The Role of CMMS in Preventive Maintenance (PM)
As companies move toward faster and better ways of doing things, increasing productivity and efficiency while reducing costs have become top priorities. Companies are realizing that working in a reactive mode to manage their business is very costly and time-consuming. Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software plays a critical role in today’s operations in helping companies move from reactive maintenance to proactive preventive maintenance.
Reactive maintenance, often referred to as breakdown maintenance, is a reflex strategy — if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” Repairs are performed at the point when equipment fails. This is a very costly approach for an organization due to unplanned production downtime; damaged machinery; “catch up” overtime expenses; as well as potential fines, clean-up costs, and injuries. Ideally, this method should only be performed on parts that are inexpensive and easy to replace.
Preventive Maintenance (PM)
Planned maintenance, also referred to as scheduled maintenance or preventive maintenance (PM), is an organized designed Property, Plant and Equipment (PPE) preservation program. Organizations that aim to be competitive often use CMMS software where maintenance tasks are performed routinely in order to avoid larger, costly fixes down the line. Preventive Maintenance ensures business continuity. Preventive Maintenance improves technician availability and productivity, complements the management of budgets and expenses, delivers more control over assets, reduces overtime hours, results in fewer injuries, increases efficiency, and it extends equipment lifespan. In essence, Preventive Maintenance lowers costs, grows profits, and yields greater returns on investments.
We all know that, in reality, reactive maintenance isn’t going away. A CMMS solution will help you control your operations and costs, but no matter how good of a maintenance program you may have, assets have the potential to still fail unexpectedly and require reactive maintenance. With a strong Preventive Maintenance program in place to handle the larger, more complex and expensive equipment, reactive maintenance costs should be at a minimum. A robust Preventive Maintenance plan coupled with a managed parts stock inventory and linked through an electronic work order system (i.e., other features of an advanced CMMS solution), will help get issues resolved quickly while controlling costs and limiting downtime.
Today’s PPE Facility Managers recognize the value and benefits of Preventive Maintenance and are looking for that one centralized solution that will help them manage their operations. They desire a powerful CMMS solution that provides tracking, monitoring and analyzing of data (for example, meter reading through a CMMS Application Programming Interface or API). They want a CMMS solution that will relate all maintenance activities and events, across all equipment and assets, including Preventive Maintenance and inventory management, to specific repair work and inspections.
Why is Preventive Maintenance (PM) better than Reactive Maintenance? What are the benefits?
Reactive maintenance can be very costly and time-consuming.
• Unscheduled downtime can result in idle employee time
• Pausing or stopping production
• Typically more damaged parts and more expensive damage to equipment, than if properly maintained
• Missed deadlines
• Damaging the branding of consumer-facing businesses
• Increased labor expense due to “catch up” overtime
• Waiting for parts and hoping they are in inventory
• Additional shipping charges for overnight replacement parts
• Higher costs associated with parts acquired on an emergency or expedited basis
A farsighted Preventive Maintenance (PM) program is designed to avoid or mitigate all of these problems through strategically scheduled (i.e., controlled) maintenance tasks using a CMMS software solution.
• This saves companies money because there is less unplanned equipment and employee downtime.
• There is less chance of equipment failure and those potential expensive extraneous expenditures including clean-up costs, fines, disability compensation, damaged reputation/branding, etc.
• Because organizations are prepared, parts will be there when needed, reducing unnecessary purchases and shipping costs.
Poorly maintained equipment affects the overall operation and work environment. It can create an unsafe workplace with the potential of increased employee injuries. Having a Preventive Maintenance plan in place, helps keep maintenance schedules up-to-date and improves safety, resulting in fewer job injuries and accidents. This can also reduce worker’s compensation and business liability insurance.
Increased Equipment Efficiency
A CMMS software solution can help plan routine maintenance and also help companies prepare for both internal and external compliance inspections. Keeping on top of small repairs reduces the probability of them developing into larger issues and helps equipment to run much more efficiently and for extended periods.
Decreased Equipment Downtime
Having the ability to schedule Preventive Maintenance gives you the flexibility to plan downtime that is more convenient with both your agenda and your employees’ time. There is less impact on production or other tasks that need to get done.
Improved Reliability and Customer Satisfaction
Having a Preventive Maintenance plan in place can increase customer satisfaction through positive experiences. That is, expectations of reliability are fully met. Customers can count on your company to deliver products, materials, or services on time and with the desired quality.
Prolong Asset Life
Most equipment is very expensive, and the better a company cares for its equipment, the longer it will last. Preventive Maintenance prolongs the life of equipment so a company can get more hours out of its capital resulting in reduced costs and larger profits and greater returns on investments.
The numerous benefits of Preventive Maintenance are why many maintenance managers are shifting from reactive maintenance to strategically scheduled Preventive Maintenance plans which are meant to prevent problems and optimize equipment. Today’s CMMS software helps facilitate Preventive Maintenance by helping schedule maintenance tasks and keeping organized historical records of all inspections and repairs. Preventive Maintenance is the best option for companies that want to keep equipment running stronger and longer. These progressive companies understand that a long-term Preventive Maintenance plan, coupled with a CMMS software solution, is required to stay competitive as well as compliant.