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chairs in a stadium on an event day

Penny Brinsley, Account Director, Service Works Global, comments on best practice for managing maintenance requests on event days at stadiums featured in Football & Stadium Magazine.  

Penny Brinsley at SWG discusses the challenges of managing maintenance requests on event days and offers advice on how to ease the burden on facilities staff. Managing maintenance requests at large stadiums is a challenge at the best of times. On event days, it’s a whole different level.

At some of the largest stadiums 100 requests come in on event days from in‑house staff and external contractors, compared to around 20 on other days. Not only does the number of requests increase, but so does the importance. With 60,000+ people at a venue, even small maintenance issues can quickly exacerbate and become a major problem. Adding a further layer of complexity is that many large stadiums are now multi‑purpose, hosting various sporting and music events. That means more event days than ever before for facility managers to navigate.

Strategic Software Decisions

Technology is often touted as a cure‑all solution, but it’s essential to do your due diligence before selecting software. Key questions to consider include:

  • What are your objectives?
  • What is your budget?
  • Are you looking for one piece of software or multiple platforms?
  • If you’ll be using more than one platform, will they easily “talk” to each other?

For maintenance and asset management, a lot of venues opt for a single solution. Ultimately, the goal of a single software solution is to proactively handle the full lifecycle of service calls to reduce breakdowns and service costs, minimise wait times and optimise service operation and performance.

Make Use Of Existing Data

Just because you are utilising a new platform doesn’t mean you have to start from scratch. One UK Stadium had data held in its previous maintenance management system that included historic works maintenance orders and the details of more than 8,000 assets. This information was critical to keep hold of as it was used to plan and manage the stadium’s 10‑year asset replacement strategy, enabling it to accurately forecast its asset replacement funding requirements.

It only took a weekend to migrate the data to the new platform and was a critical first step.

Maintenance On Event Days

Maintenance software can streamline work requests and improve the rate of first‑time fixes – both huge benefits during event days.

Industry‑leading platforms can manage resources so jobs can be allocated to operatives with the required skill set, while GPS tracking can be used to allocate the job to the operative who is geographically closest to the issue. This reduces travel times and ensures an issue is dealt with faster.

If the software includes a mobile app, operatives can access real‑time information about the job wherever they are, allowing the work to be completed more efficiently and with fewer return visits.

In order to manage request capacity on busy days, look for a platform that can switch workflows using a priority setting. This will enable calls to be managed by the in‑house team on non‑event days and by a specialist third party service desk on event days.

Extra Features

A comprehensive platform should be able to offer additional benefits on top of maintenance management. This could include health and safety and incident reporting, a key concern on event days.

Leading platforms can handle everything from recording the incident, cause and type of injury and witness statements. If an asset was involved in the incident, this information is stored against the asset, so that follow up action can be taken.

Safety officers are immediately notified by the system that an incident has occurred so they can attend the scene. Storing this data leads to easy access to information for trend analysis, thereby reducing the potential for future incidents.

Summary

Maintenance on event days will always be a challenge. However, with the right software you can greatly improve efficiency and make the day less stressful for facilities staff, and more enjoyable for event attendees.

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