The Advantages of Preventive Plumbing Maintenance for Business Owners

The Advantages of Preventive Plumbing Maintenance for Business Owners - Lee Company

Looking to optimize operations and cut costs? Don’t overlook the power of preventive plumbing maintenance. Picture your business running like clockwork, only to be derailed by an unexpected plumbing crisis. The inconvenience, expenses, and time wasted can be overwhelming. That’s why savvy business owners have a secret weapon: preventive plumbing maintenance.

This strategy ensures smoother operations and shields you from the cascade of complications that plumbing mishaps unleash on your employees and customers. By taking a proactive approach, you can tackle potential issues before they morph into major problems – and an oversized hole in your budget.

Ready to mitigate risks, save time and money, and boost overall efficiency? Discover the compelling benefits below that will make you wish you had implemented preventive plumbing maintenance into your business strategy sooner.

The Negative Effects of Plumbing Problems on Business Operations

A clogged drain or leak might sound like something small that simply requires a quick call to the plumber… But you may find yourself in for much more than you bargained for. In fact, plumbing problems can cause major setbacks in business operations if not addressed quickly and efficiently.

Disruptions to daily operations

Common plumbing issues in a commercial setting aren’t just minor inconveniences; they can cause major disruptions to your daily operations. When a pipe bursts, a toilet backs up, or a faucet won’t stop dripping, it can mean unexpected downtime for your business. Your staff may be unable to perform their duties efficiently, or worse, your facility might have to close temporarily for repairs.

The financial cost of plumbing disruptions

The financial implications of these disruptions can be staggering. IndustryWeek and Emerson’s research reveals that US companies face an annual cost of approximately $50 billion due to unplanned downtime, which can consume up to 20% of their productive capacity.

Neglected facility maintenance issues contribute significantly to this problem.

While specific causes may vary depending on the type of company and facility, the message is clear: unattended maintenance problems can lead to substantial revenue loss.

Plumbing problems and employee morale

But the negative impacts don’t stop at a financial loss. Plumbing problems can also affect the morale and productivity of your employees. An uncomfortable work environment (such as one with inadequate restrooms or water supply issues) can hamper employee satisfaction and productivity.

The current labor shortage makes employee turnover especially costly and time-consuming. Replacing a single employee costs employers an average of 33% of that employee’s yearly salary. That means thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars in unnecessary expenses for companies with high turnover rates.

So it pays to cultivate a pleasant work environment by taking care of potential plumbing issues before they affect your team.

Impact on customer satisfaction and business reputation

In customer-facing businesses such as restaurants or retail stores, plumbing problems have the potential to tarnish your hard-earned reputation. Your business’ success isn’t just about your products or services; your customers’ experience encompasses every aspect.

Imagine customers’ frustration when encountering an out-of-order restroom or a foul smell caused by plumbing issues. These incidents can swiftly result in negative reviews and the loss of repeat business.

In fact, studies show that as many as 94% of consumers have deliberately avoided companies due to negative reviews, and the condition of your bathrooms plays a significant role in customer satisfaction.

By staying on top of plumbing maintenance, you can avoid operational hiccups, lost revenue, decreased employee productivity, and a hit to the customer experience.

The Benefits of Preventive Plumbing Maintenance

All of the headaches that come with the problems above can be avoided with regular preventive maintenance. Commercial plumbing maintenance saves time and money and ensures a safe and comfortable work environment for your employees and customers.

While it might seem like an added expense at first, preventive care costs are typically far less than emergency repairs. Unexpected plumbing emergencies often require urgent and more expensive fixes. After-hours calls, additional labor hours, and specialized tools can add up quickly…

On the other hand, regular check-ups allow you to spot potential issues before they balloon into major problems, allowing for timely, cost-effective solutions.

In fact, implementing a preventive maintenance strategy can yield substantial savings. To put it in perspective, businesses that adopt preventive maintenance tactics can expect to save up to 18% on the associated costs. This means for every dollar spent on preventive maintenance, businesses can potentially save $5 in future repair costs.

Here are some key benefits your business could experience by investing in preventive plumbing maintenance:

  • Cost savings: Save between 12-18% on repair costs with a proactive approach to plumbing maintenance.
  • Less downtime: Avoid business interruptions caused by unexpected plumbing emergencies.
  • Enhanced operational efficiency: Regular check-ups ensure the smooth functioning of your plumbing system, allowing your employees to work without disruptions.
  • Improved workplace environment: A well-maintained plumbing system contributes to a safe and comfortable work environment, boosting employee morale, productivity, and customer satisfaction.
  • Predictable maintenance expenses: With regular maintenance, you can better predict and budget for your plumbing expenses instead of being blindsided by costly emergency repairs.

As you can see, preventive plumbing maintenance is an investment that pays for itself many times over and in many different ways.

Choosing the Right Maintenance Strategy for Your Business

Adopting the right strategy is crucial when it comes to maintaining your business’s critical systems and equipment. Let’s explore the key differences between reactive, proactive, and predictive maintenance strategies and why preventive maintenance stands out as the smart choice for businesses looking to save costs and optimize operations.

Reactive maintenance

Reactive maintenance, sometimes referred to as “break-fix” or “run-to-failure” maintenance, involves addressing issues only after they occur.

Many businesses choose this path as a way to reduce short-term costs. Unfortunately, this approach can be more expensive in the long run because you’re responding to failures or breakdowns as they happen. And this means bearing the full cost of repairs, as well as additional expenses for replacement parts and possible after-hours emergency fees.

