Maintenance Roundup 2012

A year in review. A look back at some of the top maintenance management articles from 2012.




How to Ensure Quality HVAC Preventive Maintenance – FacilitiesNet

FacilitiesNet provides a thorough audio discussion of best practices for ensuring quality HVAC preventive maintenance.

Zero Energy Buildings Gaining Ground – Today’s Facility Manager

A report released earlier this year by the New Buildings Institute (NBI) and the Zero Energy Commercial Building Consortium (CBC) reveals that Zero energy commercial buildings are cropping up all across the United States. This news item from gives some insight into the on-site renewable energy movement.

The Maintenance Round-Up: a one-stop source for facility and maintenance news. This time we cover the Marshall Institute, Contract Maintenance, Performance Requirements.

How Often Should PM Strategies and Tasks be Reviewed? – Marshall Institute

From Marshall Institute comes a great analysis of how often organizations should review their PM strategies. The exact answer, of course, is dependent upon your organization, but Marshall Institute’s Tracy Strawn examines three basic circumstances that should prompt a review of your PM strategy:

As part of a Root Cause Analysis of failed equipment
Upon receiving feedback from maintenance techs
Every five years at minimum, you should conduct a formal review of all PM routines, also known as a PM Optimization (PMO)

Managers Discuss Benefits and Drawbacks of Contract Maintenance – FacilitiesNet

The issue of outsourcing maintenance work to contractors is sometimes divisive, with both those in favor and those against taking fervent stances. FacilitiesNet interviewed two Directors of Facility Operations for their take on why they decided to outsource maintenance work, the impact of that decision, and the lessons learned.

Retrocommissioning Strategies Help Establish Performance Requirements – FacilitiesNet

Also, from FacilitiesNet comes a great piece on the subject of retro-commissioning. That is, commissioning existing buildings that were never previously commissioned. As FacilitiesNet points out, the EPA’s Energy Star program estimates that “among commissioned buildings, the median energy savings was 15 percent.” If you’re considering retro-commissioning for your facility, this article is a must-read.

Made In The USA Awards – Today’s Facility Manager

To celebrate companies based in the United States, on July 2 the Made in the USA Foundation announced 20 new members of its USA Hall of Fame. As points out, “More than half [of these companies] provide products and/or services that can be used by facility managers.” Take a look at their article for a summary of these recently-recognized companies.


Does Your Facility Have a Security Plan? – FacilitiesNet

Facility security plans are one of those things that can fall through the cracks of a busy facility. This article from FacilitiesNet sheds some light on what to think about when developing a security plan for your organization.

State Led Energy Efficiency Programs Announced – Todays Facility Manager

The energy efficiency movement is picking up steam — presumably energy-efficient steam. TodaysFacilityManager reports that the U.S. Department of Energy “recently awarded nearly $14 million to 22 states and territories to conduct energy efficiency upgrades in public facilities and develop local policies and programs to help reduce energy waste.” This dovetails with the Better Buildings Challenge project, which seeks to reduce energy use for private organizations.


CMMS Technology Advances Rapidly – FacilitiesNet

CMMS technology is constantly evolving, which can pose significant challenges for maintenance managers. FacilitesNet looks at ever-changing industry from the manager’s perspective — what CMMS qualities are most important, and how to avoid a failed implementation.

After a Disaster, Generator Fuel, Vendors Are Important – FacilitiesNet

FacilitiesNet has a great article about post-disaster priorities, specifically discussing generators and their vendors. This article functions as a good compendium piece to our article Natural Disasters Vs. CMMS.

Data Collection + Business Intelligence = Successful Sustainability Initiatives – Software Advice

Sustainability is more than just a six-syllable buzz word. According to Michael Koploy of Software Advice, “two-thirds of executives said being competitive in today’s marketplace requires sustainability, and 70 percent said sustainability is now a permanent goal on their companies’ agendas.” Read this article for an excellent overview of the trend that’s impacting businesses in virtually every industry.

Earning Energy Efficiency Rebates: Tips for Facility Managers – FacilitiesNet

From FacilitiesNet comes some practical advice on obtaining energy efficiency rebates. Getting applications in on time is key, and this is one area where procrastination can be rather costly. As author Maryellen Lo Bosco notes, “On individual projects, rebates may cover 15 to 20 percent of capital costs.”

Maximum CMMS: Maintenance Mobility – FacilitiesNet

Maintenance professionals often tout the advantages of a mobile CMMS solution, but this article really gets into specific applications of the technology, including readings, work orders, and inventory. It’s a good read if you’re considering the move to mobile.


5 Steps on The Path to Maintenance Superiority – Plant Services

For organizations looking to rethink their maintenance practices, this in-depth article is a must read. identifies five important steps to take in order to achieve maintenance excellence: perform an assessment, collaborate, build a business case, execute the project plan, and then check your results and make adjustments.

