The Eight Pillars of Total Productive Management

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a recognized system used to keep an organization’s equipment in top shape to add value to a business. If achieved, there should be little to no defects, downtime and accidents. With TPM, investing a modest amount in maintenance should have a positive effect on overall costs, productivity and a longer lifespan for equipment, making the entire facility more efficient.

A major objective of TPM is Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE), which addresses three factors: performance, availability, and quantity.

The eight pillars are as follows:

1. Autonomous Maintenance

This pillar places the obligation of basic maintenance in the hands of the equipment operator, leaving the maintenance staff free to complete more expert tasks that need their attention. This means the operator has a clear responsibility to ensure basic maintenance is done regularly, and often involves tasks like cleaning and lubrication. Downtime is also greatly reduced, as there is no need to wait for maintenance staff. 

2. Planned Maintenance

This is concerned with appropriate scheduling of maintenance tasks based on when a piece of equipment is predicted to fail. This helps companies plan around upkeep and reduce the need for production to be halted. This helps to reduce reactive maintenance as problems are stopped before they can cause larger malfunctions.

3. Quality Maintenance

This is concerned with detecting and preventing errors early, and making sure defects do not continue down the chain of production. This also encourages operators to find the root causes of problems.

4. Focused Improvement

Focused improvement means when a problem does occur, a cross-functional team is created. The variety of skill sets and a vast range of experience helps the team solve problems faster.

5. Early Equipment Maintenance

The fifth pillar involves gathering previous maintenance knowledge gained from past machinery, and then applying it to new equipment. This results in reaching optimal levels in a shorter period of time.

6. Education and Training

All employees – including operators, maintenance personnel, and managers – should be trained in TPM. This education can include learning techniques for proper maintenance and becoming more aware of how practicing TPM directly affects the company’s productivity.

7. Health and Safety and Environment

This ensures all employees are given a safe environment and conditions to work in. Productivity is paramount, but should not come before safety. If employees feel safe in their workplace, this has a dramatic effect on attitude towards their role.

8. Total Productive Maintenance in Office Functions

Finally, TPM should then be applied where possible into the administrative sections of the company. This means the culture of TPM as a whole is understood by all.

TPM is an incredibly successful model, and can be introduced in parts or as a whole to an organization. Each of its pillars is positive to the workplace and productivity in its own right, but in order for maximum efficiency it should be implemented fully.  

3 Ways to Reduce Reactive Management  

Many facility managers use reactive management. Reactive management is when a piece of equipment continues running until it breaks, at which time it is either repaired or replaced, depending on the damage and cost. Sometimes reactive management fits if it’s financially sensible – such as with light bulbs. It’s also preferable to use if a piece of equipment is costing a great deal to maintain, and replacing it will be more cost-effective in the long-run (for example a very outdated air-conditioning unit).

However, reactive management can be much costlier in comparison to other models. This happens due to early equipment failure, bad energy efficiency, the duration of time involved in fixing or replacing items, and the man hours associated with this. However, there are a number ways in which to reduce the amount of reactive management that happens in your facility.

How Can I Avoid Reactive Maintenance?

1. Preventative Maintenance

Regular preventative maintenance is a successful way to curb reactive management, and can be extremely cost-effective. This strategy works by devoting time to systematically maintain equipment to stop problems before they happen. It is often used on high-cost items. Preventative maintenance often involves tasks like cleaning, lubricating, and replacing parts, and can result in cutting costs by up to 20 percent.

2. Predictive Maintenance

This system uses technology to continuously monitor a piece of equipment. It can be costly to install and run, however if the item is extremely valuable or its malfunction will have a significant negative effect on productivity, it can be worth it. This can help save up to 40 percent on costs, as data about equipment is collected constantly so problems are easily recognized and fixed.

3. Balanced Maintenance

The final model is a combination of all of the above: Reactive, preventative, and predictive. This is the most cost-efficient form of maintenance, and should follow a rough combination of 10% reactive, 35% preventive, and 55% predictive.  Taking a balanced approach to maintenance can help make your facility more cost-effective and efficient.

Why NOT Taking Action is More Expensive when it comes to Facility Management

Being a facility manager means there is a great deal of accountability laid at your door. Your role is to keep the entire facility run as smoothly and efficiently as possible, allowing the organization to focus on its primary purpose.

With such a vast and varied range of responsibilities, sometimes things fall by the wayside or are put off to a later date. This can cause something that seems like a small problem now to snowball into a much larger issue in time. That is why it is important to conduct preventative maintenance.

Being proactive is paramount to a facility manager’s success. This practical attitude makes sense on a financial level as well as a systematic one; if equipment has to be replaced when it could have been maintained, the cost is much higher and can have a negative effect on the facility as a whole.

The Importance of Preventative Maintenance

Preventative maintenance is integral to ensuring a facility runs correctly, and should be one of the main concerns for any facility manager. It has a huge impact on how cost-effective a department can be, and will lessen the likelihood of equipment failing.  Therefore, measures must be taken to ensure preventative maintenance is regularly carried out. It’s also important that there’s a clear, accessible record of maintenance kept so you’re able to retrieve information easily if something does go wrong.

If preventative maintenance is not routinely carried out, expensive items or equipment may have to be replaced. There can even be additional costs to employ an expert to fix or install items if they are not already on staff. Regular maintenance can help quickly identify and address issues as they appear and can reduce the likelihood of major problems arising without warning. In short, if a piece of equipment malfunctions and you do not have a strong preventative system in place, more time and money will be spent than if you did.


The 4 Most Common Mistakes Facility Managers Make

A facility manager’s role is to ensure that a building meets the needs of the people who occupy it. This may sound simple, but it involves many different skills to ensure the facility is soundly and efficiently run. To be successful in this role, an individual must juggle people, processes and technology to guarantee optimal building functionality.

Being a facility manager requires making decisions that allow the building to run effectively, efficiently and safely. Let’s look at some of the most common mistakes Facility Managers make:

1. Being Too Budget Conscious

Sticking to a budget is very important, but cutting corners can actually end up costing more in the long run. When looking into contracting or equipment, it pays to do research into order to ensure the credibility and quality of the service or product you’re receiving. When it comes to machinery, see if you can find energy efficient options which last longer and cost less in the long run. When it comes to hiring contractors, look into their qualifications and reviews – you want a job to be done correctly and to a high standard the first time.

2. Rushing Decisions

Take your time when making decisions as they can have long-lasting consequences. Taking time to arm yourself with the knowledge of your facility’s needs before meeting potential contractors or salespeople allows you to ask the right questions. Once you’ve found the right contractor or equipment, research costs and read terms before signing any contracts.

3. Not Completing Enough Preventive Maintenance

The purpose of preventive maintenance is to save your company money by reducing the number of reactive repairs needed. Enlisting a facility maintenance expert, like MaintenX, can help you create a preventative maintenance schedule. This includes what type of upkeep needs to be done, and how often. Preventative maintenance is one of the best ways to reduce the chance of costly major repairs down the road.

4. Not Tracking Preventive Maintenance

Facility managers should have a clear system in place that records what maintenance was done and when, including parts installed and replaced. It is integral to encourage team members to complete the necessary records, and spot check work regularly. Keeping records organized and easily accessible will make finding the information you need easier. There are also software programs that can help make this process simpler.

Centralized Vs. Decentralized Maintenance

There are two main types of facility maintenance: centralized and decentralized. A question all facility managers should ask themselves when organizing their maintenance is which type is most suitable for their facility. The answer greatly depends on the individual organization, and the benefits and disadvantages of each type should be considered before deciding. You should also consider how efficient and cost-effective each system is before choosing.

Decentralized Maintenance

In this system, there’s one maintenance group in place for each individual part of a facility; each runs fairly independently of the other. This means each area is attended to and maintained separately, with individuals responsible for a specific area. They usually report to an overall maintenance manager, but are only concerned with the maintenance issues under their care.

The consequence of this is most decision making is moved to lower levels of the organizational hierarchy, which is beneficial in terms of time, expert knowledge and accountability. The decentralized group usually has their own capital, maintenance teams, and contractors. A benefit of this model is increased satisfaction, as employees feel more responsible for the assets in their care and can get to issues faster.

One negative associated with having decentralized maintenance is a higher degree of variation in services. This means different ways of doing the same work can arise, as there is less need for communication between teams. Different attitudes about projects and standards of maintenance is also a factor.

Centralized Maintenance

Centralized maintenance differs in that one organization takes full care of a facility’s management. This means that all separate groups are under one umbrella. For example, enlisting the help of one company like MaintenX can assist your facility with general maintenance, landscaping, and janitorial services, without you needing to hire multiple experts.

Centralized maintenance can help increase focus on planning and organization, meaning costs can be lowered. Centralization also creates more detailed records and communication. Another benefit of this model is increased standardization and consistency of service. This can be a very efficient approach to maintenance, and can result in higher standards, increased equipment efficiency, and reliability.


How to Make Your Building Greener and Save Money

Being green has become increasingly important to businesses in recent years. Companies want their buildings to be more environmentally conscious, and many are beginning to see the financial advantages. By taking a few easy steps you can make your buildings more green and financially prosperous.

1. Lighting

Lighting is one easy way to make a simple change that will benefit your building (and your wallet) long term. Energy efficient light bulb quality has improved in the last few years and they last a great deal longer than their traditional counterparts. They also require a lot less energy, having a resoundingly positive effect on your electricity bill each month. They may cost a little more to install at first, but are an investment worth considering.

2. Get Greener Electronics

Just as with green light bulbs, green electronics can save you a great deal over time, while also being kind to the environment. If you’re on the hunt for new electronics for your building, find products that have a high Energy Star rating – they’ll be more economically sound and energy efficient.

3. Look Into Alternative Energy

There are many options for integrating alternative energy sources into your building. Depending on where you live, local authorities may also provide cost assistance from as a way to encourage individuals or companies to go green. There may also be a ‘green power’ option from your service provider, which means you opt for clean energy to be used for your power.

4. Insulation

Proper insulation of a building is a huge money and energy saver. Having the correct insulation for your building is critical, especially during hot summer months. Without proper insulation to keep the cold indoors, your AC must work harder, will cost more, and is unable to do its job as well. Having good insulation makes all the difference.

5. Book an Energy Audit

Finally, book an energy audit. These are often free of charge from your energy provider and give you expert advice on ways to cut down on your building’s energy consumption.

What is Reliability Centered Maintenance?

Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM)was created to ensure a system continually works to the best of its ability in several different areas. RCM focuses on establishing the safe, minimum levels of maintenance. If implemented correctly, this should lead to increased reliability and uptime of machinery, cost-effectiveness, and a better understanding of the safety and risk involved in maintenance.

RCM is a complete approach to maintenance, viewing it as the primary way to ensure a piece of machinery is working at its best. This is done by a specific procedure which assesses the machine critically, and then plans for appropriate and scheduled maintenance tasks. The RCM steps are then applied and kept under review, with changes made if needed, based on regular assessments.

RCM Process

When beginning to apply RCM, there are set questions which need to be addressed:

  1. What are the item’s functions? (both primary and secondary)
  2. How could it fail to do said functions?
  3. What causes failure?
  4. What happens during a failure? (i.e. is it a full failure of the machine not doing its primary function, or just a slowing down of that function)
  5. Does the failure matter, and to what degree?
  6. What can be done to prevent the failure?
  7. What must be done if failure prevention is not successful?

RCM is often used to ensure cost-effectiveness in a machine, as well as to measure how critical a failure of a machine is. That means if one part of a machine fails, but that part is not critical, it is allowed to fail. The main functions of the machine receive priority, and are preserved as much as possible to help ensure it completes its primary role at all times.  

Building Automation System (BAS) Saves Florida Hospital Millions

The University of Florida (UF) Shands Hospital highlights how taking steps to incorporate technology in your building or facility can save your company millions of dollars. Shands integrated engineered systems with its building automation system (BAS) and as a result, the Gainesville hospital saved $5 million during a five-year period and will continue to save even more in the future.

Intelligent building automation systems have the power to reduce energy consumptions and costs without sacrificing anyone’s comfort. These systems often have a large initial cost, but the investment and commitment to efficiency will pay off in the long run.

The building automation system makes intelligent decisions because it is fed the most up-to-date information through sensors which are placed around the facility. This data allows the BAS to manage resources and fix problems automatically.

At Shands, the hospital optimized the BAS to improve their energy savings. This increased efficiency helped keep patients comfortable in the facility while still cutting back on excess costs. In addition, alarm systems were reduced by 80 percent and work orders were cut back by 60 percent. All of this positive change was able to occur while improving the patient experience. The hospital plans to apply these energy-saving learnings to their new hospital set to open this fall.

While this BAS technology took huge strides in saving the hospital money, it also allowed staff members to focus on the job at hand– caring for patients. With all of the hospital processes running smoothly, doctors and nurses focused on helping the patients and improving their overall comfort. This shows the importance of efficient business systems not only for hospitals, but for facilities of all kinds. If a facility can implement changes to maximize efficiency, either through automated software or through other practical modifications, operational costs will be reduced and business practices will improve immensely.

The progress made at UF Shands Hospital shows the possibilities technology can offer all companies. This success story highlights the prominent role technology will have in our businesses and facilities in the future.

Summer Roof Maintenance Tips

Summertime is in full swing and this means it’s hotter than ever. Intense summer conditions can have a major effect on your building, especially your roof. It’s important to keep your facility’s roof in the best possible condition during summer months to ensure the harsh weather doesn’t cause damage that leads to costly repairs later. Here are a few tips to help you maintain your roof this summer.

Hold an Inspection

It’s always a good idea to give your roof a thorough inspection once the summer starts for leaks or damage. Between the increased heat and frequent storms that summer brings with it, any vulnerabilities in the roof will be exploited during summer.

Check your Shingles  

It’s also important to carefully check your shingles. If there are any broken, missing or cracked shingles, you’ll want to have those replaced right away. If you detect any damages, call a roofing technician to help fix the issues.

Search for Sealants

Sealants and caulking can be easily damaged during the colder months of the year. It’s crucial to check your roof’s sealant to ensure it is still in good shape. You don’t want any water to enter your building during summer rainfall.

Look for Mold

Warmer temperatures and high humidity are quite favorable for mold growth. Inspect your roof for any mold, algae or other debris that may have accumulated.

Unclog Gutters

You’ll want your gutters to be clog-free this summer. Leaves, branches, dirt and other debris can back up and accumulate in your gutters during spring. Use summertime as an opportunity to clear your gutters and make sure water can flow through freely.

Cut Down Branches

Although large leafy trees can provide shade during the hot summer months, these branches and limbs can be dangerous hanging over your business’ roof. Broken tree limbs can cause substantial damage to a building’s roof, so it’s important to cut down and branches that hang over your roof.

Summertime calls for relaxation and merriment, but that doesn’t mean that work stops completely. It’s important to maintain your roof during summer months. With these helpful tips, your roof will be in great shape.

Questions to Ask in Every Facilities Management Interview

The facility manager position for your company is a very important one, meaning you want to hire the best possible team for the job. When you’re entrusting the success of your business operations and employee safety in the hands of your facility maintenance team, it makes the hiring process that much more important. Here are a few questions to ask your potential facility maintenance team.

Are you qualified for the position?

As a business owner, you want to make sure you hire a team who can handle the work load your facility demands. Although this is a broad question, it will give your interviewee the opportunity to explain their work experience and highlight the skills they have to get the job done right.

What are your strongest qualities?

The main reason you are interviewing prospective maintenance teams is to make sure their standards align with yours. You want technicians who meet and exceed your project requirements. The candidate should discuss their knowledge and problem-solving skills here.

What are your career goals?

You want someone who is as passionate about maintaining your business and help you grow. Asking this question will tell you if this individual is looking for a challenge and opportunity or simply aims to get the job done. This question should also reveal if they are passionate about what they do.

Do they have questions?

Allowing the prospective facility manager to ask you questions can show if they have a genuine interest in helping your business succeed. A good hire will ask questions about your expectations, hopes, and quality of work. This shows motivation and an eagerness to do the best they can.

Finding the perfect facility maintenance team can pose a challenge. However, with these helpful interview questions, you’ll be sure to find the right technicians to maintain your growing business.