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Building maintenance practices are very crucial no matter what kind of building whether residential or commercial.The practices must be carried out by the management properly and efficiently to ensure the target of the management can be achieve. Nowadays, many issue arise regarding building maintenance including quality of services provided, unmaintained facility and many more. So to reduce or avoid all these problem, the management team should come up with new approaches. Not just maintained , but they must ensure the activities carried out is efficient and effective. There are several strategies that can be practices which are applying managerial function, using computerized maintenance management services (CMMS), and out-tasking. Under managerial function system, it provide basic things that the management need to go through including plan, do, check and act. The sequences of this function are very significant and have it own roles. Besides that, the management must aware that technological also can be applied in maintenance practices due to current state of advance technology. It is proven that, CMMS are one of the updated system that been applied by big and establish management. This is because, CMMS really helpful and make the maintenance works become easier. Last but not least is out-tasking. This system have many benefit and apart from that, it will help the management to complete their maintenance work without hiring expertise. The expertise only appointed when they are needed. Efficiency in building maintenance practices are important in order to ensure the limited resoursces such as time, cost, manpower are being fully utilized.
Nowadays, building maintenance practices always been improved allign with technological changing. This is done in order to ensure the practice is up to date and satisfied all the parties involve. As we all known, under this practices many parties either directly or indirectly involve including management body, owner of the building, tenant and so on.
Moreover,of late many management body realize and shift their focus of services onto customer oriented where customer satisfaction are their priority and always put on the first place. On account of that, the management body on what so ever condition must ensuring the efficiency of their services performance is always keep in maximum level.
Generally, efficiency is quantitatively measurable concept which is can be determined and measured by percentage of output to input. (n.a, 2011). Efficiency also where doing things in the right manner. Whereas building is a human-made structure constructed as a place for work, shelter and many other purposes for the occupants use.(n.a 2011)
Maintenance in a simple words mean an activity to keep and restore the subject in order to ensure it can be operated as well as it suppose to. According to Brian Wood, maintenance is keeping an item or restoring it to acceptability position. According to British Standard 3811, maintenance as "work undertaken in order to keep or restore every facility,i.e every part of a site, building and contents, to an acceptable standard".
Building maintenance as a whole mean an activity where building is keep and restore to it's acceptable condition as well as to ensure it can be operated and well functionated. Building also like a human being, it need to be maintained all the time to avoid it from obsolete and damages. So cannot be denied that building maintenance practices is a crucial activitya and must always be carried out efficiently.
Generally, building maintenance practices cover a huge area of activity. The activity including cleanliness, landscaping, security and etc.
2.0 Importance of Efficiency in Building Maintenance Practices
Why building must be maintaianed efficiently? Just now we all know that building almost like a human being which is need to be maintained. Basically, there are several perspective on property. Property can be seen as physical asset, financial asset, and functional asset. So the activity that carried out for building maintenance practices are always related to it own perspective.
In term of physical asset, the objective are to maintain and enhance condition of the building. Whereas for financial asset, the objective is to maximise income, ensure capital growth and return on investment. For functional asset, the objective is to ensure the building is fit for purpose, minimise occupation costs and efficiency of occupation.
Normally we can divided into several reason for being efficient in building maintenance practices.
2.1 To ensure building always have good appearance.
As we all known, buildings are exposed to many causes of deterioration. Some of them are weather and aging, wear and tear, and vandalism. If human need bath to clean up body and look fresh, building also need to be painted so that it look nice and attractive. So then people or occupant feel calm and easy to enter such premises. For instance like shopping complex. If it is maintained efficiently, the consumer will always feel free and enjoy shopping in that particular building.
2.2 To ensure the building is always safe and free from unnecessary incident.
Usually buildings are fitted with many kind of mechanical and electrical installation. So without efficient maintenance, the building services in that particular building definitely cannot be operated as well as it suppose to. As we can see in office building for instance, it fitted with elevator, escallator, travellator, air-cond and etc. So if all these are maintained efficiently, definitely unneccessary incident or claim can be avoided.
2.3 To retain the value of the building
Different building have different value. The value of the building generally indicated by the performance of the building itself. So when the maintenance is efficiently carried out, the value of the building can be retain. For instance like premises that well maintained have higher valus as compared to those unmaintained.
2.4 To enforce the regulation
Last but not least, efficient building maintenance practices are actually carried out to enforce regulation. In order to fullfill the regulation of schedule H of Housing Development (Control and Licencing) Act 1966 (Act118) developers need to manage and control common property of the building.This is to ensure all interest of the party inside the building are always secured and at the same time the facilities provided in the building are been well maintained.
