Efficiency is all about gaining peak performance while utilizing the least resources. Hoteliers need to invest in staff, make energy-efficient updates, and evaluate technology providers to increase operational efficiency. In other words, becoming effective and efficient requires that the right people do the right work at the right time. The best way to achieve operational efficiency in your engineering department is to use a robust Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) with an excellent Preventive Maintenance (PM) program and the proper preventive maintenance intervals. There is also an increased need for an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) tool. In both cases, accessing data on-demand and remotely from these systems is vital to increasing operational efficiency.
1. Select a Great Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) System
There are numerous CMMS systems available on the market today at a wide range of price points. Without knowledge and understanding of a system’s capability, functionality, and value to the overall business, it’s hard to decide which system to choose. A “good” system helps the manager schedule and record preventive maintenance activities for all the major equipment and building components. It can also track unscheduled repair work. A system with Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) capabilities gives owners and managers the ability to track the expected useful life and replacement cycles of building equipment. It should contain a reporting engine to allow owners and managers to see important asset and maintenance data.
When considering a system, keep in mind the ability to customize the software for the specific needs of your organization. You may need one that can adapt to properties and portfolios of all types and sizes. A “great” system does all of the above and will also make it easy to assign preventive maintenance tasks to the person most qualified to do them on the given equipment. A system like Transcendent makes it very easy for the Director of Engineering (DOE) or other property-level managers to assign work to the appropriate employees while understanding total labor allocation per employee.
2. Automate Your Processes to Save Time & Money
Automating and accelerating processes such as performing regular, scheduled preventive maintenance generates sustainable long-term savings that pay for the initial investment over and over again by ensuring that the building’s equipment is running at optimal performance and energy efficiency. Building operation and maintenance programs specifically designed to enhance the operating efficiency of the HVAC and lighting systems, for instance, can save 5% to 20% on the energy bill without significant capital investment.
One example of how the Transcendent automates processes is by auto-generating follow-up work orders if, during an inspection, an engineer reports that something is not working right. Transcendent auto-generates work orders and doesn’t rely on someone remembering that a piece of equipment needs more work. In a different scenario, when preventive maintenance or inspection reveals that a piece of equipment may be nearing the end of its useful life, Transcendent offers a capital expenditure planning module where the property can leverage this information to plan, budget, forecast, approve and implement capital expenditures faster and more accurately than ever.
3. Hold Your Engineering Team Accountable
Accountability is essential when it comes to managing your facilities. People should do what they say they are going to do. A great CMMS system is designed with accountability in mind, enabling the manager to see what maintenance work was done, by who, how long it took, and if any follow-up is needed. In other words, a great system provides accountability. It doesn’t just help you configure and manage your maintenance program; it provides the management tools to ensure the work gets done.
For example, with Transcendent all the equipment or areas receiving preventive maintenance get a QR code label, and whenever completing preventive maintenance tasks, engineers scan the QR code using Transcendent’s mobile app to begin their work. Scanning provides “proof of presence” as managers have certainty that the employee, at a minimum, visited the location where maintenance is required. After scanning the asset, the app guides the employee through the required checklist or inspection, and once the preventive maintenance is complete, the employee scans the QR code again to end the preventive maintenance task. The date and time each preventive maintenance task started, the time it took to complete, and when it closed is all logged. Managers can quickly identify training and shadowing opportunities and perennial underperformers by reviewing the time it took different employees to complete the same preventive maintenance tasks and comparing these times across employees to the original expectation. Training up or weeding out underperforming engineers will improve the quality of your facility management team over time.
Transcendent provides the data necessary for above-property executives and property-level managers to ensure that all work is done correctly, and all requirements are met. Simply put, Transcendent enables everyone from engineers, to DOEs, to above-property executives to play from the same sheet music, rise to a new, excellent standard for preventive maintenance, and hold everyone in the organization accountable.
4. Implement a Great Continuous Commissioning Program
Hotel operational efficiency is about equipment running reliably and at optimal performance and energy efficiency. James Piper (P.E., Ph.D.), a regular contributor to Building Operator and Management magazine and FacilitiesNet online, reminds us, “HVAC systems in typical commercial buildings are responsible for more than 40 percent of total energy use. Keeping HVAC systems running properly and at peak efficiency is the first step in managing facility energy use.” Mr. Piper goes on to say, “Facilities in which proper HVAC maintenance is completed will use at least 15 to 20 percent less energy than those where systems are allowed to deteriorate.” These savings, of course, fall straight to the bottom line and are only the beginning of the list of potential sources for energy savings. Equipment like pumps, for example, may appear to be working fine but could be wasting energy because they are over-pumping, as indicated by high pressures (PSI) on the discharge side of the pump. Restoring the setting to design level will save energy, equating to cost savings that directly impact your hotel’s bottom-line year after year. This kind of fix will also extend the pump’s life, increasing your return on your assets. That is why it’s critical to include steps to validate that the equipment is operating as the design intended. Tasks like recording amperage, voltage, temperature, pressure, and airflow or verifying damper settings and sequence of operation, are sometimes called “continuous commissioning.” Continuous commissioning tasks provide valuable information such as equipment that isn’t operating correctly or performing up to its rated performance. It may mean completing additional steps that were not part of the preventive maintenance task. Maybe a component has failed or is about to; the equipment is nearing the end of its useful life, or additional work orders need to be done. In any case, this type of information is valuable and actionable. Questions like these should be a part of any good preventive maintenance program.
Continuous commissioning is yet another area in which Transcendent shines. Transcendent helps you realize the maximum energy savings that a robust preventive maintenance program can bring and does so in a manner that keeps your team working as efficiently as possible.
Selecting a CMMS system with the capabilities you need to increase operational efficiency at your hotel will help you sleep better at night. This is exactly what we do at Transcendent. Transcendent is fully customizable and will help you make your asset management and engineering practices more efficient through automation. Transcendent has a deep engineering focus which shows in its out-of-the-box features and configurations such as well-thought-out preventive maintenance tasks and preventive maintenance intervals. Transcendent specializes in hotels, having built its platform over 20 years alongside some of the biggest and best hospitality management companies in the world, and thus, its preventive maintenance tasks and preventive maintenance schedules are particularly suited for hotels.