A field service software that supports your business’s sales operation can be a powerful tool to growing your business. It can manage both your sales and service operations.
A field service management solution can help you improve internal operations and communication and deliver better service. It has one key element – your customer data. This is your goldmine because you can use your customer data to grow your sales in many ways. A good modern field service software like Field Force Tracker can help you in selling more and not just delivering field services.
Only some high end software have full CRM capabilities built in. Our Award Winning Field Force Tracker software is an example of such software. With it, you can manage your customer data and use it to build long term relationships and upselling to customer your new services and products. This is what differentiate Field Force Tracker from other low end software that mainly focus only on job dispatching.
A built in field service CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system can be highly effective tool to grow your business. Using a CRM system of an FSM (field service management) system like Field Force Tracker, you can have a 360-degree view of both your client and your field workforce. The system enables all the customer information to all the key stake holder be it technicians, managers, or finance people in your company.
Delivering Customer Focused Service
Today’s customers expect you deliver high quality service. Any delay in delivering service or delivering non-professional service will result in unfavorable reviews on site like Yelp, Capterra, Software Advice and Google. Even a small number of bad reviews can deeply hurt your business. Many such problems can be avoided by following a customer-centric approach and anticipating customer issues when delivering the service.
The first benefit of a CRM and FSM system working together is improved personalization in the delivery of service. With the built in CRM system, you can create and manage customer profiles. You can look at the historical service data and answer any queries. Moreover, a field technician can pull up past jobs history, add comments, track updates and easily find invoices.
This allows them to have immediate access to reliable information on past issues that may be relevant to current work. Not only will customers appreciate a self-reliant field technician, but the comprehensive data makes it easy for technicians to talk to customers as if meeting them in person. For example, a technician will know how long a customer has been with your company and what specific problems the customer has encountered in the past. Another advantage of CRM is that individual customer profiles give technician’s quick access to preferred contact methods. For example, if a customer prefers to be contacted by text message, the technician will know that he should not call. CRM can also track both individual customers and businesses through multiple touch points. These field technicians work by reaching the wrong people within the company and improving the customer experience.
Improve Business Productivity
In a competitive environment, being able to achieve high productivity is very important. A good field service software lets you better organize your teams and your operations. This will sure result in improved customer experience.
Within a good CRM system, field technician or sales persons can log comments into customer profiles with chronological notes and updates.
This enables field technicians to better understand critical issues with a system and better prepare for customer visits. and chronologically sort through the client’s history with your company.
In addition, all customer-related files such as photos and invoice PDFs are conveniently stored in the customer profile for quick referencing. This makes a field technician’s job much easier, and it is also useful for headquarters. For example, if a customer dispute arises, account managers have easy access to proof of the service and can better resolve complaints.
Improve Reporting Accuracy
Finally, a CRM paired with an FSM system makes invoicing easy and accurate. For example, while plenty of apps exist to help with invoicing, a CRM and FSM system working together provides the accounting department and field technicians with a complete view of all jobs, estimates, and invoices. This helps prevent inaccurate invoicing and better track accounts receivable.
In addition, most of the data is auto-populated, making it faster and easier than ever to complete invoices and reduce errors.
Getting The Best of Breed Field Service Software
If you’re looking for an easy way to automate operations and improve customer relationships, a CRM system paired with an FSM system might be the best solution. While it’s essential for larger companies, it’s also a great way for smaller companies to increase operational efficiency and maximize the bottom line.
For many businesses implementing preventive maintenance is very important. Field Force Tracker provides excellent capabilities to create agreements and implement effective PM scheduling.
If you’re a facility manager, you’ve probably heard some variation of the phrase “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” This mentality may work in the short term, but constant reactive maintenance can actually waste thousands of dollars each year due to lack of consistent, proactive repairs. Unplanned asset failure is stressful and time-consuming for a facilities team to fix.
If your team still operates on a reactive approach to maintenance, it’s time for a change. A strong preventive maintenance plan is the key to keeping your equipment in safe, operable condition. Use this guide to preventive maintenance as your one-stop shop for understanding and implementing a successful program of your own this year.
Topics Covered in this Preventive Maintenance Guide for Facilities
Click any of the following links to jump straight to the topic you’re looking for.
• What is preventive maintenance?
• The four action items of preventive maintenance
• Key benefits of preventive maintenance
• Reactive vs. preventive maintenance
• Types of preventive maintenance
• Using preventive maintenance to reduce risk
• How to create a preventive maintenance program
• More resources on preventive maintenance
What is preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance (also called “preventative” maintenance) is a systematic approach to building operations that aims to predict and prevent catastrophic equipment failures before they occur. To accomplish this goal, facilities personnel conduct routine inspections, maintenance and repairs on assets to ensure they work as the manufacturer intended. Functional equipment allows facilities staff members to focus less on reactive maintenance and more on upcoming maintenance tasks or time-sensitive work orders.
