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?

The One Year Hurdle For All New Facilities

Some of the biggest challenges today in the facility maintenance arena are the availability of critical information and how to access it.  Once a construction project is completed, the facility information is turned over from the building team to the maintenance team.  There are  many forms that information is both submitted and received such as paper, notebooks, binders, clip boards, drawing racks, rolls of drawings, FTP sites, CDs and DVDs, CAD files, BIM Models, PDFs and the list goes on and on.  The most critical element of the information turnover comes down to, “…can the information in its current format be utilized by the rank and file maintenance technicians and workers?”

There are other impediments to the utilization of this information.  The first hurdle is the typical “one year” standard warranty for construction work.  After the training is completed and the information is turned over, the facilities staff will spend a lot of time in that first year making warranty and guarantee calls.  The information obtained at turnover is now one year old.  Chances are the facility will only have PMs completed for the first five years of operations since unscheduled maintenance only begins as the facility ages.  That turn over information is now several years out of date.

In the sixth year of operation, the facility is now beginning to experience unscheduled maintenance or “emergency calls” to replace worn or broken parts.  This is the time that the organized information kept current during the “honeymoon” period of the facility occupancy comes in handy.  Studies at USC which captured the time of the average work order takes 6 hours to complete with nearly 2 hours being spent trying to find information about the subject of that work order.

Facility information for maintenance (scheduled and unscheduled) is a long term effort, the longer it is invested in, the more it returns…the only thing to ask now is…how much does it have to cost?  Well, you don’t have to spend a lot to obtain “a lot more” in benefit!  Careful understanding of your staff and how the information that is turned over to you is going to be accessed makes all the difference in how accessible it is and how much it will cost you.