Dave Lubach: Dig Out of Deferred Maintenance Hole
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More than 500 maintenance and engineering managers responded to our recent survey on deferred maintenance and gave us their views. We also received almost that many reasons why institutional and commercial facilities are in rough shape.
Not surprisingly, managers said leaking roofs and faulty HVAC equipment were the leading reasons facilities face repair backlogs of millions — and in some cases, billions — of dollars.
While such problems are understandable, the fact that they have persisted for so long is troubling. How can organizations continue to neglect such vital areas of buildings for decades, in some cases? One manager’s comment on the situation no doubt is shared by many managers in similar situations.
“Everyone is concentrated on other things until there is a problem, and then it becomes an emergency,” he says. While “everyone” might seem to take that approach to the proper maintenance of facilities, maintenance and engineering managers don’t have that luxury.
Our survey also revealed that deferred maintenance priorities vary by facility. Perhaps that indicates organizations need someone to take charge of the situation and put their facilities on the road to recovery.
Managers have an opportunity — and probably even a duty — to assume that role. Ensuring the effective maintenance of buildings remains their top responsibility, and nobody knows facilities better than they do. By strategically planning projects to address deferred maintenance and communicating effectively with the C-suite on the need for proper funding for the projects, managers can become the champions of change that many organizations so desperately need.
Visit www.facilitiesnet.com/16054ms to see survey results and offer your comments.
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.