How to avoid or reduce these events.
All of these events are easy to avoid, the methodology is in the processes and procedures adopted by the facility management company. The first thought which comes to mind is the Building Manager and their role in the financial loss event, however, it is not so much the Building Manager, but the processes and procedures which are in place to support that role. Building Mangers change jobs, take annual and sick leave and simply forget. Consequently, local site knowledge, of the building manager, should not be the first and last resort to reduce or minimize these financial losses. So how do we manage this situation to negate and/or reduce the likelihood of a financial loss occurring unnecessarily? How we can support our Building Managers so when they take leave they are not called every five minutes by the replacement?
To demonstrate our point, we will use a simple, yet, common example where the “demarcation” lines between a contractor’s tasks are grey or blurred; to begin: an event occurs on site where the alarm lights, which activate when the temperature in a cool room becomes too high, stop working and the contents in the fridge have been lost or put at risk. Which Electrician should be called? Should the call go to the refrigeration mechanic, the HVAC electrician or the light and power electrician or even the BMS (Building Management Systems)company. Knowing which company installed the equipment is a good start, but sometimes that company subcontracted those works at the time the project was installed.
Keeping good records and make them accessible
Good record keeping is the key.
Good record keeping can be in the form of an Asset Register which is easily accessible via a web portal for all relevant parties to use and understand. The asset register should be intuitive to use and up to date.
Use an Asset Register
The Asset register is a straight forward database where the relevant site information is kept:
In the above example, the Building Manager could search the database for the fridge, the directory of the database, much like that in your Laptop, serves to find the information and take the Building Manager to a new directory if required.
The database of assets should be cross correlated, for example, if the alarm light for the fridge is actually associated with the refrigeration, then it will should be easily found in the item description, and/or a link to a new directory to investigate further. At the very least, the Asset Register will start the phone call process at a logical point, as opposed to calling the general light and power electrician first in a frenzied panic when the light and power electrician would not have been involved.
Implement a solution
Our solution, is a process which involves an intuitive and accurate Asset Register which is up to date. An argument that software is expensive and keeping the register update is expensive and we “just don’t have the time” does not hold weight. Why? Do you have the time to call the wrong contractor and the money to pay these contractors? Do you have the time and money to forget valuable information or pay for warranty repairs which should be covered by the relevant contractor? Do you have a Building Manager with a USB port in the side of his head which you can down load the information for when they go on leave.
The bigger and more complex your site is, the more exposure to risk is carried if an Asset register is not implemented. Creating and keeping the database is actually more imperative on these sites as several staff are often involved in the management of the site at differing levels. Optimizing your staff time can be greatly assisted with an implemented solution.
Staff Training is an important part of this strategy, they need to know what equipment they are investigating, how the equipment relates to other equipment within the database and how to search the database effectively.
Staff need to be aware of effective questions to ask the relevant contractor to confirm their expertise in the relevant equipment.
Process and procedures should be in place to allow staff the time to keep the database of an asset register current and accurate. This includes entering services dockets, costs and service maintenance and/or correctional maintenance events.
So think about it, whether you involve us or not, the better and more accessible your record keeping is, the more efficient your operations are and with more efficiency comes profit. (now there’s a nice thought).