Total asset management
For many businesses, the maintenance plan forms part of a “total asset management strategy” aimed at improving value for money from assets; if you are a freeholder this is essential and if you are a tenant then your landlord will make it your responsibility to maximise their return on their investment.
Recording the asset
You, as your pub’s building manager, need to know and record in detail what you are managing. Without this information you cannot decide on a maintenance plan or estimate spending for your budget. Basic information that you need to have are plans (to show dimensions and areas of the pub), the age and condition of the pub (from a survey report), services details (electricity, gas and water) and their maintenance requirements and the names and contacts of those responsible for their maintenance; local council requirements (you might share a footpath for instance) heritage listings (Grade I, II etc) if applicable and reports on the pub, including a survey and details of previous works.
The following tools can assist with the recording of information:
Inventory sheet which usually includes a description of the item (roof, windows, cellar cooling system; they can include not only buildings but trees, individual rooms, furniture and equipment).
Day log book or diary for recording reported defects, injuries and expenses.
Maintenance log book to record all maintenance work carried out, including a description of the work, date of completion, estimated and actual cost, contractor and warranties. This should enable you to keep details of treatments such as fungicides, paint types and colours and for these to be readily accessible in the future. As the log book includes the actual price for work done, it is an invaluable source for future budgeting and for proving that works have been done (in the case of tenants dealing with landlords, insurance claims or regulatory bodies etc).
Periodic inspection survey
All properties should be inspected at regular intervals to identify any defects or deterioration and required maintenance work (including cleaning). Your records will show the history of an item’s condition, and are a guide to likely future problems and costs. They can also indicate whether something is being over/under-maintained or misused, and can show if previous maintenance was unnecessary or if there are design or material defects. You should keep all your records readily available on site.
It could be advantageous to record the long-term performance of repair materials and procedures in order to assess their suitability for future maintenance work. Where there may be changes in maintenance personnel (which there often is), failure to keep detailed records could result in a repetition of previous mistakes or duplication of effort (and thus unnecessary expense).
The usefulness of written records will often be enhanced by taking photographs periodically to illustrate detrimental changes in the performance of the repair or the changing condition of the pub. (This can be especially useful for tenants when dealing with their landlord’s repair demands or for anyone dealing with an insurance claim.)
Preparing a budget
Annual budgeted expenditure on maintenance can be of three kinds:
Committed expenditure, which includes tasks that occur every year as part of planned maintenance, such as maintenance contracts;
Variable expenditure, which includes regular tasks within an overall program of planned maintenance that may not occur every year. You will decide on the priorities for these tasks;
Managed expenditure, which relates to unplanned maintenance works carried out entirely at your discretion – primarily emergency corrective maintenance.
The aim of a maintenance budget is to reduce managed expenditure over time as far as possible and replace it with variable expenditure. Regular inspections can help by identifying how components (such as cellar cooling, gutters, drains) or equipment are performing and when they might fail.
Budgets need to include costs for inspections, replacement of materials or finishes, cleaning and any unforeseen breakdowns, accidental damage or repairs. Budgeting for these items will become more accurate over time if you keep detailed records of all your repairs and maintenance expenditure.
Budgets need controlling and with regular and frequent reports on actual and committed expenditure you stand a chance of staying within them.