Potential Pitfalls in Planned Maintenance

A facilities manager speaks on the phone in front of a laptop looking stressed

For many organisations, planned maintenance is a way to reduce risk exposure. However, relying on manual processes to execute planned maintenance schedules creates scope for error. Leveraging a systems-based approach for planned maintenance reduces the likelihood of several potential errors in planned maintenance processes.

Ensuring planned maintenance activities are supported with documented processes and a systems-based approach is extremely important. Despite this, many planned maintenance strategies rely on an individual’s memory, calendar reminders, or across multiple excel spreadsheets.

By centralising planned maintenance processes and bringing all data into a single source of truth, the organisation can significantly improve planned maintenance processes.

Reduced human error

Despite best efforts, human error is unavoidable, and the consequences of those errors could be catastrophic. For example, a missed inspection of a critical system could put at risk required permits to occupy, or worse, endanger lives.

Simple automations available in a systems-based approach help to keep planned maintenance schedules on track. In FMI Works, planned maintenance can be scheduled in advance, and work orders automatically created and distributed as required.  

This helps to keep that schedule on track, reducing the likelihood of works being missed or neglected.

Reduced knowledge loss

If a few individuals are key to ensuring planned maintenance schedules stay on track, they represent points of failure in the process. If those key people get sick, take holidays, or simply decide to change jobs, critical information disappears with them.

Adopting a systems-based approach helps to create repeatable, scalable processes for implementing planned maintenance schedules.  

Clearly documented processes that can be easily accessed manage these single points of failure. Ensuring the organisations critical planned maintenance schedules are adhered to, even if key individuals are absent.

For those key individuals with the knowledge, having a system means they will be able to take a holiday and “clock off”, without interruption or worrying about problems upon their return.

Improved reporting

Planned maintenance helps to ensure critical systems meet minimum compliance requirements. Being able to prove that the work was conducted, and that those requirements were met, is crucial for business continuity. 

Improving the visibility over planned maintenance activities helps to ensure important information is available when it is needed. Bringing all planned maintenance activities into one platform reduces the chance of something being overlooked or neglected. 

Improved visibility also helps when communicating with key stakeholders. Reporting is critical for compliance, and providing the right information to the right people, at the right time, enables better business decisions.

Centralising planned maintenance schedules into one place feeds information on those works back into the system, supporting more informed decision making.

Avoid over-reliance on contractors

Planned maintenance works are often outsourced to contractors. However, your organisation is still accountable for ensuring inspections meet compliance requirements and happen in accordance with the required standard and schedule. Without proper visibility and reporting, the organisation is relying too heavily on contractors doing the right thing at the right time.

Complete reliance on contractors for critical systems data can also make it incredibly difficult to change contractors down the line. Without being able to tell if contractors are meeting their obligations, it’s impossible to tell if you are getting value out of the partnership.