Five Aspects of Maintenance Quality


Only your client can truly reflect on your service and how well you are doing it.  No one else can accurately determine how well you are performing your service.  Unless your client performs regular inspections, they will rely on perceptions and tenant satisfaction to make their determination of your net worth.  If you are performing your own Quality Inspections on a statistically valid schedule, you may be able to demonstrate some value directly.  One of the best ways to show value without doing a lot of work is Facility Maintenance Software.


Committing to continuous improvement is a very important aspect of quality.  This also ties directly into providing superior customer service.  Continuous improvement demonstrates a willingness to invest in stronger relationships.  When it comes time to evaluate performance, having a strong track record of improvement will likely increase your ability to retain and grow your business with clients.


You must be willing to dedicate your time to improving the client relationship.  This may mean doing those little things that can improve satisfaction without draining your resources, attending meetings with them, or stopping in on a regular basis to be seen more as a partner in their success.  How is this quality?  If you have a great relationship, have invested in their satisfaction, and are well known, their perception of satisfaction will be higher.  Even when your actual quality of service is excellent, if you fail on willingness, your value to the client may be perceived as average to poor.


You have to hire employees that you can count on to get the job done to the best of their ability.  If you have employees that are not taking the job seriously, it is time to look for new employees, because their actions directly reflect your company as a whole.  Your employees need to be held responsible for their actions and they must value their jobs.


If you have achieved a high quality of service, the value of your team should be recognized and marketed both within your company and outside your company.  If you have done a good job with the first four areas, your client should be impressed, and they may be willing to help you get new business.  Ask if you can use them as a reference.  A good group of happy clients can make a tremendous difference when all other areas of your service look the same to new prospects.

Work Prioritization to Maximize Value

In any facility, there are conflicting priorities that can strain resources.  Although political and financial pressures can sometimes change priorties in disproportionate ways, it is important to remain focused on the critical priorities in your facility.

Efficient facilities have found that their first priority should be maintenance that protects life and property, their second priority deals with problems that can affect tenant satisfaction, and their third priority is routine maintenance that reduces the cost of operations.  Identifying, prioritizing, scheduling, and tracking these three fundamental objectives can be made easier and more cost efficient with Facility Maintenance Software:

Issues that involve protecting life or property obviously need to be dealt with immediately.  An effective emergency response plan with a “calling tree” that outlines who should be notified based upon the situation is invaluable when these emergencies arise.  Easy access to your emergency response plan is critical to your performance, and many organizations have found it valuable to have this information secured (password protected) on a website to ensure availability.

Tenant satisfaction is sometimes difficult to achieve, but with a good plan and the right tools, your team can peform consistently and efficiently.  This type of work is initiated by your client or it can be scheduled work that avoids future costs by performing it concurrent to an ongoing project.  Typically this type of work is requested through a work ticket or service request.  Facility Maintenance Software can make service request work much easier and more productive by helping you schedule & notify workers, track performance, and analyze costs.

The third level priority involves routine maintenance.  Routine maintenance can include non critical repairs and preventive maintenance.  Usually, this is the work that is done when the other two levels are in control.  Your goal is to help avoid future costs while remaining efficient with the use of available resources.  Facility Maintenance Software can also help keep your team efficient in this area, especially when integrated with managing second level work requests.

These concepts may be second nature to you by now, but the key is to ensure that your entire staff understands how to properly handle work prioritization to minimize costs and avoid mistakes during emergencies.

Communicate Achievements

Step 9: Communicate Achievements

Make sure that progress is communicated effectively to a wide range of people in your organization.  Change needs to take place not only on performance, but also the perception of performance.  Be prepared to uncover more problems as you make progress.  It is easier to document real progress with management tools like Janitorial Software or CMMS Software.  In many cases, these tools can automatically notify key individuals of progress with minimum time consumption for your team.

Provide feedback when problems are hard to fix.  Explain what you are doing and your plan for improvement.  Provide timelines when calling for planned action.

Step 10: Celebrate Successes, Continue to Work on Failures

Celebrate when you have made true progress.  Thank those who helped achieve milestones for their hard work.

Set up regular evaluation points to review achievements and summarize progress to remind yourself how much has been done and where you need to improve.

Continue working on areas that don’t show the expected improvements.  If you have not achieved your goals within stated timelines, review the main reasons and determine if there is still a path for success.  At this point, your commitment to this process should have been demonstrated, and it is likely that you will be given time to complete the improvement process.

Launch the Improvement Program

Step 7: Launch the Improvement Program

This step is a significant milestone.  The level of achievement at this point can either make or break your relationship.  It is important to keep the key people in both organizations up to date on progress and you need to seek their support.

Plan to launch the program at the start of remedial work.  Make sure that you present any actions positively and constructively.  This is a blueprint for the future.

It might be a good idea to think of a clever name for your improvement program to catch people’s attention.  Your goal is to actively manage the improvement program and promote each key achievement within both organizations.

Step 8: Monitor Progress

Monitoring progress carefully and frequently is very important at this stage.  Since the relationship has been strained, it is safe to assume that normal process for reviewing performance and introducing service improvements has not been working effectively.

In previous steps, we recommended that you investigate Maintenance Management Software or Janitorial Management Software.  These systems can be extremely helpful in monitoring your progress without doing any extra work.

Your improvement task force should meet on a regular basis to review progress, agree on additional actions, and modify the program where it isn’t producing the desired outcome.  As communications and services are brought back in line with the agreed upon standards, ongoing monitoring duties should be passed back to normal contract management mechanisms.

Look out for potential problems in the transfer process.  There is a possible conflict between actions started while improving the relationship and actions that are considered part of the normal contract.

It is important for both organizations to recognize the significance of this improvement program.  Give the program firm priorities and don’t override its activities.  Support from your senior management is extremely helpful in this situation.

In the final part, we will review steps 9 and 10.  Step 9 deals with communicating your achievements and step 10 covers what to do after you have successfully established a excellent relationship.

Develop Proposals for Remedial Action

Step 5: Develop Proposals for Remedial Action

Review and compile the results of the interviews.  These results should include your findings of performance data and perceptions within your organization.  Analyze your data for trends and reoccurring issues to determine possible actions that could be taken to improve your relationship.

Look for opportunities to:

Deliver quick wins.  This will demonstrate to both organizations that you are dedicated to improving your situation and that you will take action wherever necessary.

Create more appropriate performance measurements and stop collecting data on areas that serve no useful purpose.

Uncover areas with the most “bang for the buck”.  Focus on low cost options that visibly improve communications and service levels.

“Sell” what is working well within your organization, but might not be fully appreciated.

Initiate actions that will benefit your relationship without incurring significant expenditures.  One way to do this is to become more organized and stop wasting manpower.  Maintenance Management Software or Janitorial Management Software will save labor and give you a good return on investment.  Most importantly, these Facility Management Software systems will give you a framework for Preventive Action.



Step 6: Agree on an Action Plan

Agree to agree.  Sit down with all of the key people who can resolve issues and bounce remedial action ideas off each other.  Also, encourage contributions and additional ideas for activities that could potentially help you improve the relationship.

Produce a rough draft of your action plan that both parties agree on.  Senior management from both companies should approve of this draft.  Without approval, neither party can be sure that the other will deliver.

Take your proposal to the problem-solving group that you set up in step 1.  Be sure to explain that the draft is based on findings from your investigation and it takes into account both parties’ views.

Next, refine the proposal and finalize the action plan.  After this, your problem-solving group now becomes your improvement task force.

In part 5, we will review steps 7 and 8 of Challenging Failure.  Step 7 deals with launching the improvement program.  Step 8 covers monitoring your progress.