Data indicates an increasing number of large facilities are unable to execute their preventive maintenance (PM) to stay in compliance with regulatory requirements. This growing problem is because on-site technicians do not possess enough time to manage the large volumes of common daily tasks (cleaning clogged drains, changing lamps and bulbs, replacing filters, etc.). This has resulted in an increased risk of safety issues and more trouble calls to the Maintenance and Operations office. Additionally, being out of compliance with facility regulations can negatively impact planned construction that requires a permit. What is a Facility Manager to do?
One Story of Success – A Preventative Maintenance Case Study
Large Aerospace Client – Southern California
The client mentioned in this study is a long-time Servicon customer and a global leader in the aerospace industry. The facility discussed below is a 3.5 Million+ sq. ft. building in Southern California.
One of our longstanding clients reached out to Servicon in December 2017. They revealed that due to the recent acquisition of new software and equipment, their on-site engineers would need to prioritize their time to implement the new system, leaving their scheduled PMs to remain incomplete. They were going to be at risk of running their facility out of compliance during a busy season of tenant construction as well. The company would face 50 – 75% additional expense in overtime labor costs to execute the scheduled PM on time. The client came to their janitorial and maintenance partners at Servicon for a solution.
What Were the Options Available?
The client was faced with the following options:
- Perform scheduled PM by having their engineers work overtime at an extreme rate (pay up to 75% more in labor costs)
- Remain non-compliant and risk an audit or delay in the construction permit process
- Postpone a scheduled PM and assume the risks
Servicon Systems developed a Utility Worker Program that would employ our experienced janitorial employees to support the client maintenance team with their low skilled, scheduled PMs. The program began by identifying 8 members of the janitorial crew that had some experience with simple maintenance tasks and were interested in further training in this area. We then developed a short training and assessment program to ensure they were qualified and safe to do low skilled, high labor tasks. The tasks included work efforts such as the following:
- Clearing clogged drains
- Changing inoperable lamps and bulbs
- Replacing filters
- Inspecting fire extinguishers
- Repairing doors and thresholds
The Servicon Utility Worker Program is a cost-effective option to free high-skilled technicians to concentrate on more complex assignments. This solution is designed to develop semi-skilled professionals who will ensure that routine, time-consuming tasks are addressed without the interference from other pressing matters.
How Long Did It Take?
Servicon implemented the Utility Worker Program at the client’s facility within a 4-week period. This includes assessing and developing the right people and orienting them to the building and task schedules.
What Were the Key Challenges?
One of the key challenges Servicon faced was forming a working relationship between the in-house maintenance technicians and the utility workers. At first, the maintenance technicians/journeyman felt threatened by the new team of Utility Workers. It was important to make clear that no reduction of existing maintenance and engineering employees would occur as a result of this program. Additionally, the semi-skilled utility workers were added to the team to allow the engineers focus on high-priority tasks. This resulted in the client-based team to feel valued and supported by the organization instead of expendable.
How Were the Challenges Overcome?
The Servicon Utility Worker Team were trained to understand and appreciate the concerns of the on-site engineers. The Servicon Utility Leader worked closely with the engineers to ascertain the scope of work priorities that would be performed by the Servicon utility staff and provided general support through all steps of the program initialization.
Cost, Containment, and Compliance
The project was deemed a success at completion of the scheduled PMs on time as prescribed by the statement of work without incurring overtime hours from the engineering team. The client was able to meet their regulatory requirements and saved over 50% in additional expenses and other associated risks. Servicon utility workers are now a permanent and affordable solution in the execution of daily preventive maintenance tasks at the facility. They work under the guidance of the on-site technicians to ensure PM tasks are executed in a timely manner. The solution was a win-win for both the client and service provider and is still delivering value to this day.