Planning Sustainability Goals for 2022

2022 is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start planning for next year’s sustainability goals and projects. With so much emphasis put on the COVID-19 pandemic the past two years, it can be helpful for your staff to start looking again toward the long-term future and invest in meeting sustainability goals. 

 

Setting meaningful goals to improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions can help your business recover from COVID-19 faster. By showing your customers that you’re confident in the future and are looking to improve the future rather than keep things “business as usual,” you can start preparing for a more profitable future. 

 

Below are just a few ways to get your mind back on sustainability goals and actually achieve them in 2022:

 

Dream bigger.

Climate change and environmental sustainability are hotter topics than ever, especially since pandemics like COVID-19 are more likely to happen as climate changes become increasingly more drastic. As a business, you have the opportunity to aim higher and make a real impact on your community and the world at large. Sustainability goals such as reaching net-zero energy usage or committing a certain percentage of your budget to climate action show stakeholders you’re putting your money where your mouth is. 

 

Get involved in local initiatives. 

Choosing sustainability projects that impact your local communities shows that you care about your clients just as much as you do your business. In Florida, where MaintenX is headquartered, we are heavily impacted by climate change that affects rising ocean sea levels and the increase in dangerous Gulf hurricanes that continue to worsen each year. That is why we spend our volunteer time helping victims of hurricane devastation and give back to communities where environmental impacts like these are felt the most. 

 

Match environmental goals to the business mission. 

Your business can’t tackle it all. However, you can focus on an inward approach to transforming your facility. By investing in in-house green technologies and projects that align with your core mission, you can effectively create impact rather than spreading your resources too thin across too many environmental projects. Some examples include: 

 

  • Environmental volunteer projects within your city
  • Investing in greener packaging or manufacturing processes
  • Investments in green technology and energy-efficient equipment
  • Purchasing carbon offsets or investments in renewable energy
  • Offering eco-friendly product options

 

No matter what your sustainability goals are for 2022, MaintenX is here to help. We offer a variety of energy-efficient solutions for plumbing, HVAC, roofing, and electrical installations as well as preventative maintenance service on these appliances. To learn more, contact your local MaintenX team!

How To Attract Top Talent to Facility Management Roles

Facility maintenance and facility management are tough roles to find exceptional talent. It takes incredible diligence, accountability, and enthusiasm for a job well done that not all people possess. Oftentimes facility management roles are seen as boring, but nobody is more important in maintaining the excellence of a business than those who care for the building and equipment where the magic happens. 

 

If you’re looking for those few special individuals who understand and care about facility management, you need to recruit using different tactics than you would for other positions. Below are three tips to help you recruit the best maintenance team members for your facility, as well as what to look for in the interview process: 

 

Outline a positive career trajectory

If you’re trying to recruit young talent, offer tangible options for career advancement through a facility management position. By showing the milestones, educational opportunities, and bigger salaries that are possible over the years, you can attract the kind of professionals who are serious about a career in maintenance management.

 

Offer opportunities to collaborate.

Facility management can often be a lonely job, with only the occasional onsite inspection or meeting with the maintenance department requiring a group effort. However, as organizations move to a more collaborative business model as a whole, you can make space for facility managers to work hands-on with their maintenance teams for a more rewarding experience overall. 

 

Emphasize work-life balance. 

It is often said that employees cause more stress on their managers than managers do on their employees. This is because management is responsible for not just one, but everyone’s jobs and often takes the ultimate blame when things go wrong. As a facility manager, stress can get to you if you don’t have a healthy work-life balance. In order to attract hard workers and keep them, promote a healthy work-life balance with paid time off, regular weekends, and options to pursue outside goals through educational or volunteer opportunities. 

What to Look For In A Facility Manager

With these three recruitment tips, you should be able to find top talent in the maintenance field. However, finding the perfect candidate for your business may take some time and research. When interviewing your candidates, look for these qualities: 

 

  • Exceptional planning and task-oriented scheduling ability
  • Understanding of financials and legal terms related to facility compliance
  • Exceptionally detail-oriented and organized
  • Computer-savvy and familiar with work-order management systems
  • Interest in your company’s industry as well as the facility management field
  • Up-to-date on sustainability in the maintenance field
  • Ability to lead and communicate across departments
  • Technical background as a maintenance worker a plus

With these tips and traits, you are guaranteed to find a facility manager that can do the job right. For more facility management resources, visit our blog.

Back To Basics: What You Really Need To Make A Facility Maintenance Plan Work

At MaintenX, we regularly emphasize the importance of a preventative maintenance plan. As the facility manager, developing a preventative care program is the most important thing you can do for the long-term health and productivity of your building. While there are plenty of tools, technologies, and strategies you can use to achieve high performance in the maintenance department, there are only five things you really need to make your program work. 

 

Proper training  

Training with your maintenance team is the best way to improve efficiency and ensure that work gets done right the first time. While every maintenance worker we hire at MaintenX has had ample education and work experience, we invest in additional training to ensure that the quality of service is equal across the board, no matter what subcontractor comes to your door. It is through this investment in training that we are able to perform exceptionally from curb to roof and coast to coast. 

 

Qualified staff

In addition to training, MaintenX carefully selects top qualified electricians, plumbers, roofers, and HVAC repairmen. The caliber of your maintenance team is the single most important contributor to facility maintenance improvement across time. However, it’s not just about technical ability. A maintenance team that is invested in their work and diligent in the task at hand are the teams that can make real change at your facility. 

 

Communication between management and maintenance

MaintenX has invested in a state-of-the-art work-order management system in order to organize and facilitate communication between maintenance crews and our clients. This work-order management system along with our high-level customer service ensures that communication flows seamlessly and problems are addressed before they become emergencies. 

 

A consistent schedule

Preventative maintenance is synonymous with consistent maintenance. If your preventative care program lacks routine and accountability, then it is not effective in producing cost-saving measures or in reducing emergency maintenance necessities. Create a preventative maintenance schedule based on the manufacturer’s recommendations and then stick to it. Your building will thank you for it!

 

Budget that meets needs not numbers

It’s easy for management to cut the maintenance budget over more glamorous projects. However, without building maintenance, your business has no place to execute your more fun and profitable initiatives. Be sure to allocate funds to your maintenance program based on needs expressed by your technicians, not just by the numbers that will look best to the corporate level. 

 

If you want to learn more about what makes MaintenX preventative programs more effective and more sustainable than other maintenance programs, contact us today!

Can Your Business Become A Net-Zero Energy Facility?

The future is electric, and it’s coming faster than any of us expected. You see it on the streets with the rise of electric vehicles, and soon most buildings will also reach zero emissions with wind, geothermal, and other renewable energy sources as their primary source of power. But, is this truly a possibility for your facility? The research says yes, and it just might be easier than you think. 

 

Benefits of Achieving Net-Zero Energy at Your Facility

 

  • Investing in energy-efficient solutions is affordable now, but as climate issues become more severe, they will become more expensive. Essentially, now is the cheapest and easiest time to get ahead of the curve and invest in achieving net-zero efficiency. 

 

  • There are substantial financial and government incentives to achieve net-zero energy including tax breaks, rebates, and programs to help you implement energy-efficient solutions now.

 

  • Becoming a net-zero business opens up PR opportunities as a leader in climate action and inspires both customers and employees to believe in your business. 

 

Building a net-zero facility is possible and will reap benefits in both the short and long term. Below are four different ways you can get closer to the goal of a net-zero energy facility:

 

Develop low-carbon products or services

Reducing the energy used in manufacturing and selling your products and services is the easiest way for you and consumers to benefit from green initiatives. Even something as simple as changing your packaging to reduce energy consumption can greatly benefit your business. 

 

Purchasing carbon offsets

In some areas of the country, it can be difficult to gain access to renewable energy sources such as solar and wind energy. If this is the case for your facility, you can instead purchase carbon offsets. These programs allow you to invest in clean energy projects across the country instead of directly purchasing power from these entities. Buildings as large as the Empire State Building are using this approach to make massive impacts on carbon emissions in the U.S., while also gaining significant PR opportunities. 

 

Invest in electric vehicles

Does your business use personal vehicles for operations or employee transportation? If so, it may be worth investing in an electric vehicle for commercial use. These vehicles will increase operational efficiency and can directly impact your carbon offsets. 

 

Investing in smart equipment for your facility.

Commercial building energy use is the single greatest contributor of carbon emissions in the U.S. Much of this energy usage comes from traditional HVAC, lighting, and electrical systems that require a great amount of power in order to operate. As the facility owner or manager, you can make an incredible contribution to achieving net-zero energy usage simply by switching to energy-efficient options. Energy-efficient HVAC and lighting systems can dramatically decrease your energy usage, which can also decrease your power bills and make more room in the budget for investing in other low-carbon solutions for your business.

 

If you’re interested in making the switch to energy efficiency at your facility. Contact MaintenX today! We are your trusted experts in energy-efficient HVAC, lighting, roofing, plumbing, and electrical systems.  

Five Mistakes of Hiring Maintenance Staff

Choosing a maintenance staff is difficult for many hiring managers. For those without maintenance experience, it can be difficult to determine who has the technical skill versus who simply puts on a good interview. For those who are in maintenance, however, it can be difficult to know what to look for outside of technical ability and experience in order to make a good fit for the company as a whole. 

 

Below are five mistakes people often make when hiring maintenance technicians, as well as how to fix them:

 

Not asking the maintenance team to provide input. 

If you’re not part of the maintenance department yourself, ask other members of the maintenance crew for input. They can help guide you to choosing someone with the technical knowledge needed for the job, while you determine who fits within your company culture best. 

 

Not setting up expectations. 

Many hiring managers go into interviews without much preparation. They believe they’ll “know the right candidate when they meet them,” but this can lead to problems later on. It’s much easier to hire someone than to fire them, which means that the selection process is the most crucial part of developing the right maintenance staffing. Prepare a list of qualities — both hard and soft skills as well as personality strengths — that can help you narrow down your choice. 

 

Not choosing the right questions. 

Choosing the right members of your team is about more than technical proficiency. You need someone who is motivated, focused on career development, and can make your team stronger. By understanding a candidate’s motivations for a career in maintenance work, you can determine whether they’re someone who will make your team better or stay the same. 

 

Choosing candidates you like, even if they’re not the best. 

It’s a common temptation to hire people we get along with instead of those who show the best qualifications. Sometimes this is a wise move — maintenance work is a collaborative effort, and someone who doesn’t get along with people can be troublesome even if they have the technical skills. However, it is easy to be biased toward someone because they have similar interests or put on the charm for the interview. To reduce this risk, we recommend using multiple interviews with several hiring managers to ensure the person is well-regarded by several members of the team. 

 

Hiring too early. 

Hiring is a tedious process. Oftentimes we’d like to hire the first person who seems qualified, but this can mean you’re passing up on incredible talent based on the order of an application. Take your time when hiring, even if it means running a bit short-staffed for a few weeks. You’ll be glad you did when you’ve chosen a person who adds incredible value to your team. 

 

Want to take the guesswork out of hiring a maintenance staff? Talk to MaintenX about our preventative and emergency maintenance services! We offer an outsourced solution for both routine maintenance as well as reactive repairs. It’s the best of both worlds!

How To Run a More Effective Maintenance Program With Fewer Maintenance Staff

Maintenance planning can be tedious for facility owners and managers, but it is a necessary step for ensuring peak productivity for the rest of the staff. Many times, one of the most difficult aspects of creating an effective maintenance program is determining what staff is needed, and how to reduce labor hours without hurting performance. Labor is the most expensive part of all maintenance programs and should be carefully put together in order for your facility to cut costs. 

 

There is a way for you to reduce labor costs and improve the efficiency of your maintenance team. Below are three suggestions to help you make the right choices for your staffing: 

 

Hire specialists.

Hiring an experienced plumber, HVAC technician, or electrician may seem more expensive than a regular handyman, but you save tremendously on ensuring repairs are done right the first time and advanced issues are caught early. A handyman can repair surface issues, but they may not be able to do the root cause analysis that saves your equipment from long-term damage. 

 

Train internally.

Training goes a long way in ensuring that a pared-down maintenance staff is as effective as a bigger one. Technicians who are highly skilled and understand the ins and outs of your facility can work more efficiently by themselves or in smaller groups and can diagnose problems before they become emergencies. By offering training on facility-specific equipment and working with your maintenance team instead of above them, you can rapidly improve the efficiency of your maintenance team. 

 

Put a preventative maintenance schedule in place.

One of the easiest ways to improve the efficiency of your maintenance team is to put a schedule in place for preventative care. Services such as cleaning, tune-ups and regular parts replacement can prevent unwanted emergency repairs. Less staffing is needed to maintain a running piece of equipment than is needed to fix a time-sensitive repair, so the more you invest in preventative maintenance, the less you’ll have to spend overall. 

 

MaintenX offers the best of both worlds with our nationwide contractor network. We provide service from top specialists in plumbing, HVAC repair, electrical work, and roofing at affordable prices. When you call MaintenX you can expect to have the job done right every time. 

 

Contact us today to learn more about the advantages of MaintenX staffing for your facility.

Tips for Recruiting from Community Colleges

Those in the maintenance field know that fewer and fewer young individuals are pursuing maintenance fields as career options after high school. While the increased access to college education has offered many opportunities for the next generation, those who are not interested in pursuing a college degree often don’t know what other options they have. It is important for us in the maintenance field to recruit these young minds and show them what is possible in the trades. 

 

Below are # proven ways to recruit students from community colleges into a trade school for plumbing, electrical, roofing, and HVAC maintenance:

 

Encourage confidence. 

Despite the fact that nearly 40% of college students are attending a community college, many believe that their qualifications will be judged more harshly than those graduating from four-year universities. Using language such as “Associates degrees encouraged to apply” and other community-college-friendly terms on applications can help these students feel more confident in their decision to move into the trades. 

 

Get involved on campus

Community college students are often looking for faster entry into the workforce than those in four-year universities (as many undergraduates are looking toward the future with Master’s or Doctorate degrees). The students will be active looking for job opportunities and will respond well to employers or technical school representatives involved on campus. 

 

Offer part-time work

Those looking into trade schools often want or need to be able to earn an income quickly with the skills acquired. By offering part-time options during or after school you can offer flexibility for those who do not have unlimited time to dedicate to school. 

 

Highlight the cost benefits

One of the reasons many people choose technical school over other types of education is the cost benefits. Technical school costs between $5,000 to $15,000 total, whereas a typical college education can cost that much per year. Technical school students also have the option to work while they study, and must often complete apprenticeships that help them line up jobs immediately out of college. This means that technical school students are in less debt and start earning two years ahead of college students, which is a major benefit for those looking to earn more, faster. 

 

MaintenX is always looking for bright young technical school grads to add to our growing team. If you’re interested in starting your career with MaintenX, visit our careers center for a list of our open positions. 

5 Commonly Misunderstood Maintenance Terminologies

Like with any occupation, the maintenance industry is full of jargon that can be difficult for the outsider to understand. The average person may in fact have even less familiarity with maintenance terms than they do other industry-specific languages, with the exception of the rare handyman homeowner. This can cause communication issues between the maintenance team and facility staff, leading to lost opportunities for preventative care. If you want to bridge the divide, you may want to consider educating your staff on these common terms. 

 

Below are some common maintenance terminologies you should be familiar with, or should be sure to clarify before working with other departments of your facility:

 

Uptime/downtime – Uptime refers to the amount of time a piece of equipment is scheduled to run continually; downtime is the amount of time either scheduled or unplanned where a piece of equipment is shut off. 

 

Root cause analysis – Root cause analysis is the process by which maintenance technicians determine the underlying causes of maintenance issues. This is conducted before repair services are scheduled to prevent recurring issues. 

 

Component renewal – Component renewal is scheduled maintenance activities that are spaced out greater than 10 years. This requires careful planning and adherence to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

 

Deferred maintenance 

Unlike preventative or reactive maintenance, deferred maintenance is maintenance that was not performed on schedule or was delayed due to reactive maintenance issues. This maintenance is typically first priority as it can cause long-term disruptions in your facility’s production. 

 

Current replacement value – The replacement value of a piece of equipment includes the parts, supplies, and labor cost weighed against potential resale value of parts on the replaced equipment. This also can include the long-term costs of maintenance in order to extend the equipment’s service life. 

