Preventive Maintenance 101: A Beginner's Guide to Prolonging the Useful Life of Assets

What is Preventive Maintenance?

I think we all know the importance of Preventive Maintenance (PM), but just for the sake of illustration... How long would your car last if you never changed the oil? Who wants to have to buy a new car every 30,000 miles or so? Oil changes are a small example of preventive maintenance that help your car reach its maximum useful life, and provide you the greatest return on your investment.

Now, extrapolate this to an entire portfolio of properties, facilities, building systems, components, infrastructure, landscaping and the thousands of assets that a large organization typically owns and operates. Facilities professionals understand the importance of preventive maintenance, and the potential costs of not staying on top of things with a preventive maintenance program.

Facilities preventive maintenance is a systematic approach to building operations that aims to predict and prevent equipment failure before it occurs. To accomplish this goal, facilities personnel perform routine inspections, maintain and repair assets to ensure they operate and provide value for as long as the manufacturer intended. Properly functioning equipment allows facilities staff to focus less on corrective maintenance and more on upcoming maintenance tasks and time-sensitive work orders.


What are the Benefits of a PM Program?

There are many benefits to being strategic and systematic with your preventive maintenance program, which tend to compound the longer you stick with it. Here are just a few of the benefits your facilities teams can expect to realize:

  • Decreased equipment downtime
  • Fewer costly repairs
  • Less overtime expense
  • Longer life expectancy for for assets
  • Better return on investment in assets
  • Improved safety, mitigating risk
  • Greater ability to be proactive vs. reactive
  • Enhanced occupant satisfaction


What's Key to a Successful Facilities PM Program?

The key to a successful preventive maintenance program is for facility managers to dedicate time and resources to establishing the program and committing to it long-term. Timely, well-planned preventive maintenance results in a significant return on your investment. Whereas operating without a PM program results in reactionary (crisis) management as breakdown repair becomes your normal business activity. A reactionary approach results in high penalty costs that take an ever-increasing chunk out of your operating budget.

Of course, the best way to manage a preventive maintenance program that your team won’t abandon a year later is to invest in Maintenance Management Software. The good news is there are solutions available that not only help with your preventive maintenance program, but also take a holistic approach to your Facility & Asset Lifecycle Management. Some solutions --like FacilityForce-- are even Integrated Workplace Management Systems (IWMS) that help you get to Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) including purchase, installation, operating, maintenance and energy costs.

Specific to preventive maintenance, FacilityForce Operate provides a proactive and systematic way to stay on top of your PMs. Simply establish your preventive maintenance standards, create templates that define the details of the work to be performed including frequency and required materials, and then let the PM Generator do its magic creating preventive maintenance work orders that ensure you maximize the useful life of your assets.