Welcome to Part 2 of our series exploring why using Facility Management Software for our church facility may be a smart move.
Last time we developed some “common language” to establish a baseline for our future discussions. The terms we defined were:
- Work Order Process (a better term may actually be Work Order Management)
- Scheduled Maintenance
- Capital Improvement/Reserves
- Vendor Management
- Equipment Tracking/Inventory Control
So…why should your church consider using some form of Work Order Management software or Facility Management software? Isn’t that just for big churches with big facilities and big budgets and big staff and big…(you complete the rest)…
If you have followed any of our past blogs, then you know that I have stated that our church facilities are large, complex commercial structures. Even if your facility is less than 10,000 square feet, it is a commercial structure…and it is complex. It may be the “house of God” but it ain’t no house. How many of you live in a “house” that is over 10,000 SF?
Regardless of the size of your facility, take a minute to answer the following questions:
- Does your facility have more than one HVAC unit? If so, do you have more than 5 “tons” of cooling/heating capacity?
- Does your facility have an electrical service that is larger than 200 amps?
- Do you have paved parking spaces with a curb cut to a city, town, county, state or federal road?
- Do you have an automatic fire sprinkler system?
- Do you have a fire alarm system?
- Do you have exit signs and emergency lights?
- Do you have ceilings higher than 10 feet with light fixtures in those ceilings?
- Is any part of your roof over 30 feet tall?
- Do you have more than one 40 gallon water heater?
- Is any part of your building made of steel/metal?
If you answered yes to 2 or more of the above questions, then you likely have a complex, commercial structure and with that type of structure comes the need for scheduled maintenance, repairs, service, etc. In most cases, these tasks exceed the ability of the typical “residential” handyman. They need to be completed by skilled professionals in these trades…whether from inside your congregation or not.
I can hear you saying…“OK…we agree with you in principle…but so what?” Good question.
Let me start with 2 of the most obvious this week, and then address more next week.
- BE INTENTIONAL: There is a quote that most of you have heard…but I believe it is so appropriate for this discussion...“People do not plan to fail, we fail to plan”. We do not plan to forget to change the HVAC filters or to clean the coils or to clean the carpet. However, without a plan, these things become lost in the hustle and bustle of the “urgent” items that consume our daily activities. When that happens, the low cost maintenance items become higher cost repair issues (i.e. deferred maintenance). Having a proactive system that will serve as your “reminder” for these items will not only save you time, but assist you in being intentional with the care and maintenance of your facility…remember, these facilities were entrusted to our care.
- CENTRAL DATA BASE/REPOSITORY: Do you have a spreadsheet here…a post-it note there…an e-mail requesting work be done…a legal pad full of ideas…your computer calendar with dozens of reminders? Unfortunately, this is more the norm than the exception. We met with a new client the other day who said “When all 4 of us involved in the care of our facility are together, we then have all the needed data”. So, what happens when only 2 of them are together…do they only have 50% of the needed data and information? We are hearing this over and over from small churches to those with hundreds of thousands of square feet. This “plague” is an equal opportunity offender. Having a single source to input and store your facilities data is critical. You need to have a single secure place to store data, process work orders, track historical data, evaluate work orders and manage vendors…and it needs to be accessible to all the key players and stakeholders at the church. Without this single repository, you will always be subject to missing critical data when you need it most.
There are a number of other critical issues to discuss…so join me next time…and please join in and provide some insights that may help all of our readers.