This article will explain why Mintek’s Transcendent® makes a good Computerized Maintenance Management Software CMMS solution to help fight Park maintenance backlog from budget deficits.

The Effect of Park Budget Deficits

National, State and local park depend heavily on government support. Being for the most part a zero profit industry, when governments are faced with severe deficits the parks budget is usually the first to feel the the negative impact.

With almost half of every dollar spent on maintenance and buildings the hardest hit part of a Park is its upkeep. Without proper maintenance visitors are less inclined to spend time there as visitors prefer the ambience and services they have had in the past.

“National parks not only protect America’s heritage, they are economic engines that create more than $30 billion in private spending and support more than a quarter million jobs each year. Yet, they continue to suffer from an annual shortfall of $500-$600 million in appropriated operations funding. As a result, national parks do not have enough rangers and staff to care for our national treasures and to serve park visitors; more than 90 percent of the cultural sites and artifacts in the Park System’s care are in fair or poor condition; and the backlog of needed maintenance of facilities and resources throughout the park system has reached upwards of $12 billion.”

Source: National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA)- 2013

It would be nice to say that Parks can make up the amount of budget cuts with private sponsorships or increased fees but unfortunately this is not so. Once visitors decline and services start being cut the Park sees a decline in:

  • Entrance fees
  • Concession revenues (Park run)
  • Concession fees from vendors due to fewer people and fewer vendors
  • Activity fees and special events
  • Souvenirs

Three questions for Park Maintenance Managers

  1. The first question for Park managers is what is their highest priority? The answer is park upkeep. The goal should be to maximize revenues by ensuring that the park is well maintained.
  2. The second question should be is there any available technology that can streamline maintenance operations to be enable more to be done with less manpower? The answer is yes it is called computerized maintenance management software (CMMS).
  3. The final question is how do Park managers justify purchasing software at the risk of taking resources away from the growing backlog of maintenance and building problems? The answer is because a CMMS solution has an ROI based on:
    • Quickly grabbing the low hanging fruit (highest priority work) using inspections to determine the current condition of all assets and then prioritizing problems.
    • Using scheduling and work order automation to enable more work to be done with the same amount of resources.
    • Enabling Park managers to always know the location and condition of assets as well as their maintenance history to make better repair, refurbish or replacement decisions.
    • Fewer unplanned maintenance work orders and less overtime through greater proactive procedures.

With constant budget cuts and no significant relief in site Park managers should be making every effort to maintain their parks and a CMMS is well worth the investment. More importantly, all of the above helps Park management make reductions in that $12 billion backlog.

Each Park is unique because of its location and the reason people visit. Whether it is an eco-tourist in the Grand Canyon or school children visiting the Washington Monument in Washington D.C., the one constant is that their desire to visit is based upon the Park upkeep.