Response time, to tenant complaints, is one of the primary key performance indicators (KPI) reported by a well known maintenance management software platform. On first look, this measure of service quality is a reasonable metric, but not as a performance indicator for maintenance management.
Waiting for a complaint before initiating maintenance actions takes reactive, or “run to fail” maintenance one step further, in the wrong direction. “Run to Complaint” means maintenance processes have failed to identify and correct an issue which now affects one or more tenants.
Comfort complaints are generally caused by inoperative HVAC equipment, and the root cause of most failures is dirt accumulation (read lack of maintenance). Dirt accumulates slowly, so equipment performance and comfort degrades slowly as well. Dirt shortens the life expectancy of equipment, makes motors work longer and harder, and ultimately consume more energy.
A KPI is the “speedometer” for a business process, used to gauge how well the business is performing, and drive management decisions. A tenant response time KPI sets the goal to “respond to complaints more quickly”, not “eliminate complaints”. When a tenant complains, the damage is done.