03 May 2019

7 Steps to Move your Facilities Management Operations from Reactive to Proactive


Reactive maintenance has always been the stock-in-trade for most organizations’ Facilities Management operations. This is because it seems the easiest to run with, requires less staff, less planning and a lower initial investment.

Over time, its inconsistency results in unexpected expenses associated with complete loss of critical equipment, overtime manhour and safety issues due to improper review of standard procedures and safety requirements. The truth is using a reactive maintenance strategy is simply kicking the can down the road.

While reactive maintenance is not bad, because breakdown is almost inevitable in Facilities Management operations, making it your core maintenance plan can be costly for the business.

Conversely, preventive maintenance is to prevent equipment failure before it occurs. A standard preventive maintenance plan increases the lifespan of your assets; reduce the need for repair or replacement, and consequently improve the performance of business bottom line.

A recent report from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) on Determining the Economic Value of Preventive Maintenance states that on average preventive maintenance results in a 545% return on investment (RoI). With a RoI like this, you simply can’t afford not to have a preventive maintenance plan in place. This speaks to the importance of making preventive maintenance a major part of your Facilities Management operations strategy.

To make preventive maintenance the bedrock of your Facilities Management strategy; Here are seven important steps.

Step 1: Take an Inventory of your assets and equipment (Facility Condition Assessment)

The best way to understand your facility’s portfolio and its future needs is through a facility condition assessment (FCA). Going through your facility and taking an inventory of your equipment and assets may seem time-consuming, but it’s essential to the success of your preventive maintenance (PM) plan. Create a list of all the assets and equipment in your facility. Record basic information such as equipment ID, model, serial numbers, along with associated elements like operating manuals, purchase or warranty details, and equipment life expectancy. This information will help you later track costs of maintenance and help determine whether a piece of equipment needs to be replaced or repaired. If you don’t know what you have, there’s no way you can to build an effective program to look after it.

Step 2: Make Decisions on the Status of your Assets

Decide on what assets or equipment should be given priority in your preventive maintenance schedule, this can be done by determining the importance and usability of the equipment’s. Once you’ve determined your highest priority assets and how they are performing; and set a reasonable operational goal. Compare your facility’s actual performance to your operational goals to determine which assets or equipment need the most attention in order for you to achieve your operational goals.

Step 3: Develop Preventive Maintenance Tasks

Once you have identified which assets deserve the most priority, you need to decide which preventive maintenance tasks to include in your schedule for each asset. You’ll need to pull information from the equipment and asset manufacturers’ recommendations. With a clear idea of the required resources, you can start to develop time estimates for maintenance of these assets and equipment.

Step 4: Design a Preventive Maintenance Schedule

Start your list of preventive maintenance (PM) tasks ranked by priority. Higher-priority tasks generally have longer intervals, require more time and resources, and may need to happen at specific times. For example, they might happen quarterly or annually. Lower-priority tasks happen at shorter intervals. For maximum productivity, use lower-priority preventative maintenance tasks to fill the gaps between the higher-priority tasks that take longer to complete. Creating a balanced schedule allows you to better accommodate on-demand maintenance.

Step 5: Track your Preventive Maintenance Schedule in a CMMS

Implementing a Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) such as Maintenance Connection, would help for proper tracking and scheduling of your preventive maintenance (PM) plan. A good CMMS enables you to track the status of preventive maintenance work on your assets and the associated costs of that work in one comprehensive system. The CMMS also helps track your asset checklists in your preventive maintenance procedures. This is to ensure the work is completed in a defined order and nothing is missed.

Step 6: Measure the outcome of your Plan

Facilities Asset Maintenance is dynamic, you will need to analyze the results of your preventive maintenance plan, make adjustments and improvement if need be. Capture data from your CMMS and use it to analyze the results of your PM. Three major things to look out for in your analysis are:

  • The effectiveness of your preventive maintenance plan
  • Return on Asset Investment
  • Root cause of critical equipment failure.
  • Budget Optimization

Developing and implementing a preventative maintenance plan is a journey that needs a consistent approach. But once it’s in place, the long-term benefits of a CMMS-backed program far outweigh the costs and stress of the reactive, fire-brigaded maintenance approach.

Several of our Facility Maintenance Certificate Courses will help you learn about data collection analysis and application, and information to transform your facility maintenance plan into a reliability-based one.

With our bespoke training programs, you will also learn how to create a preventive maintenance plan that solves issues that are peculiar to your Facility.  Find out more about our courses Here. t

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