What to Look Out for When Choosing a BEMS Maintenance Provider
A Building Energy Management System (BEMS) manages, controls and monitors building engineering services, helps deliver reduction in the building energy usage and provides more effective labour utilisation. However, it is not just about initial implementation of the system, high quality maintenance and support is also required to ensure you are getting the best performance from your investment and that problems are identified and dealt with before they become serious issues.
A BEMS maintenance support contract can be provided by many types of organisations such as the BEMS controls manufacturer or systems integrator, a mechanical and electrical contractor, or your own staff (if they have the appropriate knowledge and experience).
Low cost does not always mean best value, so when you are evaluating BEMS maintenance providers what should you be looking for? A BEMS maintenance provider should have:
Experienced Knowledgeable Staff
System integrators or manufacturers have the most experienced and knowledgeable staff and until recently there was no recognised BEMS maintenance certification. However, the The Building Controls Industry Association now offers a set of training modules for BEMS technicians making it easier for individuals to train in BEMS maintenance. Whilst there may now be more trained personnel in other organisations it is still advisable to check the expertise and level of training of the staff that will be providing the support for your contract as different tasks require different skills levels. Engineers also need to have plant application knowledge and experience as well as BEMS product knowledge.
The Necessary Accreditation, Equipment and Spares
BEMS maintenance support providers should be a recognised accredited partner of the BEMS manufacturer. This means they have access to the manufacturers current Software Utility tools to ensure the integrity and reliability of the BEMS system, alongside their own specialist diagnostic equipment.
Maintenance providers should also offer their own stock holdings and direct access to the BEMS manufacturers to ensure replacement hardware can be provided quickly to ensure minimal plant downtime. They will also be able to supply a stock of site critical spare parts, ensuring that any remedial work can be completed quickly.
24/7 Reactive Support
To reduce downtime your BEMS maintenance support provider should offer reactive support with engineers available to attend to urgent support requests 24/7, 365 days a year. Remote BEMS connectivity support offers the ability to fix some issues without site attendance, reducing the time to resolution. When issues cannot be fixed remotely, a national network of support, provides local engineers for individual attendance or full national coverage for clients with larger building portfolios.
Access Technical Support of The Controls Manufacturer
Access to manufacturer technical support is vital as this enables the maintenance provider to have the latest available information and access to best practice procedures and protocols.
Contracts should be customised based on your individual requirements and taking into consideration:
- Your type of business
- Any in-house knowledge/expertise that already exists
- The extent and complexity of the installed BEMS and the plant and the skill levels needed to provide maintenance
- Business criticality of plant and the ability to withstand failure of the control system for a specified period
Clear Maintenance Schedules
The contract should provide a comprehensive checklist of items to be covered by the contract. It should also provide a schedule of tasks that will be undertaken on each site visit and include time for additional requirements and dealing with unscheduled/remedial tasks.
Examples of The Reports That Will Be Produced
The maintenance provider should be able to provide examples of the reports that will be produced following each site visit. This report should explain each task that has been performed as well as making recommendations for system improvements.
Administrative support is just as important as technical support, so ensure your provider has a full back office team in place to provide admin, planning support and personnel to manage the ongoing contract.
Case Studies or References from Satisfied Customers
A good way to establish what level of service you are going to get from a provider is to hear what their current customers have to say. Case studies and/or references from satisfied customers, offer re-assurance of the service you are likely to receive. They may even demonstrate how a BEMS contract has offered particular benefits to an organisation with similar requirements to your own. Also look to see if the provider has other clients in the same industry as you – this will mean they already have relevant experience.
Get in touch
If you are looking for someone to provide your BEMS maintenance support, who can offer all of the above and more, contact us to discuss your tailored support package.