are sure to have seasonal checklists in place to stay on top of your preventative maintenance. While these checklists work, software will make your seasonal schedule easier to organize, update, and adhere to. Facility management software will send you reminders regarding upcoming maintenance deadlines, and even past due maintenance and repairs. Since some seasonal tasks are estimates dependent on factors such as weather or volume of business, the software makes it easy to update your seasonal checklist in real time.

Improved Communication Regarding Day-To-Day Operations

Facility management software is a solution that will help to improve communication-related to your day-to-day operations. It allows you to create and assign tasks lists for your team, and allows you to quickly and easily view the progress of each maintenance concern. You can even access the software when you are offsite, and provide real-time updates to anyone on your team who has access to the software. And there’s no need for a traditional work station, since the software can be accessed on either a desktop or an iPad.

Long-Term Maintenance Management

Maintenance management software is not only beneficial for your current operations, but its in-depth reporting features allow you to identify patterns that play a vital role in creating your long-term maintenance management plan. This includes factors such as keeping an eye on the life cycle of tools and machinery, trends in both standard and seasonal inventory, and identifying when it is time for more efficient and effective maintenance solutions. These reports are also a precious resource to any new facility managers and team members that you bring on board.

Cost-Saving Benefits

Facility management software offers you many cost-saving benefits. For starters, more efficient and effective daily and seasonal operations will help to reduce the likelihood of emergency repairs. The software can also be customized to identify risk factors that can lead to an increased need for maintenance. It will reduce the likelihood of human error that can lead to costly repairs, and you can turn to the software to search for areas of opportunity in your maintenance budget. The software will eliminate the need for paper orders, and will streamline your daily operations—meaning that more time can be invested performing your much-needed maintenance, instead of tracking and managing them.

Customized Reporting Features

As mentioned above, electronic facility management solutions allow you to create reports that are ideal for long-term projections and assessments—but the reports can also be customized for your weekly, monthly, and quarterly needs. This allows you to quickly identify any new patterns or trends within your facility.

Last but not least, maintenance management software is designed to be intuitive, and easy for you and your team to put in place. After only a few projects you and your team will have the hang of it.

Revolutionize the way you access your facility’s information with the building facility management software from FASTTAC. Our innovative software enables your team to easily access and organize all of your facility’s institutional knowledge. So stop wasting time searching for the information you need, and start accessing all of your facility’s data when you need it most with help from FASTTAC.

4 Ways to Lessen Your Workload

As a facility manager, efficiency can be your greatest asset –given your plethora of responsibilities and immovable deadlines. One of the more robust ways of keeping up to speed with your day-to-day activities is through the use of maintenance management software. Successful implementation of work order management software sees huge returns on investment, as well as simply better results for your business overall. Follow along as we explore just a small sample of the ways facility managers are using work order management software to revolutionize their facility’s information and lessen their workload.

  1. Minimizing Delays

In any work order load, one of the biggest wrenches in any process is the lack of availability of essential parts. Not only can a work order management software suite make sure that parts are never unavailable during business hours, but it can also keep tabs on your general inventory. For example, if the manufacturer has come up with an upgrade, your software will notify you right away. Additionally, it can provide you with a well-ordered storehouse free from under-stocking and over-stocking – and the associated cost of either.

  1. Maintenance Management Software Helps You Prioritize

Sometimes, during an especially robust season, your business can get backed up – it’s one of the costs of being successful. Management software is exceptional at prioritizing your palette and ordering the most pressing matters first – while scheduling reasonable time slots for the others based on your set preferences. Schedule automation is one of the biggest time savers in this same vein, such that employees, outsourced work and contractors are juggled in an optimal fashion. The included analytics also helps you gauge employee performance and better streamline business goals.

  1. Keeping Track of Manufacturing Details

The breakdown of equipment represents another major contribution to inefficiency in business. Work order management software can drastically reduce the occurrence of emergency breakdowns by overseeing a regular maintenance schedule and ensuring that machines are working at maximum efficiency. This schedule includes everything from lubrication to calibration, which of course extends the operational lifetime of the equipment, as well. Just as importantly, a metric called the life-to-dollars date is accounted for, so you can decide at what point it’s more cost-effective to replace a machine than to keep repairing it.

  1. Keep Track of Labor Costs

Any labor-associated costs that you can think of, capable maintenance management software can handle them. Is overtime killing your budget? Simply use the software to make the workload and staffing levels more efficient to match expectations. And when you combine this ability with the priority tracking properties, the end result is a cost-saving optimization of your enterprise – without any compromise in efficiency. Indeed; businesses usually make more money, produce better product, and have a more streamlined operation once work order management software is implemented.

