The Right Time to Start Your Facilities Maintenance Department

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By Katie Torres

If you have a new or small business, you may be wondering when the right time is to start your facilities maintenance department.

While the answer may look slightly different for everyone, there are a few questions you can ask yourself to get an idea of when you should start:

  • Does your company have a brand image it's working to develop and maintain?
  • Do you have one or more locations where you have equipment/facilities that need upkeep and management?
  • Do you have people looking to you to make decisions and solve maintenance issues?
  • Do you have employees who need more time to focus on their job, rather than having to spend time fixing broken equipment?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are in a position where starting your FM department would be beneficial to your business.

The question then, is, "how?"

Don’t look at the development of your FM department as an extra task on your to-do list, or as an extra expense.

The thing to keep in mind is that your company will look much different one year from now than it does today. 

So, you need to start your FM department to suit your current needs, and build on it as your company grows.

To get started, you'll want to answer a few questions:

Do you have someone managing work orders and tracking assets?

If so, how busy are they with this? If doing so is taking up time and energy they could be using elsewhere, perhaps a management software program would be a good thing to consider for your company.

However you choose to handle the management of work orders and asset tracking, it needs to happen.  Without the proper data, information, and communication, you'll end up with jobs-done-unwell and you'll see an increase in unnecessary spending.

Do you have a centralized location to keep up with work orders?

To save time (and money), you'll want to be sure that work orders and other information are all in one place.

Having scattered information across Excel spreadsheets or in loose paperwork is a sure way to have missed work orders, issues with vendors, problems with invoices, and a myriad of other problems.

This is definitely an area where a centralized location software program will help, no matter how large or small your company may be.

Do you know if you're overspending on maintenance?

Are you paying for unnecessary work orders? Do you know which expenses are unnecessary to your company?

Have you ever paid a vendor to come switch on the circuit breaker, simply because no one thought to check it before placing a work order?

You'll want to pay attention to your processes and procedures, as well as the kind of data and information you have stored on your equipment. This is how you will avoid overspending on maintenance issues.

Once you have all these questions answered, you should have a good idea of when (and how) to get started with developing your FM department.

And one last, important thing: Don't look at the development of your FM department as an extra task on your to-do list, or as an extra expense. Having a well-run FM department directly leads to the improvement of your business, and will save you a ton of time and money as your company grows.