Whether You Have a Few Dozen Facilities or a Few Hundred, One Thing Is Certain…
There are countless assets and systems that are critical to keeping those locations operating, comfortable, and usable for employees and customers. Plumbing is one of the most critical — and risky. Signs can be turned off. Lighting systems can be disabled for unpopulated spaces. HVAC systems can adjust by time and ambient temperature. But plumbing is always “on.” When it’s not working properly, neither are your facilities. That’s why commercial plumbing maintenance is so important.
When it comes to plumbing assets, even one failure or the slightest bit of damage — from a leaky pipe to a malfunctioning toilet — can result in a number of challenges ranging from messes and mold build-up to health and sanitation concerns. That’s to say nothing of larger issues, such as backflow pressure problems, underperforming water heaters, sump pump malfunctions, and more. And depending on your industry, plumbing may play a more critical role in your day-to-day operations.
Clearly, commercial plumbing maintenance should not just be a one-off, reactive function — especially today when facilities managers must be looking at more than just keeping assets running and in good order. Here, we’ll explore the many advantages of including plumbing in a larger preventive maintenance program.
1. It’s Important During Challenging Times
Facility costs are rising across the board, as are broader risks impacting facilities. Rising interest rates and a difficult economic environment overall make maintaining facilities harder than ever. More weather-related events are causing damage — leading to rising insurance premiums. Being proactive with your assets — especially assets such as plumbing that can cause widespread facility damage if improperly maintained — helps to offset both the risk of asset failure as well as the need to spend on costly replacements.
2. It Supports ESG Initiatives
Organizations in virtually every industry are being called upon to outline, explain, and measure their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) initiatives and demonstrate what they’re doing to contribute toward positive change. Commercial plumbing maintenance, along with preventive maintenance on other energy-demanding assets such as lighting and HVAC/R, plays a valuable role in ESG efforts by helping to mitigate excess consumption due to underperforming assets and overall water waste.
3. Plumbing Can Be Measured
One of the key challenges facility managers face when dealing with assets across a large footprint is understanding exactly what those assets are. How many plumbing assets are at stake? What is the age of those assets? What is their maintenance and repair history? Knowing that information — and by location — can reveal significant insights about where to prioritize resources. A commercial plumbing maintenance program builds an asset repository for your organization, providing location, brand, model, age, work order history, and more to help you make informed decisions about where to dedicate resources.
4. It Supports Planning and Budgeting
Closely related to the above, including commercial plumbing maintenance in your overall facility management strategy provides you with data that can be used for future budget planning. For example, if during a preventive maintenance cycle it’s discovered that assets at a handful (or more) locations are not performing or are reaching a common failure point, that knowledge can be used to prepare budget recommendations for the next fiscal year. A preventive maintenance partner can also help with CapEx budget planning, where larger replacement efforts are funded at that level proactively instead of using OpEx funding reactively when the asset fails.
These Benefits Are Just the Beginning of What Proactive Commercial Plumbing Maintenance Can Do
We’ve stayed fairly high level with these commercial plumbing maintenance advantages, but they extend much deeper into day-to-day management. The best approach is to partner with a national facility asset management company — also referred to as an aggregator — to manage this function on your behalf rather than managing it yourself. Even if you have a team in place, navigating the countless tasks, details, and information of a multi-location preventive maintenance program can be overwhelming and inefficient.
Leaning on an aggregator gives you access to thousands of highly vetted, high-performing vendors in plumbing, lighting, HVAC/R, signage, and more to execute your maintenance at each location — reducing risk internally for you and your team while helping you prioritize other work yet still having complete insight into and oversight on asset maintenance at your facilities.
CLS Facility Services partners with organizations in multiple industries nationwide to help them with commercial plumbing maintenance and other preventive maintenance solutions. With more than 50 years of experience, a highly tenured team, efficient asset management technologies, and more, we’re the team you need to streamline this aspect of your work and position your business for growth and success in the years ahead.