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We missed publishing the weekly summary last week for the first time as sometimes life gets in the way of the best planning. Life is a constant juggling of priorities, balancing of resources and search for greater knowledge that can make our lives seem better. The same struggles that apply to your personal life also mirror the issues of your professional life and that of any business organization.

With this in mind, this weeks articles centered around the struggles we face. The week’s most popular article was What is Better Asset and Maintenance Management? which asked if we knew what we are really asking for when we say we want better asset or maintenance management? The idea is simple but the answer is depends on knowledge of your field plus new technical developments. We hope everyone had the opportunity to read our blogs and check out our website, but just in case you did not have the time to see our blogs and voter links as they were published, we have summarized them for you here. Please enjoy them and be sure to check back for new articles during the week. You can find a complete listing on the Mintek Blog.

1. The Battle: Hotel Guest Retention Versus Maintenance Costs

Author: Stuart Smith

It seems like a never ending battle between hotel ownership/management and maintenance management. Despite rising customer complaints, hotel still place more emphasis on attracting new guests and cosmetics than addressing the issue that are ticking guests off. Is shortsightedness, an aging asset issue or is maintenance not being given the tools they need to do the job correctly?

Key Point: Whether it is an organization issue, monetary constraints or combination of the two, a CMMS is the best tool hotel maintenance management to get a handle on client complaints.

2. Why Don’t We have Time to Plan Maintenance

Author: Stuart Smith

Too many organizations are trimming maintenance staff and budgets as a way to scale back operations during trying times. The result is that more and more facilities are spending extra time and money fighting fires than they have to. The reason is modern CMMS and EAMtools enable management to control the cost of maintaining equipment over their entire lifecycle as well as help to efficiently organize maintenance activities.

Key Point: If you want to do more with less resources then maintenance management needs an EAM/CMMS solution.

3. What is Better Asset and Maintenance Management?

Author: Stuart Smith

Have you ever wondered or questioned what better asset management and maintenance means? This article discusses the objectives for maintenance and asset management, then relates them to best practices from successful organizations.

Key Point: Information is the key to making intelligent asset or maintenance decisions. Collecting the necessary information requires the use of systems that can control the work order lifecycle, collect accurate historical maintenance data and then provide management reports that can be utilized for planning purposes.

4. The Secret Advantage of Web-Based CMMS

Author: Stuart Smith

The advantages of a web-based CMMS have been known for some time. They include a lower TCO and 24.7.365 access from any pc in the world connected to the Internet. There is a new advantage not previously discussed because of the newness of web-based CMMS. The new advantage is that facilities using a web-based CMMS do not need to continually upgrade obsolete IT assets because the vendor does this for them.

Key Point: IT equipment becomes obsolete every 18-24 months. Using a web-based CMMS, this is one things facilities do not have to worry about for there maintenance software.

Read Relevant Articles That We Found Last Week

But wait there is more. We have found several more articles that you might find to be interesting on. The 5 best this week are:

1. Use the CMMS to control and track maintenance expenditures

Author: David Berger, PE

David’s article talks about how the original operating bucket needs to be expanded into 2 more buckets to account for large maintenance projects. He rationalizes that the additional buckets for large capitalized and large non-capitalized maintenance projects is needed because they add a future value to the operations.

Key Point: David notes that modern CMMS software can accommodate the separate tracking needed.

2. Defining The Cmms Need

Author: Posted on Asianway.com

The post describes the importance of using CMMS functions like automated scheduling or checklist to minimize the health risk and liability of even the most conscientious employee in the Food and Beverage Industry.

Key Point: “Do you want to explain to your customers that someone ‘forgot’ to sanitize the equipment between runs of products containing allergens like peanuts?”

3. 5 Ways to Develop Better Procedures and Practices for Facilities Management

Author: Michel Theriault

Michel’s post describes 5 key principles for developing procedures and practices for facilities management. These practices are; including end users for buy-in, keep them simple, make them easy to follow, use checklist and make them easily accessible to everyone to increase adoption rates.

Key Point: Complex systems are nice but what good are they if no can understand them, wants to use them or can find them?

4. Guest problems better prevented than resolved

Author: Stuart Greif

Stuart’s post reviewed some JD Power’s 2010 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index Study to come up with a list of the most common consumer complaints by hotel class. Amusingly, the same set of issues plagued all hotels with noise and room maintenance being mentioned most often. This article was used as a base for my recent post The Battle: Hotel Guest Retention Versus Maintenance Costs.

Key Point:”An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!”

5. Energy incentives are a win-win for new plants

Author: Peter Garforth

Peter’s article covers how industry is only capturing a fraction of the wasted heat generated from industrial processes and using that energy to lower its energy costs. He cites the low cost of overall energy that still exists despite the growing importance of energy costs as a portion of operating expenses. Peter suggest that real solutions won’t be sought out until the ground rules change for industry like including energy incentives from communities instead of tax incentives etc.

Key Point: Wasted heat is the most undervalued resource and a key opportunity to save money in industrial settings.

What We Learned This Week

The war for better maintenance is a series of battles that starts with the application of common sense to normal business (asset and maintenance management) problems. It continues to rage in the trenches of organizations that fail to seek improvement through technology, change and the input of the line staff (Soldiers). To achieve victory, senior executives and management personnel (The Officers), must use all of the resources available to them to plan and execute an effective asset and maintenance strategy.