Building maintenance refers to the activities performed to preserve and restore the functionality of residential and commercial properties. And it can be a cumbersome task. Making mistakes, forgetting certain tasks, or neglecting others can have consequences, in some cases very costly and uncomfortable for building users. In this post, we present an automated process, which completely solves the periodic review of checklists for building maintenance, proposes the automation of that process, and also scales those cases that require it.
The problem of not preventing problems in buildings.
The drain got full of leaves, clogged and the garage flooded? The air conditioning filter has never been cleaned and now that it is unbearably hot, it no longer cools? There was a security incident and the video surveillance cameras were not recording?
If you’ve ever had to ask or answer these questions, you know how uncomfortable they are. Especially because insufficient or improper building maintenance has very uncomfortable, and in some cases, serious consequences. It is always much easier, cheaper, and more efficient to prevent than to repair.
The checklist as a key tool.
The key element for proper building maintenance, whether it is a residential or office building, is a checklist:
- Clearly and precisely identifies all the activities to be performed.
- Generates evidence that the control was performed (audit trail).
- It should evolve over time, including new elements to be verified.
- It serves as an initiator of corrective or improvement plans, proactively (before the problem materializes).
In Flokzu it is possible to build a digital form that works as a checklist, as shown in the illustration below. It is key to build it quickly, without programming (low-code features) and by business users (not necessarily from the IT Department, always overloaded with work). And above all, it is very important to be able to modify it, so that it can evolve as new controls are needed.
Flokzu’s form builder allows you to “drag and drop” the necessary fields, group them according to different criteria to facilitate the work, and even mark some as mandatory, while others will be editable, read-only, or directly hidden.
Building maintenance workflow
The form with the checklist must have an associated workflow. When everything is correct (checklist verified in its entirety), the process will end immediately.
On the other hand, when items that are not correct are detected, actions should be triggered. These actions may be immediate corrective actions, or medium/long-term improvement plans, depending on the characteristics of the findings.
However, we have not yet talked about the most probable and important point of failure: that the person who should complete the checklist forgets to do it.
In Flokzu, the process can be scheduled to start automatically, for example, once a week. The checklist will be created automatically and assigned to the responsible person. With alerts in case it is not completed.
As shown in the illustration below, you simply use a Timer Start Event, which allows you to define the frequency, for example weekly. For example, every Tuesday the Building Maintenance process will be started, and the verification checklist will be assigned to the responsible person in the task “Complete verification checklist”. Note in the example diagram, that if the checklist is not completed in 3 days, an email notification will be sent to Management for action.
In addition, depending on the values of each item to be checked in the checklist, it can be escalated to other people. As an example, if the person in charge completes the checklist but detects that the “exterior lighting” is broken, as shown in the following image, then the entire process instance could be escalated to the task “Resolve problems and checklist review”, assigned to another person.
After the task “Resolve problems and review checklist”, the process could end if the issue was resolved. But it could also continue to another stage called “Elaborate Corrective or Preventive Plan” if necessary, as can be seen in the process model. Flokzu allows defining as many stages as necessary, to ensure that the building maintenance is done, and also that when there are problems, they are corrected and the solution is validated to be effective in the long term.
Evidence associated with the checklist
A very important aspect is the evidence of the findings when completing the checklist. Flokzu allows you to attach documents and especially photos, in the “Attachments” tab of each instance of the process. These photos are very useful for the maintenance of large buildings, where there may be a large number of items to check.
The person responsible for the checklist walks around the site with a tablet or cell phone, marking what is correct and photographing what is not. The evidence remains with the rest of the information, facilitating the subsequent process.
Alerts (checklist not completed, relevant problems).
The automatic alerts in Flokzu allow you to trigger emails when the building maintenance checklist is not completed in the defined time. It is also possible to reassign the checklist to another person if many days pass without it being completed, thus ensuring that the task, in one way or another, gets done.
Additionally, in the workflow conditions, it is possible to review which items were validated and which were not. Clearly, not all are of equal importance. It is not the same that the lock on the main door is broken, or that an internal light bulb has burned out. Flokzu allows you to define the conditions according to which checklist items do not check. In this way, it is possible to give higher priority to the most relevant items.
The most beautiful thing about automating this process is that it starts only, for example, every week. In this way, we solve the relevant problem of forgetting to perform building maintenance. In addition, Flokzu supports the complete configuration of the workflow after completing the checklist, including escalating the appropriate cases.
As each building has different characteristics, the checklist will be different in each case. Flokzu allows the form containing the checklist to be completely defined by a business user (not depending on the IT department). This aspect is key to a very short implementation time. And the process can evolve in the future, incorporating other controls as needed.
Finally, Flokzu supports the definition of service level agreements for the tasks, i.e., maximum times for their completion. And in case it does not happen, reassign the task or send email alerts. This element complements the previous ones to deliver a complete solution that avoids the sometimes serious problems of not performing building maintenance in a timely manner.