Maintenance is one of the least exciting parts of life. It’s the hard work we do just to keep the status quo. It’s rarely fun and never new. There are no awards, movies, or book deals for people who simply keep things the way they are.
And yet it’s frequently the key to success.
Businesses and products don’t gain a great reputation for constantly changing themselves—they succeed by consistency. They put effort into delivering the same great customer experience for years and years. Many times, the highest praise we can give a vehicle, tool, or company is simply saying, “It’s never given me any problems.”
Getting ahead with preventative maintenance
Like any other service-focused business, banks and credit unions must consider preventative maintenance a key part of delivering the best service possible. When done well, good maintenance can lead to greater reliability, longevity, and cost savings at any financial institution.
- Reliability: By regularly checking branch equipment, it is less likely to break down while a customer or member is using it. This helps you avoid disruptions to business and ensures customers’ expectations are met each time they come into your branch. (Also read: IBM’s article on early maintenance and customer satisfaction.)
- Longevity: Simple, predictable maintenance (such as cleaning) can prevent unnecessary jams or breakages that can damage expensive parts of the machine. By keeping the whole machine running smoothly, equipment can last years longer than expected.
- Cost savings: By ensuring machines have maximum uptime and lifecycle, they generate the greatest ROI. Preventative maintenance can also lower costs, since maintenance is often much cheaper than repairing a broken device.
Getting maintenance on your program
Preventative maintenance programs (PMPs) don’t need to be complex. They have simply structured plans for when and how equipment is checked and repaired.
A PMP is built in three steps:
Create a list or spreadsheet of all your equipment at each branch location so that you can see every item that will need to be considered.
Consider each piece from a maintenance perspective. This can be tricky if you do not have access to records of how often each machine has been serviced in the past. It may be helpful to talk to staff to see if they have any information about which pieces of equipment break down most often and which have been the most difficult to schedule repairs for.
Plan out a calendar and contact service providers to schedule preventive maintenance. This could create some difficult decisions for budgeting and determining which machines will get serviced. If you are limited to a fixed budget, it may be best to first schedule maintenance for equipment that is critical to branch operations and then work your way down the list according to priority.
Self-managed or expert-managed program?
Once you’ve established your needs in a PMP, Equips can serve as your central resource for managing the program. Our equipment management and monitoring program can help you submit vendor service requests easily and can alert you when unexpected issues occur.
Maintenance checklists are a key component to managing your PMP (we’ve written about them more here). A checklist can be particularly useful for businesses that cannot commit funds to prescheduled maintenance but want to be diligent in basic maintenance and monitoring of equipment for issues before they can disrupt branch operations.
If coordinating your PMP isn’t the best use of your time, Equips can handle it for you. We’ll work with you to develop a PMP that meets your institution’s specific needs without requiring you to monitor routine maintenance. Equips can help you manage a huge range of equipment and facilities services. Check out all we do.
Something we’ve noticed for 2021
Many of the 2020 preventative maintenance items were not addressed due to COVID-19. Some cancellations came from lobby closures and technicians not being able to enter a building, other delays were from preventative maintenance being considered a low priority. As the country begins to fully reopen and financial institutions return to in-person banking, it might be wise to schedule maintenance or enact a PMP sooner rather than later.
Weighing the costs: Pros vs. Cons
Just because a maintenance program is useful for many machines, it doesn’t mean financial institutions shouldn’t consider its costs carefully. For some equipment—particularly older devices—a PMP might not be necessary. Maintenance (even preventative maintenance) can be costly depending on the number of hours it takes and the scarcity of parts. It may be more efficient to simply replace the machine the next time it breaks.
Additionally, some machines that have low use and/or unpredictable breakages, taking the time and money to include those devices in a PMP may simply be excessive.
Programming with Equips
Our service team is ready to help maintain a Preventative Maintenance Program for all our customers. A partnership with Equips can provide benefits for your administration, staff, and customers/members. Don’t believe us? Hear what our clients have to say about using Equips.
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