We all know the benefits of preventive maintenance and how it forms the very backbone of the maintenance management process. In simple terms, preventive maintenance attempts to prevent or limit potential future issues or breakdowns by carrying out simpler, less involved tasks - today. By eliminating system failures or breakdowns, costs of replacement or emergency repairs can be reduced offering a more effective method of managing maintenance within your facility.
All things need inspections and it stands to reason that if left unattended, systems are sure to fail at some point. Unexpected breakdowns can cause equipment rentals, or emergency contractor repairs to be much higher in cost than the comparative task of inspecting and fixing the little things when they are still just little things. By having an effective preventive maintenance plan in place, you are sure to gain some impressive cost savings and improve your system's efficiency and reliability among other long term benefits.
So what can you expect from a good preventive maintenance plan?
1 - Better Overall Appearance
It's obvious that when you wash your car, it looks nicer. I know what you're thinking, looks aren't everything, but by maintaining a better overall appearance of your equipment, you can easily notice when your equipment is having some kind of a problem. If an oil leak occurs and sprays over an already dirty generator, you might not notice the difference. Whereas, if you have been keeping a clean surface on your machinery, the problem will be noticed fairly quickly without longer term, more serious issues occurring.
2 - Less Equipment Failure
Equipment failure can be disastrous to the workings of a system in certain cases. Imagine a boiler failing to properly heat the necessary water in a large hotel, or in a nursing home's laundry room. Back ups are often put in place, but most times, back ups are temporary, less efficient models of their masters. Delays, added costs and added stress will play havoc on your ability to manage an effective schedule of maintenance. Everything else will suffer because one equipment failed at the wrong time.
3 - Increased Safety
Nothing is more serious than the safety of your tenants or visitors. As far as we are concerned, safety should fall to the number one reason why you should have an effective preventive maintenance plan for your facility. Doing those simple walk-arounds, inspecting the fire prevention equipment, making sure exit lights are working are all part of a routine safety plan that each facility should enforce strictly. As well, maintaining proper equipment can also lead to a safer workplace for your employees as they handle reliable machinery that is inspected and maintained periodically.
4 - Cost Reductions from Emergency Repairs
On a business level, preventive maintenance will help your bottom line in so many ways. If you practice regular scheduled maintenance, emergency repairs will play a major role in creating a shortfall in your budget planning. Imagine trying to get a contractor to come into your facility to fix a piece of equipment in the middle of the night, it could end up costing you double time. Or, not having a contingency plan in place for equipment breakdowns may cause you to have to rent temporary equipment at three times the cost because of the short notice. Plus, you might need to bring in extra help for your maintenance team, so that they can deal with the problem at hand, not accounting for potential overtime it may cost you for keeping them at work longer and getting the job done. Not all emergencies can be avoided, but you can definitely put the odds back in your favour by conducting regular preventive maintenance.
5 - Increased Utilization
The number one, most expensive, cost for maintaining a facility outside of labor is equipment replacement. The key to a good preventive maintenance plan is to minimize the amount of times you will need to replace equipment within the lifespan of the facility. An HVAC unit being replaced every 15 years as opposed to every 10 years, will save your facility thousands of dollars. Increasing the cycle of equipment replacement with routine maintenance is a return on investment that is sure to bring you savings.
Generally, we all agree that preventive maintenance works, but most times, people have trouble seeing how much impact it can have on an organization at every level. Costs, safety and a happy productive environment all make great excuses for establishing a good effective plan that works. Now the question only remains, what kind of CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Software) will you use to help you with your scheduling?