5 Reasons to Prioritise Planned Maintenance

A young female-presenting facilities manager with curly hair smiles at the camera while working on a laptop

With an endless supply of reactive work requests, it’s easy to see why planned maintenance works often fall by the wayside. Levelling up to planned maintenance requires facilities management teams to move from a reactive mindset, to a proactive mindset. It means scheduling preventive maintenance activities in advance, rather than waiting for assets to fail.

Planned maintenance is key to unlocking efficiencies and reducing risk for facilities management teams. In this blog, we’ll go over 5 reasons to prioritise planned maintenance.

#1 Improve building safety

Keeping people safe is almost always the number one priority for facilities management teams. By making time for planned maintenance, we can reduce the risk that an innocuous issue will become a hazard for facility users.

For example, it can be easy to ignore some frayed carpet or a loose tile in the face of incoming work requests. However, by continually deferring this maintenance in favour of more “urgent” requests, small issues like these can become trip hazards that create unnecessary risk to facility users.

#2 Improve compliance

Planned maintenance itself isn’t generally explicitly detailed as a compliance requirement for organisations in Australia and New Zealand. However, should an incident occur in your facility, you’ll need proof that due diligence was undertaken to reduce the risk of that incident occurring.

This is where planned maintenance comes into play. Having a planned maintenance schedule you can easily reference helps prove to auditors that any accidents are genuinely accidental.

#3 Reduce downtime

Assets breaking down is an inevitable part of facilities management. While exactly when they’ll break down, how, or why, is impossible to predict, you can be almost certain that at some point, assets left to their own devices will leave you high and dry.

It is far more likely that these breakdowns will happen when the asset is in use. When an asset is being utilised, it’s going through the repeated motions that are often the cause of breakdowns.

And when are assets most likely to be in use? You guessed it, in business hours.

Unplanned downtime tends to happen at the most inconvenient of times, when you have staff on site, and clients or customers expecting results.  

Implementing a planned maintenance strategy reduces the risk of these unplanned breakdowns, by keeping assets in the best possible shape.

#4 Maximise asset life

Keeping those assets in the best possible shape not only reduces the risk of an inconvenient, unplanned breakdown, but can extend the life of those assets.

Think of the assets in your facility like a car. Those that are regularly serviced, and appropriately cared for can easily last for 10-20 years.

However, if services are neglected, it’s run it on old, dirty oil, and worn parts not replaced, after 5 years the costs of constantly fixing it can outstrip the value of the car itself.

Even if maintenance costs remain relatively low for the asset, assets in poor condition usually produce poor results. This can in turn affect overall productivity of that asset, even if the risk of breakdown isn’t fully realised.

#5 Reduce environmental impact

Environmental considerations are high on the priority list for modern organisations and investors. Failing to care for assets results in higher than necessary levels of waste, both in the asset requiring disposal, and in the creation of its replacement.

By extending the lifecycle of your assets, you’re able to reduce the amount of times they will need to be replaced, thus reducing the overall environmental impact.

Additionally, by engaging in preventive maintenance, you can more accurately predict when an asset is coming to the end of its life. Knowing an asset will need to be replaced at a particular point creates an opportunity to research alternatives.

The bottom line

Planned maintenance helps organisations to keep facility users safer and can save the organisation thousands in the long run. However, for many facilities teams, developing and executing on a planned maintenance schedule can be out of reach due to the demands of reactive works.

Sticking to your planned maintenance program is about prioritising important work to reduce the amount of urgent work that comes your way. While it might sound easier said than done, having the right tools can put planned maintenance in reach for all facilities teams.