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The Powerful Advantages of Planned Preventative Maintenance

Facilities Management

28/10/21 | Rebecca Drewett

Discover how planning maintenance schedules in advance can maximise the efficiency and longevity of assets across your facilities.

Proactive is a powerful word – one that many modern organisations aspire to be. It showcases their ability to think ahead and cut off potential problems before they can emerge. To respond to customer requests and demands before they can even open their mouths.

It is an attractive quality, and one that can be applied to every aspect of a company’s operations. Not least in how they maintain the wide range of assets across their estate. Modern buildings can have thousands of assets operating at any given time, all with different lifespans, functions and significance to overall business performance.

Asset breakdowns can range from a faulty lightbulb on an office floor, to a broken generator cutting off power to whole segments of a property. But, regardless of the specific fault, the cost of repairing or replacing assets can stack up significantly over time.

So, a way to tackle this potential issue is to treat assets before they can possibly break down. For that, you need a planned preventative maintenance (PPM) strategy. Below, we’ll explore what PPM is, and the benefits it offers to organisations worldwide.

What is planned preventative maintenance (PPM)?

Planned preventative maintenance (PPM), also commonly referred to as planned maintenance or scheduled maintenance, is essentially a scheduled maintenance routine for the assets across an estate.

Tasks are scheduled ahead of time, while assets are still in functioning order. This is directly opposite to reactive maintenance, where assets are checked and repaired only after they break down and fail.

In contrast, planned maintenance is the definition of a proactive approach to asset management. It establishes a routine of tasks performed at regular intervals, minimising the risk of assets failing prematurely.

6 benefits of planned maintenance

With this in mind, introducing a planned preventative maintenance strategy has numerous advantages over the traditional reactive approach:

1. Reduced risk of business interruption

First, regularly scheduled maintenance of assets greatly reduces the risks of breakdowns, and the interruption this can cause to company operations. Depending on the significance of the asset, a breakdown can be an incredibly inconvenient and costly problem. It may even require the whole company to come to a standstill while it is rectified.

Unplanned downtime in particular can incur significant costs. Consider the outage that Facebook suffered in October 2021 (via Fortune) – it lasted less than 10 hours, yet the company lost over £73 million in advertising revenue. This is an extreme example, but it demonstrates just how much an organisation can lose if operations cease for even a few hours.

Planned maintenance schedules greatly reduce the risk of business disruption. Maintenance tasks that will require downtime can be scheduled in advance, allowing the organisation to plan and mitigate any financial damage caused.

2. Extended asset lifespans

Keeping assets in working order, and preventing any breakdowns or failures, means they will be usable for much longer. Rather than need to repair or replace components on a regular basis, companies can rely on the same assets for an extensive period of time. This means:

  • Significantly reducing the costs of regularly replacing components

  • Not having to wait for required assets to arrive, reducing potential downtime

  • Getting a greater return on investment on all purchased assets

Asset maintenance software can track the mean time to repair (MTTR) of your assets. This helps predict when assets are likely to break down, so you can schedule maintenance work to take place before this point.

The MTTR in a company should ideally be under five hours (DataScope)

3. Increased efficiency

In addition to assets running longer, regular planned maintenance will help them remain as efficient as possible. All equipment will naturally start to lose efficiency over time, reducing its performance and eventually becoming a drain on resources.

Frequent, scheduled maintenance will extend this date significantly, meaning that asset performance will be preserved for longer. The more assets this applies to, the better the results will be for overall business efficiency and performance.

4. Organised workforce management

Planned preventative maintenance does not simply benefit asset efficiency, but also the efficiency of your workforce. If a company has a reactive approach to maintenance, technicians will frequently need to respond to urgent failures or disturbances.

This breaks up their schedule for the day, which can then mean:

  • Previously scheduled tasks are delayed or overlooked altogether

  • Urgent tasks may be conducted in a more haphazard way due to time restrictions

  • Engineers’ days become more frantic and time-consuming, affecting their performance and happiness

With an established PPM strategy in place – overseen by a solution like Regime Manager – engineers will have much clearer, organised schedules. While it is impossible to predict or prevent all breakdowns, they will become far less frequent. Engineers can focus on upcoming tasks without the constant fear of being pulled away on an impromptu job.

5. Enhanced health and safety compliance

By storing all health and safety information in capable facilities management software, this can be assigned against each relevant asset in your PPM schedules.

This guarantees that all safety regulations, including SFG20 standards and service level agreements (SLAs), are met at all times. If this is not confirmed, it jeopardises the safety of those within a building, and may lead to substantial financial penalties.

Instead, the right FM software will ensure these regulations are front-and-centre of your maintenance schedules. Compliance is assured, protecting the safety of everyone on-site and avoiding any liability.

6. Better budget management

The ultimate benefit of planned preventative maintenance is its potential to help companies save money in the long term. This ranges from ensuring a greater ROI from assets, to preventing any penalties for non-compliance.

Beyond this, having clearly defined PPM schedules empowers organisations to plan maintenance budgets with greater accuracy. Companies will be in a stronger position to know how much they need to commit to maintenance work each year.

This makes budget management much more exact. The risk of costs spiralling out of control due to unforeseen failures is greatly reduced, so budgets can be predicted more accurately.

Is planned preventative maintenance more expensive than reactive maintenance?

Unfortunately, many organisations are not reaping the benefits of planned preventative maintenance due to the immediate costs associated with these strategies.

Companies must invest in dependable asset management software to ensure their PPM strategy is truly effective. They may also need to hire a larger number of technicians to perform maintenance work more frequently.

However, this immediate investment often pales in comparison to how PPM strategies can reduce business expenses, including:

  • Much greater ROI across all assets due to extended lifespans

  • Reduced costs of repairs and replacing components

  • Maintenance teams working at optimal efficiency

  • Protection against penalties caused by non-compliance

  • Overall reduction in day-to-day maintenance costs

How asset management software supports planned preventative maintenance

We hope that this article has opened your eyes to planned preventative maintenance, and the benefits it offers over reactive approaches. However, an effective PPM strategy needs a strong foundation in the form of dependable asset management software.

This software helps you accurately classify and understand your assets, and establish clear preventive maintenance schedules based on this data. At FSI, our market-leading CAFM system, Concept Evolution, makes PPM an attainable goal for any organisation:

  • Agile, accurate asset classifications ensure that the data that drives your PPM schedules is always reliable and up-to-date

  • Regime Manager enables you to establish the rules for how to correctly maintain assets across your portfolio, and automatically send this to relevant engineers

  • Workforce Planner lets you quickly assign the correct resource to each task based on skill and availability through a straightforward graphical interface

  • FSI GO Workforce Apps take asset management and maintenance mobile, empowering remote workers to track and complete tasks on the move

To unlock the full potential and advantages of planned maintenance in your organisation, get in touch today for more information on our solutions.