The Importance of Time Management for the Maintenance Team

time management

Whenever some one mentions the importance of time management, the first thought  centers on improvements to the administrative operations at an apartment community.

Time Management offers huge opportunities to improve maintenance operations as well.

It seems the frustration of not enough time plagues the maintenance team, as often as the leasing staff.

  • It was a really busy week, so “we didn’t…..
  • I was interrupted and the turn wasn’t finished.
  •  Preventive maintenance was not completed.
  •  The order for supplies was not sent to the supplier.

Work Load Analysis For Time Management

time managementThe amount of available time never changes.  There will always be 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week and we schedule forty hours in a work week.

Reviewing  maintenance performance can identify startling results.

Using the work order software, total the work orders completed in a week, or month. Happy Acres has a hundred service requests received, assigned and completed for the month.

The first reaction is WOW, a hundred service requests. However, to break down the work flow, there are 20 working days each month. This translates to five service orders each day, a staff of two, or three? This doesn’t appear to be a very busy daily schedule.

The frustration, “maintenance didn’t get this done,” usually isn’t a maintenance time management problem.

It’s a scheduling and communication problem.

Imagine starting the day with the team meeting team meeting:

  • Quick review, any emergencies
  • Any service requests not completed from the previous day?
  • Which apartments are scheduled for move in this week, and next?

Scheduling time for the service orders, with the expectation,  the service requests will be completed this morning.

Then, this afternoon one person will finish the turnover, another team member will change  air filters.

At fthe end of the day check with the office to see if there are any emergency service requests that need to be completed today. Last, update the list of any supplies that need to be ordered.

The Schedule

Schedules each day give structure to the maintenance plan for the week. Balance the time allocated for turnover prep and work orders can assist to make certain both items receive adequate attention.  It can also be beneficial to establish anticipated completion time frames.  Blocking out times for preventive maintenance and unit inspections will improve the completion of these important maintenance functions.

Depending on the size of a community, batching work assignments by physical location can eliminate “travel time” between service requests.  If maintenance supports several locations, establishing specific days can minimize unnecessary hours of travel time to perform one service request.

Follow a schedule for placing parts orders prevents delays.  Eliminate unnecessary trips to a local hardware for miscellaneous parts can add an hour to the workday.

Lori Hammond
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