When I talk to property teams about our Overtime HVAC service, I always start by asking them what their after hours air request and fulfillment process currently looks like. Most of the time I hear that they’re using some variation of a manual process, be it an old-school paper form system or (more commonly) a work order system. Both processes require a decent amount of time and effort from the all parties — the property management team, and the building engineer, and, of course, the tenant. Here are a few primary reasons why work order systems just aren’t designed to support the specificity and time-sensitive nature of after hours air requests.
When using a work order system to manage after hours air tenant air requests, those requests need to be submitted a certain amount of time in advance, typically 24 – 48 hours. Unfortunately for tenants, deciding to work late one night or come into the office on a Saturday is frequently a last-minute decision, and too often they just don’t have enough time to submit an after hours request in accordance with their building protocol.
In the work order request process, once a request is submitted, an alert is sent to either the property management team the building engineer. The engineer then programs the specific request into the building management system (BMS). At that point, requests can’t be cancelled or changed. Even if the requesting tenant’s plans change, the equipment will still run as programmed, and the tenant will be charged for the after hours service. This lack of flexibility leads to a potentially huge amount of energetic and financial waste, avoidable equipment depreciation, and unhappy tenants.
When tenants get frustrated by unrealistic advanced notice protocols, paying for overtime air that winds up going unneeded, or unfulfilled requests, they find ways to circumvent the inefficient work order system. Instead of following request protocol, they’ll ignore the notice requirement and track down whoever they can find to fulfill their demand when they need overtime air. This circumvention leads to poor usage tracking, and ultimately, the inability to bill accurately. A system put in place to maintain order ends up disrupting it and creating pain points for everyone.
Disorder in tracking after hours air use doesn’t just create an unreliable record of equipment use, it creates an unreliable billing process. If an after hours request is submitted any way other than the work order system, and is not properly tracked, then it’s likely that it won’t be properly billed for. This means that the building and equipment will run outside of normal operating hours, using an extensive amount of energy, without tenants being billed back for the costs. If this becomes a commonality in a building’s culture, the amount of billing leakage can be substantial.
The solution to all the issues that a manual, work order system for overtime HVAC requests creates is to ditch the work order system process. Tenant-facing technology that automates the process is a smart investment on every level. They provide quantifiable value (and ease) for property management teams, building engineers, and tenants alike.
Our Overtime HVAC service is one such solution. Tenants can submit a request in with the click of a button on their phone or any other web enabled device, and are able so specify date, time, and duration. They also can cancel or edit requests any time they want.
Our software works directly with your BMS and all of its existing protocols to fulfill the request, and doesn’t require any involvement of the property manager or building engineer.
Finally, our software generates invoices that integrate with your accounting software, so you never have to deal with complex billing scenarios again.
To avoid the pitfalls of using a work order system to manage your after hours air requests, reach out to me or schedule a demo below to find out more about how we can maximize your building’s cost and energy efficiency while making your tenants happy.