A run-to-fail methodology, where maintenance is performed after a problem is discovered, is like refusing to visit the dentist for a cleaning and then only going in once you have a painful cavity. Instead, servicing a building's equipment with a standardized preventative maintenance program will help you avoid an unnecessary service interruption. In the long run, this program can improve the performance and extend the life of the equipment at your property.

Building a preventative maintenance program from scratch is labor- and time-intensive, but the money saved in the long run is worth the initial investment. To help you gain a stronger understanding of what to look for in a preventative maintenance program and provider, here are some relevant questions and answers.

How does a preventative maintenance plan benefit your organization?

First and foremost, if you are going to invest in a preventative maintenance program, you need to know the benefits. The main priority of a preventative maintenance program is to keep your costs as low as possible by keeping your equipment in high-functioning condition. In fact, some pieces of equipment, including components of HVAC systems, plumbing and electrical in dry locations, can last up to 30 years or more with care from a consistent, accurate, detail-oriented commitment to the maintenance project. 

Here are some of the main highlights of a preventative maintenance program:

  • It decreases equipment downtime, and the overall number of major repairs is reduced. 
  • Better maintenance leads to an increased life span of assets to eliminate premature replacement of machinery and equipment.
  • It decreases overtime dedicated to repairing or replacing breakdowns and more economical use of maintenance workers.
  • It improves overall safety and quality conditions for all involved. 

If you avoid the “run-to-failure” methodology, which ultimately ends in machine replacement, your primary costs are determined by labor and the number of machines and utilities that need to be evaluated. 

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What does a comprehensive preventative maintenance program look like?

Not all preventative maintenance programs look the same. Some tasks are done daily, while others are done weekly, monthly or annually. Ultimately, the program should be based on accuracy and consistency. 

Although a quality program can seem overwhelming, breaking it down into three broader components makes it more manageable:

  • Equipment list: This list can include equipment, such as an HVAC system, plumbing, lighting or machinery, but the building itself or the landscape of a property can be considered equipment as well.  
  • Task list: Similarly, while a task list can include inspections or repairs to a piece of equipment, it also includes contacting outside vendors, such as a fire alarm company or electrical company to perform infrared scanning. 
  • Schedule: As mentioned above, the tasks can be varied in approach and timing, but the schedule should remain consistent and monitored to ensure the program is running efficiently. 

A preventative maintenance program can be internal or external. Facilities maintenance providers such as Able Services can adapt to a site's preventative maintenance program or transition a facility to our partner, Angus AnyWhere. Able Services also has experience deploying preventative maintenance plans at facilities with long-term deferred maintenance. It's never too late to do a facility audit.

What are the best practices of a preventative maintenance plan? 

When choosing a third-party facility maintenance provider, it’s important to understand their approach to creating and implementing preventative maintenance as well as the organizational equipment and procedures in place to execute a smooth, efficient plan.

Here are some of the best practices of an efficient preventative maintenance program:

  • Perform ongoing information gathering on equipment: Consistent inspection and analysis of equipment should be performed to determine the working conditions of the equipment and to identify issues as they arise. This isn’t a one-time effort in the beginning but rather an ongoing process.
    • Run a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS): A CMMS creates a virtual maintenance framework on which to base your preventative maintenance program. This allows you to set up maintenance tasks, schedule inspections, assign work orders, and communicate and collaborate with all maintenance team members.  
  • Monitor equipment usage: This can be accomplished by implementing performance monitoring devices that collect valuable performance data, either in real time or at scheduled intervals.
  • Create a preventative maintenance program designed by expert engineers: By incorporating engineers’ insights into the inner workings of the assets, your preventative maintenance program can be customized to the unique maintenance needs of a facility.

Are you ready to partner with a provider with a plan?

Luckily, you have the opportunity to enter a partnership with a third-party facility maintenance company that seeks to extend the life of an asset and save you money through a comprehensive preventative maintenance program

With experience providing services to over one billion square feet of facilities in the U.S., Able Services has delivered preventative maintenance to both single buildings and national portfolios. When entrusted with a client’s infrastructure, Able Services endeavors to preserve their assets so that the company doesn’t run into any hidden costs in the form of replacements. 

By partnering with us, you will receive consistent, accurate maintenance of your equipment and facilities. Our technology platforms are state-of-the-art and include real-time, web-based preventive maintenance and work order systems designed to bring value to our customers.

For more information and value in the form of thought leadership, visit our 2021 trends page. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

2021 Trends Infographic