How Predictive Maintenance in Facilities Management Empowers the Facility Manager

The use of predictive maintenance in facilities management can dramatically lower facilities spend, especially when applied to antiquated assets. Its value continues when assets are upgraded or replaced, extending their life expectancy, and lowering total cost of ownership. Also, predictive maintenance is not necessarily limited to high-cost assets either. According to Dan Hounsell of FacilitiesNet, a discussion on common maintenance practices among Facilities Managers revealed nearly all operations still rely on the combined use of reactive, preventative and predictive maintenance strategies. Facilities Managers need to understand how the use of predictive maintenance can empower their teams and enable informed decision-making.

Reactive Maintenance Increases Stress, Spend and Subpar Space Utilization

While the majority of facilities management programs rely on a combination of reactive and proactive maintenance, all reactive maintenance is associated with major problems and costs. Unfortunately, reactive maintenance is the result of ongoing asset failures and end-of-life cycles. All assets will eventually require repairs. Facilities Managers cannot predict every possible issue. Paired with the disruptions and damages caused by uncontrollable factors, including Mother Nature, all departments will still rely on reactive maintenance. Reactive maintenance increases the stress on employees and facilities spend, as well as results in poor space utilization. However, the key to reducing the impact of reactive maintenance lies in recognizing when maintenance may be necessary and avoiding the costs of an unexpected failure or need.

Predictive Maintenance Empowers Facilities Managers With Actionable Data

Predictive maintenance in facilities management is based on using actionable data to understand, building condition and the performance of facility assets. Essentially, gathering information about facility asset and tracking their performance can help Facilities Managers recognize when an asset is likely to fail. Most assets do not simply quit working; they may begin to use more energy than expected. This is a common indicator of the potential malfunction in an HVAC unit, and recognizing this problem with a predictive maintenance plan can help prevent the system from complete failure. Also, Facilities Managers that want to take advantage of a predictive maintenance program should also develop a solid plan, including stakeholders in investment decisions, use technology, and leverage analytics to increase the profitability of a predictive maintenance program, asserts Brian Ratcliff of High Performing Buildings magazine.

Important Considerations in Implementing Predictive Maintenance in Facilities Management

Creating a predictive maintenance program is about more than deciding to review facility assets once a month. As explained by Phil Wales of Facilities Net, Facilities Managers need a plan of action to monitor asset performance, maintenance activities and use to determine when maintenance may be necessary. Therefore, Facilities Managers should take a few important considerations in implementing predictive maintenance in facilities management program, including:

  • Data is essential.
  • Data integrity and quality matter.
  • Additional insights beyond data enable true savings.
  • Education for facilities management team members.
  • Use of sustainable, “Green” practices, says Saar Yoskovitz of Facility Executive.

Take Advantage of Predictive Maintenance in Your Organization Today

Predictive maintenance is among the best ways to increase visibility and control over facility spend. According to Manufacturing Automation, the use of predictive maintenance is associated with a decreased total cost of ownership and reduced downtime in facilities. Facilities Managers should begin the process with a retrofit to gather the data necessary to implement a predictive maintenance program. 

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb