Why Preventive Maintenance Is So Important for Hotels
Given the investment and effort required to implement a proper preventive maintenance program, some hotel managers are hesitant to take the leap. The reality is: performing regular, scheduled preventive maintenance generates sustainable long-term savings that end up paying for the initial investment over and over again. A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy estimates that from a pure cost standpoint, on average, preventive maintenance programs deliver 12% to 18% cost savings over reactive maintenance programs. “There is little doubt,” the study goes on to say, “that many facilities purely reliant on reactive maintenance could save much more than 18% by instituting a proper preventive maintenance program.” These savings come in the form of longer asset lives and improved energy efficiency, among other, perhaps, less obvious sources.
To understand the level of cost savings that can be generated by extending the useful life of an asset, consider just one piece of equipment: the chiller. One study performed by Jones Lang LaSalle estimates that a centrifugal chiller, which costs north of $300,000, would last 23 years if maintained through proper preventive maintenance but only 15 years if preventive maintenance is not performed. It’s easy to see then how reducing the frequency of this capital outlay can save significant money in the long-term, especially when extrapolated across multiple chillers and multiple facilities. And that’s just one asset.
As mentioned, preventive maintenance (PM) is also critical in ensuring that the building’s equipment is running at optimal performance and energy efficiency. If your equipment is not performing optimally, you are not only jeopardizing the comfort and experience of your hotel guests, but you are also facing the consequences every month on your energy bill. Building operation and maintenance programs specifically designed to enhance the operating efficiency of the HVAC and lighting systems, for instance, can save 5% to 20% on the energy bill without significant capital investment. Completing a PM step like thoroughly cleaning the coil in a refrigeration unit will not only allow the unit to cool better but will also reduce the energy bill and prolong the life of the equipment, thus delivering a multitude of cost savings. For these reasons, many companies include tasks in their normal preventive maintenance checklists that validate that these and other types of equipment are operating as efficiently as possible.
Reactive maintenance – particularly in buildings that operate 24/7 – can also become extremely costly when critical equipment fails. That is partly because failure cannot be planned, and it often happens at the worst time. What is the cost, for instance, of a total HVAC failure in a hotel ballroom or meeting room? While the exact cost would depend, of course, on a host of variables, many hotels would face tens of thousands of dollars in rebates as well as the potential loss of future business which might easily be tenfold. Furthermore, if the staff on property does not have the qualifications to repair the equipment and get it back online, someone would have to be called in, likely on overtime. Or, if they are not available, a service company may need to be called in at a significant increase in cost.
In summary, relying solely on reactive maintenance equates to getting less out of your assets than what you paid for, wasting money on your energy bill, and gambling with your hotel’s reputation and budget – you never know when large surprise expenses or poor guest reviews are just around the corner. It is true that setting up and executing on a good preventive maintenance program requires time, resources, and effort; PM checklists, task lists, users, and schedules must be created and configured to suit your organization, and sufficient labor must be allocated to complete the monthly, quarterly, semi-annual, and annual PMs. Nevertheless, considering the impact on your hotel’s bottom line, risk, and reputation can be quite meaningful, the return on investment for preventive maintenance is clear, making PM simply the right choice.
Choosing the Right EAM/CMMS System
Owners and managers of hotels today have many choices to make when it comes to the tools and technology that they use to protect their assets. The hotels they own and operate are not only a significant financial investment, but they are also a reflection of the brand and need to be representative of what the brand promises to deliver to customers. One of the most valuable tools of building managers and owners alike, is a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). For those with portfolios consisting of multiple properties there is an increased need for an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) tool as well. In both cases, the ability to access the data on demand and remotely from these systems is vital.
The fact is, that there are numerous CMMS’s available on the market today at a wide range of price points. Without a thorough knowledge and understanding of the system’s capability, functionality, and value to the overall business, the decision of which system to choose can be daunting. A “good” system helps the manager schedule and record preventive maintenance activities for all of the major equipment and building components. It may also be used to track unscheduled repair work. If it has EAM capabilities, it may allow owners and managers to track the expected useful life and replacement cycles of building equipment. It should contain some type of reporting engine to allow owners and managers to see important asset and maintenance data.
A “great” EAM/CMMS system, on the other hand, does all of this and a lot more. A great system will allow owners and managers to monitor critical assets from cradle to grave. It should track everything about those assets, including initial cost, installation date, warranty, maintenance activity, condition, scheduled replacement, and replacement cost. A great system not only monitors the building components and equipment, but it also helps manage repair and maintenance budgets, labor cost, work requests, and capital expenditure plans. It ensures compliance with company standards and state, local, and national code requirements and also allows quick and easy access to key data like contracts, warranties, and vendors’ certificates of insurance. And to be truly great an EAM/CMMS system must also be customizable, flexible, and scalable to meet the changing needs of hotel owners, managers, and their customers. It is an investment which should pay for itself quickly and provide ongoing savings year after year.
Transcendent, My Pick for Best EAM/CMMS
One EAM/CMMS system that meets and exceeds all of these requirements is a system called Transcendent, developed by Florida-based Transcendent Solutions, LLC. Transcendent was specifically designed for hotels, and today is trusted with managing billions of dollars in capital asset value across thousands of properties in nearly 100 countries. It is a world-class EAM/CMMS that provides operational savings year after year, increases the value of the property at which it is deployed, and is built to scale across even the largest global hotel portfolios, supporting over 20 languages, over 140 currencies, and 10 years of inflation and exchange rates. Transcendent is the preferred EAM/CMMS system for property managers and owners who want a great asset management, maintenance management, and capital planning solution that will continue to innovatively serve hotels for years to come….