Connected CMMS

Reducing Reactive Maintenance and Backlogs with Scheduled Maintenance (+ How a CMMS Solution Helps!)

Scheduled maintenance refers to routine equipment servicing and systems, usually performed at regular intervals, to ensure they continue functioning properly and to identify and address any potential problems before they become serious.
Scheduled Maintenance

All assets wear out until they collapse one day, but that’s no reason to avoid problems that lead to system failures over time.

Routine maintenance management is key to detecting equipment issues early on and preventing disruptions. Scheduled maintenance is the backbone of timely inspection and servicing that keeps your facility and equipment operational. 

What is scheduled maintenance?

Scheduled maintenance refers to one-off or routine repair, service, and maintenance tasks that technicians perform within a set timeframe.

Scheduled maintenance tasks like servicing, adjustments, inspections, and planned shutdowns help companies prevent equipment failure, minimize maintenance backlogs, and allocate resources better.

All scheduled maintenance tasks start with written work order requests.

Then, maintenance managers assign and schedule these tasks based on task priority, system location, technicians’ availability, specialized skillset, and facility operating hours.

Scheduled vs. Routine vs. Planned maintenance

The key difference is that: scheduled maintenance defines who’ll perform maintenance tasks and by when, whereas planned or preventive maintenance lays out how they’ll complete those tasks.

Routine maintenance refers to tasks performed at time-based intervals to keep a facility functional.

Planned maintenance involves identifying necessary tools, tasks, and materials to solve maintenance issues. Maintenance planners use this type of maintenance to plan inspections, order parts, record maintenance processes, and prioritize tasks.

Scheduled maintenance fulfills the planned maintenance tasks by creating a timeline and setting a specific start date. Depending on the nature of the tasks, you can perform them daily or at regular intervals.

Routine maintenance includes small inspection or servicing tasks that machine operators regularly perform to extend asset lifecycle, minimize emergency breakdowns, and keep production lines operational. Routine maintenance is a critical element of total productive maintenance (TPM) and boosts machine reliability.

Impact of scheduled maintenance on business operations

Many facilities follow the old maxim — if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Pausing equipment operations temporarily for maintenance may disrupt operations and feel like a waste of time.

When these machines break down suddenly, you experience unscheduled downtime and operation disruption, which can hurt your bottom line badly.

The worst case scenario may require a new machine that costs you money and lost productive time.

A solid maintenance schedule lets you pick up the slack for out-of-commission machines without delay.

You can quickly minimize downtime and maximize asset lifespan with scheduled maintenance.

Maintaining assets as per operation and maintenance (O&M) manuals lets you spot issues before they go out of hand.

Time-based scheduled maintenance also aids you in keeping asset warranties active, avoiding breakdown maintenance, retaining asset resale value, and improving workplace safety.

Scheduled maintenance examples across industries

Now, let’s look at how scheduled maintenance exists in almost every industry.

  • Commercial buildings (CREs) regularly inspect, repair, and service facility structures, roofing, lighting, electrical system, plumbing, and fire safety equipment.
  • Office spaces focus on maintenance tasks like trash removal and cleaning, office appliance inspection, carpet and window cleaning, and minor workplace repairs.
  • Healthcare organizations use maintenance schedules to keep diagnosis devices, clinical laboratories, pharmacies, medical equipment, surgery halls, and emergency rooms in working condition.
  • Higher education institutes rely on scheduled maintenance plans to extend the useful life of buildings, stay energy-efficient, and create a safe and clean environment for students and teaching staff.
  • HVAC maintenance includes cleaning coils, testing safety parameters, lubricating moving parts, and inspecting motor operations, connections, and other functionalities.
  • Vehicle maintenance involves checking and servicing oil filters, air filters, tiers, fuel filters, batteries, brake fluid, coolant, brake pads, spark plugs, power steering fluid, and timing belts.

When should you use scheduled maintenance?

You should submit a scheduled maintenance work order request to complete new maintenance tasks emerging from routine, preventive, reactive, or predictive maintenance.

The question is, how do you tackle all the maintenance tasks you have?

