Due to the ever-increasing complexity of modern buildings as well as the higher demands being made by tenants, landlords, and regulatory authorities, facilities and building management have become increasingly challenging over the past couple of decades. It should therefore come as no surprise that the signage for the building is often neglected or not even considered until the very last minute.
In many cases, the cost of signage is not included in the budget for maintenance, which can result in unforeseen expenses later on. Hence, the importance of establishing a signage maintenance component as part of the overall maintenance plan.
Did you know that for some organisations, the cost of the signage portfolio can range anywhere from $1 million to $10 million per year? Costs associated with maintenance are a significant contributor to this overall cost; however, signage maintenance is frequently neglected by decision makers, which results in ongoing headaches for those in charge of managing facilities and maintenance.
Why Building signs are important to a business
Signage is one of the most important ways for a business to show its brand presence in the real world. Signs help people find your business and show what your brand stands for in a market that is getting more and more crowded.
Signs on buildings are some of your hardest-working employees. Most business owners don't think of signs in this way, but it is true. They are on the job 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are like your personal sales reps and say a lot about your business. Building signs are one of the best things you can buy for your business. They increase your business's credibility, help you build a brand, boost sales, and make your business easy to find.
As a result, the condition of your signs says a lot to your customers about your company.
What does a good maintenance programme for signs include?
Signs can be seen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. They are the most cost-effective way to advertise. When it comes to maintaining signage, there are various moving components and complexity.
When planning your approach, there are seven important things to keep in mind to make sure your sign maintenance programme doesn't become too reactive and disorganised.
Get involved from the start
When deciding which signs to put up and how to put them up, little thought is given to how they will be kept up and how much that will cost over the life of each sign. More often than not, it's the facilities management team that gets excluded from these initial planning stages. Because signs can last up to 15 years and require maintenance at several points during that time, a long-term proactive approach is essential.
When maintenance needs are taken into account during the design and planning of signs, it not only makes things easier for maintenance and facilities managers in the long run, but it also saves a lot of money.
Make room in the budget for signage maintenance
When operating a facility, it is critical to consider the amount of money spent on maintenance. These costs, which range from building maintenance to operational maintenance, can quickly add up. Unfortunately, it's all too usual for signage projects to be implemented without the appropriate (or perhaps any) budget for repairs and upkeep.
When proper planning is done, it is much simpler to estimate the size of the maintenance budget that will be necessary, which in turn makes it possible to cut those expenditures overall.
Incorporate a preventative as well as proactive/predictive approach to maintenance
Maintenance is frequently an afterthought, and it becomes reactive. The key to having and successfully implementing a strong maintenance program is understanding the difference between reactive, preventive, and predictive maintenance.
REACTIVE MAINTENANCE occurs once a machine or equipment is not operating up to normal standards and addresses maintenance problems as they arise.
PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE (or planned maintenance), consists of maintenance tasks performed while the equipment is under normal operation to avoid unexpected breakdowns and the associated downtime and costs.
PROACTIVE / PREDICTIVE MAINTENANCE is based on experience and is performed based on historical and current data thanks to the advances in technology that connect your asset to your CMMS . It's a process that directly monitors the asset’s performance during normal operation and establishes maintenance criteria based on predicted failures.
The goal of predictive maintenance is to solve the challenges of both reactive and preventive maintenance without running to failure or replacing a healthy part.
By involving maintenance and facilities managers in the process early on, the entire signage maintenance process becomes much more proactive.
Consider building signage as an asset
Signage is an important asset for any business, letting customers know who you are and what you do. Signage, depending on the expenditure, can be either an operating (tax-deductible) expense or a depreciable asset.
When signs are viewed as an asset (a resource with monetary value), the way they are maintained changes. Signs have worth, and when they're understood in this light, maintenance becomes much more important.
Using an asset management database is one option to investigate. When the details of each signage item are documented in a database, problems don't slip through the cracks, time is saved, and efficiencies are created. Each signage asset should be listed in your asset management database, these details include dimensions, location, age, maintenance history, supplier, materials etc).
To clean, to repair or to replace?
That is the all important question, and knowing when to do which is critical if you want to be as efficient and effective as possible with your maintenance. Cleaning, repairing, changing components, or replacing the entire sign are all part of sign maintenance. Keep detailed records on the sign's age, condition, and work history to determine what it needs at any given time.
Also, every sign has a lifespan. Repairing signs beyond their lifespan has diminishing returns. Investing in ageing assets might be risky due to structural or electrical failure. Again, good asset management will help you determine when a sign has passed its "use by" date.
Some helpful signage maintenance checklist items include:
- Timely maintenance can help businesses avoid costly repairs or replacements.
- Business owners can avert difficulties by checking for flaws or failures.
- Regular cleaning sign designs and faces keeps your business looking professional.
- Upgrading fluorescent tubes to LED modules saves electricity and improves the aesthetic of lit signage.
- Regular footing and frame inspections can prevent accidents and injuries.
Signage is a key component of any company, and doing routine maintenance on it is required to ensure that it always looks its best. You can protect your investment and maintain your brand looking its best with the help and expertise of Ozland Group Solutions.