Beyond KPIs: What’s Your Facility Maintenance Data Strategy?

Measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) with messy maintenance data just makes a bigger mess. It’s time to clean up your act.

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If you want to improve the efficiency, productivity, and cost savings of your maintenance program, it all begins with data. After all, you can’t manage something if you can’t measure it.

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) is one of those things we all know we should be doing, but many facilities teams are struggling to actually do it.

For AkitaBox’s 2022 State of Facilities Management Report, we surveyed facilities professionals  in a wide range of industries from all over the U.S. and found:

  • 22% of respondents don’t track maintenance KPIs at all
  • 27% of respondents with a preventive maintenance program in place haven’t analyzed its effectiveness

KPIs Facility Maintenance DataIn other words, about ¼ of the survey participants either don’t track KPIs or – if they do – aren’t using the data they’re tracking. Why is this the case? Well, a number of reasons:

  • They’re unsure of what to measure and how to measure it
  • No consistent processes or expectations for collecting data
  • Available data is scattered throughout different files and departments – no central repository
  • Data exists as an unorganized mix of paper and digital files that’s difficult to analyze
  • Don’t have the right tools for data collection and analysis

You’re not going to find many meaningful insights when your data’s a mess. It’s time to tame the wild beast that is your maintenance data – and here’s a roadmap to get you started.

4 Steps To Better Data Collection For Maintenance Tracking

Facilities maintenance creates vast amounts of data. Without a solid strategy for gathering, organizing, and understanding it, you’re squandering one of your most valuable resources.

Don’t let valuable insights fall through the cracks. It’s time to put all of that data to work for you.

Step 1: Understand your current situation

You can’t figure out where you want to go tomorrow until you know where you stand today. Think through how your team handles maintenance information right now.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What data are we already collecting?
  • Where does our data live?
  • What formats and file types are the data currently found in?
  • Who has access to or is familiar with the data?
  • What are my organization’s goals? Increase production? Reduce downtime?
  • What data should we be collecting based on organizational goals?

You’ll start to see the areas where your data strategy could use some help – be it better tools, more thorough data collection, or a better file storage solution.

Step 2: Determine what data to collect – start small

It can be pretty overwhelming to set up tracking around multiple data points all at once. So start small. Select one or two of your most important data needs and establish a KPI around it that you can begin measuring.

If you’re not doing so already, two essential KPIs you should focus on are your deferred maintenance backlog and the ratio of reactive to preventive maintenance work.

Deferred maintenance backlog

Whether due to limited budgets or not enough staff, deferring maintenance tasks is often a fact of life. But deferring too much can bring trouble. On average, if you defer maintenance on a particular asset, you can expect future expenses to be equal to or greater than the cost of the part squared or 15 times the total repair cost.

Knowing, tracking, and planning for deferred maintenance is critical to ensuring facilities remain safe and operational. While some deferred maintenance is perfectly healthy for most organizations, as that list grows, tasks and work can begin to fall by the wayside and increase the risk to the organization.

That’s why it’s imperative you keep an eye on your backlog. This metric can provide early warning of problems ahead. Are some of the needed equipment repairs significant? Is the majority of the backlog in a particular categorysuch as plumbing?

Reactive vs. preventive maintenance

If you’re like most teams, you’re probably still relatively reactive when it comes to maintenance. And you’re not alone. AkitaBox’s 2021 State of Facility Management report revealed that only 18% of respondents felt strongly that their teams were more proactive than reactive.

Preventive maintenance increases the longevity of your assets, reduces costs over time, and improves the occupant experience.

The ultimate goal of any data-driven operation is to transition to more preventive and less reactive maintenance. This is typically measured as a ratio. For example, world-class organizations aim for a 90% preventive and 10% reactive maintenance work order ratio.

Tracking the number of reactive work orders and preventive work orders and then comparing the two will show you what your ratio is. Once you know your ratio, it’s good to drill down to see where those reactive work orders are coming from.

Step 3: Equip your team with the right tools to gather data

You’ve laid out your current maintenance data situation. You’ve identified one or two KPIs to begin tracking. Now you need the right tools to get it done.

If you’re serious about collecting and analyzing data, technology is your friend. This is the perfect catalyst for getting away from paper and moving your maintenance program into a purpose-built software solution.

KPIs Facility Maintenance Data
A view from the AkitaBox maintenance management dashboard illustrates how facility management software can streamline and simplify data tracking.

A facility management software tool that includes work order management can set you up to begin tracking your KPIs right away as well as enable you to expand your data tracking over time. As you research the right software for the job, look for a solution with robust reporting capabilities and reporting dashboards that are easy to understand and customizable to your needs.

And don’t forget hardware. Providing your techs with laptops, tablets, and mobile devices means they’ll always have access to your maintenance software for inputting data on the spot.

Step 4: Create a culture around the collection and importance of data

At the end of the day, if your team doesn’t buy into the need for better data, all of your efforts will fall flat. It all starts with and must be driven by the people who input the data.

Train your team on the importance of entering correct data. Explain how it can help prove the need for additional resources and show the impact of their work. Adopt good habits such as logging every work order and inputting the time it takes to complete each task.

Investing time and effort into building this sort of culture will continue to pay off as you start tracking more and more types of data.

You Deserve Better Data

Without accurate data you can trust, you’re blind to what’s actually happening within your facilities and forced to rely on guesses when making decisions. Revamping how your team gathers and organizes maintenance information can lead to better quality data.

Good data can do so much more than help you measure a KPI:

  • Make decisions with confidence based on data that’s defensible
  • Understand your current situation and communicate it to leadership
  • Leverage your data to justify additional resources

Download our Essential KPI Planning Worksheet.

Are you ready to unlock the power of your maintenance data? We can help.

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