Here are some challenges associated with reactive maintenance:

  • Higher repair costs: Fixing equipment after a failure often requires more extensive repairs, resulting in higher expenses compared to proactive maintenance.
  • Increased downtime: With reactive maintenance, unexpected breakdowns can cause significant downtime, disrupting operations and inconveniencing customers.
  • Employee and Customer dissatisfaction: An unreliable plumbing system will force employees and customers to look for a better workplace and shopping experience.

Reactive maintenance is the general practice for over 50% of businesses, but it should be avoided. Even if you have limited resources or want to prioritize short-term cost savings, it just isn’t worth the risks and long-term expenses.

Predictive maintenance

Predictive plumbing maintenance is a proactive strategy that utilizes tools and metrics to anticipate pipe failures before they actually occur. By keeping track of your pipes’ age and the lifespan of the fittings, you can predict when these components might start to fail and plan repairs accordingly.

Take a building with pipes that were installed two decades ago. Given that the fittings usually last between 20-30 years, and the pipes themselves have a 40-50 years lifespan, you could infer that your pipes are halfway through their lifespan and need to be replaced soon.

Knowing this, you can schedule a building pipe assessment to gauge how much life remains in your pipes. And this allows you to plan for a timely pipe replacement before they burst and cost you an arm and a leg in repairs and water damage.

The biggest advantage of predictive maintenance is that you anticipate and identify potential issues before they happen, eliminating the need for reactive repairs and saving costs in the long run.

But this approach requires an upfront investment in state-of-the-art technology and data collection, so it may not be feasible for all businesses.

The age-old adage “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it” may come to mind. Yet, things can change in the blink of an eye when it comes to plumbing. Pipes might be functioning perfectly one day and fail the next. Once they start to give way, you could find yourself grappling with the following:

  • Skyrocketing water bills
  • Mold growth
  • Structural damages
  • Risk of a catastrophic flood
  • Water pressure problems

By investing in predictive maintenance strategies, you can save yourself the trouble and expense of dealing with such issues in the future.

But if this isn’t an option, preventative maintenance is your best bet. Being preventative is a strategic move that saves resources and protects the health of your building and its occupants.

Preventative plumbing maintenance

Preventative plumbing maintenance is a proactive strategy that may be more familiar to most businesses. Unlike reactive maintenance, which waits for a problem to occur, or predictive maintenance, which requires advanced tools and data analysis to forecast potential failures, preventative maintenance operates on a simpler (yet highly effective) principle: regular, routine checks and fixes to forestall any potential problems.

Preventative maintenance offers a balanced approach – more structured than reactive maintenance and less resource-intensive than predictive maintenance. Typically, your facility would be on a schedule of planned maintenance actions aimed at preventing breakdowns and failures and prolonging equipment life.

For the majority of businesses seeking to optimize cost, efficiency, and reliability, preventative plumbing maintenance emerges as the smart and feasible choice:

  • Cost-Effectiveness: While an upfront cost is associated with regular inspections and maintenance, preventative maintenance is a fraction of the cost of reactive repairs.
  • Time-Efficiency: Scheduled inspections, combined with preventative maintenance tasks such as descaling faucets and drains, flushing water heaters, replacing faulty fixtures, and so on are all completed quickly without disrupting normal business operations.
  • Improved Lifespan of Equipment: Regular maintenance can significantly extend the lifespan of your most frequently used fixtures, pipes, and valves. Large-scale or premature replacements and repairs can be avoided.
  • Predictability: With a preventative maintenance schedule, you can plan and budget for maintenance tasks ahead of time, which is not the case with unexpected emergency repairs.

Partnering with a Commercial Plumbing Services Provider

Choosing the right service provider is crucial once you’re ready to implement a preventive plumbing maintenance strategy.

Not every plumbing contractor knows what to do with the complex plumbing systems in commercial properties, so it’s important to look for a provider who specializes in the commercial sector.

Ask them about their experience with businesses like yours and see how they go above and beyond to ensure customer service excellence.

Here’s a list of 12 crucial questions to ask a commercial plumbing contractor before signing a maintenance contract:

  1. How many years of experience does your company have in commercial plumbing?
  2. What types of businesses or facilities do you typically service?
  3. Do you have any specific experience in our industry?
  4. Can you provide references from other businesses you’ve serviced?
  5. What kind of training and certifications do your technicians have?
  6. Can you provide proof of your license and insurance?
  7. Does your company offer 24/7 emergency services?
  8. What kind of maintenance plans do you offer?
  9. Do you offer any warranties or guarantees on your work or the parts used?
  10. How do you price your services — hourly, per job, or another way?
  11. Will you handle permits and inspections if needed?
  12. How can you help us improve the longevity and efficiency of our plumbing system?

Use these questions as a guide to choosing a commercial plumbing partner who can meet your specific facility’s needs and maximize your budget.

One provider that ticks all the boxes is Lee Company. We understand how important it is to keep business operations running with minimal disruption, so our Facilities Management & Maintenance Services are tailored to fit the specific needs of commercial clients.

Our team specializes in maintaining and repairing building infrastructure, such as plumbing, electrical systems, HVAC systems, generators, and more. With a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 industrial and chemical plants to airports, universities, and stadiums, we have all the necessary knowledge and expertise to help you with your commercial plumbing needs.

Don’t wait for a plumbing disaster to upend operations. We’re ready to bring our expertise, professionalism, and cutting-edge technology to help maintain your plumbing system’s efficiency and longevity.

Contact us today to discuss your custom maintenance plan and gain peace of mind knowing that your facility is in the best possible hands.

Interested in learning more about preventive plumbing maintenance?

CALL US NOW AT 615.567.1000