Facility Maintenance Planning Guide: Where Does On-Demand Maintenance Fall?

In developing a facility maintenance planning guide, Facility Managers must understand the need to always prepare for unexpected facility needs, regardless of the presence and use of a preventive maintenance program. More importantly, failure to account for unforeseen costs and maintenance requirements will result in unnecessary delays in resolution and added costs. Thus, facility team members need to know where on-demand maintenance falls on the maintenance spectrum.

The Problems due to Poor Facility Maintenance Planning

Maintenance planning processes must consider many factors. How will maintenance impact employees and customers? Will maintenance costs be higher or lower than anticipated? Does your facility have enough labor available to handle the needs?

The answers to these questions reveal the problems in poor facility maintenance planning. The best plans for maintenance are preventive, using known resources to service the building’s assets and avoid disruption entirely.

Failure to plan will result in high levels of reactive maintenance to fix broken assets. According to FacilitiesNet, some facilities may even need a full-time maintenance planner to manage and reduce the time technicians spend addressing a problem, also known as wrench time. Reactive maintenance wrench time is 25-30% of total time, yet on-demand wrench time may be as high as 40%. Meanwhile, a program using an integrated on-demand and preventive maintenance program will include wrench time closer to 75%. Maintenance issues that are addressed faster amount to a higher wrench time percentage and involve lower facility costs.

On-Demand Maintenance Is a Form of Reactive Maintenance

On-demand maintenance describes maintenance activities that arise out of necessity. As a result, they are a form of reactive maintenance, but they carry a planned component. For instance, on-demand maintenance includes locksmith services, pest control, HVAC system servicing, and emergency facility preparedness. The difference between valid reactive maintenance and on-demand maintenance lies within the planned nature of on-demand maintenance. In true reactive maintenance, maintenance is rarely planned at all. Thus, reactive maintenance does not include preventive maintenance, and when such maintenance needs arise, it results in significant disruptions, as well as possible cascading equipment failure.

How to Apply On-Demand Facility Maintenance Planning

Facilities Managers should follow a few tips to improve facility maintenance planning, as defined by the World Building Design Guide, including:

  1. Use a CMMS to track all unforeseen maintenance needs.
  2. Prioritize maintenance needs based on resource availability and impact on total cost of ownership (TCO).
  3. Refine the preventive maintenance schedule to reduce future, unexpected maintenance needs.
  4. Leave enough budget available to handle on-demand needs, such as emergency management, avoiding going over budget to address unexpected issues. 
  5. Work with an on-demand services provider to augment your team and planning processes, eliminating the hassle of finding technicians when problems arise. 
  6. Ensure your team knows how to report and respond to all maintenance needs, regardless of job title, taking advantage of all available training modules and services to reduce delays.

Improve Maintenance Planning by Including On-Demand Maintenance in Your Schedule

By taking the time to consider the full scope of maintenance needs, despite your preventive maintenance program, Facilities Managers can finally improve budgeting and reduce costs. Of course, a robust preventive maintenance program is critical to leveraging true on-demand maintenance and comprehensive facility maintenance planning.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb