Dan Roberge headshot
Dan Roberge

There’s a golden opportunity hiding in every senior living community that has been operating for at least a few years.

As the maintenance department works away day to day, maintaining equipment, fixing problems and responding to incidents, it is (or at least, it should) be building up a wealth of information.

That opportunity is analyzing and deciphering the information to spot efficiencies, identify problem equipment and save time and money by avoiding problems and reducing repair and replacement costs.

Identify problems before they happen

Say you maintain a walk-in freezer. You might expect to deal with an issue with it so many times per year. 

But if you were able to instantly view all work orders related to that freezer during any time period you select, you’d be able to compare that expected rate of work with what’s actually happening.

If the actual rate of work orders related to the freezer is more than expected? If there’s a particular part you’re constantly servicing? Those are hints that you might want to take a closer look and potentially arrange for a more thorough repair or replacement entirely.

Catching this issue early, before your staff members come in one morning to a melted mess, will be far less costly because you’ll avoid the incident and have the time to schedule a solid replacement.

Likewise, you may have an HVAC system that needs the same thing done again and again because you’re patching over a problem. Every time, it feels easy to do the easy fix and hope that it’ll stick. But if you see that it doesn’t, then you may be able to order a replacement part that eliminates all those trips up to the roof and gives you time to focus elsewhere.

Or, perhaps you have a staff member who is working inefficiently? You could search by personnel and evaluate the quality of work across everybody, perhaps by specific dates as well. Doing so will further help you spot where to improve.

Better reporting with a digital system

Of course, if you’re still working off of paper work orders, it’s easier to say you’ll do this than to actually do it. Searching through stacks of paper takes time.

What makes this great untapped potential possible to tap is working on a digital system, such as a computerized maintenance management software platform. With your work orders assigned and filed digitally, the power of reporting is unlocked.

With a few clicks, you can pull up any report you can dream of. And instantly compare your efficiency by person, asset, type of task, date or anything else.

Get yourself on a good digital work order system and you’ll find maintaining your senior living community effectively a whole lot easier.

Dan Roberge is CEO of Gnxcor Inc., a privately held company specializing in developing specific software solutions focused on productivity and daily use. Its portfolio is led by maintenance management software Maintenance Care.

The opinions expressed in each McKnight’s Senior Living marketplace column are those of the author and are not necessarily those of McKnight’s Senior Living.

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