Upkeep of facilities is a major responsibility for management. The process of carrying out maintenance, repair, and replacement of essential building amenities requires a great deal of time, which many managers lack. To keep your facilities on track without spending all your time on physical plant, follow these four steps.
Check for Upgrades
Most building systems last for many years, during which time there are often technological improvements to those systems. Simply replacing the old system with another one just like it may not be the best choice. If you’re having commercial hvac installation done, discuss options with your contractor. You may be able to convert to geothermal, or there may be solar components you can add. Don’t just replace, upgrade!
Juggling five hvac systems, ten water heaters, and an army of smoke detectors can be overwhelming. Many of these systems include installation dates and suggested replacement dates, but that information must be somewhere easier to reach than a dark corner of an attic. Review all your systems and create a listing of when each filter, bulb, battery, and system was installed. Then add the expected or required replacement dates and create notifications in your electronic calendar.
Provide Lead Time
In your calendar, make sure that the bigger functions are scheduled well ahead of the actual replacement date. That will permit you to examine the market thoroughly before awarding a bid or purchasing products. You will also want to stay a few weeks ahead of smaller functions, since replacement of things like telephones or intercom speakers can often involve an extensive process of researching options. Don’t wait until the last minute and assume you’ll be able to find everything in a few days.
Get Staff Input
Nobody knows your building amenities quite like the people who use them. Talk with section leaders and managers to see what they like and don’t like. Ask them to think back to when they first started working in the building. What was adequate, and what was not? Over time, they may have adapted and forgotten. Give them the opportunity to provide information. Without this feedback, you run the risk of further cementing something that hasn’t been satisfactory.
The upkeep and replacement of building systems is a major responsibility. When important amenities have reached the end of their useful life, the process of updating must be handled very thoroughly with good planning–and lots of advance notice.
Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and walks in the park with her three-year-old husky, Snowball.