How to get a competitive edge in the facility maintenance sector? (5 tips)

The perception of whether the facility maintenance sector is considered competitive can vary depending on CEO-s perception over market segment and companies financial course.

I think that competition is a driving force for innovation. Companies, who have thought about how to innovate their services or products well before other companies, are in a better position.

How to be competitive?

First of all, it is important to understand how business processes in facility maintenance companies are set up. Gaining clarity in that reveals bottlenecks in business processes.

Remember, it is important to note that facility maintenance plays a crucial role in the smooth functioning and sustainability of real estate objects.

So, what activities does facility maintenance involve?

Managing and maintaining:

  1. Buildings
  1. Devices
  1. Utilities
  1. Infrastructure ecosystems

While it may not be inherently glamorous, it is an essential sector that ensures the efficient operation, safety, and longevity of facilities.

Without effective facility maintenance, businesses and organizations would face significant challenges in providing a conducive environment for their operations.

We at Saago have enabled multiple companies to take advantage of technology and process improvement:

  1. Simplified overview of different inhouse workflows
  1. Helped to save time on work processes
  1. Automated maintenance schedules
  1. Made subcontractor management easy

Most common problems in facility maintenance are problems caused by lack of information and usage of old school technology.

This can be very different from company to company as for some it can be everyday work on paper copies, for some Outlook or Gmail calendar or a combination of both with an extra layer of Microsoft Excel files.

All these options are scattered in different workers' brains, laptops or on paper and it is impossible to exchange information nor get a clear overview of the current situation.

To lay down 5 of most common problems, that facility maintenance companies tackle are the following:

  1. Technician workflow management in facility maintenance
  1. Automated maintenance schedule and notifications
  1. Digital maintenance logs
  1. Automated book-keeping
  1. Online price offers

1. Technician workflow management for facility maintenance sector

There are many simple solutions on the market for time tracking and some companies even use NFC validation in an office, but all those solutions are very basic and do not take into account the complexity in the facility maintenance sector.

The facility maintenance sector has its own specifics.

Just to name a few:

  1. Tasks are located in different buildings and on different devices
  1. Single tasks need to be digitally signed by customers
  1. Customers are often unaware about upcoming maintenance tasks.

We at Saago tackle this problem by tracking your workers' tasks in real time. No extra actions are required from the office, as all task information is automatically put into the program. Your technician just needs to follow the instructions and fulfill the task and give feedback to office personnel.

“Main reason for having started using Saago was to better understand the planning of technical maintenance works and giving up paper documents. I think that with Saago, we have done it!” - said Regional Manager of Stell Estonia AS (previous ISS Estonia).

2. The importance of preventative maintenance & how it should be done

Preventive maintenance has to be automated and prolong the facility or device lifespan. In order to prevent future problems, detailed maintenance history has to be described on delivery sheets or maintenance logs.

This is a complicated problem for a lot of companies, as there are no good software solutions on the market and thus a lot of these periodic maintenance schedules are described in regular office software like:

  1. Outlook calendar
  2. Google calendar 
  3. and in some cases even on paper or Excel file.

You can imagine that this can cause a lot of extra work for companies and people responsible for keeping things on track. 

Saago`s facility maintenance subscription service allows you to add maintenance schedule rules and activities with one click to all of your facilities or devices. You can build your own digital maintenance contracts and start managing all your client portfolio within minutes. Everything is automated and takes place based on your rule input.

3. Why must you have a digital maintenance log?

Keeping an up to date and easily accessible maintenance logs for facility maintenance companies is one of the hardest things to do.

On some facilities you can find paper logs stored on the wall or on desk, on some facilities you cannot find them at all. Keeping up to date maintenance logs with all the information is essential part of facility or device maintenance - this is integral to prevent future problems with devices or facilities.

We at Saago have made it simple, because automating maintenance schedules is one step closer to having digital maintenance logs. 

With Saago, all these digital trails are saved automatically into digital maintenance logs, which can be assessed online any time and in any place. This is a step closer to making things really simple for your workers and getting a clear overview in your company.

4. How outdated book-keeping is costing you money

Business processes have changed over time. Generating invoices used to be the fun part of making business, but nowadays it is not.

Many companies still use old school book-keeping softwares and many more companies still rely on delivery sheets on paper that are entered in book-keeping by the end of the day. 

I talked to over 500+ companies and a lot of them mention the same two things:

1. Money is made and an invoice is being drafted, when my technician gets back to the office at the end of the day and gives saved information on a paper to our accountant.

2. Money is made when my accountant enters information from paper to our book-keeping software, so we could send invoice to customer.

Automated book-keeping is as essential as having fixed processes to avoid easy recurring and monotonous information input to some programs. This also applies to entering finished work order information into book-keeping software.

With Saago you can eliminate inefficient accounting and paper workflows as follows:

  1. Saago lets you generate digital work orders for your technicians to solve
  1. Solved work orders will be automatically saved in Saago software
  1. All done work orders are directed automatically to book-keeping
  1. Accountant is generating one-click invoices

Happy technician and happy accountant, right?

5. Online price offers

Offering the right price is an important skill, but making a winning price offer within a minute is a must. Often companies do not think about that, as using pdf. or xls. file templates are a thing of old habits.

Using old software can be a way of living for the next 2 to 3 years, but in order to have an advantage in front of your competitors you should look around for new software solutions.

Saago`s customer feedback shows big interest in having online price offers. Online price offer module makes it really easy to make offers as well as backlog all the offers that company has made for an unlimited time. Thus, making offers is very easy and all the workers in the company are up to date with the latest information.

Why you need to update your digital solutions in order to succeed in the facility maintenance sector?

To sum up, there are many more things to tackle by companies, but tackling these 5 challenges first will give you a competitive edge in the facility maintenance sector. It is up to every company how to find answers for these problems, but there are already existing solutions out there.

I encourage you to start thinking about the long-term and in order to do so, take initiative and fix these challenges first. Get a facility maintenance solution like Saago and you are already one step closer to clearing up your processes and making more money as a result.

Ultimately, the perception of whether the facility maintenance sector is considered competitive can be subjective. However, it is undoubtedly a vital and evolving sector that needs a technological update to grow and succeed.