Planned Maintenance Myths

A facilities manager and a contractor look at an ipad discussing something and smile

Planned maintenance helps organisations to reduce risk, and helps facilities teams get ahead of their obligations. However, for some organisations, getting started with planned maintenance can feel overwhelming.

In this blog, we look at some of the often-cited challenges to planned maintenance, and bust some common myths.

Myth 1: Planned maintenance is impossible without good data

Typically, there’s a misunderstanding about the amount of information required to get started with planned maintenance. While good quality, accessible data is beneficial, it is possible to get started with less data than you would expect.

If you’re just getting started with planned maintenance, the base data requirement is identifying critical systems.

When getting started with planned maintenance, teams can fall into the trap of thinking every system is critical. Critical systems are those which are directly linked to compliance obligations.

Identifying critical systems starts with understanding your compliance requirements and permissions to operate. Critical systems are those like fire safety systems and emergency lighting systems, as without these, there can be no occupancy in the facility.

Myth 2: Setting up planned maintenance takes a lot of time

While there is a time investment to get started with planned maintenance, over time, it saves teams tons of time. For teams struggling to keep up with reactive works, setting up planned maintenance schedules for everything at once is unrealistic.

The priority for planned maintenance is implementing schedules for critical systems and assets, those that are directly linked to compliance. Once planned maintenance schedules are in place for these systems, organisations often seek to expand to other systems.

Effective prioritisation can help to break down the time investment barrier. Starting with critical systems and expanding gradually over time allows teams to progressively unlock time savings.

Myth 3: Planned maintenance is costly

There is an associated cost to putting planned maintenance schedules in place, in the same way any maintenance comes with a cost. For some organisations, incurring the cost upfront can create a perceived barrier to getting started.

However, viewing costs over the long term tells a different story. By implementing planned maintenance schedules, unexpected costs are minimised, as are the potential reputational impacts of unplanned outages.

While planned maintenance does involve a cost, it isn’t a cost that would be avoided. Over time, planned maintenance can lead to reduced spend, through minimising reliance on costly reactive maintenance.  

Myth 4: Planned maintenance is only possible for large organisations

Organisations of all sizes can benefit from implementing planned maintenance. Every facility will have compliance obligations that must be met to attain permissions to operate.

Effective planned maintenance, implemented with practical software supports lean teams by automating some key activities. For example, FMI Works will automatically create work orders in line with planned maintenance schedules.

Simple automations like this make planned maintenance more accessible by taking on some of the heavy lifting. Planned maintenance allows teams to do more, with the same resources, which helps teams of all sizes optimise their processes.

Myth 5: Contractors look after planned maintenance

While many planned maintenance tasks are outsourced to contractors, planned maintenance remains the responsibility of the organisation. If the organisation fails to meet its compliance obligations, the liability is on the organisation, not the contractor.

Relying solely on contractors for planned maintenance can also create information gaps. While they might look after specific systems, it’s important that the organisation can see exactly what work is happening. For some, it is also important that ownership of asset and system data remains with the organisation itself.