Preventive maintenance—pinpointing potential equipment failures regularly and proactively fixing them—is no longer a luxury that only large companies can afford. It's now a scalable framework and solution that can amplify the ROI and longevity of a whole range of businesses.
Many companies still accept random equipment failure as a fact of business. With an ineffective maintenance structure in place, it becomes impossible to avoid workflow disruptions and staggering losses. Most companies struggle with safety hazards and low productivity. These usually stem from a failure to streamline maintenance—but automating maintenance processes can help tackle this. Companies can schedule routinized servicing so all assets receive adequate attention and any issues are detected and communicated in a timely manner. Equipment maintenance software lets you integrate the best preventive maintenance practices into your operations. With prompt servicing, you not only sustain the functionality of your assets but also extend their lifespans. But what is preventive maintenance and how does it work? Implementing preventive maintenance the right way would mean fewer breakdowns and minimal workflow disruptions. As a result, companies can reduce their overhead costs, provide better service to their customers, and raise their profits.
What Is Preventive Maintenance?
Reactive maintenance waits for equipment to malfunction before stepping in and performing fixes. This approach has proven inefficient, expensive, and wasteful. Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, constitutes all maintenance activities performed to prevent equipment from breaking down in the first place. Leading companies utilize preventive maintenance. And why wouldn’t they? It prevents unplanned downtime and costly repairs that result from sudden equipment failure. It calls for careful scheduling and planning of maintenance prior to the repairs. In practice, a preventive maintenance schedule consists of the following: lubrication, adjustments, inspection, calibrations, replacing worn-down parts, oil changes, and repairs. Preventive maintenance can be tedious for organizations housing hundreds and thousands of assets, which is why many companies depend on equipment maintenance software to organize and implement preventive maintenance activities. Effective preventive maintenance also requires storing accurate records of all services and inspections that have been performed on a piece of equipment. It also records the lifespan of each part so that technicians can gauge replacement frequencies. Such records could also serve as vital clues for problem diagnosis when a machine is malfunctioning. Here is how you can efficiently practice preventive maintenance with an equipment maintenance system.
Schedule Tasks and Streamline Maintenance
Refrigerators are obviously critical to the operations of restaurants. As long as a refrigerator is operational, the management pays it no heed, but the moment it unexpectedly breaks down, it becomes a grave liability. A state of chaos ensues over the management and fixing the refrigeration now takes precedence over all other matters. Even when teams know about the importance of regular servicing, they tend either to forget carrying them out or to keep putting them off. Moreover, they miss the early, small signs of failure that could prevent equipment breakdown. Automating such tasks can help create a more reliable maintenance structure that the entire company can benefit from. A specialized technician can then be called up to deal with an untimely breakdown. Routine inspection and maintenance, on the other hand, don’t require specialists. Such tasks are considerably easy to perform and can be taught to regular staff. With the equipment maintenance software, you can schedule tasks and also trigger alerts for them. In addition to this, all employees can view unavailable assets. An availability calendar displays equipment currently unavailable and undergoing servicing so alternate arrangements can be made in advance. Another principle benefit of scheduling is to design tailored maintenance routines for each piece of equipment. Companies can schedule as many tasks as they like and the software accommodates them all. Users can also outline a step-by-step guide to aid proper inspection for each equipment. This decreases task complexity so any available technician can handle it.
Fewer Occurrences of Downtimes
Companies dealing with continuous production (like fast food joints) rely heavily on scheduled maintenance during slow hours. The availability of backup equipment during these hours is also crucial. An ill-timed fryer malfunction could mean that the whole business is going to come to a sinister pause. Such equipment downtimes have a cascade effect, going beyond the point of occurrence and seeping into all facets of the company. It requires a lot of time and effort to bounce back and restore normalcy. Companies lose out on customers, their reputation takes a hit, and lucrative partnerships might also suffer. The effect could multiply manifolds. It should be apparent by now that companies can no longer afford to slack off on preventive maintenance. Acquire a reliable software solution for your maintenance management and start logging data. First, prioritize assets critical to your services. Gradually, design preventive maintenance for all your equipment and log all relevant activities into the maintenance software. Track all of your repairs and calibrations and never be overwhelmed by the amount of your equipment. For instance, if a vehicle needs servicing every 30,000 miles, an alert will be sent out to relevant technicians whenever a distance of 30,000 miles is up. This ensures that companies never miss out on routine maintenance and costly downtimes can be avoided.
Automate Work Orders to Simplify Maintenance
Generate as many work orders as needed for each asset. The maintenance software automatically prompts managers and workers when it’s time for a repair. It can also be configured with multiple reminders, flexible timeframes, and other settings to ensure the work is completed on budget and time. With a user-friendly maintenance portal, employees can easily sign in and request for work assigned to them by their manager. The manager has the authority to create a work order, assign it to an employee or an outside contractor, and process requests. They can easily access the instructions, make notes, find the required parts, and close work orders using a mobile app. This means employees can be assigned tasks instantly and remotely. They can also instantly check off completed tasks so data is always up-to-date. Once a machine is fixed, the technician marks the work order as complete and a notification is sent to the manager. In this manner, all concerned personnel have information regarding pending, in process, and completed tasks.
A Final Word
Preventive maintenance is no longer a luxury only successful companies can afford, rather it’s what can define the longevity of a business. The time has come for all companies to work towards becoming more progressive and innovative in ensuring that they out-do their competition. Organizations must actively work towards establishing thorough preventive maintenance activities for all their assets so a prominent and widespread increase in productivity can be observed. Written by Momina Sohail, Communications Manager at EZOfficeInventory.