Mastering the Art of Facilities Maintenance

managing time and resources effectively

Managing work orders and work flow

Managing workflow, documenting work, and providing for compliance with record keeping can be a tough tract to manage when spring and summer work picks up. Maintenance technicians can be overwhelmed and can handle as many as 60-70 work orders in a single day. How do you manage all of these work orders?

My thoughts go back to property managers scribbling addresses on a post-it note, or concierge desk attendants handing “while you were out” notes to maintenance technicians. The tech then proceeds to put the note in their shirt-pocket and then realizes days later that they forgot the call…

The best way to handle a work-order system with maintenance techs is to provide a written work order.  A written work order program can also include the following:

  1. maintenance request forms
  2. door hangers
  3. work orders
  4. make-ready boards

Tenants and customers can fill out a form to make a maintenance request (they can be placed in the lobby, at a concierge desk, or at the property manager’s office) and then the actual work order can be assigned to the maintenance tech. The tech should always leave behind a document that tells a tenant or owner that a tech was in their unit, and door hangers can be used to notify pending work, that a tech is currently in the unit, or that a tech visited earlier.

Finally, in managing workflow, tracking and make-ready boards can be used for punch-out tracking ,special products and for assigning tasks with multiple technicians and vendors.

John Tindale and Maintenance Mastery were not compensated for mentioning Great American Property Management Products.

April 1, 2010 Posted by | buildouts & remodeling, facilities maintenance, organization, safety, tools | , , , | 3 Comments

Starting the New Year Correctly at Your Facility

After the holiday trimmings are all packed away, and you’ve completed those end of year tasks like budgeting, forecasting, or just surviving the holidays, the New Year is a chance to start out fresh. You’ve got that new desk calendar from your favorite vendor, or that shiny new pocket calendar is riding in your back pocket waiting for some new tasks and appointments.The problem is, after a few weeks, those tasks on your office white board never change, and you get caught up in the usual rush to respond to emergency and “immediate need” ticket work, while longer-term projects collect dust. Here’s a few tips to keep the momentum going.

1.Learn to get in the habit of carrying something to jot notes, and when someone asks you to do something, pull out your notebook, daytimer, (whatever works best- I like the moleskine) and tell them you’re busy right now but you’ll get back to them in a couple days. This will help you start managing your time better, and keep you from having 6-7 open/incomplete tasks on an ongoing basis. The real trick here is to check your lists- and follow up on promises in a reasonable time.

2. Leave notes and communicate updates. When you complete a task that someone has asked you to complete, leave a sticky note, or a post-it for them to let them know you followed through. When you aren’t finished doing something, but you’ve done something to move a project along (like calling a vendor for a delivery update) A quick note to tell someone that you changed a light,made a phone call, or painted a door frame will go a long way to remind people that you’ve actually done what you’ve been asked to do.

3. There’s no shame in admitting you can’t complete something once you find out it is bigger than you thought. An example might be where you decided to tackle a door refinishing project, thinking that you’d have time to refinish doors in your facility. You’ve done 2 of them, and they look good, but it took you 4 weeks to complete the two that you’ve done, and you have 30 more. If you approach your property manager and let them know that the project is taking longer than you thought, and give them the option of deciding what to do next, they might; authorize overtime to complete it after hours, allow you to solicit bids from a pro, or you might find out that it is not a high priority, and they don’t mind waiting.

Finally, if you are not giving your property manager,  board, or supervisor a regular report (at least monthly) of your activities you should get in the habit right away. Your monthly report can include things such as; Completed Tasks, Work waiting approval, Open work orders, Parts on Order, etc. Just because you know that something is in process, doesn’t mean that everyone else does, and it is your job to tell them.

December 27, 2008 Posted by | organization | , , , , , | Leave a comment