From ensuring the availability of the right parts when needed – well ahead of time, in fact – management software from FASTTAC can only be a boom to your business. It allows you to supply your employees with the critical information at the location where it is needed to efficiently complete work order tasks and support other crucial business operations. Production delays and losses will all but disappear, as overtime diminishes and your business becomes, effectively, a well-oiled machine. Request a demo of FASTTAC’s facility management software today, and discover how we can help your team stay on the same page.

Facilities Managers: Digital Information vs. Traditional Information

Think about what Facility managers have at their disposal today, paper drawings rolled up and in “cubbies” or laid flat in large drawers.  Add to that the countless binders with manual after manual of motors, fans, pumps, panels, motor control centers, and the list goes on ad nauseam.  These are typically kept in a locked room where they cannot be lost, accessed nor updated…but they are there!  This facility information is located where it is not needed and needed where it is not located!

Technicians need access to relevant information to complete their assignments at their work locations; it must be the latest and must be accurate.  Over the years, this equipment is updated, control modifications are made, outlets are added, walls are built and demolished, and adjustments are made to solve a problems and nothing is documented.  However, when a technician is assigned to solve the next problem, the modifications previously made (which had not been documented) are now in jeopardy of being broken again by the next solution.  This costs facility managers significant money and inconveniences their customers.

When digital information is available from the start, a technician could have had all pertinent information available “as designed” at the work site and could have documented all modifications made to the original design for the solution.  In addition, any technician that follows would benefit from this documented “institutional knowledge”.   Now this next technician is working with full information and not just partial information so that any prior solutions are not broken by subsequent solutions.  This saves both time and money.

Some may say, of course the second technician will be able to perform better with information provided by the first technician.  However, the only way to actually accomplish this is to have a digital information plan.  Traditional information storage and access solutions cannot solve this problem because neither technician would have been permitted to take non digital information to a work site nor would they be permitted to “markup” the paper.  Remember that digital information cannot be lost, destroyed, or misplaced!  It can be updated remotely, modified with markups, and kept current by the technicians that use it every day.

A good digital system will be able to be used by an average technologically savvy technician; it would be able to provide the tools necessary to easily markup the electronic drawing thereby recording institutional knowledge.  Also at the same time that same digital system must protect the content from any permanent markings.

All in all, digital information will improve the service provided by facility managers and in the end, reduce their overall costs.

5 Traits of Successful Facility Managers

Taking on the responsibility of building facility management is a highly demanding, and also highly rewarding position. It is a role that requires you to have industry insight, mechanical expertise and business acumen – but there’s more. Developing or building upon the five skills below, will help you improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your daily operations.

1. Superior Communication Skills

While it is fair to say that superior communication skills are required in any management position, the ability to provide clear, specific and timely communication is a must for all building facility management professionals. In fact, poor communication can result in costly mistakes and a multitude of safety and security concerns.

2. Technologically Savvy

While all facility managers must have the mechanical knowledge required to effectively manage their school, hospital or building, they must also be technologically savvy from an electronics standpoint. Not only are more and more facility management solutions electronically automated, but understanding the crucial role facilities management software plays in your success is essential. Facilities management software will help you to identify areas of opportunity, to stay organized and can even be customized for your specific needs.

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3. Both Proactive and Action Oriented

To be successful in building facility management, you must be both proactive and action oriented. Proactive enough that you are able to troubleshoot and identify areas of opportunity above and beyond what your facilities management software suggests. Action oriented in that you must be able to quickly identify the best solutions for the inevitable emergency and unforeseen situations that might arise. This could include your response to in-house mistakes, mechanical failure, power outages, or weather related emergencies. You must also be able to reevaluate your facility management solutions on at least a quarterly basis, with the intent of evaluating compliance and searching for more effective solutions.

4. Motivational

Whether your team is large or small, working in building facility management requires you to learn how to motivate your team to get their job done. There are many ways to motivate your team, a few of which include: recognizing a job well-done, communication clearly, ensuring your team has what they need to succeed, and providing the appropriate ongoing and recurrent training.

5. Fiscally Responsible

If all that’s not enough, you must also have the business acumen required to be fiscally responsible. This means that you must be able to accurately project your spending, to stay on budget, and to renegotiate vendor contracts in a matter that help you meet or beat budget for the line items you are responsible for. This means you must also invest time in exploring new short-term and long-term cost-saving solutions.

Building facility management is the ideal position for anyone with the traits above, who also enjoys a job that will present them with a multitude of daily challenges. While challenges will always arise, successfully managing each challenge—and implementing the changes required to reduce the likelihood of the same challenge in the future is highly rewarding.

