Maintenance strategies are a balance between the costs of maintenance and the costs of downtime or failure. Here are some things to consider.
How to set up a planned maintenance schedule
How do you create a planned and preventative (PPM) maintenance schedule? Well, this article helps you think about the requirements and potential benefits.
There is much research as to the benefits of setting up a planned maintenance schedule. Indeed, we have written about it previously here on the Homyze blog.
First, a simple definition:
Planned maintenance (or planned and preventative maintenance, hence PPM) is defined as any maintenance activity that is scheduled in advance.
You can read more about what PPM is here, and there are a number of different types of planned maintenance, but for the purposes of this article it is perhaps most useful to think about it in contrast to its opposite which is reactive maintenance. Reactive maintenance is undertaken in response to an issue such as a leak or equipment failure - planned maintenance means periodically checking that pipework is in good working order prior to a leak occurring.
Now that you are convinced of the returns from adopting a planned maintenance strategy (or PPM), what are the necessary steps for putting your plans into action?
Step 1: Allocate the required resources
In order to set up and successfully implement a planned maintenance schedule, there will be some work required upfront. As above, this is work that will deliver returns over a long period of time, but it still requires an initial investment.
The first step would be to decide who is going to have ultimate responsibility for the planned maintenance program. Do you have an in-house facilities or estate manager? Does this fall under your operations team? Have you outsourced maintenance and just want to ensure that PPM forms part of this delivery. Making sure that someone owns this initiative hugely increases the probability of success.
Next, you need to decide how you are going to record the necessary information. We have seen many maintenance schedules that have been created in Microsoft Excel and we would loudly support this over the alternative of not doing anything but there are a number of CAFM systems (such as Cleverly) that can make managing PPM much easier and have a lot of additional functionality.
Step 2: Inventory your asset base
In order to implement a planned maintenance schedule, the next thing to do is to record all the plant and equipment in your site(s) and property(s). You can have someone produce an asset survey for you, but essentially this means going through your facility and listing all the equipment you’re considering including in your preventive maintenance plan, tagging the equipment as you go. Assets can be tagged using barcodes or QR codes and the better systems will also allow you to place them on a stored floor plan.
Record the following details as you go:
- Make and model of the equipment
- Serial number
- Basic specification and capabilities
- Asset number, brass tag number, or unit number
- Asset category (e.g. HVAC, plumbing, etc)
- The location of the equipment
- The responsible department/owner
This information will help you later track costs (and determine the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an asset) and help determine whether a piece of equipment needs to be replaced now.
Take note of the equipment’s currentcondition, and rate its level of priority in relation to your overall operation. This is referred to as a condition survey of your assets.
Step 3: Decide which assets to include in your planned maintenance schedule
As discussed previously, planned maintenance has a cost associated and whilst it can offer very attractive returns on investment, there are some assets that do not warrant the expense. For example, there is no point in undertaking planned maintenance on a domestic toaster as the costs involved in attending will outweigh the replacement costs.
Not every piece of equipment should be added to your preventive maintenance plan. Even where the relevant asset is high value, some equipment will be just too old and worn out, and reactive maintenance may actually be a more cost-efficient method in these cases. Look at the cost of repairs or replacement, how often this maintenance is typically performed, and what level of priority the equipment has.
A good candidate for inclusion in your preventive maintenance schedule will have the following characteristics:
- The repair/replacements costs are high
- Maintenance has to be performed routinely
- The equipment is key/critical to your company’s success (e.g. ovens in a restaurant)
You will still find that the asset register you have created offers a great degree of insight. With this condition survey you can better forecast the replacement of assets to ensure that you minimise unexpected expenses.
Step 4: Decide on the maintenance strategy
In addition to deciding which assets to include in your planned maintenance schedule, you also need to determine the framework to which you will undertake planned maintenance. Some maintenance occurs with a frequency that is determined by regulation whilst others are based on frameworks such as SFG 20. In certain situations, maintenance may be required at a frequency and of a type specified by a manufacturer in order to maintain the validity of a warranty and in many cases it is left to either the client or the contractor to exercise judgement.
Consult the O&M (operating and maintenance) manuals for the assets that are to be included in your schedule in the first instance.
Step 5: Monitor the outcomes
Planned maintenance, working in conjunction with our compliance tasks (or CPPM), should provide a solid foundation for your maintenance strategy and lead to benefits of reduced spend and lower equipment downtime. But how do you know?
The answer is to monitor.
What has happened to your maintenance spend and the useful life of your asset base? Are all the required maintenance tasks actually being performed?
Only by being able to answer these questions can you be assured that planned maintenance is delivering the benefits it potentially offers.
At Homyze, we believe that putting together a solid planned maintenance schedule is a strong statement of intent and a good starting point. It forces us (or our clients) to think about the asset base and its role in allowing clients to perform their business functions. It brings structure to maintenance that might otherwise be overwhelmed with reactive issues.
It is not the only solution, but it is part of the total solution.
If you would like to discuss planned maintenance, or anything else in the world of facilities management and property maintenance, get in touch.