The Benefits of Preventative Maintenance

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Connex, the industry association for facilities professionals at multi-site retailers, recently released their 2019 Retail Facilities Maintenance Industry Overview Benchmarking Report. The report does a great job of highlighting the health of the industry, pointing out where the industry is currently challenged, and detailing what the future holds. While there is plenty of useful information, their data around preventative maintenance was truly insightful.

For the companies surveyed, Connex reports that preventative maintenance is 33% of all facilities activities and 31% of maintenance budgets, while corrective maintenance – a.k.a. reactive maintenance – is 67% of all facilities activities and 69% of their maintenance budgets. While those who have been in the industry for a while may not be surprised at those numbers, they do reveal some significant opportunities for improvement.

Preventative Maintenance programs are focused on increasing asset lifetime and preventing excess wear-and-tear or untimely equipment failures.  We also know from previous Connex (PRSM at the time) studies that preventative maintenance is, on average, 1/3 the cost of reactive maintenance (e.g., ~$200 per visit versus ~$600 for reactive calls). 

Despite this, Connex also reports that only 39% of multi-site operators have a preventative maintenance plan as a part of their sustainability strategy.

These statistics point strongly to opportunities for improved equipment up-time and reduced overall maintenance costs by shifting more dollars to preventative maintenance programs in order to spend less on reactive service calls.

The challenge for our industry to do this may be partly rooted in human psychology.  Because preventative maintenance programs are guaranteed to spend the money allocated to them – it’s part of the annual plan — it may be hard for many organizations to take the “leap of faith” that increasing this budget may actually decrease overall maintenance spend.  However, the data from the Connex reports argues quite loudly that this is exactly what facilities teams should be doing.

Maybe a little technology can help organizations get there.  For example, SiteSage can pro-actively identify HVAC units in need of repair before they cause significant disruption to operations – enabling facilities teams to improve the effectiveness of preventative maintenance programs.  SiteSage can also be used to verify preventative repairs have been made and were effective – again reducing the likelihood of a return, reactive (and expensive) maintenance call.

How are you managing equipment and executing your preventative maintenance strategy?

Contact us if you want to learn more about how multi-site facilities teams are using SiteSage to increase efficiency and reduce maintenance and operating costs.