At Toscano Plumbing we understand that as a Facility Manager or Building Maintenance Manager your time is limited, and your list of responsibilities is long. After all, it’s no short order to keep the running of the entire physical infrastructure of a business in check. That’s why we’ve put together a brief guide to make your life that bit easier when it comes to facility management challenges, in particular, plumbing concerns. Plumbing may be just one aspect of building maintenance, but it isn’t a small one. Now, to those challenges:

1. Keeping all of your responsibilities under control

Facility management challenges come in many forms. From the day-to-day operations to emergency repairs (like burst pipes), the role often comes down to a neverending list of things to do. Not only do you have to keep everything under your domain operating correctly, but you also have to ensure it is done within safety and compliance regulations, issues are resolved in a timely manner and cost-effectively.

Having such a combination of short and long-term goals in one position can make it very difficult to prioritise and ensure something critical doesn’t fall by the wayside. Facility management software can provide you with a solution to keep you and all of the many hats you wear, organised. It can help you maintain a regular preventative maintenance schedule, track the issues that have arisen in each area of maintenance, for example, plumbing, and even be used to issue work orders.

There’ll be no more waking up in the middle of the night remembering something you had forgotten - facility management software can help you keep it all in check.

2. Implementing preventative and proactive maintenance

Plumbing operation tends to go unnoticed by most. Until operations are unexpectedly interrupted, that is. In the Facilities Management industry, you would experience this more than anyone. After all, it’s you they turn to when normal usage ceases! Preventative maintenance is much more important in a commercial or even multi-residential setting, than in a general residential situation. After all, the fallout is more significant, with the potential for many more occupants or businesses to be affected.

That’s why regular plumbing inspections are so vital and can save you many hours of difficulty down the track when an aspect of the plumbing system unexpectedly fails. A qualified, licenced plumbing partner should conduct a check by following a checklist that is tailored to the specifics of the facility you manage. They will report on anything of concern and provide options to remedy it now, before it worsens, giving you the chance to get ahead and minimise costs, not to mention the fallout to the business. It also assesses whether any aging inventory will need to be updated in the near future, keeping you apprised of any potential facility management challenges before they happen.

3. Achieving sustainable utility usage

A building or facility uses a considerable amount of utilities like energy, gas and water. In today’s climate, it’s more important than ever to lower the costs of these, while also becoming more sustainable. When you know your options, it makes it easier to move in the right direction.

Although there are standards in place for individual plumbing fixtures to be water efficient (known as the WELS rating), there are other aspects of plumbing maintenance to be considered too. For instance, even a small leak can have a surprisingly significant impact on water usage, and therefore cost and environment. Part of a preventative maintenance plan includes inspecting for leaks, but if you suspect a leak, it’s best to practice proactive maintenance and have acoustic leak detection services resolve your concerns.

You could also ask your plumbing expert whether a rainwater capture and use system would be an option for the building. Consider multiple solutions to make water efficiency work for you.

4. Meeting regulatory and compliance standards

Perhaps the most critical of facility management challenges is to stay on top of all regulatory and compliance standards. Failing to comply can mean hefty fines and won’t put you in favour with your employer. But, more importantly, it can cause safety concerns to arise.

The primary focus for Facility Managers and Building Maintenance Managers here is to be informed by staying ahead of changes to the building codes and regulations. You can do this in several ways:

  • Read high-quality industry blogs
  • Continue necessary training
  • Attend seminars or relevant workshops
  • Consider obtaining online certifications

But, aside from staying informed yourself, you also need to ensure you’re only using qualified and licenced trades to conduct work on the building. It also helps to use trades that are experienced in the commercial sector. For example, you could hire any fully licenced plumber to carry out work. However, to be confident you are receiving work that abides by the latest regulations, it’s advisable to use a licenced plumbing business with a history of commercial plumbing expertise.

5. Managing costs and improving efficiency

When it comes to controlling costs, this becomes a considerable facility management challenge. With so many moving parts, staying under budget requires no small effort.

Increasing the lifespan of existing equipment like water heaters and HVAC systems can be possible with the right attention invested in the equipment - like regular inspections and the necessary preventative maintenance to keep them functioning at optimum levels. This saves you money in two ways. Of course, the longer the lifespan, the longer you can avoid an entirely new installation. But also, older, poorly-maintained equipment tends to be very inefficient, which is costly when it comes to energy and water consumption.

According to Infraspeak, another way to ensure money is being spent where it should, it to hire “the best teams to carry out the projects”. Engaging those who have proven experience in the industry, can provide testimonials and referrals from other clients and importantly, do not subcontract out the work gives you confidence in receiving quality work. It also gives you the opportunity to establish a long-term partnership. When your contractors are intimately familiar with the facility you manage, it makes the job easier for them to get it right, which means fewer headaches for you.

Final thoughts on facility management challenges

Facility management challenges will always be in the nature of the job. But by being organised, having an excellent preventative maintenance program and perhaps most importantly, having licenced and trusted partners to carry out the work will significantly ease the burden.

Need a commercial plumbing partner you can rely on for preventative and proactive facility maintenance?  Call Toscano Plumbing for a no-obligation call on 1300 867 226 or visit www.toscanoplumbing.com.au

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