The Top Challenges in Preventive Maintenance (and the Solutions)

Many challenges in preventive maintenance leave Facilities Managers to assume preventive work will always be outside of the budget. Reality dictates preventive maintenance is the only way to gain real control over maintenance spend. Meanwhile, new laws require pre-set facility inspections for critical equipment, including elevators, facades, boilers, safety equipment, and even appliances, notes FM Link. Unfortunately, the problems continue to grow, and according to Plant Engineering, most organizations that implement preventive maintenance programs experience trouble in achieving ROI. This problem is the result of several critical challenges that arise.

Lack of Data

The lack of data is a significant issue for preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is based on making maintenance decisions when an asset exhibits the signs of an impending issue or subtleties that may allude to a future malfunction. As a result, maintenance is not scheduled until a problem is found, contributing to reactive maintenance.

Use a CMMS

Utilizing a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is the best way to track maintenance data. Depending on the level of connected assets in your facility, integration of energy management and maintenance data may be possible.

Inconsistent Maintenance

Inconsistent maintenance schedules are another issue. Preventive maintenance means performing tasks early, and it is possible to perform maintenance way too soon. Ineffective timing leads to higher costs and delays in real needs.

Maintain Stringent Maintenance Schedules

The maintenance schedule should be based on the preventive maintenance checklist, utilizing consolidated maintenance where possible.

Poor Direction

The poor direction of facilities maintenance derives from assumption. Team members may be unaware of needs or lack the guidance to address needs.

Define the Needs for a Facility

Facility Managers should clearly define the facility needs to reflect the checklist and cover any new issues that arise. For example, a renovation will require additional preventive maintenance to ensure all assets compensate for extra work.

Higher Costs After Initial Implementation

Preventive maintenance programs typically incur a temporary spike in short-term maintenance spending resulting from investment into new systems, including a CMMS, and addressing items on the maintenance backlog.

Focus on the Big Picture

Managers should focus on long-term savings, not short-term costs. Remember, cost avoidance is critical in preventive maintenance.

Failure to Gain Support for Preventive Maintenance

The final challenge is about people—the C-Suite. C-Suite executives will want to see a program's value-add, and inability to build an ongoing business case will lead to support losses.

Use Data to Build C-Level Support

Using data from connected assets, energy management, and the CMMS, demonstrate the cost avoidance (money saved from reducing the need for reactive maintenance) of your program.

Overcome the Challenges in Preventive Maintenance With the Right Partner

Implementing preventive maintenance will present significant challenges. Your team will need to learn how to work with new software, leverage connected monitoring systems, and work with an extended service team. The days of managing maintenance as equipment fails are over. Instead of trying to put out the fires, stop them from occurring in the first place with your preventive maintenance program. Follow these tips to overcome the challenges that arise.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb