If you are reading this, chances are you are feeling some pressure around maintaining your facilities and equipment. When your locations were newer and fewer, maintenance wasn’t a priority. That’s no longer the case.
Your repair list is growing. You need to make decisions about what to prioritize. There is too much information to keep in your head. And you need to figure out who is going to start managing it all.
Most multi-location companies wait too long before putting maintenance processes and programs in place. They react to the problem from a position of pain instead of designing an effective program from the start.
But where do you start?
This post is part of a series dedicated to helping you lay the groundwork for your maintenance program. It doesn’t matter if you are reacting from a point of pain or if you are realizing you need to put a program in place before the pain comes. The strategies in this blog series will help you.
The best facilities and equipment maintenance programs do 3 things really well.
First. They extend the life of facilities and equipment.
Second. They improve the brand image of the company by increasing the condition of the facility and equipment.
Third: They save money through eliminating unnecessary repairs.
We will talk more about how these three areas benefit your company later on, but for now just know: when these three areas are managed and measured well, they will lead to the growth and scalability of your multi-location. When they don’t, they eventually lead to disaster.
We have seen firsthand (as employees and as vendors) how over 100 individual multi-location restaurant, food service, and retail brands run their facilities and equipment maintenance operations.
Our team is made up of people from a wide range of experience within multi-location brands.
Our team resume looks like this.
- Pushed carts for a Grocery Store chain.
- Managed a gym.
- Cooked french fries.
- Trained people to run a cash register.
- Waited tables.
- Managed a $1.5 million big box retail store.
- Grew a self-performing maintenance repair company from 3 employees to 80+ technicians in 16 states.
- Created training programs.
- Cooked in a full service restaurant.
- Built software for a multi-billion dollar industry.
- Dug holes in the natural gas industry.
- Managed a restaurant.
- Project managed hotel remodels.
- Roughed in plumbing and electrical in houses.
- Served our country in the Army.
- Software customer service.
- Facilities maintenance customer service.
- Built websites.
- Designed processes.
- Vendor sourcing and material purchasing.
We have seen how maintenance programs work from multiple perspectives. We have incorporated thinking and processes from unrelated industries (like computer science). We’ve studied, debated, implemented, tested, and revised these ideas processes. We’ve applied them to our own business to increase efficiency and effectiveness.
As a result we have developed the Envoy Maintenance Machine (EMM), a proven system for implementing and managing a centralized maintenance management program for multi-location brands.
This series will be a collection of some of the best practices from this system. We will walk you through the basics of the four elements that make up the EMM: People, Processes, Technology, and Vendors.
The bulk of the information and work apply to the People and Processes portions. They are the foundation.
People drive the success of the EMM, so they have to have the right qualities. You’ll learn how to find, hire, and train towards these qualities. You will also learn management principles that lead to consistent performance.
Processes are the pre-made decisions that guide every action in the program. Management is simpler when you are managing pre-made decisions. You’ll learn about repair workflow, making decisions with multi-variable inputs, and setting up guardrails that allow your team to work quickly while minimizing errors.
The second part of the EMM is made up of the Technology and Vendors portion. These areas create efficiencies and do the heavy lifting.
Technology makes work easier. We will teach you what to look for in the technology that you choose, how to set up automation to reduce administrative work, what data to track and where, who needs access to what information, and what to do with the data once you have.
Vendors get the work done. We will teach you how to source for honest, cost-effective vendors, how to manage repair contractors to increase communication and reduce costs, and how to manage quality assurance.
In the end, you will have a foundation to build on as you start creating your maintenance program.
In the next post, we will talk about the benefits of having an effective facilities maintenance program and how each of the 3 areas, life cycle, brand, and work order reduction contribute towards your company’s goals.