How communication technology can improve facility maintenance

October 24th, 2018
How communication technology can improve facility maintenance

Facility maintenance teams need sophisticated communication technology to ensure that all workers have the information they need to achieve their goals. Lack of technology can make it difficult for team members to work effectively. By combining in-person and digital meetings, facility managers can improve productivity and eventually control maintenance costs.

According a Gallup poll, 70 percent of employees do not feel engaged at work. Improving communication capabilities can increase engagement levels, giving employees more opportunities to connect with one another. When communication is easy, people will have better access to the information they need to do their jobs properly. Facility maintenance professionals can see more opportunities to optimize asset performance when they can communicate effectively.

Internal communication impacts team performance

Teams can only be as efficient as their methods of communication. When team members are able to easily get the information they need from other stakeholder, they can perform their duties more effectively. When lines of communication break down, workers may find themselves stuck in a bottleneck, waiting for approval.

Research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Human Dynamics Laboratory found that face-to-face communication is highly important to team productivity. In fact, researchers found that as much as 35 percent of a team's performance was based on the number of times its members could meet in person. By combining face-to-face meetings with digital communication technology, facility stakeholders can improve everyone's ability to achieve their goals.

Meanwhile, the diversity of interactions between team members is equally important. Meetings involving the entire maintenance team are essential for relaying important information such as safety training. Likewise, one-on-one interactions ensure that individual team members can get information specific to their role.

Communicating maintenance tasks with mobile devices can increase productivity.Communicating maintenance tasks with mobile devices can increase productivity.

Multiple training channels ensure better knowledge retention

Considering the magnitude of the maintenance skills gap, it should be no surprise that communication technology will play an important role in passing on information to a new generation of workers.

According to a report from EHS Today, between 60 and 70 percent of downtime is related to human error. Therefore, better training programs can help organizations save their maintenance budgets in the long term. It's important to understand that everyone learns differently. Essentially, some people will learn better in a classroom setting, though others may prefer to learn in a one-on-one mentorship program. Implementing multiple channels of communication can give everyone an equal opportunity to learn, grow and succeed.

Mobile technology plays an important role

Maintenance professionals equipped with mobile technology are able to communicate in the field more effectively because they aren't tied to a workstation. In recent years, mobile solutions have become much more sophisticated, giving stakeholders more opportunities to implement fixes in a timely manner. When these solutions are integrated into a larger data collection system, maintenance personnel in the field can better align with leadership.

For example, the LeakSurvey app lets users create compressed air leak survey reports with ease. Once a maintenance professional identifies a leak and enters the relevant information, the app can leverage the data to generate a comprehensive Excel report, which includes estimated CFM loss, cost avoidance, leak location photos and greenhouse gas reductions. This tool makes it easier for maintenance stakeholders to communicate regarding priority tasks.

Communication supports analytics

These days, a facility without an analytics suite is like a boat without a sail – it can still move forward, but it's difficult to control the direction. Robust analytics show stakeholders where the organization has been in the past and where it stands today so that it can make a roadmap for the future. For instance, downtime analytics can help maintenance professionals plan better routes and increase asset uptime.

To learn more about how to enhance operations at your facility, check out our resource center today.

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