Tricks Of The Trade: Tracking Maintenance

By B. Kevin Folsom, CEP
Published in the April 2014 issue of Today’s Facility Manager

QHow do you track maintenance schedules to ensure lapses in maintenance do not invalidate warranty contracts? What practices do you employ to avoid this possible situation?

Stephanie Perl
Timestrip North America, LLC
New York, NY

A I will start with a little background on warranties. With new construction, many times major components have preventive maintenance requirements stipulated within the warranty. This is pretty smart for the company providing the warranty because it will either help the component live out its expected life cycle or give them cause to not honor the warranty should a problem arise. Another motivation companies will use this for is continued sales. Oftentimes, you can have them do an inspection for a lower cost, or free. Then they provide a list of the maintenance work that needs to be done by them… or you’ll have to pay for the inspection and/or the warranty will be voided.

All questions to Folsom have been submitted via the “Ask The Expert” link.

My experience has brought me to look at warranties as good as the piece of paper they’re written on. Look at the quality of product and installation because you really don’t want to rely on a warranty. If the product and installation are very good and priced accordingly and fairly you will oftentimes have less required maintenance to perform.

Now for the short answer to the question. Most work order programs have preventive maintenance scheduling so that preprogrammed work orders are issued each month, or by desired schedule. If you don’t have something like this, you’ll have to rely on your calendar (and maybe others’ calendars) so the required items are not forgotten. If you don’t have a department to keep up with this, you might also consider putting the onus on the company that sold the product to you to send reminders.