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Tom Mitchell Jr., Senior Vice President & COO of FM3IS Associates, LLC spoke at the NFMT Baltimore Conference back in March 2016 and discussed how facilities are ever changing and the aging of building inventory presents new challenges, advances in sustainability technology, and the importance of responding to external influences that can be crucial to the success of your facility.

Mr. Mitchell’s lecture focused on the following arguments:

  1. How to employ facility life cycle methodologies that maximize facility use
  2. Defining critical equipment and how to determine which assets are critical
  3. Understanding the benefits of developing comprehensive facility operation and maintenance documentation

Life cycle methodologies maximizing facility use

Modern urban wastewater treatment plant.

Budgets are shrinking for facility management which is causing strain on operations and maintenance figuring out cost effective ways to protect and analyze asset functions.

One methodology discussed is LCCA, Life-cycle cost analysis which is the method for assessing the total cost of facility ownership; it takes into account all costs of acquiring, owning, and the building systems. This can help determine what initial costs will be and then using a LLC to determine economic costs.

Lowest life-cycle cost, LLC is the most straightforward and easy-to-interpret measure of economic evaluation. Some other commonly used measures are Net Savings, Savings-to-Investment Ratio, Internal Rate of Return, and Payback Period.

Facilities not only need to consider upfront costs but ongoing maintenance costs of assets. One of the best solutions is to implement a EAM/CMMS to deter which assets need extra attention and which are up to par.

Defining critical equipment through the use of an EAM/CMMS

Critical equipment is any piece of equipment or machinery that could significantly impair the ability to safely meet corporate business objectives, quality levels or environmental standards. Implementing an EAM/CMMS can help protect your assets while making sure your facility is up to par on its standards.

An EAM/CMMS can not only collect data on your assets and store them, but if you are due for an upgrade, an EAM/CMMS will store information and also allow you to access these files at any time without the worry of losing information or having to back it up on an additional device.

An EAM/CMMS will be able to justify when a repair is needed or when a replacement is due based on the condition of the asset; this will allow the facility to determine what is and is not critical equipment.

The system also provides backlogs on all assets ranging from 10 years to 30 years, and in the case that a system fails and has a complete list of inventory, your EAM/CMMS system can retrieve this information for you.

This is important for facilities just starting out or ones that have been in business for 30 years to protect your assets and know what costs could be expected in the short and long term.

Building blocks of a comprehensive facility

Mr. Mitchell discussed several key points that facilities need to implement not only relating to technology but in their staff.

business beople on meeting conference taking notes and make deal

People, products, and process are the productivity and mission success that are the keys to an operational facility. Mitchell mentions the best way to predict the future is to shape it. Whether that is through your staff training, developing a new product for the masses, or incorporating a new technology into your own facility.

Placing people in the right position is also crucial for your facility to operate on all cylinders and train them in advance in order to step into success.

Sustainable practices, according to Mitchell, last over the test of time and will result in a productive facility or not.