Blog Post

How to Improve Building Maintenance Checklists in 4 Steps

Posted by Jennifer Herman

Technician completes building maintenance checklist on his tablet.

Building maintenance refers to all tasks necessary for keeping a building safe and functional as a living or work environment. As you can imagine, these tasks vary widely based on the building’s operational purpose, size, location, etc. This is why checklists are not only helpful, but essential for proper building maintenance.

However, half-baked checklists and maintenance processes can lead to more harm than good. In this blog, we’re outlining four steps to improving building maintenance checklists and creating efficiencies across your maintenance team.

Step 1: Audit and categorize your building maintenance needs

At the start of any improvement mission, it’s always important to take a step back and evaluate your current process. Hate to sound redundant, but as a first step, you essentially need to create a checklist for assessing your existing checklists. Not to worry! Here’s a few tips for auditing and categorizing your building maintenance needs:

  • Compile all of your existing maintenance-related checklists, documents or forms.
  • Gather feedback from your team on all maintenance-related activities, recurring issues and processes.
  • Organize the documents and team tasks by maintenance type. Where do they fall within common maintenance categories? See categories below.

5 Main Categories of Maintenance

  1. Preventive maintenance: routine practices aimed at preventing unplanned or unexpected facility damage or downtime. Preventive maintenance often involves regular inspections in order to catch problems before they occur.
  2. Condition-based maintenance: a maintenance strategy that employs real-time monitoring and observation to identify variables that could impact building function.
  3. Predictive maintenance: a technique similar to condition-based maintenance that uses data analysis tools and/or sensor devices to detect potential issues within your building or facility assets.
  4. Corrective maintenance: type of reactive maintenance performed to repair issues usually found during preventive, condition-based or predictive maintenance tasks.
  5. Predetermined maintenance: maintenance and service practices defined and recommended by OEMs, rather than internal building maintenance teams.

Step 2: Onboard a maintenance app

Once you’ve gone through the audit step, you’ve laid a majority of the groundwork. Now you have a clear picture of all your maintenance tasks, team member responsibilities and processes that could be optimized with the right tools and checklists.

Speaking of the right tools, researching and onboarding a maintenance app to help streamline maintenance operations is your next step. There are several types of maintenance applications and software on the market today. You’ll want to focus your search on mobile forms apps with a few key features to improve your building maintenance checklists. Here’s a few considerations for your search:

  • Does the app work offline? We’re all too familiar with unreliable WiFi or spotty cell signal. You want to make sure the maintenance app works offline so your technicians can complete checklists and other forms in any area of the building.
  • Is the app easy-to-use? Consider the varying technological skills of your maintenance technicians. You’ll want to find an application that’s easy-to-train and user-friendly. (It will also make your life a lot easier when you get to step 4.)
  • Is it compatible with all devices? You’ll want to make sure all your team members are able to access and submit your building maintenance checklists, whether they’re using a smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer.
  • Does it offer unlimited storage capacity? If you’re working with quite a few maintenance checklists, you’ll want to find an app that doesn’t cap or charge for unlimited forms, submissions and storage.
  • Is the mobile form builder robust, yet easy-to-use? You’ll understand why this is important in step 3!

Additionally, you’ll want to find a solution that offers free onboarding assistance and strong customer support. You’ve done the due diligence of finding the right maintenance app for your organization. Why not let their support team take a bit off your plate during the onboarding process?

Step 3: Digitize your checklists

Now you have a dedicated maintenance app. It’s time to ditch the paperwork, and digitize those building maintenance checklists. Switching from paper to digital checklists brings a lot of advantages, including:

  • Faster, more efficient form building. You can use a drag-and-drop mobile form builder to recreate your checklists or build them from scratch in minutes.
  • The ability to create “smart” checklists. With intelligent form fields, you can incorporate things like answer validation, drop-down menus and backend calculations to help ensure data accuracy and proper checklist completion.
  • Access to real-time data. You can set-up multiple destinations and submission formats. As soon as your technician hits submit after completing a building maintenance checklist, that data is instantly distributed to the team members and/or databases to which you need it delivered.

Step 4: Train your team on the new process

Almost there! You’ve onboarding a maintenance app and transformed your checklists. Now it’s time to train your team on the new, digital process. If you’ve selected a user-friendly maintenance app, the tool training portion should be fairly easy. Many Device Magic users have been able to successfully train their team in just a couple of tutorial sessions.

But it’s also important to set expectations within your team. Don’t let those new and improved checklists go to waste! Emphasize that the new process has been put in place to make their job easier and facilitate the completion of their various building maintenance tasks.

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