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6 Tips to Boost the Efficiency of Facility Maintenance

Oct 16, 2023 | Public | 0 comments

When you hear “facility maintenance,” it’s easy to envision technicians and machinery. Yet, in our efficiency-centric era, its scope has broadened. It’s no longer just about upkeep; it’s about enhancing productivity, curbing costs, and setting new performance standards.

Advanced tools, smart systems, and data-driven approaches are becoming integral. In this article, we’ll delve into the transformative technologies and methodologies elevating facility maintenance and offer practical advice for improving your facility maintenance efficiency.

1. Embrace the Power of Connected Worker Technology

Connected worker tech isn’t just a trendy term. It’s a method that seamlessly links workers to their surroundings through digital tools like wearables, mobile apps, and cloud platforms. Its purpose is to give workers instant access to vital information, streamline operations, and strengthen decision-making.

Picture this: A machine in your facility starts showing signs of wear. In traditional settings, this might go unnoticed until a malfunction. But with connected worker tech, sensors instantly detect issues, alerting maintenance teams and cutting downtime.

This real-time data collection transforms predictive maintenance. Technicians service machines based on their actual condition, not a preset schedule. The result? Fewer breakdowns and optimized resource allocation.

But the benefits don’t stop at maintenance. Connected worker technology amplifies worker productivity, reduces waste, and fine-tunes inventory management. It’s also a safety game-changer, identifying potential hazards in real-time, ensuring well-informed decisions, and maximizing resources and returns.

2. Train Facilities Managers to Leverage Tech Tools

Tech is always evolving. What’s innovative today may be outdated tomorrow. For facilities managers, this highlights the need for ongoing learning. It’s not just about keeping up, but leading the way, foreseeing shifts, and priming the facility for what’s next.

Luckily, numerous resources cater to facilities managers eager to learn:

  • Online courses: Platforms like Coursera, Udemy, and LinkedIn Learning offer specialized courses on topics like connected worker tech and integrating the Internet of Things (IoT) in industries.
  • Interactive workshops: Industry groups regularly host seminars and workshops, blending hands-on learning with expert insights.
  • Certifications: Prestigious bodies, like IFMA, offer programs that cover the latest tech trends in facilities management.

With up-to-date tech knowledge, facilities managers can craft strategies that optimize operations, reduce costs, and elevate productivity. The outcomes? Less downtime, efficient resource use, and a team that thrives with technology, rather than being overwhelmed by it.

A well-informed facilities manager isn’t just a supervisor but a visionary leader. They see technology as a cornerstone of the facility’s approach and make operational excellence the norm instead of an aspiration.

3. Automate Routine Tasks for Enhanced Efficiency

While “automation” often evokes images of robots, in facility maintenance, it’s about amplifying human roles. Central to this is the enterprise asset management (EAM) system. Designed to holistically oversee a facility’s assets, EAM centralizes asset data, offering managers real-time insights and reducing errors.

But what truly sets EAM systems apart is their innate ability to automate routine tasks. From scheduling regular maintenance to sending out timely replacement alerts, these systems free up staff to concentrate on more strategic endeavors, propelling facility efficiency to new heights.

Benefits of EAM systems include:

  • Predictive maintenance: With continuous monitoring, EAM systems can foresee potential asset malfunctions, facilitating early interventions and minimizing unexpected downtime.
  • Reduced downtime: Thanks to automated alerts and streamlined processes, maintenance becomes swifter, ensuring assets function seamlessly.
  • Extended asset life: Regular, data-driven maintenance means assets operate at peak performance, prolonging their lifespan and enhancing ROI.

Consider Purple’s experience. When the comfort technology company adopted an advanced EAM system, it achieved:

  • 52% fewer equipment failures;
  • 54% reduction in downtime; and
  • 42% increase in on-time maintenance tasks.

Purple’s success underscores EAM’s potential. By centralizing and automating, facilities don’t just improve maintenance—they elevate their operational excellence.

4. Prioritize Sustainability with Smart Systems

Modern systems, with their real-time monitoring and data analytics capabilities, are reshaping how facilities function, emphasizing minimal waste and heightened efficiency.

