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    How to Build a Preventative Maintenance Checklist


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    Whether you’re managing a single property or a multi-location portfolio, a preventive maintenance checklist can help keep you and your facilities management team organized and working effectively. And when maintenance can account for 10 to 25% of your operating costs, it’s important to be as efficient as possible.

    Preventive maintenance is the planned inspection and upkeep of your facility’s systems and equipment. It involves regular detection, correction, and prevention by facilities management technicians—and it’s essential to save money, time, and resources.

    This post will explain the importance of preventive maintenance and offer guidelines to create a custom checklist. 

    Why Should I Conduct Preventative Maintenance?

    Reactive maintenance is a driver of significant inefficiency and unplanned downtime in commercial real estate portfolios. Leaving maintenance tasks until there is an urgent issue means that employees will forgo their routine responsibilities to handle critical, often complicated, situations. 

    Benefits of preventive maintenance include:

    • Increased cost savings from efficient operations and fewer repairs.
    • Longer life expectancy of systems and equipment.
    • More productive maintenance staff who spend less time managing urgent situations.
    • Fewer disruptions to business operations because of less downtime for equipment.
    • Increased workplace safety as a result of fewer emergencies.

    Preventive maintenance can be especially useful to your commercial real estate when your checklist is tailored to your organizational needs.

    5 Tips to Develop a Preventative Maintenance Checklist 

    These five strategies may be helpful to create a preventive maintenance checklist for your commercial real estate.

    1. Work with the right people.

    In order to create an informed checklist that accounts for all of your maintenance needs, it’s important to work with the right team of people. 

    Involve your facilities managers in maintenance planning discussions to ensure that they can account for the capabilities of their facilities technicians. Additionally, consider aligning your maintenance tasks with the recommendations provided by equipment manufacturers and vendors. 

    Finally, encourage employees to submit needed work orders to better track maintenance history and trends. 

    2. Audit your assets and determine which should be included.

    High-risk or high-impact assets can often benefit the most from the tasks listed on a maintenance checklist. Consider including assets that can be costly to replace, like HVAC systems, or health and safety equipment, including fire extinguishers, exit signs, and emergency lights. 

    Information commonly contained in these audits includes: 

    • Serial and model numbers.
    • Average time of repairs.
    • Associated repair costs.
    • Replacement part information and costs.

    3. Clearly define the goals of your preventive maintenance checklist. 

    Work with your team to determine what you want to achieve with your preventive maintenance checklist. Be sure to have a plan in place that addresses your teams’ next steps in the event of deficiencies or missed goals. 

    Examples of goals may include increased efficiency, improved machinery safety, or lowered maintenance costs. 

    4. Outline specific tasks in your preventive maintenance checklist.

    Ensure your task instructions are concise, but include such details as anticipated frequency or time required to complete. Consider including pictures or manuals in your checklist, and make sure your required tasks align with health and safety requirements. 

    Sample tasks may include: 

    • Regularly inspecting listed parts.
    • Conducting adjustments or tunings to meet manufacturer standards.
    • Scheduling part ordering and replacements.

    5.  Monitor and adjust your preventive maintenance checklist as needed.

    Lastly, be sure to regularly review the performance of your preventive maintenance checklist. Add, remove, or update tasks where necessary to keep your assets at peak functionality

    Once your checklist is developed, consider using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to execute each task. 

    Especially when combined with the power of a CMMS, a preventive maintenance checklist will enable your facilities management team to extend the life of your assets—ultimately increasing your organization’s productivity and efficiency.