Consider the following factors while planning scheduled maintenance:

  • Maintenance task priority varies depending on your industry and facility’s needs. The general rule is to prioritize asset malfunctions that pose safety threats and disrupt business operations. Next, you can take up space management tasks to maintain facility conditions and occupant experience.
  • Technician availability is another factor to keep in mind. Consider assigning skilled technicians to work orders that match their skillset and top your maintenance task priority list.
  • Facility operating hours play a key role in helping you complete maintenance tasks without derailing operational productivity. Scheduling preventive maintenance or non-emergency tasks outside equipment operating hours ensures peace of mind for technicians and occupants alike.
  • Work order submission date has the final say on what tasks you prioritize. You may need to delay some maintenance requests to address emergency maintenance issues. But, consider being transparent about the work order process and request status. Large facilities address this issue with computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS), which help in effective communication and timely maintenance completion.

Scheduled maintenance critical percentage (SMCP) can help when you still can’t prioritize recurring planned maintenance tasks.

Related article: How Real-Time Data from Machines Help Supercharge Performance!

What is scheduled maintenance critical percentage (SMCP)?

Scheduled maintenance critical percentage (SMCP) is a tool that helps you prioritize and manage overdue recurring scheduled maintenance tasks.

SMCP compares the percentage of delay a maintenance task faces to its ideal recurring frequency. Maintenance managers use SMCP to prioritize tasks with higher percentages.

SMCP is crucial because it quantifies the risk of delaying maintenance tasks. SMCP calculation considers the maintenance schedule recommended by manufacturers. The percentage helps you gauge the impact of tasks delayed because of unexpected breakdowns or other production jobs that take longer to complete. 

How to calculate SMCP (with sample calculation)

To calculate SMCP, start by adding the number of days a maintenance task is late with the total number of days in the maintenance cycle. Now, divide the result by the number of days in the cycle. Multiple the result by 100 to get the SMCP percentage.

Here’s the SMCP formula:

SMCP = [(Number of days a task is late + Number of days in a maintenance cycle)/Number of days in maintenance cycle] * 100

For example, imagine a task is overdue by 5 days during a maintenance cycle of 30 days. Another task is pending for 6 days in a maintenance cycle of 60 days.

Here’s how to calculate SMCP for these tasks:

Task 1 SMCP = (5 + 30) ÷ 30 x 100 = 116%

Task 2 SMCP = (6 + 60) ÷ 60 x 100 = 110%

So, you should prioritize the first task.

How to use SMCP to prioritize maintenance work

SMCP guides you in clearing overdue maintenance backlogs and keeping the production schedule on time. Here’s how SMCP helps you prioritize maintenance and improve operations.

  • Find the root cause. SMCP helps you dive deep into overdue tasks that are constantly behind schedule. The root cause is often not maintenance but inventory, replacement, or repair decisions. Once you know the backstory, you’re better able to find a solution.
  • Minimize unplanned downtime. SMCP reveals what overdue tasks are too risky to put in the backlog and need to be prioritized ahead of others.
  • Meet health and safety guidelines. As technicians jump from one task to another, you overlook equipment failures that pose safety threats to occupants. SMCP helps in eliminating hurried maintenance and prioritizing the most important jobs.

Benefits of tracking SMCP

Tracking SMCP helps you:

  • Improve maintenance scheduling results by knowing what tasks to prioritize.
  • Pass maintenance audits and stay compliant as you address issues before they become safety threats.
  • Reduce reactive maintenance by identifying assets more likely to experience failure.
  • Minimize maintenance costs by preventing unnecessary downtime and meeting maintenance KPIs.

Shortcomings of SMCP

SMCP is excellent for measuring relative equipment maintenance delay.

However, it doesn’t consider other maintenance scheduling factors like technician availability, operating hours, and work order request dates. SMCP also doesn’t tell you what tasks you must do or overdue tasks.

SMCP may be the best place to start to clear a growing backlog but also consider other factors.

How CMMS simplifies maintenance scheduling, tracking, and reporting

Proper maintenance scheduling helps in preventing costly reactive maintenance repairs, preventing equipment failure, and addressing backlogs.

The good news is you can easily do all these with a CMMS tool like Facilio. You can create work orders, assign tasks, and track progress with a single click.

Facilio streamlines all maintenance activities, so you don't have to spend hours creating a scheduling master document or gathering data points.

Moreover, you can also track equipment usage and maintenance history at key decision moments.

Schedule a demo today to see how Facilio can help you optimize scheduled maintenance.