Make sure your building’s facilities management is prepared to handle the present and the future with help from FASTTAC. Our facilities management software solutions keep all of your documents where you need them, allowing you to easily store and save all of your building’s information to keep your team on the same page. Discover what how the facility management solutions from FASTTAC can help you build your business and request your demo today!

Where is Your Data?

Facilities range in age from just constructed to the completion of the pyramids!  Many studies around indicate that the time it takes to perform maintenance and repair on facilities is as much as 33% longer per repair due to the lack of access to information about these repairs.  Much of the time the information is available, just not accessible, and some of the time the information is just not available.

You have two things to consider with this information; first, if it is the former, how do you permit “rank and file” to have simple access to it, and if it is the latter, how do you capture it so that you have it and can find it the next time it is needed.  We will address the first consideration in this writing.

Most facilities departments have received at the conclusion of each project completed specific drawings, documents, Operations and Maintenance manuals and various and sundry product information about the installation just completed.  In the past, it came in rolls of paper and in boxes upon boxes of files.  Today it can still come in this paper format as well as on CDs and DVDs, portable drives, in proprietary electronic formats that require many different types of programs to access, shared FTP sites and the list goes on.

Also, most facilities departments have a “place” where this physical and digital information is stored for safe keeping.  The larger the facility, the larger and more complex the storage place can be.  A complication of this is when the facility also has a bit of age, not quite the pyramids, but sometimes going back 50 to 100 years.

The most important thing to do with this information is, make it available to rank and file so that you can begin to attack the problem that is currently consuming 25% to 35% of your facilities budget!  Balancing the “keep it safe” and “make it available” is the challenge.  Most times facilities departments err on the keep it safe instead of making it available.

You must make drawings and O&M manuals available to rank and file to reduces this time which consumes 35% of your personnel maintenance  budget…the question is…how?

Instead of answering with what, we will discuss key considerations:

  • Having a place to store the files is not enough; you must make it “bullet proof” to protect the images from accidental acts of overwriting by competent technology users, malicious acts of disgruntled workers and random actions by your technology challenged users.
  • You must have a tool available to mark up those drawings with markings that do not change the authorship of the originator of the drawing nor modify the original file
  • Everyone using the system must be tracked and notes left behind identified with each user
  • The data should be accessible connected or disconnected from the network
  • The solution must be as simple to update as it is simple to use

 

Now that you have decided to do something to make available the hundreds, most likely thousands and very likely, hundreds of thousands of pieces of facility information…the question is…what?  It is like eating the proverbial elephant, one bite at a time.  Consistent organization of facility information across all of your facilities whether handling content or in the capture of user inputs that keep that content current will make it valuable immediately and into the future.  Focus on these considerations will bring about the answer that is right for you.

Are You Needlessly Consuming Your Valuable Time and Money?

One major university has calculated that it takes six hours to complete the average work order with two of those hours searching for information regarding its completion.  The NIST has indicated that, “…the total costs to facility stake holders due to inadequate interoperability and communications to be $15.84 billion (2.84% of operating costs) annually for U.S. facilities…”.  And common knowledge is that at least twenty-five percent of all facilities management time is spent gathering information to accomplish the task…in the end, it is all your time and money.

We already know why the information you need to manage your facility becomes old before you actually need it.  Now we can begin to discuss the benefits of accessing your information if you had it.

I will use information from an institution has told me that they have about 40 work order requests per day.  Using some o f the parameters above, that is about 30 workdays of effort to complete them.  Also using the same parameters, about 10 workdays or 80 work-hours are consumed searching for information to complete these tasks.

Many of these same institutions have told us that the time it takes to get the maintenance personnel to the work site just to find out that they took the wrong part or did not have the proper tool for the work order with them is a large contributor to their overall time and cost.  The 15 minutes back to the shop and 15 minutes back to the work site begins to add up.  They report that mostly this is caused by the inaccessibility to the right information.

Portable information, accessible information, organized information and updateable information all seem to lend themselves to the needs of the maintenance worker.  Being able to access this treasure-trove of data at the shop and at the work site will save a significant portion of the time that is calculated to be consumed for each work order.

A well-organized dataset, that an average technician has the IT capability to access, that provides simple markup tools to update that dataset without the need of a powerful desktop PC or years of training, is what technicians need to be more efficient and reduce the time and cost to complete work orders.

Imagine if you could reduce the time it takes to search for information by about 50% (that would be one hour instead of 2), you would be able to complete 8 more work orders or, in a better scenario, you could have reduces your staff by 5 technicians, electricians , or carpenters over time saving a significant amount of money annually.  It is your time and money, how are you spending it?