As a rule of thumb, it’s better to prevent issues than react to them. Preventive maintenance reduces the likelihood of unexpected issues by promoting optimal equipment performance. The following list features a few ways facilities teams can stay on top of preventive maintenance in their departments:
Schedule and perform regular inspections of equipment
Conduct regular cleaning of buildings, grounds and assets
Lubricate moving parts to reduce wear-and-tear
Adjust controls for optimal performance and energy efficiency
Repair and replace any defective equipment parts
What are the four key action items of preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance takes a proactive approach towards maintenance and involves four key action items: inspection, detection, correction and prevention. Let’s take a closer look at how each concept is fundamental to a successful preventive maintenance program.
Inspection: Inspections are a necessary part of preventive maintenance and aid organizations in two ways. First, facility inspections ensure that equipment is safe to use. Regular inspections help prevent workplace injuries and provide a business with increased liability protection. Second, regular inspections protect property. Inspections ensure that equipment is functioning as the manufacturer intended.
Detection: Operating on a run-to-failure approach can end up costing a facility department significant money, which is why many facility managers choose to utilize a preventive approach to maintenance. Preventive maintenance helps facility managers detect problems early, when issues are still relatively easy and inexpensive to fix.
Correction: Preventive maintenance encourages facility managers to take a proactive approach towards equipment care and correct issues before they occur. If an issue (or potential issue) is detected, facility managers take steps to promptly address the problem before it worsens or shuts down operations.
Prevention: Facility managers can combine inspection records and maintenance notes to learn from past mistakes and correct repeated issues with equipment. Prevention of asset failure reduces stress and increases productivity for facilities teams. When equipment works as inspected, staff can focus on proactive (rather than reactive) maintenance tasks.
What are the benefits of preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance has two overarching goals: to increase asset longevity and productivity and to keep people and assets safe from harm. Facility managers and their teams can use the principles of preventive maintenance to achieve various benefits, including the following:
Eliminate unnecessary inspections and maintenance tasks
Save money by extending the useful life of assets
Prepare for and prevent future issues from occurring
“Reactive” vs. “Preventive” Maintenance: What’s the difference?
In facility management, reactions to issues are unavoidable. Things can and will go wrong. However, facility managers can take steps to promote safety and reduce reactionary maintenance by taking a proactive approach towards fixes. Facility managers should start by understanding the benefits of proactive maintenance versus a reactive response.
Reactive maintenance focuses on diagnosing and fixing a problem once an asset has already broken down or malfunctioned. A maintenance technician identifies the issue that occurred and takes steps to restore the asset to operational condition.
Preventive maintenance emphasizes regularly scheduled maintenance tasks. The goal of preventive maintenance is to give an asset the care it requires while it’s still running. This approach actively minimizes the chance of failure, costly repairs and unscheduled downtime.
A common misconception is that reactive maintenance is a bad thing. The truth is that most facilities departments experience a healthy balance between reactive maintenance and preventive maintenance throughout the year. This is because it is nearly impossible to predict and prevent all asset failures.
Reactive maintenance tasks should be minimized whenever possible. Neither occupants nor maintenance personnel enjoy dealing with a broken air conditioner or leaky pipe.
What are the different types of preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance can follow a time-based approach, a usage-based approach, or a combination of the two. Let’s look at examples of each.
Time-based Preventive Maintenance
Time-based preventive maintenance goes by a variety of names, a main one being “calendar-based” maintenance. No matter which term your department uses, this approach involves setting up a preventive maintenance schedule to perform regular inspections on pieces of equipment, especially those that would have a severe impact on production in the event of a breakdown.
Time-based preventive maintenance is best used for bounded assets (such as fire/safety equipment) and critical assets (such as HVAC systems and pumps), though facility managers can use this approach for any asset that requires preventive maintenance. Here are a few examples to illustrate.
“Change air handling unit filters every three months”
“Inspect water heaters semi-annually”
Usage-based Preventive Maintenance
Usage-based maintenance, also called “runtime maintenance,” is an approach that triggers maintenance after a certain amount of asset runtime (such as every “X” amount of kilometers, miles, hours or production cycles).
Usage-based preventive maintenance makes sure that equipment continues to operate as the manufacturer intended. Unlike time-based maintenance, which occurs on a more rigid schedule, usage-based maintenance occurs as often as an asset needs it, whether it’s every month or every six months — whichever comes first. Check out these examples of usage-based preventive maintenance.
“Inspect belts every 100 hours of production”
“Service motor vehicles every 5,000 miles”
“Lubricate pumps every 10,000 run-hours”
How can preventive maintenance PROCEDURES reduce risk in my facility?
All facilities face potential risks which, left unchecked, can put workers, occupants and goals of a business in jeopardy. Facility managers and their teams are responsible for securing these risks and upholding safety in a facility. A strong preventive maintenance plan can effectively reduce two types of risk to your buildings. Let’s take a look at each type.
Preventive maintenance reduces risk to people.
Facility managers have the power to prevent injuries and reduce employees’ days spent away from work. Preventive maintenance can be used to support safety and security of equipment for all occupants of a facility.