Cool Summer Office Energy Saving Tips – Today’s Facility Manager

A small change to your energy use can have profound implications for your bottom line, especially in the summer months. Here’s a short list of creative ways to keep cooling costs at bay.

Facility Managers Can Use Energy Star Program to Drive Data Center Efficiency – FacilitiesNet

The EPA’s Energy Star program has some useful tools for increasing the energy efficiency of data centers. If your organization operates a data center, obtaining a data center Energy Star rating can be invaluable for reducing energy costs.

Data-Driven Maintenance –

The importance of using data to guide maintenance work has been proven. Still, ensuring compliance from maintenance workers isn’t always easy. wrote a nice guide to overcoming this dilemma using the problem-solving model “Ready, aim, and fire.”

Equipment Rental Offers Managers Many Advantages – FacilitiesNet

Do you own all your equipment, or rent? FacilitiesNet weighs in with some benefits to renting, including fixed costs–and an absence of downtime costs when the equipment is not needed. The article also provides a short list of renting tips and tricks.

Handheld Computing Devices Improve Managing Work-Order Data – FacilitiesNet

This article from FacilitiesNet takes a hard look at the need for handheld devices in maintenance. Author Michael Cowley is skeptical, but is beginning to see the upside. Still, as Cowley notes, regardless of your methods “the quality of your data depend on only two things — discipline and accountability.”

Evaluating a Process Safety System –

Plant Engineering wrote a great guide for evaluating your facility’s safety systems. If you bought an existing processing plant (or just need a new evaluation), this article is an important read. Evaluating your system “may bring not only improved safety, but potential cost savings as well.”


Determining Goals Of Lighting Upgrade Can Lead To Different Solution – FacilitiesNet

FacilitiesNet lists some general things to look at when considering a lighting upgrade, which can “improve sales, increase safety, improve flexibility and controllability, justify rent increases, provide marketing opportunities for branding, provide maintenance feedback data, respond to codes and local laws, etc.”

10 Most And Least Expensive Cities In North America – Today’s Facility Manager

Whitestone’s annual Facility Operating Cost Reference includes a study comparing operating and maintenance costs for every major city in North America. This link from Today’s Facility Manager includes a list of the top ten most expensive and least expensive cities (expressed in Office Operation Costs Per Square Foot). Which city do you think is most expensive?

Tying Plant Design and Construction to Lean principles –

Plant Engineering interviewed Simon Bennett, a senior product business manager, engineering & design systems at AVEVA. The focus of the discission was on Lean work practices, which is designed to “speed overall project execution and reduce wastage.” If you’re unfamiliar with the Lean model, give this interview a read.

High on the Energy Hog –

Looking to implement an energy and cost saving program? Take a page from Harley Davidson Co., who initiated a wildly successful program in the late ’90s (reducing energy use by approximately 500,000 kWh per year). Harley Davidson Co. continues to make good maintenance decisions; they are current MicroMain customers.

Green Features Reduce Energy Consumption 58 Percent – FacilitiesNet

As maintenance managers well know, “going green” isn’t just about helping the environment — it’s about reducing costs. Lowering your carbon footprint is a great way to increase your bottom line.

Access Control: Trouble Spots in Facility Security – FacilitiesNet

Facility security equipment is only effective if it’s well-maintained. Here are some things to look out for.

Green Speakers To Help Your Business Thrive –

Improving your facility and equipment maintenance saves both money and natural resources. features speakers on sustainable business, energy and water conservation, reducing waste and pollution prevention – all strategies to save both money and the planet, and all tie in to improving your maintenance management program.

Campus Layout Can Help Mitigate Threats, But Good Security Plan Needed – FacilitiesNet

There are a number of security threats unique to the education industry. FacilitiesNet takes a look at some general things to think about when developing a security plan for your campus.

Remote Monitoring Technologies Lower Costs, Improve Operations – Plant Engineering

Remote monitoring is a concept that’s been around for awhile, but is only becoming truly feasible with the advent of wireless networks and cellular technology. This great write-up encapsulates the state of the technology as it exists today. Does your organization make use of remote monitoring?

Stop Reactive Work Management Practices – Plant Services

This article by Plant Services depicts the application of a new CMMS solution from the end-users perspective. Without a smart work management process (one that is proactive rather than reactive), organizations may struggle to make use of the time-saving potential of a CMMS.

Facility Maintenance Software: Finding The Right CMMS Solution – FacilitiesNet

For all our readers still looking for a CMMS solution, this post from FacilitiesNet still rings true. “Effective facility maintenance is actually a process rather than a piece of software. Ideally, this process drives the selection of software, and the software is specified and implemented to fit the process.”