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 Building Information Modelling and SOPs

Besides People and Property, Process and Technology are the backbone of FM industry, without which it could make a lot of noise but just be found, spinning its wheels and going nowhere. John Ringness, SFP, MRICS, CEO – NEXT FMS, Vancouver and President IFMA’s Global FM Consultant Council explains in detail.


The quality guru Edward Deming best known for his work in Japan after WWII, particularly for his work with the leaders of Japanese industry had said, “Quality is everyone’s responsibility”. The following are Deming’s four principles referring to the manufacturing sector but, very well applicable to the FM industry.

  • The problems facing manufacturers can be solved through cooperation, despite differences.
  • Marketing is the science of knowing what, people who buy your product repeatedly, think of that product and whether they will buy it again and why.
  • In the initial stages of design, conduct market research applying statistical techniques for experimental and planning & inspection of samples.
  • Perfect the manufacturing process

The following are some examples as it relates to process:

Standard Operating Procedures

While vision is the direction in which we want to head, SOPs provide the rails on which the train will ride to get there. SOPs must be checked from time to time to ensure proper execution and capture and document any changes which may have occurred in business processes.

Automation: There is much potential to maximize in the area of automation
as India labor rate continues to increase and productivity and profit become more accentuated. For example, a custodian, housekeeper, janitor, etc. here in India can maintain approximately 1,000 square feet per hour but an auto scrubber can dramatically increase to 12,000 square feet per hour, if applied correctly. Automation reduces the amount of manual labour and the number of body injuries. It also helps create jobs in the manufacturing sector and increase opportunities for the export of those goods.

Another potential for automation is the chemical dispensing systems using dema proportioning technology. This system removes the human error which normally occurs from measuring or worse estimating the amount of water and chemical required; thereby reducing chemical costs by 30-60%, the amount of packaging manufactured, less shipping (fuel) required and less storage space – all essential elements of sustainability.

Audits and Inspections: Rigorous checklists and audits are required for HSE requirements, ensuring established SOP standards are achieved (especially important if service level agreements are
utilized), attaining productivity requirements. The next level would train the employees to self-check or audit their own performance, with occasional checks my management personnel.

Suppliers: Suppliers should be brought more into the business process than to simply provide the cheapest product on the market. I don’t mind paying more for a higher quality product or service unit, when they provide value added initiatives such as training, online, tools, benchmarking, benefit cost analysis, audit tools, software, etc, assuming my overall cost is competitive.

Process Indicators 

In many cases facility management is asked to reduce its operating budget, which may be fine if repairs and maintenance is current i.e. two-three days but when the time to repair extends, the amount of rupees required actually doubles in value very five years. A standard procedure is that, 70% of work orders must be in preventative
maintenance category otherwise the asset management program
may operate in an inefficient and / or ineffective manner. Running on
a Corrective Maintenance method only, is reactive and thereby inefficient.

Another business process which requires attention is called a “Capital Renewal Program”. Assets with a realistic preventative maintenance schedule have a predictable life cycle. A Capital Renewal program lays out a financial planning model so the finance department is not surprised
but can anticipate future capital outlays so when the chillers or elevators reach the end of their life cycle, finances can be planned accordingly.

Deferred Maintenance

It is a formal or informal listing of unaccomplished maintenance tasks. Such situations arise because of shortages of funds, personnel, or specific management practices. It is the value of maintenance not attended to. Capital Renewal (CR) is the amount of funds allocated to renew (replace) the existing assists once they have surpassed their life cycle. Current Replacement Value (CRV) is the cost required if the facility had to be rebuilt utilizing current construction costs.

Why Deferred Maintenance is sometimes called a cash flow killer?

In a vehicle, if the engine is not checked and oil changed periodically, the engine will eventually seize and fail. Instead of a few rupees to change the oil and filter, the entire engine would have to be replaced. Similarly, if the maintenance is not addressed as and when required, the cost to maintain becomes deferred, builds up and gradually increases the business risk liability for building owners and customers. As a standard practice, corrective work orders should be completed in two-five days. While, urgent work orders on asset failures which pose imminent life safety risk or may interrupt business continuity should be addressed within hours of receipt. To proactively stay ahead of deferred maintenance:

  • Repair and maintain assets when they fail.
  • Regularly conduct facility audits.
  • Conduct predictive maintenance on technical equipment

Total Cost of Ownership

Considering an office building may last 55 years, the original design and construction cost, while important, only account
for approximately 10% of the total cost of ownership as compared to 62% on operations and maintenance costs. Naturally how a facility is designed and commissioned, will have positive or negative impact on long term operating costs.

How bad is the state of deferred maintenance at my facility? To determine the complete value of the deferred maintenance, an engineering firm could be hired to conduct a building condition assessment using the Facility Condition Index or FCI. The Current Replacement Value (CRV) is determined by the current cost (`) of replacement for the facilities’ fixed assets. This would not include rolling inventory such as chairs, desks, etc.

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