Operations and Maintenance Planning

If your business operates through the use of a building, then it is important to take into consideration operations and maintenance planning. These plans outline the needs, costs, procedures, and actions required to maintain a facility and its internal systems over time. Having these plans in place ensures that your place of business will be able to function efficiently and support your business operations over the long-term. It also guarantees that you comply with applicable government regulations. In this article, we will take a look at what these plans consist of and why they are so important. In addition, we will also discuss steps that you can take to develop a well-crafted operations and maintenance plan. And finally, we will explain how technical writers can help you write these plans.

The Requirements of Operations and Maintenance Plans

An operations and maintenance plan primarily concentrates on the operating systems of a building. This includes maintenance procedures for any kind of infrastructure, details about the requirements for a facility’s systems to function, and general information about a facility. These plans answer the why, who, what, where, and how of the process of implementing operations and maintenance procedures. By focusing on these factors, you can accomplish multiple objectives for your business. The plan often details whether facility system procedures and equipment are following government and company regulations. You can budget and identify costs of operations and maintenance compared to the amount spent on other aspects of production. In addition, documenting the most efficient operations and maintenance procedures helps with optimizing your business performance. You can prevent any potential hardware crashes or other damage to necessary systems beforehand with an emergency plan.

The operations and maintenance plan can be broken down into sections. This information ranges from general facility information to more specific instructions. This also includes procedures that would be found in the operations section and the maintenance section. The general information includes aspects of a facility such as layouts, personnel, furniture, equipment, training plans, and additional funding. The subsequent sections detail the specific procedures for your operations and maintenance crews to follow, as well as the schedule for when and how often to perform each maintenance activity. With these instructions in place, your personnel will have clear instructions to safely inspect and maintain your facility.

Other important notes:

Business facility-based examples of these procedures can be seen in the safety regulations.  All of your operation and maintenance plans need to take note of safety requirements such as asbestos prevention. With a strong plan in place, your maintenance crew will be able to identify which materials in your facility might contain asbestos or other harmful materials, and how to safely dispose of them. These processes would guide cleaning, work, and surveillance routines.

It is important to keep the different areas of your building in good condition.  This means cleaning the building, checking on the state of utilities to see if they need repairs, and scheduling inspections.  In addition, you should consider how to make sure that maintenance plans run smoothly alongside your business’s everyday functions.  For example, take into account the hours of operation for your facility, and what parameters to follow when monitoring a specific facility system so your employees recognize the signs of possible failure. Check out this template by California’s division of the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Even the best operations and maintenance plan cannot always prevent a system or equipment from failing.  Therefore, you should have an emergency plan in place that will allow you to quickly determine the problem, minimize the damage done, and repair the system.  Finally, you should keep in mind that changing circumstances might require you to update your plan at times.

Businesses that Benefit from Operations and Maintenance Plans

In addition to safety regulations, numerous industries also require these plans due to the other equipment being used.  Industries such as food processing or steel manufacturing particularly demand strategies to ensure equipment is maintained.  Businesses that rely on operations and maintenance planning vary in terms of their industry and activities. They can range from infrastructure companies, automotive manufacturers, oil and gas refineries, to power plants, and as previously mentioned, building management companies. The need for operations and maintenance plans for these businesses is obvious. 

For example, in a power plant or automotive factory where production occurs, you would need to make sure your emissions levels follow government standards for environmental safety and regulation compliance. Along with these regulations, proper operations and maintenance planning should be implemented for safe use of the equipment. It is important to outline procedures such as startup/shutdown processes of equipment, and as previously mentioned, emergency plans in the case of system failure.

If your business focuses on infrastructure maintenance, having a plan in place is critical.  Infrastructure-based businesses do a lot of work involving building, modifying, and repairing buildings and systems.  This means these businesses absolutely need maintenance and operations plans to ensure they properly handle everything. That plan can outline the steps needed to repair or maintain a piece of infrastructure, such as a bridge, to ensure long-lasting results.  The plan would also guarantee employee safety by highlighting what precautions to take, such as the distance needed to safely operate a piece of equipment. It is essential that you have a plan in place to make sure regulations guarantee employee safety. Moreover, you should be able to allocate the needed costs for operations and maintenance.  Therefore, it is important to keep in mind the budget you have been provided with when creating your plan.

Who Can Write Operations and Maintenance Plans

As you can see, the need and benefits for operation and maintenance planning are both crucial and plentiful.  These plans ensure that facilities and equipment can be kept in good condition and proper working order, but this can only be done when the plans are properly written. Hiring a technical documentation writer is helpful to ensure that your plans are well-crafted and highly efficient. By taking it out of your hands, you can free up your time so that you can prioritize your business. Technical writers come with the benefit of writing skills and technical knowledge. They can analyze your business operations and organize them into regulation-compliant plans. 

The skills of a technical writer are highly beneficial due to the complexity of operations and maintenance plans.  The creation of such plans is a diverse subject matter, and a technical writer has the knowledge to be able to know how these different areas work. They also know what regulations each area has to comply with. For example, when doing a check on your facility or equipment, your employees can quickly check what regulations and standards to follow, and, if necessary, take the steps to ensure they are followed.  In addition, technical writers can interpret these complex maintenance plans so that they are easier for workers to understand.

Conclusion

An operations and maintenance plan is essential to making sure that your business is following regulations. It is also important to have safety and emergency procedures in place. These plans can provide a checklist for what regulations you need to follow, and the steps you need to take. As this information is both plentiful and potentially complex, hiring a technical writer is the best way to have a high-quality, understandable operations and maintenance plan in place. Technical writers can communicate clearly by breaking down complex information into digestible writing. When it comes to operations and maintenance planning, a technical writer can cover multiple areas.

How EDC Can Help You?

The building your business operates from, along with the equipment inside, is necessary for your business. Therefore, you greatly benefit from making sure that they are safe for use as well as knowing what the best way to operate them is. By doing so, you can guarantee an efficient working environment by preventing malfunctions while also keeping down any costs related to any potential malfunctions.  Essential Data can help with this, providing technical writers to create effective, detailed plans for maintaining your business’s facilities.  Furthermore,  Essential Data’s technical writers can create other documents that will help, such as training manuals to instruct new employees.

There are numerous aspects of an operations and maintenance plan, such as training and emergency procedures, that are very important.  EDC’s technical writers have a lot of experience with these subjects. This means hiring Essential Data Corporation writers comes with the benefit of getting help who fully understand the topic, as well as the previously mentioned benefits of a technical writer.  EDC’s technical writers can also help to develop records and documentation for keeping track of maintenance procedures.


Whether you need a single technical writer for a brief project, or a team of consultants to produce a complete line of documentation, we can guarantee to you the quality of our work. Our clients’ work closely with an Engagement Manager from one of our 30 local offices for the entire length of your project at no additional cost. Contact us at (800) 221-0093 or sales@edc.us