Several innovative tools have emerged, each with a keen focus on energy conservation and waste reduction:

  • Energy management systems (EMS): These offer insights into a facility’s energy use, pinpointing wastage and suggesting improvements.
  • Waste tracking platforms: Monitoring waste in real-time, these platforms identify and reduce excess waste sources.
  • Smart sensors: Positioned throughout a facility, they detect issues from water leaks to HVAC inefficiencies, ensuring quick action.

While the upfront costs of such sustainable technologies might appear hefty, the long-term financial benefits are compelling. A dip in energy consumption directly correlates to trimmed utility bills. Efficient waste management cuts costs and can even generate recycling revenue. Plus, sustainable practices often prolong asset life, minimizing replacement costs.

Beyond the environmental benefits, sustainable facilities enjoy a positive public image, attracting eco-conscious stakeholders.

5: Set Clear KPIs for Operational Excellence

When people think of facility maintenance, they often picture routine checks and repairs. But in today’s advanced landscape, it’s about achieving operational excellence: ensuring assets not only function but excel with minimal waste and peak efficiency.

Imagine navigating without a map. That’s akin to operations devoid of key performance indicators. KPIs, in essence, are the compass, translating broad objectives like “enhance efficiency” into tangible targets, such as achieving a 95% timely maintenance rate or cutting energy use by 20%.

With Industry 4.0 in full swing, several tools have emerged, tailored for KPI tracking:

  • Facilities management software: These platforms offer a real-time lens into operational metrics, enabling managers to keep a pulse on KPIs and recalibrate strategies on the go.
  • Dashboarding tools: Platforms such as Tableau and Power BI integrate with diverse data sources, offering visual dashboards that make KPI tracking intuitive.
  • IoT sensors: When integrated with assets, these sensors provide a continuous flow of data, offering insights into performance metrics and enhancing KPI oversight.

Data stands at the forefront of operational excellence. Equipped with clear KPIs and the right tools, facilities can transition from guesswork to data-backed strategies. This not only sharpens accuracy but also fosters predictive insights, allowing facilities to foresee challenges and pivot proactively. The result is streamlined operations, reduced inefficiencies, and a steadfast commitment to excellence.

6. Seek Expertise: Collaborate with Tech Providers and Consultants

Engaging with external specialists ensures that a facility taps into a wider reservoir of knowledge and innovation.

Tech providers can be strategic allies in a facility’s quest for operational excellence. Often at the innovation vanguard, these providers craft solutions addressing the unique challenges of contemporary facilities.

Partnering with them brings several advantages:

  • Latest tech access: Direct access to the latest tools ensures facilities remain advanced.
  • Bespoke solutions: Providers customize tools to fit a facility’s unique needs, ensuring optimal performance.
  • Ongoing support: Beyond setup, providers offer ongoing training and updates.

While tech providers bring tools to the table, consultants offer a wealth of insights. With a panoramic view of the sector, they can pinpoint gaps, recommend enhancements, and devise strategies that might elude an internal team. Their external perspective, devoid of internal preconceptions, can breathe fresh, innovative solutions into age-old challenges.

In essence, collaborations with tech providers and consultants are catalysts for innovation. They infuse fresh perspectives, challenge the status quo, and broaden horizons.

Charting the Next Era of Facility Maintenance Efficiency

The narrative underscores one key theme: necessary proactive adaptation. As the industry landscape shifts, facilities tethered to old methods risk stagnation.

However, it’s not just about adapting—it’s about leading the charge. Facilities that seamlessly integrate technology, foster continuous learning, and establish clear KPIs can chart a course toward unparalleled efficiency.

Are your current maintenance practices truly optimized for the future, or are they remnants of past methodologies? How can you further integrate technology into your facility’s operations to not just solve problems, but to anticipate and prevent them?

Reflect on these questions, and let them guide your journey toward a more efficient approach to facility maintenance.

With over 30 years of experience in the manufacturing space, Eric Whitley is currently director of smart manufacturing at software company L2L.

The post 6 Tips to Boost the Efficiency of Facility Maintenance appeared first on Facilities Management Advisor.

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