3.0 Strategy to Ensuring Efficiency In Building Maintenance Practices
3.1 Apply managerial function
Basically, managerial function is the key point of successful in building maintenance practices. The basic managerial function is Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA). On what so ever condition, the first thing that we must to do is planning. This is because planning is a king-pin in managerial function.
Same goes to maintenance practice, we must plan the maintenance activities that want to carried out on the first place. As a management body, the most important thing is we must set out objective of the organization. When there is a clear objective, the organization have it own target or aims to heading their organization. Then they must clear cut on their strategy to achive those target. Planning also including several fundamental element including preventive and corrective action, work schedule and etc.
Second managerial function is do. As a management team, they cannot just stop at planning stage only but it must followed by the next stage which is implement all the planning that been set earlier. Implementation of the planning also must be in proper way or manner.
Third managerial function is check. This is basically done after the implementation of the maintenance activities. This stage also known as post-mortem. At this stage, the management team will evaluate all their performance and check whether it achive it target or not.
Last but not least managerial function is act. This is can be said the last stage that crucial because after check stage have done, some action have to take to correct or enhance the performance. It is whether only several part or entire strategy that have to be shift or change in order to get better result of performance.
From all that we can said that managerial function are really crucial, have many advantages, suitable and reliable to be adopted and apply in building maintenance practices because it can lead to efficient maintenance. This is because by applying all the managerial fuction, the management team can maintain the building with less cost, effort and time cycle.
3.2 Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
In the age of advanced technology, there are many computerized system that have developed in order to help the organization to do maintenance practices more effectively and efficiently. Nowadays, the software that mostly used by the maintenance organization is CMMS.
CMMS is very helpful as it containing databases that related to maintenance operation. CMMS have several package deal with some of the following:
(i) Work Order
CMMS will help the maintenance workers by producing schedule maintenance procedure as a code of conduct and it also help to track relevent information regarding the maintenance activities. So the maintenance workers can just refer to the work schedule on what they have to carried out.
(ii) Asset Management
CMMS have the records that containing important information related to the particular building. For instance, CMMS records the information of specification, service contract, purchase date and anything else deem to be helpful to the maintenance works.
(iii) Inventory Control
CMMS in the same time will assist the management of spare part, equipment, and etc including the reservation of tools that is needed for a particular works.
With these packages, CMMS looks as a system that should be use by the maintenance organization. It is very helpful and easy to handle and the most important things is that it help the organization to maintained the building efficiently.
Out-tasking is one of the organisational set up that can be applied in building maintenance practice. Generally, out-tasking is said to be when part of the maintenance work are handed over to the other service partner for certain period of time. For instance like air-conditioning system. Usually, inhouse system have it own maintenance worker s that do maintenance towards air-conditioning system.
But for certain circumstances like changing belting or other equipment for that system, the organization have to out-tasking the work to other service partner. Usually this happen due to lack of expertise. However there are also an organization that carried out this method of organizational set up as strategy.
Advantages of out-tasking
(i) Reduce cost
Management team can still keep total control all over infrastructure and services with low cost of maintenance as compared to out sourcing it to the other company. This is because the expertise only hired at certain time only when needed. So the payment that will be paid by the management team is much lower as compared to out sourcing it.
(ii) Quality of performance
When the organization out tasking the maintenanace work to the expertise, definitely the quality will be much better because they only need to focus on the task given. Compared to maintenance workers, they are multi-tasking and not expert on specific area in building maintenance.
(iii) Span of control
For out tasking, the gap between the management team and service partner are close. This will lead to good interaction and communication between these two parties. Besides, the employer also easy to supervise in order to ensure that the maintenance work is done properly and follow the particular procedure correctly. As compared to out sourcing, the entire maintenance work are out source to the maintenance team.
As a whole, we cannot denied that building maintenance practices are very crucial in many point of view. Not only the building itself get involve but the practices also related to other parties whether directly or indirectly. On account of that, the management must bear in mind that efficiency in building maintenance practices play an important roles in order to ensure the particular building can operated properly.
Building maintenance practices can be said like a frame work towards a building. Without a strong and solid framework, definitely the building will be collapsed. So to ensure the building maintenance practices will be managed efficiently and effectively, every organization that is responsible to maintain a particular building must critically regulate their strategy in order to achive their target. Every personnel in the organization must understand their roles and fulfill their responsibilities so that they can avoid or at least minimize problems related to building that need to be maintained.
With efficient building maintenance practices, the organization can get better profit as they maintain the particular building with less time, cost and manpower. Other than that, the users or occupant of the building will also enjoy much better and convenient of using the building.
"work undertaken in order to keep, restore or improve every part of a building, its services and surrounds, to a currently accepted standard, and to sustain the utility and value of the building" (Seeley, 1976). The objectives of building maintenance are therefore (Alner and Fellows, 1990)