Facility Maintenance: How to Conduct a Walkthrough
Facilities across all industries require routine maintenance to ensure efficiency, prevent major repairs, promote the health and safety of those inside, and comply with state and federal regulations. This maintenance must account for every aspect of a facility, including the condition of its structure, equipment, utility systems, and more. Keeping track of all these moving parts is no simple task, but neglecting any of them can result in a major blow to your business.
Therefore, it’s imperative to conduct regular and thorough walkthroughs to make sure every component is functioning as it should, and to discover issues early on before they cause larger problems. But how often should these walkthroughs take place? What items should be included? And who should perform them?
To answer these questions, let’s discuss what a facility walkthrough is and break down how to conduct a walkthrough for proper facility maintenance.
What Is a Facility Walkthrough?
A facility walkthrough (or just walkthrough, for short) is a deliberate observation of the facility’s components, assets, and operations. These are performed for a number of reasons, including improving operational efficiency, increasing safety for all personnel, auditing materials, calculating maintenance needs and costs, adhering to regulations, and so on. You might think of a walkthrough as a physical examination (like you’d receive from your primary care physician). But instead of checking the vitals of a human body, you’re inspecting the condition of your entire facility for the betterment of its physical well-being and that of everyone inside it.
Even if your facility is on the smaller side, you might surprised at how many “vital signs” you need to check, such as electrical components, fire and safety systems, doors and locks, plumbing, caulking, paint — the list goes on. In order to cover all of your bases, you need to have a plan in place. That’s where a partner like Kaloutas comes in. We help facility managers conduct the most thorough and efficient walkthroughs when it matters most so they can continue to operate their facilities with confidence.
The Best Ways to Prepare for a Walkthrough
Here’s our advice for preparing for your next facility walkthrough.
Set the Schedule
Before you start mapping out the details of your walkthrough, you need to come up with a broad facility maintenance plan that outlines how often these inspections should occur. This schedule will look different for every facility, especially those in different industries. Additionally, walkthroughs may be divided into smaller, more frequent inspections. So, a manufacturing plant, for instance, might conduct bi-weekly or monthly walkthroughs of a given room or area, and reserve full-facility walkthroughs once a quarter or twice a year. Your walkthrough schedule might also coincide with legally-mandated inspections (i.e. those by OSHA or the EPA) to ensure your facility is in proper shape.
Make a List
Once you’ve determined when these walkthroughs will happen, start creating a master list that outlines the various things you’ll inspect along the way. You can approach this list in a number of ways. You might establish a rubric that grades the condition of a given object (such as a 1 – 10 scale). It’s also a good idea to list specific pieces of equipment and other components that require inspection just to make sure you don’t miss anything. Additionally, your list might include multiple sections regarding various parameters that apply to specific items. You can always adjust this list as needed.
Plan the Route
Next, you’ll want to determine the most efficient and sensible plan of attack for your walkthrough. Diving right in without a map of any kind can waste time and cause you to miss something important. Professional facility maintenance services will often perform some mock walkthroughs until they find the most logical route, and then record it so others can follow it as well.
Create a Log
As you run your test walkthroughs, keep your master list handy. This way, you can reconfigure the list and make necessary additions that you might not have thought about before. For example, maybe you forgot all about floor coatings but discover that they need attention in some areas. You can then copy the master list and turn it into separate logs for each piece of equipment/component etc., for a more detailed inspection.
Partner Up for the Walkthrough
When it’s finally time to conduct the walkthrough, don’t go it alone. Two pairs of eyes are always better than one, after all. The person or people with you might notice something that you would have otherwise passed by. Partnering up also increases accountability and safety, ensuring that no one cuts corners or makes a dangerous mistake during the inspection.
Note and Prioritize Points of Concern
Once you complete the walkthrough, you’ll be left with a detailed log that goes over the condition of various aspects of your facility. Now, you have to get your priorities in order. Which components need the highest degree of maintenance or repair? Which are beginning to show signs of damage or failure? Which are in decent condition for the time being? Put in the proper work orders for those items at the top of your list, and make sure smaller issues get addressed in a timely fashion as well.
Find Patterns for Improved Efficiency and Safety
As you conduct multiple facility walkthroughs over time, you’ll likely see the emergence of some patterns. For instance, you might note that a certain piece of equipment breaks down more often than others. Or you might determine that your floors need resurfacing every few years. Or perhaps your floors need new safety striping done every year. Pay attention to these broader patterns so you can develop a more efficient, safe, and proactive facility maintenance regiment.
Let Kaloutas Walk You Through Facility Maintenance
Conducting routine walkthroughs is necessary but not always easy. Kaloutas knows this, and we are here to help. Our facility maintenance services take the guesswork out of walkthroughs and guarantee that your workplace stays operational, safe, and compliant. To learn more about us and all that we do, contact us here and give us a call at 978−532−1414.
Kaloutas is New England’s premier contractor for commercial & industrial painting, flooring, and related services. Established in 1987, Kaloutas has become a trusted resource for general contractors, facilities managers, and building owners from Connecticut to Maine. Our team prides itself on high quality workmanship, jobs done on time & budget, and tackling complex projects that other contractors don’t have the experience or resources to handle. Contact us today for a painting or flooring estimate, or give us a call at 978−532−1414 to learn more.