Keep occupants safe by conducting recurring maintenance and inspections on dangerous machinery. Do the same with security cameras, door locks, fire extinguishers, emergency exit signs and any other asset that safeguards people from harm.
Preventive maintenance reduces risk to property.
Reactive maintenance can be expensive. Facility managers face hefty costs when an asset breaks down unexpectedly, including costs to diagnose the issue, replace parts and ultimately fix the problem. Preventive maintenance can dramatically reduce the likelihood of these risks.
Facility managers should implement routine asset checks and planned maintenance to avoid costly fixes down the road. Use a Facility Inspection Preparation Checklist to determine assets you should regularly inspect.
How do I create a preventive maintenance program that actually works?
Many facility managers like the idea of preventive maintenance, but quickly become frustrated by not knowing where to start. The good news is that implementing a proactive process can be painless if building teams develop a solid strategy and use the right tools.
The quickest, easiest way to support a winning preventive maintenance program is by using a facility management software (FMS) or a Field Service Software. A cutting-edge FMS can not only automate preventive maintenance tasks for you, it’ll also replace bulky stacks of paper and cluttered spreadsheets. Software holds your team accountable and provides them instant access to asset information and preventive maintenance protocols in the field.
Here are just a few other noteworthy ways facility management software can help your team get ahead and stay organized with preventive maintenance throughout the year. Make sure you’re using the best maintenance software for your team.
Utilize location-based asset mapping to find and service equipment. Location-based asset mapping allows software users to filter through assets via an interactive floor plan map so they see only the asset pins they need. This feature is especially useful if a team member is assigned to inspect or service all assets of a certain type (i.e. inspect all emergency exit signs for burnt out bulbs) as part of a preventive maintenance program.
Use a work order and PM scheduling module to create recurring preventive maintenance tasks and procedures. Software makes work order management and preventive maintenance scheduling easy. You’ll have the ability to triage incoming service requests by building or floor, assign work orders to specific team members and receive automatic reminders of upcoming preventive maintenance tasks.
Upload asset documentation, receipts and proper O&M manuals for future reference. Software includes facility document management, which protects your most critical building documentation and grants instant access to it on the field where it matters most. You’ll be able to upload and store any document, including O&M manuals, warranty information, receipts and as-builts for commissioning reports.
Stay informed on preventive maintenance success with a data reporting dashboard. Many facility managers are data-driven and want to see evidence of success (or the need for improvement) through numbers. Some facility management software solutions feature a statistics dashboard, which serves as a one-stop-shop for departmental data. This data comes in handy when it comes time to draw up annual reports for your organization’s administrators.
Access PM information for assets out in the field via any electronic device. Facility management software gets your team up, moving and getting more work accomplished throughout the day. You’ll no longer need to be tied to your desktop computer and printer, since an FMS can function on any mobile device and eliminates the need to print out work orders for preventive maintenance tasks.
Scan QR codes to view preventive maintenance work orders for an asset. A QR code is a type of barcode that can be placed on equipment and assets within a facility. Use a mobile device with a camera to scan an asset’s QR code. With the scan of the barcode, your team will gain instant access to the asset’s PM history, as well as any upcoming maintenance tasks to be completed.
Where can I find more free resources on preventive maintenance?
Preventive maintenance is an extensive topic. Facility managers should take the time to seek out a variety of resources on preventive maintenance in order to form a plan that works best for their facility. Not sure where to start? Field Force Tracker has you covered. We suggest exploring the following free resources to help jump start your new or revised preventive maintenance program.
Read About Preventive Maintenance Guide Flipping a facility to a preventive maintenance model doesn’t need to be challenging. Break the cycle of reactive maintenance with a free guide that gives you the information and tools you need to strategize for your department.
Develop a Preventive Maintenance Checklist. Keep the focus on preventive maintenance versus reactive maintenance with the a Preventive Maintenance Checklist. This step-by-step checklist covers asset identification, naming conventions and data collection accuracy.
Check out a Guide to Understanding and Implementing Preventive Maintenance. Thinking of implementing a new or improved preventive maintenance plan for your facilities or customers? A free online Guide to Understanding and Implementing Preventive Maintenance covers the foundation of a proactive strategy, tips and tricks to implement a PM plan, and a timeline to fully implement and perfect your program.
Speak with a facility management industry advisor. It’s a good idea to contact a facility management professional who can coach you through preventive maintenance best practices that will best suit your building and industry. Our friendly team is here to help and will work with you to determine a customized solution created just for you.
Implementing Preventive Maintenance in Your Facility
Facility managers who run a reactive maintenance-based program may view preventive maintenance as an overhead cost that is, at first, difficult to justify. But all it takes is one serious accident or significant period of downtime to demonstrate how important it is to undertake a program of proactive maintenance strategies. The most successful maintenance strategies value preventive maintenance as its main focus. By staying ahead on maintenance and repair, your department will realize major cost savings and higher asset reliability. This comprehensive resource explains how to collect and update asset data, how to document facility audits and inspections and how to effectively budget for your new PM program.