Driving Operational Efficiency & Productivity
The pursuit of efficiency in an organization can take many forms. Some focus on energy efficiency and works toward reducing energy demand. Some focus on operational efficiency and work toward optimizing the operational processes in the organization. Others still focus on business growth and drive their organization toward optimizing business functions.
When done correctly, the best path toward true organizational efficiency is when all aspects are considered in conjunction with each other. Each pillar of efficiency works together to drive greater efficiency and optimization in an organization and helps them achieve their goals. The difficulty is in identifying opportunities to take significant steps forward in the pursuit of accomplishing organizational success.
There are various points in the life cycle of an organization and facility when opportunities are presented. From an energy and operational efficiency perspective, a key opportunity is presented when facility improvements are needed. These facility milestones allow an organization to step back, assess where inefficiencies exist, and take proactive steps to improve not just energy usage, but also improve the process by which facility operational oversight is handled.
Performance contract projects are large-scale facility improvement projects that are either partially or fully funded through energy savings. These projects provide a mechanism by which a facility can not only control the decisions that need to be made in the journey toward efficiency and optimization, but they also provide a pivot point to refocus on streamlining facility management and oversight. One of the most significant steps toward streamlining facility management is through equipment standardization.
Equipment standardization means identifying the various categories of equipment needed to condition the building environment, then identifying the fewest number of unique equipment models to meet the need. There are many benefits to equipment standardization, and those benefits are itemized below.
REDUCE THE LEARNING CURVE
Given the learning curve for operational and maintenance management on new equipment, it can be a slow process getting new personnel onboarded and productive. These delays create reductions in efficiency for new personnel, and can create greater issues as a diversity of equipment may lead to a greater likelihood of maintenance mistakes in the learning process.
Equipment standardization creates an environment where the learning curve is reduced, and onboarding new personnel is easier and less time-consuming. With fewer unique types of equipment to learn, personnel becomes more intimately knowledgeable of the equipment in a shorter amount of time.
Your staff will gain significant efficiency with equipment standardization. The greater they understand each piece of equipment, the better they will get at supporting and maintaining them. The fewer the diverse types of equipment throughout a facility or organization, the better the entire team will be at supporting the organization.
As in any industry, given the diversity of equipment and solutions, organizations are frequently obligated to hire various personnel with diverse skill sets and knowledge bases to support a diverse scope of solutions or existing materials in a facility. The process of training and certifying personnel to be able to work on specialized equipment means that different personnel may only be equipped to work on specific equipment. When issues happen, if the personnel capable of working on the equipment are tasked elsewhere, a delay in support may be inevitable until they are freed up to respond. Standardization of equipment provides an environment where more personnel are capable of working on all equipment throughout a facility.
Productivity has a trickle-down effect. When facilities personnel can more efficiently address system and equipment issues, and return a facility to optimal performance, it improves the efficiency and productivity of the entire organization. As was acknowledged in previous articles, environmental comfort (Driven by optimally functioning equipment) significantly increases productivity, creates greater wellness, reduces absenteeism, and improves the bottom line throughout an entire organization. The ability to streamline the operational oversight of a facility through standardization creates an environment where productivity improvements are realized at every level of a facility.
REDUCE STOCKING DEMANDS AND MATERIAL COSTS
Gain greater control over working capital through better management overstock supplies. Equipment standardization means that fewer types of maintenance materials and repair parts need to be maintained to effectively support a facility. This change provides two unique but interrelated financial benefits.
Fewer unique parts mean that overall stock volumes can decrease, which decreases the net operating budget necessary to maintain a facility. Individual product counts may also increase incrementally, which can drive per-unit cost reductions based on volume purchasing.
STEPS TOWARD EQUIPMENT STANDARDIZATION
Equipment standardization takes significant planning and organizational buy-in to accomplish. The planning phase for a Performance Contract provides a process by which these decisions can be well-researched, presented, and understood.
The most effective path toward equipment standardization includes collaboration and participation by leadership, the facilities team, and expert consultants experienced in the process of improving energy and operational efficiency in organizations. Facility needs assessments should be performed, equipment lifecycles identified, and optimal standard equipment recommended based on the unique facility applications. A phased plan should then be identified and implemented so that the best outcome for each facility can be realized.
CM3 Building Solutions has been assisting organizations to standardize equipment, and realize financial and operational efficiencies since our founding.
Contact CM3 today to discuss how we can help you streamline your facility maintenance, and achieve efficiency throughout your organization through equipment standardization.