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I was reading a couple of articles the other day and thought to myself there has got to be a better way to curb government waste and still allow politicians to save face. The articles referred to a whole bunch of excess government infrastructure and the latest world ranking showing that the U.S. government ranks 76th in terms of government spending efficiency and 54th in trust.

A huge part of this is the reluctance of congress to sign off on the closing or demolishment of the unused facilities. The most often cited reason is that closing any kind of government facility has a negative impact on the local community. The reality is politicians have long abandoned the best interest of the people that elected them and this is why spending efficiency and trustworthiness have fallen like a lead balloon.

“…data obtained in many studies over the past decade indicates that most private and government facilities do not expend the necessary resources to maintain equipment in proper working order. Rather, they wait for equipment failure to occur and then take whatever actions are necessary to repair or replace the equipment.”

Source: U.S. Department of Energy

However, this article is not about the ethical or moral levels of politicians, it is about how politicians can look like a hero by making an intelligent decision to reduce the cost of maintenance and capital expenditures needed to keep facilities from disrepair.

Facility Maintenance on a Tight Economy

According to the Army’s chief real estate agent, Katherine Hammack, the U.S. army has shrunk in size from a force of 8 million during WWII to approximately 490,000 today. Sadly, many of the facilities that were once needed are either being poorly maintained or laboring in a state of disrepair and abandonment.

It is the use and care of these facilities that provides politicians an opportunity to look like a hero. Ms. Hammack stated that many of the unused facilities were still being heated and/or cooled to prevent further deterioration and others are quickly falling into a failing condition.

There are two solutions here. The first is to make use of an EAM CMMS system for the handling of all maintenance. The second solution is use these facilities as a training ground for military, former military and civilians in an effort to meet another national crisis which is the lack of skilled maintenance professionals.

Mr. Politician be a Hero

The advantages of using an EAM CMMS solution include putting in a system that allows the current elected official to claim the benefits of grabbing the low hanging fruit such as:

  • Considerable energy savings as equipment used to heat and cool facilities is kept in optimal working condition therefore requiring less power to perform.
  • Fewer repairs as all assets can be set on a proactive maintenance schedule. Planned maintenance identifies problems early through the use of inspections and preventive maintenance, sharply curtailing emergency repairs and their subsequent labor and material costs.
  • Not having to lower the number of maintenance employees due to budget constraints. EAM CMMS simply allows you to do more with the same amount of staff.
  • Fewer capital expenditures as assets last longer. Better asset and maintenance means that the useful lifespan of assets should be increased.
  • Having occupant ready facilities in case of emergencies. For example, natural disasters have a tendency to either displace constituents or increase the need for shelters.

There are numerous other benefits of EAM CMMS. The one that will give the bean counters the greatest joy is that an EAMCMMS solution enables asset managers to always know the condition, location and work history of all assets/equipment. An EAM CMMS makes a hero out the person who makes the decision to implement the software.

Mr. Politician Help Create Jobs

Youth unemployment is skyrocketing and yet there are millions of skilled workers needed to take care of all types of facilities. With 83% of companies reporting a moderate to severe shortage of skilled maintenance professionals, there is a tremendous opportunity to pump money onto local economies by using the unused facilities as training grounds for maintenance professionals.

In a world where perception is everything the choices are continue on the same path of negative self-preservation and do nothing or do be a hero. What will government leaders choose?

The full articles mentioned can be found at: