Forward-thinking leaders must be more dedicated to facilities management and operations, otherwise catastrophic setbacks will overwhelm them.

Facility Executives Should Find Ways to End Reactive Maintenance for Good

The COVID-19 pandemic has drawn attention to the importance of planning and taking proactive steps to ensure enterprises, institutions and governments keep serving society in times of both crisis and calm. During the pandemic, economies came to a standstill, essential workplaces became battlegrounds, people retreated and homes became schools and offices. The impact on your facility was likely immense. Operations across the board needed modifications to permit remote work and create safe spaces for those who remained onsite. What lessons have we learned about proactive facility management one year into the pandemic?

What may have been a simple management debate in 2019 has now become a necessity. Forward-thinking leaders must be more dedicated to facilities management and operations, otherwise catastrophic setbacks will overwhelm them. No longer will being reactive suffice; operators need to shift towards plans that involve foresight, real-time monitoring, contingency measures and preventive activities.

We know the benefits of seeing your doctor for regular medical checkups and visiting your mechanic frequently to prolong the life of your vehicle. The same is true for facility management and services. Adopting a proactive approach can improve facility outcomes, produce safer environments and drive down maintenance costs.

There has never been a better time to shift gears. Here are four ways you can take control and prepare, perfect and prolong your operations.

1. Start with the right plan

Proactive facility service and maintenance require a vision reflecting your strategy for your property, machinery, equipment and buildings over a sensible horizon. In order to do this, develop quarterly and annual goals and measure progress against your plan, inventory your assets and agreements, and then chart a path toward minimizing failing equipment and limiting possible downtime. Once that plan has been approved, execute the steps to maximize proactive and predictive maintenance opportunities, while minimizing disruption. There will occasionally be unanticipated emergencies, but if your plan is thorough these events should also be minimal and manageable. 

2. Capitalize on smart building technology

Invest in technology to make your buildings and assets “smart”. Managers have the power to make decisions in real time that positively affect outcomes using the right equipment and technology that capture data and provide technical insights. The interoperability and interconnectedness of smart building systems empower your teams to see performance and act on changes to maximize productivity while ensuring safety and lowering risk. Seize on the coming revolution in facilities management by making innovation part of your program.

3. Use data to drive meaningful change 

Develop the facility analytics to observe issues the moment they occur and take action. The ability to see where and how buildings and assets are operating and what procedures need to be employed to improve is a game changer. As machine learning and artificial intelligence develop, the power and pace of smart building technology will accelerate. Knowledge is power, and that power is grounded in analytics.

4. Tap your service partners for improvements

Be proactive with your service providers too. The partners who help you run operations day to day are a key resource for advances. They work on many more issues with many more clients than your team, so engage their expertise. They may offer advice on how to better integrate systems or provide higher-quality maintenance at a lower cost, contracting-out, or customized solutions to save time and money and minimize stress.

As the pandemic subsides and businesses, institutions and governments recover, 2021 will be an ideal year for facilities to move to proactive maintenance. Make the transition now to see improvements in reducing downtime and cutting repair and labour costs and to increase the longevity of key machines and equipment. Your facilities and workplaces will be better off in the end.

If you need advice regarding any of the issues noted above, feel free to reach out to Black & McDonald’s facility experts at any time. Click to book a meeting.