Winter weather can be tough on your facilities. Here’s how to reduce maintenance costs while keeping your space in excellent condition.
Winter weather means challenging conditions for janitorial and building services teams. Of course, that also means challenging conditions for your budget, with your team working overtime to keep your facilities clean, safe, and comfortable. Meanwhile, you’re probably thinking about how to reduce maintenance costs so you can deal with all the unexpected things that inevitably pop up when the temperature drops.
You never know when a pipe will freeze, or a foot of snow will drop overnight, and hundreds of people will track salt, slush, and grime through the lobby. Taking care of these situations, as well as all the other regular winter maintenance, can add up. As hard as it can be to plan sometimes, there are ways to reduce your overall maintenance costs. Here are some ideas to try.
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Find out how to reduce maintenance costs so winter weather doesn’t freeze your budget
In thinking about how to reduce maintenance costs, it’s helpful, first, to get organized. You have to know where you stand to understand where you want to go. What are your current maintenance costs? Are they reasonable for your location and the size of your facility? Is your team new to the facility and trying to make up for years of neglect or poor maintenance?
None of this needs to change your goal of reducing costs, but these factors all play into where you are now, and what you may still need to contend with. In any case, you can’t do anything about the costs you’ve already incurred. The past is the past. You can, however, do something about the future.
1. Review your maintenance costs. In addition to understanding your starting point, if you want to know how to reduce maintenance costs, it’s helpful to know what those costs are. Much like a personal budget, where you might cut back on subscription services to save money, your business budget may have extras that you don’t really need. Take a quick look through your expenses and see if there are any obvious areas for cutting back. It’s worth noting here that one of your biggest budget items is likely payroll, but be wary of cutting hours as your go-to for budget fixes. Though that can seem like an easy win, there are often unintended consequences, such as reduced morale, burn out from a big workload, or other employees leaving for something more secure.
2. Order in bulk. If you have the storage space, find out if there’s a discount for ordering cleaning and maintenance supplies in bulk. Many wholesalers offer discounts when you buy in bulk. And if your facility doesn’t meet that number, see about teaming up with another nearby business and buying in bulk as a cooperative.
3. Invest in your entrance. One of the most significant sources of indoor floor damage is the grime and debris that people track in on their shoes. Snow and ice melts on your entry mats, salt and gravel scrape the finish on your tile floors, and you spend hours upon hours just trying to stay on top of keeping the floor clean and dry. From a budgetary standpoint, you’re paying someone to do this instead of the many other tasks they could do instead. Additionally, you’re also looking at more expensive floor repairs and a lot of time and energy into changing entry mats.
Alternatively, you could spend some money on a floor dryer fan or two and some heavy-duty entry mats and save on payroll hours. Additionally, keeping grime and dampness away from the floor helps maintain the surface longer, and it’s safer for people walking into and around your facility.
4. Use software designed for janitorial and building services teams. We’re partial to Janitorial Manager, of course. But no matter what service you choose, good software that’s made for the janitorial and building services industries can help you determine how to reduce maintenance costs in numerous ways. For example, you can save time by consolidating checklists, inventory, inspections, work orders, and scheduling all in one spot.
5. Fix things before they break. Preventative maintenance is almost always less expensive than emergency repairs. It’s certainly less stressful. Plan for seasonal maintenance on large ticket items like your HVAC system before winter weather blows in, but don’t overlook smaller preventative tasks, either. For example, check the seals and weatherstripping on doors and around windows, and examine your tools and equipment for any potential malfunctions. These small fixes can add up and save you a lot of time and money.
As tough as winter can be on everything from a building exterior to floors to the inner workings of building systems, it doesn’t have to be tough on your budget. Plan ahead, look for discounts on supplies, and review your budget for extraneous expenses. You’ll reduce maintenance costs in no time.
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