A successful facilities maintenance strategy is built on a thorough understanding of maintenance needs and approaches. There are many different types of maintenance programs available, and Facilities Managers that take the time to understand their differences can ensure their organization deploys a cost-saving strategy, not a source of great frustration and expense.
Facilities Maintenance Strategies Are Often Only Viewed as Cost-Centers and Risks
Part of the problem with understanding the different types of maintenance goes back to misconceptions about the nature of facilities maintenance. Maintenance is often viewed as a necessary evil, and Facilities Managers are at its mercy. As explained by Comarch.com, unplanned downtime can cost upwards of $5600 every minute, and this value varies by industry. However, a holistic facilities maintenance strategy can mitigate this cost.
Holistic Facilities Maintenance Considers Both Known and Unknown Threats and Opportunities
A holistic facilities maintenance strategy considers all possible types of maintenance, which include the following:
- Scheduled maintenance. Scheduled maintenance is just that, maintenance that is scheduled around manufacturer and company expectations. The schedule is rigid and only addresses need to be defined within the schedule. Unfortunately, this results in lost opportunities, part of the Six Sigma approach to facilities management, by combining other issues into a single maintenance visit.
- Reactive maintenance. This method is often referred to as the “run until failure” approach. It only considers maintenance needs when they result in equipment failure. With today’s level of technology and connected systems, reactive maintenance needs may not become evident until a simple repair would result in the need to completely replace an entire asset, making repairs obsolete.
- Predictive maintenance. This is a heightened form of maintenance using the same connected systems of today’s assets to derive value by gaining insight into equipment function. Predictive maintenance considers both internal and external factors, allowing for adjustments to the maintenance schedule to prevent downtime and failure, reports Business News Daily.
- On-demand maintenance. On-demand maintenance sounds similar to reactive maintenance, but it has a major distinction. On-demand maintenance refers to maintenance needs that become evident and require immediate attention; however, these needs are not likely to result in the catastrophic failure of facility assets. In addition, on-demand maintenance may refer to immediate needs that are impossible to predict, like major weather events disrupting operations. On-demand maintenance also includes the use of a predictive maintenance program to prioritize on-demand needs when they occur, reducing their costs.
How to Implement a Holistic Maintenance Program
A successful, holistic maintenance program should be built on the fundamental concepts of managing total cost of ownership, as outlined in a recent QSI whitepaper. This includes taking these steps:
- Benchmark facility assets, which may be accomplished as part of a routine facility condition audit, asserts Facility Executive.
- Retrofit facility assets with new technology, like devices connected to the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Gather data, and prioritize maintenance backlog.
- Create an asset management playbook.
- Leverage new technology and digital platforms, like a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to track maintenance and management activities.
- Train staff on system use and best practices.
- Maintain a reserve budget for emergencies.
Refine Your Holistic Facilities Management Strategy Now
A holistic facilities management strategy must evolve, and its maintenance needs will be in a continuous state of change after implementation. Understanding the differences between maintenance types can help avoid delays and eliminate the maintenance backlog once and for all.