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Does your property management team struggle with asset maintenance?
According to a survey commissioned by ServiceMax, more than eight in ten respondents admit their organization could improve its effectiveness when it comes to asset management. Good asset management begins with strategic maintenance programs.
Depending on your organization’s size, you may be responsible for managing hundreds, if not thousands, of expensive assets. Considering that each item requires individual time tables, conditions, and parts for repair, it’s not surprising when suggested maintenance falls through the cracks.
Unfortunately, routine asset breakdowns do more than inconvenience tenants––they decrease equipment longevity, drain company resources, and tarnish property management reputations.
Considering that Property, Plant, and Equipment (PPE) is the largest line item on company balance sheets, most executives are willing to pay a premium for property managers who utilize strategic asset management systems. Robert McFarland, of Property Management, ITT, Inc, achieved more than $36 million in cost savings by improving asset management systems over a six-year period.
The good news is today’s work order software programs simplify asset management, preventive maintenance, and team communication for a fraction of the cost of traditional task management programs.
In this article, we’ll outline three maintenance tips for property managers to provide their clients with world-class experiences:
3 Essential Maintenance Tips for Property Managers
1. Maintain an Updated Database of Assets
Our first maintenance tip for porperty managers is deceptively simple. The key to running a world-class maintenance program is knowing which items are under your care at all times. This requires developing an asset management system that organizes the following asset characteristics:
- Asset name
- Asset category
- Asset location
- Serial number
- Year purchased
- Service dates
While you can get away with using an Excel spreadsheet, we don’t recommend doing so for several reasons. First, once spreadsheet data reaches a certain volume, it becomes difficult to manage.
Also, someone needs to remember to manually update spreadsheet data as work orders are fulfilled (something that doesn’t always happen during busy weeks). This responsibility often falls on over-scheduled property managers because deskless technicians don’t have easy access to desktop computers. Translation: Everything just takes a little longer than necessary and may not be up-to-date or all that usable in the end.
Conversely, a good work order software app can address all of these issues, allowing property management teams to quickly index assets, update information via smartphone, and include photos for easy recognition. Here’s an example of what that may look like:
The important thing is to make asset information readily available across the entire organization so updated information can be relied on to make cost savings decisions.
2. Use a CMMS System
Next, consult your manufacturer’s guidelines to determine which assets need routine care and when that should happen.
The best way to schedule recurring preventive maintenance tasks is with the assistance of a task management system. Also called Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), these software programs combine work order scheduling, asset management, and cost analysis in one convenient place.
The best CMMS options on the market right now are cloud-based, meaning they don’t require any sophisticated IT support to maintain. They are completely scalable and can be purchased for monthly fees according to the number of users within an organization.
The ideal software program will include many automated features that eliminate redundant data processing. It will also allow property managers to save preferred work order templates, track inventory, manage maintenance requests, set user permissions, and more.
3. Streamline Work Order Communication
Finally, an asset management program is only as successful as the team behind it. Before implementing any kind of organizational change, check-in with all existing team members. Ask them what keeps them from doing their jobs at full capacity, what they would do differently if they were calling the shots, and if they have any task-management software preferences. Use their feedback to inform your next steps.
Most of the technicians we have spoken with over the years have expressed a need for more organized communication systems. Important email threads get lost. Phone calls go to voicemail. And, the necessary documentation is hard to find.
Because every worker already has a smartphone in his or her pocket, it makes sense to utilize business communication apps built for mobile-first. MaintainX is the world’s first task management app designed with work order instant messaging. Property managers can now organize conversations between individuals, departments, and even within digital work orders.
Photos, manufacturing guidelines, and training manuals can also be uploaded in real-time. Other worthwhile company communication apps include Slack, Lua, and HipChat. Experiment to find out which option works best for you.
MaintainX: Maintenance Tips for Property Management
At the end of the day, property managers are responsible for more than keeping tenants happy. The management teams that stand out make it their responsibility to maximize the investments of the clients they serve. And the best way to accomplish that goal is to implement failproof asset management systems.
This means investing in the right tools, tracking asset data, and simplifying work order communication for the entire team. Doing so will save your team a surprising amount of time, energy, and money in the long run! We hope you have enjoyed reading about our top three maintenance tips for property managers.
If you’re ready to simplify your maintenance and asset management, we invite you to download MaintainX for iOs or Android. Anyone with a smartphone can download the app and get started with our basic plan, which includes unlimited work orders, right away.