Mastering the Art of Facilities Maintenance

managing time and resources effectively

Using OEM Information to Create a PM Program

Everyone says “according to manufacturer’s recommendations” when writing preventive maintenance tasks, but in reality, how often are the OEM-Original Equipment Manufacturer’s recommendations actually followed? When writing a PM program, it should become standard practice to consult the installation, startup, and operation documentation that came with the equipment.

More often than should be the case, the original OEM material is not with the equipment, and it is nowhere to be found on site. So, what do you do when the OEM’s aren’t onsite? Write down as much information you can find on the equipment including model number, serial number, amperage, voltage, etc. and consult the following sources:

1. go to the manufacturer’s website

2. call your local manufacturer’s representative

3. consult a third-party engineering firm to write your program for you

Finally, keep a library of your preventive maintenance tasks for future reference.  If you have a PM written for a specfic type of pump, fan, motor, or other piece of equipment, and you later acquire a contract that has that same piece of equipment, you can use the one you have. I prefer to call this my “best practices” book, and I keep both a digital copy, and a hard copy for reference when writing new programs.

December 8, 2008 Posted by | facilities maintenance | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


It’s always important to document the work that you do. No one ever knows how much you do, or what you do until you tell them. Make sure you have plenty of places to brag about what it is that you do as a maintenance tech.

Create daily, weekly, and monthly logs of your PM- and your service request activity. Make sure that you include as much information as humanly possible. Keep a journal, or a notebook and start making it a habit to write down every request, every communication, and every commitment you make to your customers. One good little compact journal is a Moleskine.


Whatever the type of journal you chose, just make a habit of loggin your daily activity, and keep a record of things like;

  1. phone calls to subcontractors and vendors
  2. service requests and repair requests made “in passing”
  3. dates and times you placed orders include item, PO and promised delivery date
  4. progress and status updates of ongoing projects
  5. notes on equipment and repairs that you perform

This isn’t meant to take the place of your existing documentation plan. There are federal, state, and local requirements for record keeping that you must maintain, and I recommend a 3 ring binder in your office for this sort of thing.

Finally, remember that private journals and logs that you carry can be subpoenad in the event of a disagreement or for several other reasons, so remember not to write down your personal feelings about your boss, or anyone else at the property. Keep it brief, keep it updated, and keep it professional.

June 15, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment