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By Dave Lubach, Associate Editor
May 2015 -
Maintenance & Operations Article Use Policy
Time and money are precious resources that maintenance and engineering managers value dearly.
Unfortunately, in too many departments, problems related to work-order management and the valuable data they contain are costing departments both of these resources.
Consider the challenges facing Fairfax County, Va., which can serve as a warning for departments in institutional and commercial facilities dragging their feet on tapping into the potential power of data.
The county is in the “dinosaur ages” when it comes to archiving its work orders and sharing information within the department, says Michelle Dagampat, a project manager in the county’s design, engineering and construction department.
A lack of information has led to duplication of efforts among staff, and the problem gets worse when employees change jobs or retire, taking valuable work-order information with them.
The department and county are striving to improve database management, she says, adding that upgrades would “save a lot of time and money because we wouldn’t have to re-spend for surveys and keep hiring out various consultants to do the work.” A better system would also better preserve valuable work-order data.
But the county’s efforts to address its challenges go beyond work orders and highlight a potentially more important opportunity. More effective data management and analysis can help managers improve department productivity, enhance a department’s image within an organization, and provide an essential basis for greater spending on maintenance and engineering.
Managers who can see the bigger picture when it comes to “big data” can begin to turn their departments from “necessary evils” in facilities to cutting-edge solution providers.
Dave Lubach offers insights gleaned from conversations with managers who make key maintenance and engineering decisions in commercial and institutional facilities. Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/davelubach, and start a conversation.
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