Maintenance Management

From Firefighting to Future-proofing: Switching to Proactive Maintenance

Learn what proactive maintenance is and how to transition from reactive to proactive strategies. Optimize asset management, prevent costly breakdowns, and achieve long-term cost savings with a proactive approach to maintenance.
Proactive maintenance

Implementing proactive maintenance for your facilities? Great!

A recent report from Deloitte found that organizations that implement proactive maintenance can increase productivity by 25%, reduce breakdowns by 70%, and lower maintenance costs by 25% compared to those relying on reactive maintenance (RM) practices.

This highlights the significant impact proactive maintenance can have on operational efficiency and cost savings.

In this article, we will walk you through the process of implementing proactive maintenance in your organization with step-by-step instructions.

What is proactive maintenance?

Proactive maintenance is a strategic approach involving actively monitoring and maintaining assets based on their condition and anticipated needs rather than waiting for breakdowns.

Proactive maintenance strategies shift the maintenance paradigm from reactive, unplanned activities to planned, preventive actions.

Some commonly employed types of proactive maintenance strategies are:

  1. Preventive Maintenance (PM): By regularly inspecting, servicing, and replacing components, preventive maintenance prevents equipment failures before they occur, ensuring smooth operations and reducing unexpected downtime.
  2. Predictive Maintenance (PdM): Through advanced technologies and data analysis, predictive maintenance anticipates equipment failures by monitoring key parameters. This proactive approach allows organizations to address issues based on real-time data, maximizing uptime and minimizing costly repairs.
  3. Condition-Based Maintenance (CBM): CBM utilizes real-time monitoring of equipment to determine maintenance needs. By analyzing data from sensors and IoT devices, organizations can proactively identify potential issues and schedule maintenance based on the actual condition of the asset.
  4. Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM): RCM identifies critical assets and analyzes failure modes, consequences, and maintenance requirements. This proactive strategy focuses maintenance efforts on the most critical components, enhancing reliability and minimizing the impact of failures.
  5. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM): TPM involves all stakeholders in the maintenance process, fostering a proactive culture. Operators play an active role by conducting routine maintenance tasks and inspections, and contributing to continuous improvement efforts, leading to increased equipment effectiveness.

7 ways relying solely on reactive maintenance hurts your business

The long-term effects of relying on reactive maintenance can be detrimental to an organization's operations, productivity, and financial health.

Some key consequences of prolonged reliance on RM are:

  1. Increased equipment downtime: RM often leads to unexpected breakdowns and equipment failures, resulting in unplanned downtime. This not only disrupts operations but also leads to productivity losses and missed deadlines.
  2. Higher repair costs: Addressing issues reactively often involves costly repairs or even replacing damaged equipment. Emergency repairs are usually more expensive compared to planned maintenance activities and can strain the maintenance budget.
  3. Decreased asset lifespan: Without regular preventive maintenance, equipment is more prone to wear and tear, increasing equipment depreciation. Components may deteriorate faster, leading to frequent breakdowns and the need for premature replacements.
  4. Inefficient resource allocation: Instead of planning maintenance activities in advance, resources are deployed reactively, causing inefficiencies, delays, and increased costs.
  5. Safety risks: RM may overlook critical safety issues. Equipment failures can pose risks to personnel, leading to accidents or hazardous situations. These are, of course, followed by costly penalties for non-compliance.
  6. Missed opportunities for improvement: RM focuses on fixing immediate issues, leaving little room for analyzing root causes and implementing preventive measures. This approach hinders continuous improvement efforts and prevents organizations from identifying systemic problems.
  7. Strained customer relations: Delays in delivering products or services can lead to customer dissatisfaction, tarnishing the company's reputation.

Switching from reactive to proactive maintenance requires a mindset shift, investment in technology, and the development of robust maintenance processes. However, the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial challenges.

Suggested read: Reactive maintenance: How it is done today vs. how it should be

Benefits of switching to proactive maintenance

Imagine an office building named Greenway, a bustling hub of productivity. For years, they've relied on RM, responding to equipment failures and suffering the consequences of unplanned downtime.

After making the inevitable switch to proactive maintenance, some benefits they reap are:

  • Preventing downtime: Greenway's elevators used to break down frequently, causing frustration and delays. After implementing proactive maintenance, they conduct regular inspections, lubricate components, and replace worn-out parts in advance. As a result, elevator downtime has significantly decreased, keeping tenants happy and productivity soaring.
  • Cost savings galore: Emergency repairs were eating up Greenway's maintenance budget. With proactive maintenance, they identified potential issues early, scheduled repairs during convenient times, and negotiated better pricing for parts. The result? Substantial cost savings and improved financial stability.
  • Equipment longevity: Air conditioning units at Greenway were notorious for failing during scorching summer months. They now proactively clean filters, check refrigerant levels and perform necessary tune-ups regularly. So, their units now operate at peak efficiency, prolonging their lifespan and reducing the need for premature replacements.
  • Enhanced safety: Safety hazards were a persistent concern for Greenway. With proactive maintenance, they conduct regular safety inspections, promptly address potential risks, and provide comprehensive training to staff, creating a safer work environment and fewer accidents and fostering a culture of well-being and trust.
  • Improved operational efficiency: Greenway's energy bills were skyrocketing due to outdated equipment. Proactive maintenance allowed them to optimize systems, identify energy-saving opportunities, and implement efficiency measures. As a result, their energy consumption decreased significantly.
  • Data-backed decisions: With data-driven decision-making, Greenway utilizes a CMMS to track equipment performance, analyze historical data, and predict maintenance needs. Armed with actionable insights, they optimize maintenance schedules, allocate resources effectively, and make informed decisions that drive operational excellence.
  • Seamless operations: Gone are the days of unexpected disruptions. Greenway's proactive maintenance approach enables them to plan ahead, schedule maintenance activities during off-peak hours, and ensure minimal impact on daily operations, resulting in smooth workflows, satisfied tenants, and enhanced productivity.
  • Continuous improvement: Greenway embraces a culture of continuous improvement. They collect feedback, learn from past experiences, and fine-tune their maintenance strategies. They continually refine their processes by leveraging data and fostering collaboration to achieve better results and elevate their reputation as a reliable office building.

