Robert McNamara - Director of Capitec

During lockdown we had the pleasure of talking with the extremely knowledgeable Robert McNamara, Director at Capitec (now part of IPSL) via MS Teams and drilled him for his thoughts on where FM is going, his clients approach to asset maintenance and why they choose SFG20 as a solution.

It’s an insightful 5 minutes that anyone involved in building maintenance should watch.

A full transcript of the video can be found below.

Why does Capitec use SFG20?

First of all about our business, so Capitec was formed, well, it has its origins way back in the 90s, recognising the PFI environments were very complex really, both in terms of contractual environments and compliance environments and the range of stakeholders needed support with that.

The business has grown to a position where in this year in January, we became part of IPSL, which are experts in PPP (public Private Partnership), PFI Private Finance Initiative) and everything else and where we fit it in, and we've known for seven years, by the way, was around specifically around the technical compliance area.

In terms of SFG20, it is increasingly being seen as an industry-standard there's, there's no doubt about that. A lot of people say, yeah, we want SFG20. I think what we try and do as important clients in that respect, is support clients with not only what they need for, if you like the maintenance specifications, which needs to consider both the OEMs maybe SFG20 terms of reference, wider terms of reference, as well, sometimes very specialist environments.

But also, making sure that they understand the wider remit around assets and feedback loops, and appliance and RAMs, and all those things that actually for the maintenance system, as well as really good quality maintenance task sheets. And I know, SFG20 has grown over time and it's far more than just a list of task sheets now, this is an environment where there's greater complexity and technology brought into the maintenance side of things.

And it's very exciting, really, I just hope as an industry, we can hardness it, but also still recognise that we can control it to some extent, you know, the requirements will depend on the environment, they will depend on risk. So their maintenance providers and maintenance commissioners are still empowered to manage their maintenance, but not just to make it cheaper, by the way, but to properly manage it in a risk based manner but using these fantastic tools, such as SFG20, that are out there.

How do your clients approach building maintenance?

Yeah, I mean, I suppose you can say depends on the stakeholders' view, isn't it? I mean, there are different stakeholders with different needs in this, I think most professionals, you know, always want to do the right thing, let's be absolutely clear on that. Now, within the industry, within the maintenance industry, of course, there is always that perverse incentive that you actually make more profits if you do less.

But I don't see many maintenance providers trying to get away with things, they actually want to do a really good job, but they want it to be fit for purpose. They don't want to do stuff just for the sake of it. Also in terms of investment stakeholders, they don't want to be spending a fortune on lifecycle, good predictive maintenance has proven return on investment or something like 500%, stitch-in-time maintenance, all these things that we used to talk about all those years ago, are still as relevant today.

Yes, there is a lot of blackbox technology out there that just fails, and you have to replace it on failure. But also, there are lots of things that can be, through good maintenance, can extend their service life considerably. And I think any investment partner would welcome that and would want to make sure that those systems are in place.

So I think there is a groundswell within the industry to do a much more professional job, but also to embrace the technology we've got now, we shouldn't underestimate the power of the Internet of Things that's coming on the horizon, the ability to have reliability centred maintenance, crikey, I had to write papers on that 20 years ago, but actually those things now are becoming very near environment in terms of reliability, centred maintenance and smart systems and everything else.

So, yes, absolutely the stakeholders have slightly different views on it. However, the best behaviours, consider doing the job properly and doing it well. What we don't want to see is things that are the bad old days, when people were putting things into specifications, knowing full well, no one would ever do that, because it's so onerous in terms of maintenance that they want to do it and therefore, that we can get out of their warranties. And what we want is decent quality maintenance tasks sheets that trades people can get on with, undertake that work, professional, extend service lives and extend our uptime. You know, it's not just about making things last longer. It's making sure businesses aren't interrupted with awful things like downtime, and certainly in the healthcare environment the last thing you want us to lose theatres or lose critical systems. So there's a whole manner of things that are pushing towards better quality maintenance and SFG20 plays a big part in that.