November 10, 2020

Active Maintenance 101: What You Need to Know

clear computer screen wall with person in the background touching symbols on the screen to show how technology supports active maintenance

Active Maintenance for Floor Cleaning Equipment

Machine downtime is not only costly but also hurts the overall well-being of indoor environments.

Floor scrubbers and sweepers help cleaning staff with consistent and effective cleans and when not working properly, or at all, the health and safety of indoor environments suffers.

In a typical example of floor cleaning equipment downtime, a machine can sit for at least a week waiting for repairs and parts. This is due to waiting for a service technician to be dispatched, troubleshoot, and order parts.

Then there is the waiting game for parts to come in and the maintenance technician to return to fix the problem. This wait time is costly to BSCs and building managers due to the job not getting done on schedule, and cleaning staff not being able to meet set expectations for building cleanliness.

On top of that is the cost of parts and service. Most floor cleaning equipment is bought outright, and such the cost of services and parts is up to the company that owns the equipment.

Industry standards suggest that for the three-year useful life of a floor cleaning machine, service, parts, and trip charges can cost around $2K. That does not include ‘wear’ parts or battery replacement and repairs, nor does it account for money lost from downtime.

For BSCs and building managers who oversee entire fleets, this can be a very costly expense.

Consequently, according to research from CleanLink, the result of machine downtime goes beyond just monetary costs as

“Cleaning personnel are now spending extra time doing the same job. Hard floors or carpets are not getting as clean, which can lead to a less than desirable perception by building occupants.

Due to the importance of the perception of cleanliness and building safety, building cleanliness has never been more important. Active maintenance is key to supporting overall health and safety in buildings.

Proactive Maintenance vs. Active Maintenance

Proactive Maintenance

Proactive Maintenance is the process of following the manufacturer's guidelines for machine cleaning, parts inspections, and replacement, and making sure that these benchmarks are met. This is instead of reactive maintenance, meaning to not fix a problem until there is one.

Proactive maintenance can prolong the life of a machine, support staff in efficient and productive cleans, and save companies money over the total life of the equipment.

The problem with having no plan, or reactive maintenance, is that “The unpredictability of reactive maintenance and breakdowns does not allow for improvements in key performance indicators, business drivers, or the needs of a maintenance department,” according to Accelix.

Reactive maintenance can ultimately lead to a multitude of losses and can contribute to poor overall building health.

As Accelix further notes,

“To compete in the global marketplace, it is important for organizations to recognize the impact of maintenance on the business and its customers. With a program that focuses on establishing, tracking, and analyzing data on critical equipment, greater gains become possible.”

Typical proactive maintenance routines include:

  • Setting up a clear “maintenance and service” schedule for cleaning staff to follow
  • Get the buy-in of the cleaning staff
  • Track data including who uses the machine, how often, and for how long
  • Tracking when routine service is needed
  • Keeping up on routine cleaning and care of equipment

Active Maintenance

Active Maintenance on the other hand takes proactive maintenance a step further. For the floor cleaning industry, this means access to SaaS models and subscription services that provide remote access to BSCs and building managers, and in some cases technician teams who monitor equipment regularly.

Cloud-based fleet management software makes data tracking simple. In addition to tracking entire fleets, the platforms can send notifications based on machine activity or inactivity, look for maintenance or error notifications, and allow for troubleshooting to happen remotely.

Benefits of Active Maintenance

Active maintenance relies on fleet management software to help improve the overall performance of equipment resulting in a positive impact on overall building cleanliness and safety, as well as, supporting the productivity and efficiency of cleaning staff. By using equipment powered through SaaS and subscription programs, BSCs and building managers have more knowledge and support in equipment maintenance. Benefits include:

Less Machine Downtime

Cloud-based fleet management software gives end users real-time access to entire fleets through an app or computer. In the case of i-SYNERGY software by ICE Cobotics, end users can track an entire fleet and monitor any service issues or machine activity.

This allows BSCs and building managers to maintain equipment and track when service or repairs are needed more accurately. The data is tracked, monitored, and stored and can be viewed in easy-to-read reports that can be emailed to end users, making the maintenance of equipment and repair schedules even easier to keep track of and use.

Keeps Staff Productive

Because end users are notified through reports and alerts, they can plan for machine maintenance and repairs. This means less machine downtime and less opportunity for cleaning staff to spend time trying to fix equipment themselves, a job they are typically not trained to do.

Depending on the type of fleet management system, error codes can even be sent that help troubleshoot and solve the issue remotely without having to dispatch a technician to figure out the problem. The result is cleaning staff that can remain focused on an efficient and productive cleaning schedule and less time dealing with equipment issues.

Reduced Maintenance Costs

With active maintenance software, alerts are sent to end users giving them an immediate notification that a machine needs service. Notifications provide the location of equipment and even error codes that help expedite repairs and maintenance. This type of data tracking also empowers BSCs and building managers to create reports that track and notify in advance when routine maintenance and replacement of parts is necessary.

By collecting data, end users have valuable information at their fingertips that helps them figure out ahead of time when maintenance and repairs need to happen. Being able to plan means equipment is well maintained, machine life is extended and there is less downtime, resulting in overall cost savings.

Benefits of A Subscription Service to Active Maintenance

In the case of ICE Cobotics’ subscription model there are even more benefits because as the distributor ICE Cobotics has a stake in the equipment. This means BSCs and building managers have a partner in data tracking, analysis, and machine repair and maintenance.

Through fleet management software, ICE Cobotics technicians monitor the equipment along with end users, BSC’s and building managers, providing added support in equipment maintenance.

On top of that, if alerts are sent due to machine malfunction, technicians are notified and can troubleshoot remotely and, in some cases, make a repair without having to go on-site. Plus, fleet management and technical support are included in the monthly payment.

Added benefits lie in the ability of the distributor to provide data tracking and teams to manage the data and monitor performance. The information collected can be shared with manufacturers who then can build better equipment and send through software updates to improve performance.

The relationship between distributor and client is incredibly important to the overall functioning of equipment and this results in cost savings and better performance.

ICE Cobotics is an industry-leading technology and cleaning equipment company specializing in autonomous solutions and all-inclusive subscriptions. Meet with one of our automation experts today!

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