Deferred Maintenance Backlog Reduction: Combining a Building Automation System & Facilities Management Services

Deferred maintenance is often viewed as a standard way to increase budget availability. When needs arise, management chooses to push them back until funding is available. Deferred maintenance costs quickly increase, resulting in much higher costs than the original repair or need. Depending on the industry, deferred maintenance can have even higher costs, including damage to costly equipment and merchandise, as well as damage to the facility, reports Buildings.com. Facilities Managers need to understand the challenges in managing deferred maintenance, the value of a building automation system (BAS) and managed services, as well as how to optimize your deferred maintenance backlog reduction.

The Mounting Challenges of Deferred Maintenance Result in Endless “Firefighting”

According to FacilitiesNet, deferred maintenance remains a significant cost center for businesses. The average building is more than 32 years old, yet maintenance is only 2-6 percent of the annual operating budget. Meanwhile, budget cuts often result in maintenance cuts. The idea of pushing needs back seems like a no-brainer. It costs much more than a company realizes. Depending on the industry, deferred maintenance can have even higher costs, including damage to costly equipment and merchandise, as well as damage to the facility, reports Buildings.com. That is not counting the potential damage from disruptions to customers, poor quality of service and the negative perception that develops.

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Combining a BAS and Managed Service Reduce Incidence of Deferred Maintenance

As more Facility Managers look for ways to avoid these costs, the combined use of a building automation system (BAS) and facilities management services will enable the most significant deferred maintenance backlog reduction. Facilities Managers must also first understand deferred maintenance contributing factors, the scale of the problem and its costs asserts Buildings.com.

The contributing factors of deferred maintenance are similar regardless of the organization. A lack of facilities maintenance budget, poor planning, failure to recognize the problem and other issues lead to the exacerbation of deferred maintenance. Furthermore, deferred maintenance only results in higher added costs. However, combining a BAS and facility management services ensures a comprehensive approach to management, including the development and implementation of a preventive maintenance program.

Tips to Achieve a High Deferred Maintenance Backlog Reduction 

Achieving improved deferred maintenance backlog reduction might seem impossible. In today's world, Facility Managers have an arsenal of tools that can drive backlog into retreat. Those that are uncertain where to begin should follow these tips to achieve a stronger reduction:

  1. Track work orders with a high-quality CMMS. Such systems send work orders to field service technicians automatically and streamline repairs, eliminating the hassle of managing field service vendor bidding wars, scheduling issues, and unexpected costs.
  2. Integrate facility management and building automation systems (BAS). Integrated systems eliminate data silos and ensure that Facility Managers can gain true visibility into all activities.
  3. Take advantage of analytics to track and verify technician activities, time to resolution, the average cost per repair and more. Gathering data ensures accurate life cycle costing.
  4. Use sensors to track asset performance. Tracking asset performance with sensors, including those connected to the Internet of Things, will help Facility Managers understand current assets status and plan more effectively.
  5. Develop a plan for when to repair or replace an asset, explains Facility Executive. Recognizing when it is appropriate to repair or replace an asset is essential to maintaining the current maintenance program and avoiding the pitfalls of deferring maintenance.
  6. Lower operating costs by reducing runtime and need for maintenance. Eliminating unnecessary runtime will effectively lower the amount of maintenance necessary.
  7. Conduct regular facility inspections. Regular facility inspections help Facility Managers verify data and ensure assets are performing as expected.
  8. Track budgeting thresholds for handling reactive maintenance. Tracking budgeting thresholds provides the final aspect of planning for likely needs and avoiding unnecessary expenses.

Choose the Right Partner to Achieve the Best Deferred Maintenance Backlog Reduction

Another critical factor in achieving the best-deferred maintenance backlog reduction is the selection of a proper facilities management provider and partner. Today’s Facility Managers should carefully consider their available vendors and work with those that have an established network of field service vendors, understand the complexities of facilities management and work to bring harmony to the chaos of deferred maintenance.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb