Buildings aren’t eternal. There are people that think that once a building goes up, it’s solid forever. But for those that know better, they know it’s an ongoing process full of regular inspections and hard work. No matter the type of building, whether school or skyscraper, every building needs regular maintenance. For a time it was a manual process, which made it difficult to perform properly. Luckily, software was developed to automate much of the process.
What is Building Maintenance?
First off: what exactly is “building maintenance?” If you haven’t heard of building maintenance, you may have heard it called facility management or facilities maintenance. No matter what you call it, it encompasses all of the factors involved in making a building look and operate its best. This includes everything from quick fixes to large-scale preventive maintenance.
To properly execute this maintenance, regular inspections are essential for building maintenance. This ensures that problems are found quickly and dealt with soon after. After all, the point of building maintenance is to resolve any and all problems when they happen and before they happen. “Procrastination” and “we’ll do it later” don’t exist in building maintenance vocabulary.
Technically speaking, you can count general cleaning as building maintenance as well. However, it’s not often put under the same umbrella, since janitorial services are usually separate from maintenance workers. However, building maintenance sometimes includes cleaning after repairing something like a leaky water pipe.
What is Building Maintenance Management Software?
Building maintenance management software is — you guessed it — software designed to manage your building maintenance. It’s a specialized CMMS solution (computerized maintenance management system) that automates maintenance of all kinds. Building maintenance management software helps maintenance managers stay on top of their day-to-day operations. This includes asset management, repair scheduling, preventive maintenance, monitoring maintenance work orders, managing costs and adhering to compliance standards. Ask a maintenance manager about how they maintain their facility, and their building maintenance management software will surely come up in the conversation.
Building maintenance management software, and CMMS in general, are powerful tools because they can not only schedule maintenance, but also discover problems. Today’s CMMS uses the Internet of Things to closely monitor the equipment used in a facility. Each piece of equipment is internet-enabled and connected to the CMMS, so it’s informed when something goes wrong. Depending on the issue, it can even diagnose what’s wrong straight away and schedule the asset for repair. You can’t get more automated than that (unless said asset could also fix itself).
CMMS and building maintenance management software aren’t used universally like CRM and BI are. They’re typically used mostly by industrial businesses and those that rely on their facility, such as healthcare. Other industries that commonly use this software include mining, manufacturing, warehouses and energy. However, it has applications beyond those industries.
What Does Building Maintenance Management Software Do?
Luckily for building maintenance workers everywhere, building maintenance management software provides customized functionality specifically for building maintenance. Unfortunately, it can’t perform every inspection of every asset in your facility (full building automation is still a ways off). But it automates the scheduling of inspections and repairs necessary for proper building maintenance.
The most important aspect in increasing a building’s longevity is preventive maintenance. Inspections of the foundation, structure and other components needs to happen on a regular basis. Building maintenance management software lets you schedule these inspections, so that your engineers can easily check when to perform the inspections and then report on them afterwards.
As much as we wish building systems would never fail, it happens occasionally. So when they do, they need to be fixed as quickly as possible. Building maintenance management software helps maintenance managers schedule general maintenance and repairs right after problems are discovered. This, in turn, helps workers fix the problem and avoid a long turnaround for the related work orders. Whether it’s an electrical, plumbing or water issue, the repairs can be scheduled and assigned using building maintenance management software.
Most maintenance workers want the facility they work in to meet and, hopefully, exceed its industry compliance standards. But to do so consistently requires regular internal inspection. Scheduling and recording this in building maintenance management software makes sure that these inspections actually happen. In addition, you can record the results and track the progress from each inspection to see how you’re improving.
Nobody ever accused building maintenance of being an easy discipline. With a constant stream of maintenance tasks, it’s essentially a marathon without a finish line. But with CMMS and building maintenance management software, that marathon feels a lot more manageable. And you’ll thank yourself once you implement it.