Tips from an experienced maintenance director to streamline operations and reduce the costs of running a facility.
In a perfect world, facilities maintenance managers would have an unlimited budget. But in reality, keeping the lights, plumbing, HVAC and other systems in top condition has to be balanced against other costs.
Dave Burks, maintenance director at Sacred Heart Parish in Troy, Missouri, knows all about these constraints. “Being a Catholic church and school, my budget’s not outrageously large, and I have to be mindful of that,” Burks said.
In order to maximize value of your facility maintenance dollars, Burks suggests:
- Converting to LED lighting.
- Consolidating to a single vendor for supplies.
- Researching prices.
Converting to LED Lighting
After Sacred Heart made this conversion, Burks reports that its electricity usage went from 23,000 kilowatt hours per year down to 2,200. Burks estimates the energy-bill savings after the facility’s upcoming conversion is complete to be around $14,000 annually – which means the conversion will pay for itself within two or three months.
When making this change, some variables to consider include what rebates are available, the number of lights being converted, and the type of fixtures being converted. For example, older fluorescent T12 fixtures will cost more to upgrade than more modern T8 lamps and electronic ballasts.
Burks recommends investing in higher-quality bulbs with a warranty and guarantee. That way, if the product fails, it may be eligible for replacement by the manufacturer or vendor.
Consolidating to a single vendor for supplies.
In Sacred Heart’s case, this meant purchasing cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, paper towels, and other high-usage supplies through the archdiocese.
As a bonus, scheduling delivery also became more convenient. Supplies come once per week, so Burks knows exactly when things will arrive and can plan around that delivery.
Shop around by seeking bids from multiple vendors and going online for supplies like replacement bulbs. Burks said he balances his support for local businesses with the realities of his budget. This research may take a little extra time, but the lower prices can be worth it.