March 11, 2024 7 min read

What Is Facilities Maintenance?


Facilities Management


Online Training

Facilities maintenance is an essential part of our economy, supporting numerous other industries from manufacturing to healthcare. But if you’re wondering what facility maintenance is, what role it plays in key industries, and how to find the right solutions to support your essential workforce, we’ve got you covered. In this blog, we’ll delve into the intricacies of this profession.

What is Facilities Maintenance?

Facilities maintenance is the proactive management and upkeep of the physical assets and infrastructure of a built environment. This includes the installation, inspection, routine maintenance, and repair of machines and equipment.

This critical profession encompasses a variety of tasks all aimed at ensuring the optimal functionality, safety, and efficiency of buildings, equipment, and surrounding spaces.

The scope of facilities maintenance work is vast, including:

  • Commercial buildings
  • Manufacturing facilities
  • Educational institutions
  • Healthcare centers
  • Data centers
  • And more

In each industry, there are unique needs that facility maintenance teams need to account for.

Key Definitions

Facilities maintenance is the umbrella term for this profession. But there are nuances depending on the industry:

Industrial Maintenance: Maintenance of manufacturing, commercial facilities
Property Maintenance: Maintenance of residential buildings

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Is Facilities Management the Same as Maintenance?

There’s a common misconception about the terms “facilities management” and “maintenance” being interchangeable. Although they are closely related, they represent distinct facets within the broader scope of facility operations.

  • Facilities management encompasses a more comprehensive approach, including strategic planning, space utilization, workforce management and training, and holistic facility operations.
  • Facilities maintenance specifically focuses on the routine upkeep, repairs, and preservation of physical assets.

Understanding this distinction is crucial for organizations seeking to establish effective facility strategies.

A Learning Path for New and Current FM Employees

This user-friendly learning path template takes the guesswork out of designing your training program by providing pre-selected courses from Vector’s extensive training catalog, Facilities Management, and Maintenance Library.

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What is the Main Goal of Facility Maintenance?

The primary goal of facility maintenance is to guarantee the functionality and longevity of physical assets within a facility.

Achieving this involves a proactive approach to address potential issues before they escalate, ensuring that equipment, infrastructure, and systems operate at peak efficiency. By conducting routine inspections, implementing preventive measures, and swiftly addressing repairs, the main objective is to minimize downtime, reduce operational costs, and create a safe and optimal environment for occupants.

In essence, the main goal of facility maintenance is to contribute to the overall success and productivity of an organization by preserving the integrity of its physical assets.

The Role of Facility Managers and Facility Maintenance Technicians

Facility Managers and Maintenance Technicians have integral roles within the facilities management industry.

Facility Managers

Facility managers oversee and coordinate all aspects of facility operations. Their role involves:

  • Strategic Planning. Developing and implementing long-term plans to align facility resources with organizational objectives.
  • Budgeting. Managing financial resources for maintenance, repairs, and facility improvements.
  • Space Utilization. Optimizing the use of available space for efficiency and functionality.
  • Vendor Management. Collaborating with external service providers for specialized maintenance tasks.
  • Regulatory Compliance. Ensuring their facility adheres to safety, health, and environmental regulations and OSHA.

Facility Maintenance Technicians

Facility Maintenance Technicians are deskless workers responsible for the hands-on tasks involved in maintaining and repairing physical assets. Their expertise spans various trades, allowing them to address a diverse range of maintenance needs (e.g., HVAC, electrical, plumbing, etc.). Their role involves:

  • Routine Inspections. Conducting regular assessments to identify potential issues and areas in need of maintenance.
  • Repairs. Addressing equipment malfunctions, structural issues, and other maintenance requirements promptly.
  • Preventive Maintenance. Implementing scheduled maintenance tasks to prevent breakdowns and prolong the lifespan of assets.
  • Documentation. Keeping detailed records of maintenance activities, inspections, and repairs.

Important Facilities Maintenance Training Topics

Facilities maintenance technicians require training on a variety of topics. This includes knowing how to inspect, service, and repair:

  • Electrical systems
  • Cooling systems
  • Heating systems
  • HVAC
  • Hydronic systems
  • Plumbing
  • Water treatment
  • Refrigeration
  • Fire systems and sprinklers

But other important topics include:

  • Building Automation
  • Energy Management
  • Emergency Power
  • Work order management
  • Preventative maintenance

Want to learn more about our complete catalog of training for Facilities Maintenance and Management companies? Download our course catalog below.

Industrial Facility Management and Maintenance Training Library

Vector Solutions’ online industrial facilities training can help your workforce reduce risks, close skill gaps, reduce operations and maintenance costs, all while increasing safety and productivity.

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Choosing the Right Facility Maintenance Solutions

Selecting the appropriate facility maintenance solutions is critical to ensure the efficacy and success of your maintenance programs. Technology plays a pivotal role in enhancing training, streamlining operations, and ensuring compliance with safety standards.

Training Management

Learning Management Systems (LMS) help with organizing, delivering, and tracking training initiatives. These systems provide a centralized platform for managing training programs, ensuring that employees receive the right training at the right time. Key features include:

  • Course Management. Efficiently organize and assign training courses to personnel.
  • User Tracking. Monitor and record employee progress, ensuring compliance with training requirements and identifying areas for continued improvement.
  • Scheduling and Notifications. Facilitate seamless scheduling of training sessions and send timely notifications to participants. Administrators should also be able to receive notifications when training deadlines are approaching to ensure employees stay in compliance and maintain any professional licenses.
  • Reporting and Analytics. Generate detailed reports on training effectiveness, completion rates, and overall program performance.

eLearning Content

Incorporating eLearning into facility maintenance training brings flexibility and accessibility to education initiatives. eLearning content can be more engaging and enables employees to learn at their own pace. Key features of effective online training include:

  • Multimedia Content. Deliver training content through multimedia formats, including videos and Competency Assessments.
  • Accessibility. Provide 24/7 access to training materials, accommodating diverse schedules and remote learning. Bonus points if the content is also translated into multiple languages to accommodate a diverse workforce.

EHS Management Solutions

Environment, Health, and Safety (EHS) Management Solutions are integral for maintaining a secure and compliant facility. These solutions not only mitigate risks but also contribute to the overall well-being of employees and the environment. Key features of effective EHS Management Solutions include:

  • Incident Reporting. Streamline the reporting of workplace incidents, near misses, and hazards.
  • Compliance Management. Ensure adherence to safety regulations and industry standards.
  • Audit and Inspection Tools. Conduct regular audits and inspections to identify potential hazards and ensure compliance.

Making Informed Decisions

Choosing the right FM solutions involves a meticulous assessment of your organization’s needs, considering factors such as the size of your workforce, specific training requirements, and regulatory compliance. By leveraging the right technology, organizations can enhance the skills of their maintenance teams and foster a culture of safety, efficiency, and continuous improvement.

Interested in learning more about Vector Solutions’ training and safety management solutions? Request a demo today to see them in action.

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