Schools need constant preventive maintenance to be suitable for their many occupants (teachers, students, staff). They must be clean, safe, and accessible every day. When school facilities do face issues, they can often lead to learning disruption.
School facilities managers have many demands for routine maintenance. Some are foreseen and scheduled, but others are entirely unexpected. That is why it’s important to optimize your district’s maintenance process to provide a safe, well-maintained environment for everyone without driving up costs.
1. Coordinate With Colleagues
Coordinating an entire district’s maintenance means your jurisdiction includes multiple buildings and facilities, all of which likely have different unique care needs.
If someone else is responsible for any level of maintenance at any facility in your district, make sure you are on the same page. Keeping communication channels open saves redundant work and can help get things done more efficiently. You can avoid repeated work orders and maintenance left undone because nobody knew who was responsible. Be sure to delegate roles and assign team members to specific activities.
2. Use Maintenance Management Software
As technology becomes more advanced, many school districts are implementing specialized software to help manage maintenance more effectively. Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) centralizes and organizes management processes digitally, avoiding the paperwork and giving everyone easy access.
CMMS can help you save time and money, especially when you are responsible for multiple buildings, a large team of people, and a limited budget. A good CMMS organizes your daily maintenance services to ensure that all tasks are fully completed. This creates more security among your team’s technicians and promotes a more organized environment. You can learn more about CMMS software here.
3. Do Plenty of Preventive Maintenance
Another benefit of CMMS is that it can help you prevent potential problems. By automatically generating a preventive maintenance schedule and setting notifications for reminders, you can keep track of inspections and procedures. With a system that monitors the facility’s assets, you can avoid major failures, which usually means avoiding high emergency repair costs.
The data about maintenance, facilities, and employees you track for preventive maintenance also helps you get a clearer picture of what the workflow looks like throughout your district, so you can pinpoint where things might improve.
4. Automate Wherever Possible
The facilities management software for schools makes it easy to schedule, assign, and close work orders, so you can avoid assigning the same orders to multiple teams. You can also set up specific orders and appointments to reoccur automatically.
High-quality CMMS applications can be used on smartphones, allowing your technicians to access information wherever they are. This also generates an easy interface for teachers and administrators in your district to submit work orders and automatically transfer them to you and your team members.
5. Go Green to Save Money
Implementing eco-friendly practices across your school district isn’t only good for the earth—it can also help you save money and streamline your processes. Make your district more environmentally-conscious by:
- Shutting off the flow of gas to a facility that’s not in use.
- Setting timers to turn lights on and off automatically in certain buildings or on sports fields.
- Installing more and larger windows to make better use of natural light.
- Make the transition to environmentally-friendly practices and equipment (low-flow toilets, automatic flushing devices, non-toxic cleaners) for everyday use.
- Replacing antiquated and inefficient HVAC systems with newer, more efficient models.
4.Consider the Science
Research has been done on how students are affected by their learning environment, and it’s clear that distractions like loud noises present a challenge. This is something you need to consider when deciding how to schedule and prioritize some services. For example, don’t schedule loud landscaping activity outside a classroom during a testing period.
Remember that some maintenance services can block an entire room or segment of a building. They must be scheduled in a way that doesn’t compromise the school’s routine (especially when involving temperature variations, potentially toxic materials, or heavy machinery).
Optimization Pays Off In the End
The learning environment has a significant impact on the students’ desire to learn and on teachers and school staff’s performance, who are more likely to stay long-term in a well-maintained facility. In other words: an optimized district benefits everyone.
Effective management, with the implementation of facilities management software for schools, guarantees a better-preserved infrastructure, with clean and safe environments for students and teachers and an appropriate and suitable environment for learning.