Why Preventive Maintenance Is Now a Must-Have & Not a Hope to Have

Preventive maintenance was once considered a practice for companies with more available resources and ample time to handle extras. As time progressed, demands on facilities have risen. The average age of commercial buildings in the U.S. is 32 years old, and after years of neglect, maintenance costs have skyrocketed, notes FacilitiesNet. The time for reactive maintenance is over, and it costs much more than you realize.

The Risks of Reactive Maintenance—Poor Customer Experiences

Reactive maintenance occurs when a facility follows a run-until-it-breaks policy. Reactive maintenance costs have a way of creeping upward to the tune of 30x the original amount. This results from a need to replace entire systems due to a minor component issue. Even non-related systems can suffer from a minor problem.

For example, a faulty HVAC system could lead to the buildup of moisture throughout a building, leading to mildew and mold damage.

Reactive maintenance also leads to disruptions for building occupants, including consumers. Reactive maintenance most often involves responding to breakdowns, and a breakdown may occur at any time. Malfunctions in one system have a direct impact on other parts of the system. If a single HVAC unit fails, other units must pick up the slack, increasing energy costs, and decreasing efficiency. Customers do not see the back-office activities trying to solve maintenance problems; they only see an uncomfortable, displeasing environment.

Preventive Maintenance Solves the Maintenance Backlog Laundry-List

Preventive maintenance solves issues with backlogged maintenance. Instead of running until equipment fails, it involves regular, data-driven inspection and maintenance of assets to maximize efficiency and life expectancy. This level of continuous condition monitoring tailors the maintenance to each asset, reports Buildings.com.

How Preventive Maintenance Improves Brand Value

Preventive maintenance sounds great on paper, and it offers great promise. However, it is a problematic buy-in for companies faced with facilities management budget cuts. Organizations that do deploy preventive maintenance hit a wall with limited resources. Time and personnel are unavailable. A part is on back order. The only solution is to avoid the problem before it occurs. That is where leveraging data comes into play and adds value.

Data helps Facilities Managers determine when maintenance should be performed by monitoring asset function. Factors invisible to the naked eye, such as energy use, allude to internal performance. Eliminating a problem as soon as it begins to affect asset function or condition effectively lowers maintenance spend.

Cost avoidance in maintenance holds potential in other areas too, providing resources for expanding amenities and keeping costs under control for consumers. As consumers realize these benefits, they are more likely to return. It creates a win-win for everyone involved.

Kickstart Your Preventive Maintenance Program

A preventive maintenance program is no longer merely a bonus for companies that have extra funds to spare. It is an essential component for any quality facilities management department, and lost time in implementation will result in unnecessary costs. Fortunately, Facilities Managers can streamline the program's implementation and reap its rewards by choosing an accredited facilities management service provider.

Eric Crabb

Eric Crabb