How to Use a Building Component Inventory to Provide Clients More Value

Are you preparing to launch a new or revamped maintenance program? Then the first thing you will need to do, even before you do an inspection, is to create a building component inventory.

And while it sometimes feels like this step is unnecessary, it makes sense to do it because you’ll end up spending a lot more money and time if you don’t. 

A proper building component inventory will set your maintenance program upon the firm foundation it needs to drive the results you’re looking to achieve. 

What should your inventory include? 

There are plenty of factors, but this post will focus on the three essential ones you should consider. 

What is a building component inventory? 

The phrase “building component inventory” might sound fancy or complicated. But it’s not. And you can implement one no matter what kind of experience or technical expertise you have. 

An inventory is a list of all the building components included in your preventive maintenance program. Each component will also have some general information on its condition. 

It can be as simple as a spreadsheet, or more complex. Whatever works best for you and your property. 

List the building components

Which components will you include in your building component inventory? 

Preventive maintenance costs money and time, so including everything might not be smart. 

But here’s a general rule of thumb to follow for those decisions. 

For each component, ask yourself: Is the component critical to the safe operation of the building, expensive to replace, or difficult to purchase off the shelf? 

If the building component is any one of those three things, include it in your maintenance program and building component inventory. 

Determine the condition of building components 

What’s the current condition of the building component? Is that condition different from previous inspections? The same? 

It’s usually a good idea to create what’s called a condition rating scale. Which, once again, isn’t as scary as it sounds. 

It could be something like good-fair-poor. Or it can be more complex, like a one-to-ten numerical scale. 

The important part is that the scale allows you to understand the condition of the property’s main components when you look at your inventory. 

Figure out how old components are

An inventory with just a list of components and their conditions is powerful. But this step will supercharge your results and save you lots of time. 

What’s the secret? Asking yourself a few easy questions:

  • How long is the component supposed to last?
  • How old is the component? 
  • How much longer should I expect this component to last? 

By answering that last question, you’ll be able to time repairs better, make budgets more accurate, and avoid unnecessary costs. 

About Tom Brooks

Tom Brooks is the Chief Operating Officer for Western, the largest specialty contractor in building envelope and parking garage restoration in the United States. He leads a team of 1,250+ employees and oversees all aspects of the day-to-day operations for Western’s 30 branch locations across the country.