How to Do Preventive Maintenance Right

prioritize preventive maintenance

There are exciting aspects of running a business – like creative marketing and even sales. Then there are the laborious yet important aspects – like preventive maintenance. But if you want to grow a successful company from the ground up, you have to pay attention to these latter tasks, too.

The Benefits of Preventive Maintenance

The old mantra used to be, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!” But if you’re still living by this principle in today’s business world, your company’s days of being profitable are numbered. Today’s most successful and profitable companies prioritize preventive maintenance, and it’s clear why. Benefits include:

  • Longer lifespan. This might be the most important benefit of preventive maintenance. By extending the lifespan of your assets, you lower costs and avoid unnecessary interruptions.

  • Cost savings. Did you know that unplanned maintenance usually costs 3x-9x more than planned maintenance? So while you might feel like you’re spending more upfront, the reality is that you’re preventing future unplanned repairs that would be far more expensive. Maintenance will be required either now or later – choosing now makes it less expensive.

  • Less downtime. Few things interrupt a business quite like a breakdown. And depending on the issue, it could take hours, days, or even weeks to resolve. That’s enough to put a chokehold on your profitability.

  • More efficiency. Regular preventive maintenance keeps systems and equipment functioning as they should. This increase in efficiency leads to better productivity.

  • Safer. Heavy machinery can be dangerous when it’s not properly maintained – possibly resulting in serious injury or death. Regular maintenance ensures all parts and systems are in tip-top shape so that everyone is safe.

Every situation is different, but preventive maintenance is always a wise investment. It’ll feel unnecessarily expensive at times, but the long-term ROI is clear. Stay disciplined and you’ll get positive results.

Tips for Better Preventive Maintenance in Your Biz

Preventive maintenance sounds great in theory, but how do you actually implement a solid plan that affords you the aforementioned benefits? Here are three specific elements to focus on:

  • Identify the Right Tasks

It’s imperative that you focus on preventive maintenance tasks that actually prevent specific failures.

As UpKeep explains, “Half of every dollar companies spend on preventive maintenance programs are actually wasted, often because the tasks maintenance crews perform don’t actually prevent anything. When creating your PM plan, focus each task on preventing a specific failure mode.”

There’s always going to be some element of trial and error with preventive maintenance. However, if you’re able to zero in on the right tasks, your results will instantly improve. The best way to do this is by studying which parts of your equipment and systems break down most frequently. You can then reverse engineer the process from that point.

  • Implement the Right Technology

The second step is to implement the right technology to address these areas of concern. For example, if you know that one of your biggest problems in maintaining fleet vehicles for your company is having the right parts in stock, you’ll want to invest in fleet maintenance software that enables you to track inventory with real-time reports, etc.

The right technology isn’t always the newest or most expensive. So much of it has to do with the fit. You need technology that carefully integrates and aligns with your existing technology stack. Otherwise, the friction of trying to fit a “square peg” into a “round hole” will cause more problems than it solves.

  • Hire the Right People

Finally, you need the right people managing the right technology. Hire people who show a proclivity for being conscientious and curious. You want individuals who aren’t afraid to get down in the weeds and help you figure out precisely what’s going on. We call these individuals “A-Players.”

If you’re hiring someone specifically for a maintenance position, it’s helpful to go with someone who already has experience. Not only will this allow for a smoother integration, but it may also lead to a fresh injection of new ideas that you hadn’t previously considered within the silo of your organization.

Adding it All Up

preventive maintenance is the long game. It’s not always fun or rewarding. (In fact, it often feels like a waste of time and resources in the moment.) But when you look at the big picture, the benefits are clear. Here’s to buckling down and doing the gritty work now, so that you can reap the rewards for years to come!

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