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How do Preventive Maintenance and/or Predictive Maintenance Programs Help Me?

Updated on February 7, 2012

A PM/PdM Program provides a lot of benefits to your organization. Below are the ones we will discuss:

  • Helps Disprove Compliance and Negligence Issues
  • Helps Defend Operational Priorities, Budgets, & Staffing
  • Improves Client Perceptions
  • Impacts Facility Valuation
  • Facilitates Insurability

Courtroom by Dave Hogg, on Flickr
Courtroom by Dave Hogg, on Flickr | Source

Disproves Compliance and Negligence Issues

Let’s use a simple example such as fire extinguishers. The National Fire Protection Association specifies that all fire extinguishers must be re-certified once per year and that they are to be inspected once per month. So what happens after a fire occurs at your facility? One of the first things state and federal regulatory agencies will want to know is whether or not the NFPA codes were being followed. Some of the best ways to show compliance is by producing your documented Fire Extinguisher program, NFPA recertification paperwork kept on-file for each extinguisher, and any PM work orders you may have generated for inspections and re-certifications. This proves intent to follow the law and keeps exorbitant fines from being levied. It also discourages negligence-seeking attorneys from pressing costly lawsuits.

Defends Operational Priorities, Budgets & Staffing

It’s no secret that when budgets become tight, it’s the maintenance department that’s usually one of the first scrutinized for cuts. Work Orders and labor entries are one of the best tools for defending budgets and staffing levels. But what happens if it’s discovered that all of your technician’s time was spent was on reactive work and not preventive work? How can you possibly show how much you spend on prevention versus the larger costs it’s helped the organization to avoid? How do you brand yourself as a professional maintenance organization when unplanned outages are standard operating practice at your facility? Preventative Maintenance programs help save jobs when budget shortages become an issue because they help keep operating costs low and optimize equipment life and reliability with your asset management software. And they show your concern for the bottom line.

Improves Client Perception

Let’s use the fire extinguisher example again. A facility occupant is walking to the restroom when she happens to see a fire extinguisher hanging on the wall. She looks at the tag and to her amazement, sees that the unit has not been inspected for several months and is well past its certification expiration date. What does this say about the maintenance crew or how safe she should feel in your building? Think a complaint is coming your way, maybe even from a regulatory agency? There’s an old inspection axiom that says “if it looks right it must be right”. A PM program can help craft the professional image of your maintenance department and give the perception that your facility is a safe, well maintained place to be.

Impacts Facility Valuation

Like your home, the value of property is determined by many things, one of which is how well it’s maintained. Being able to show a well documented PM program allows buyers, assessors and others to give your facility maximum ratings. People can’t see the pipes and wires inside walls, under foundations and in attic crawl spaces, so being able to show proof in the form of PM work orders becomes even more important. It just could be the difference between being able to sell your property, attract lessees, or obtain that all important research grant.

Facilitates Insurability

One of the best ways to keep insurance premiums low is a well-documented PM program. It may even be required by your carrier as a coverage condition. Carriers also make observations and notes during their annual facility inspections of items in disrepair, out of compliance, or for which they want to see more information. The whole purpose of the site visit is to determine risk and insurability, which determine rates. Obviously the less proactive maintenance an item receives the more chance it will fail, create a disaster, or hurt someone, which increase the likelihood of claims. So the cost of an effective PM program can end up being much smaller than the cost of insuring a poorly maintained facility. Even if you’re doing proper PM’s on your assets, the lack of a documented program will hinder your ability to prove that your facility is low risk and deserving of the lowest possible rates.

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