In summary, proactive maintenance empowers you to plan your maintenance activities strategically, allocating resources effectively and optimizing labor and material costs.

It also promotes a culture of continuous improvement, as data-driven insights and predictive analytics drive informed decision-making and optimize maintenance strategies.

But how do you go about this transition?

10 steps to becoming proactive with maintenance management

Ready to make the leap from reactive to proactive maintenance?

Follow these steps to transform your maintenance practices:

  1. Assess your current situation: Take a close look at your existing maintenance processes. Identify areas where you're primarily reacting to failures and downtime. Analyze historical data to understand recurring issues and their impact on operations.
  2. Build a maintenance strategy: Develop a proactive maintenance strategy tailored to your specific needs. Consider factors like equipment criticality, failure consequences, and maintenance costs. Define preventive tasks, inspection schedules, and maintenance intervals for critical equipment based on reliability-centered maintenance principles.
  3. Implement a CMMS: Invest in a reliable Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) to streamline your maintenance operations. It will help you track assets, schedule tasks, and monitor maintenance activities efficiently. Leverage the CMMS to collect data on asset performance, maintenance history, and failure patterns.
  4. Collect and analyze data: Leverage the power of data to drive proactive decision-making. Monitor equipment performance, track failure patterns, and analyze historical data to identify potential issues before they escalate. To detect early warning signs of equipment degradation, utilize advanced analytics techniques, such as predictive maintenance algorithms and machine learning.
  5. Prioritize preventive maintenance: Shift your focus from reactive repairs to preventive maintenance. Create a maintenance calendar, perform routine inspections, and promptly address minor issues to prevent larger problems. Utilize condition monitoring techniques, such as vibration analysis, thermography, and oil analysis, to proactively assess equipment health.
  6. Embrace predictive maintenance: Implement predictive maintenance strategies to optimize equipment reliability and performance. Utilize sensors, IoT devices, and real-time monitoring systems to collect data on equipment conditions. Apply predictive analytics algorithms to forecast equipment failures and schedule maintenance activities accordingly.
  7. Train and empower your team: Provide comprehensive training to your maintenance team on proactive maintenance practices. Equip them with the knowledge and tools to effectively carry out preventive and predictive tasks. Encourage collaboration and knowledge sharing among team members to leverage their collective expertise.
  8. Establish KPIs: Define maintenance KPIs to measure the success of your proactive maintenance program. Track metrics such as equipment uptime, maintenance costs, mean time between failures (MTBF), mean time to repair (MTTR), and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Use these metrics to identify areas for improvement and drive continuous optimization.
  9. Continuous improvement: Foster a culture of continuous improvement. Encourage feedback from your team, analyze data-driven insights, and make necessary adjustments to optimize your proactive maintenance approach. Embrace emerging technologies and industry best practices to stay ahead of the curve.
  10. Monitor and adjust your maintenance strategies: Regularly monitor the effectiveness of your proactive maintenance efforts. Analyze performance metrics, listen to feedback, and make refinements to enhance your maintenance strategies further. Continuously evaluate the ROI of your proactive maintenance investments and make data-driven decisions to maximize benefits.

Getting ready for the switch with a CMMS

A CMMS is a tool of strategic importance in running operations smoothly, especially in asset-intensive organizations.

With a CMMS, you can optimize asset management, schedule preventive maintenance, monitor equipment conditions, analyze data for valuable insights, streamline work order management, facilitate documentation and knowledge management, generate performance metrics, and engage stakeholders with relevant, up-to-date information–all in one place.

These proactive measures not only enhance equipment reliability and minimize downtime but also lead to significant cost savings in the long run.

Facilio's Connected CMMS is built to go beyond the capabilities of most CMMS, which are typically systems of record.

It does everything your typical CMMS can do; plus, with its powerful workflows, intelligently executes actions like scheduling work orders based on technician calendars automatically and executing self-set-point corrections when it detects equipment operating outside predefined parameters.

Opportunities to optimize maintenance activities are endless with the right set of tools, insights, strategies, and a CMMS to tie it all together and become the centralized cloud command center to help you stay on top of it all.

Get in touch with our product experts and learn more about how Facilio can transform maintenance management for your business.

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