 

This is not a comprehensive list but includes terms most important for upper management and facility managers to understand in order to make decisions with their maintenance departments. To learn more about preventative maintenance performance, visit our resource center

Will The Delta Variant Cause Another Chaotic Holiday Season For Retail?

In 2020, retail outlets faced a variety of challenges to accommodate holiday shopping during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the economic issues faced throughout the country, there was a record-breaking 8.3% year-over-year increase in holiday season retail sales. The seamless transition to online sales helped many companies come out of the COVID slump stronger than ever. And while it seems like life is going back to normal in many states, consumers are faced with a new dilemma: how scared should they be of the Delta variant?

 

Over 65% of the population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and over 50% are fully vaccinated. This means for many consumers that the risk of illness is reduced to a safe level for retail shopping, even in-store. However, there are several challenges that retail outlets will face other than a potential shortage of in-store shoppers: 

 

  • Staff shortages – Also known as the Great Reassessment, many retail, restaurant, and other industries are facing massive labor shortages. This is caused in many ways by the reevaluation of individuals on the careers they wish to pursue, along with the fear of being exposed to the Delta variant while at work. 

 

  • Supply chain disruptions – Many manufacturers are still not running at full capacity or catching up from extended closures in 2020. This is especially problematic for international supply chains, as many countries outside the US are experiencing second waves of closures. 

 

  • Extended shipping times – With online sales skyrocketing across the U.S. and internationally, many retail outlets will need to prepare customers for extended shipping times and higher shipping costs for rush orders. As the holiday shopping season comes closer, there will be several issues your customers have to contend with to get their packages on time, which can cause many upset customers and lost sales if you’re not careful. 

 

Retailers also have to resolve the practical matters of retail shopping during the pandemic. State guidelines, if any, must be followed and employees need to have safe options available to minimize exposure risk. This can be difficult depending on the size of your facility, but should be at the forefront of your mind before the holiday rush begins. 

 

While retail outlets are under stress this year, they are also given a prime opportunity to capitalize on a growing economy and consumers’ enthusiasm for a return to normalcy during the holidays. If facility managers are able to keep a close eye on operational issues and put safety first for both consumers and employees, they can expect to have a very successful holiday season. 

 

To learn ways you can prepare your retail facility with proper preventative care before the holidays, contact us. 

Preparing Your Facility for Holiday Closures

As the holiday season rolls around, you may be planning for some facility closures in the near future. Whether you are planning a day or two of closures or have weeks marked off the calendar to get maintenance done, there are several things you need to remember before closing the office. Below are four steps you should take in the weeks leading up to your office closure to ensure a smooth transition into and out of the holidays: 

 

Communicate with stakeholders

Your customers, vendors, employees, and other stakeholders need to know well in advance about your plan to close, even if it is only for a few days. Employees should be notified first via email or office calendar so they can plan for vacation time. Then, be sure to connect with customers and vendors to ensure they know to not expect communication during the closure. You should also communicate with vendors of any recurring deliveries or make arrangements with the post office to ensure no mail is delivered to the office while it is closed. 

 

Leave a message

Be sure to record an automated phone message that explains the closure and gives a start date and a reopening date. This is crucial if you typically operate phones in-house, but should also be used if you work with a remote front desk service. You should also instruct employees to schedule “out of office” emails before their last day. 

 

Reduce energy usage

One of the most important things you can do is to turn off unnecessary appliances during the holiday closure. This includes lamps, personal computers, printers, and other equipment that can easily be turned off at the switch. Be sure to back up your computer systems before doing this, however, as you don’t want to come back to a chaotic office if data is lost. 

 

Use your time wisely

Planned factory shutdowns, also called “factory fortnights” in manufacturing, are becoming more common as an opportunity to enhance facility equipment and perform preventative maintenance on major equipment. If your facility shutdown is planned for an extended period of time (such as for a week at Thanksgiving instead of for just one day) you can schedule preventative maintenance services with MaintenX to make the most of your time. 

 

MaintenX can help you make the most of your holiday season. Contact us today about scheduling preventative maintenance services during your holiday break so you can come back to a cleaner, more efficient office space.