When overseeing multiple facilities, one of the biggest issues is often clear communications. If your team has to guess what to do, they will most likely miss the objective. It is important that everyone involved understands what the objectives are and what expectations need to be met. If the maintenance team at one facility isn’t sure what tasks need to be done, or when they need to be finished, it is easy for a maintenance schedule to fall behind. Even worse, maintenance on some pieces of equipment may get skipped in order to catch up on lost time.
Outlining the processes that need to be followed at the very beginning is key to clear communication. The teams need to know what needs to be done, how it is supposed to be performed, and when it is expected to be finished. If delays occur throughout that process, they need to be communicated so that schedules can be shifted.
Develop a Process
Oversight for multiple locations requires a little more structure. Having a clearly defined process for beginning a task, completing the task, and communicating the results from the task is incredibly important. Using carefully constructed reports helps make sure that all the required information is captured and can be communicated back clearly. With the process defined, it becomes a lot harder for information to fall through the cracks or be left out completely.
A good process for facility oversight begins with what is used to assign work to the team. When going off a planned schedule, it is easy for your team to look at a calendar to see what has been assigned for any given day. Having well-defined steps to perform daily duties can help to ensure that the work is done the same way, even if someone different is doing it each time. A good process will also prompt the operator to assess critical aspects of the equipment and note their findings. This information is great, but it is useless unless it gets back to the right hands. The final step in a good process is a way to close the feedback loop. Any report or documentation from working on equipment needs to be returned to the facility manager. Some important information to list in these reports includes:
- The model number, tag number, and serial number of the equipment being serviced.
- The initial condition of the equipment.
- What was done to the equipment.
- The condition the equipment was in after maintenance.
- Any concerns or potential failures that are noted.
Implementing a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) can also help streamline the generation, distribution, and documentation of maintenance reports. CMMS software systems automate a lot of the more tedious aspects of maintenance scheduling. When facility oversight occurs at multiple locations, a CMMS can become a great solution for keeping teams on track and keeping reporting up to date.
No matter what plans or processes you put into place, the needs of your facilities, and the needs of your people, will change over time. Being open to criticism can help bring about much needed improvements, but it is important that your team feels open to expressing their ideas. Holding regularly scheduled meetings (at least once per quarter), where your team can bring up any concerns or suggestions they have, will help facilitate this improvement. Document these meetings carefully so that any good information can be used to improve the processes in the future.
Managing multiple facilities is not easy, but following some of these steps will help. Clear communication, the development of a process, and the willingness to improve that process are the attributes you need to look for. Those three basic steps can have a massive impact on facility reporting and make it easier to manage multiple facilities.
Multiple facilities also mean a much higher workload. It may be that you need to reach out to external specialists for help with maintaining your facility. The expert engineers here at Tate Engineering are always eager to help, and with our knowledge and experience, we can help make sure your facilities are up-to-date and working well. Give us a call or email today!