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.
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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 facilities management or facilities maintenance. No matter what you call it though, 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 CMMS?
A CMMS, or computerized maintenance management system, automates maintenance of all kinds. It helps facilities managers track assets, schedule repairs and preventive maintenance, monitor work orders, manage costs and adhere to compliance standards. Ask a facilities manager about how they run their facility, and their CMMS will surely come up in the conversation.
CMMS is a powerful tool because it 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 sometimes diagnose the issue straight away and schedule a repair. You can’t get more automated than that unless it could also fix itself.
Not a software used by every company like CRM or BI, CMMS is typically used by industrial businesses. It’s commonly used in industries such as mining, manufacturing, warehouses and energy. However, it has applications beyond those industries, including building maintenance.
How Does CMMS Help Building Maintenance?
Luckily for building maintenance workers everywhere, the capabilities of CMMS have been customized for building maintenance. Building maintenance software exists today as a type of CMMS. Sadly, it can’t perform every inspection (at least not yet). 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. CMMS 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. CMMS helps managers schedule general maintenance and repairs right after problems are discovered. This, in turn, helps workers fix the problem and avoid a long turnaround. Whether it’s an electrical, plumbing or water issue or just a light fixture that needs fixing, the repairs can be scheduled and assigned in a CMMS.
Every building and facility wants to meet and, hopefully, exceed its industry compliance standards. To do so consistently requires regular internal inspection. Scheduling and recording this in a CMMS 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 tasks, it’s kind of like a marathon without a finish line. But with CMMS, the marathon feels a lot more manageable, and you’ll thank yourself after adopting it.