Maintenance Benchmarks for Universities

Colleges and universities are tasked with maintaining the longevity of investments in their institutions.

Facility management becomes a huge part of this pursuit by ensuring physical buildings and grounds are operating and functioning properly. Moreover, facility costs are the second largest expense category behind personnel costs for colleges and universities.

Additionally, it’s a big job. Maintenance departments at colleges and universities are responsible for maintaining all facilities and infrastructures to their effectiveness for intended activities. That includes HVAC, electrical, fire safety, plumbing, cleaning and sanitation, structural, transportation, groundskeeping, safety, pest control, etc.

Higher education maintenance also involves customer satisfaction—with customers that range from students, facility, staff, and administration to board members and members of the public.

But how does a university or college determine the effectiveness of its maintenance program?


Common Benchmarks for Colleges and Universities

Benchmarking allows managers to assess and evaluate different metrics in their field. For facility management, it’s a process that compares and analyzes data based on the building’s performance.

Firstly, you start by using your CMMS data to measure your team’s current key performance indicators (KPIs) and create a baseline.

Many maintenance benchmarks common in higher education facilities will look very similar to general facility management. KPIs evaluate your success in the areas you care about, while also giving you a new level of insight about what’s going on in your department.

Three main KPIs for facilities management benchmarking are:

  • Maintenance cost for a specific period
  • Units of electrical and other energy consumption
  • Surveillance of building assets and their value to the company

Secondly, size, building use, occupancy, time of use, age, building composition, and level of service all affect the cost of running a facility. Some universities and colleges use the Square Foot Rule as a starting point for calculating benchmarks, such as…

  • Building Maintenance and Repair Cost Average per Sq. Ft.: maintenance materials, staff wages, subcontractor management, subcontractor cost
  • Building and Facility Utilities Cost Average per Sq. Ft.: electricity, natural gas, water
  • Janitorial Building Facility Costs Average per Sq. Ft.: cleaning materials, staff wages, equipment

Additionally, other common benchmarks include…

  • Planned Maintenance Percentage: The percentage of the total hours spent on PM maintenance activities over a specific period
  • Preventative Maintenance Compliance (PMC): The percentage of scheduled PM tasks that get done in a specific time interval
  • Mean Time to Repair (MTTR): The average time to evaluate and repair failed assets
  • Maintenance Backlog: The percentage of uncompleted tasks

Finding Benchmarks

You can evaluate your department’s performance by comparing your metrics and processes with those of other organizations. Start by researching your industry’s benchmarks to see how you’re performing and where you should look for improvements.

For instance, you can find benchmarks from industry associations, maintenance journals, benchmark databases, and other sources. Additionally, use your professional network to find common benchmarks that your industry uses.

When comparing benchmarks to other institutions, it’s also important to take into consideration the location, typical weather, age of the facilities, and condition.

Then, based on your team’s performance and the industry standards, use your benchmarks to determine realistic KPI goals for your organization. Also, create a reasonable timeline with goal-based milestones and efficiency goals.

Over time, MPulse helps you pinpoint trends and determine what areas need more attention. You also can create benchmarks to measure current performance against historic performance or goals.

Whatever you decide to measure, CMMS software gives you the tools you need to determine if your maintenance team is doing the right things to support or improve productivity—and if they’re doing those things correctly. This way you will be able to measure maintenance effectiveness.

Need more information on creating maintenance benchmarks? Contact us. We’re here to help.