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Scheduled Maintenance Planning: What Is It and Why Do It?


At its core, scheduled maintenance planning is about anticipating potential issues relating to your assets, and implementing maintenance work to either prevent an issue or minimise potential impact.

A maintenance plan will specify the work to be done and who will be doing it, and it should highlight any required materials, documentation, and equipment. It also looks at why the work will be done by describing the desired outcome and how it will support operational goals.

Maintenance planning is useful for a wide variety of reasons, including efficiency gains, cost reduction, minimised downtime, and longer asset lifespans. Given this, it’s worth taking a closer look at the benefits of scheduled maintenance planning and how to perform it.

Reasons to plan asset maintenance

Overlooking the importance of a formal, scheduled maintenance process can have unwanted consequences for your organisation, including:

  • Excessive downtime - Poorly maintained equipment could be more prone to failing or malfunctioning, leading to considerable downtime and disrupting your operations.
  • Substandard quality - Inadequately maintained assets could lead to substandard products and services, which in turn could impact your reputation, bottom line, and even employee morale.
  • Inefficient maintenance - Without a plan, your maintenance technicians could be wasting time in inefficient and reactive maintenance.
  • Major repairs and higher maintenance costs - Small problems could quickly escalate into issues that need major repairs and end up costing you more. Similarly, without a proactive approach to maintenance, your enterprise could end up paying higher maintenance costs.
  • Employee injuries - Failing equipment could be associated with poor safety standards and an elevated risk of injuries.
  • Production interruptions - Constant production or operations interruptions could see your organisation missing production, sales, and revenue goals, and the impact on your bottom line could be significant.
  • Avoidable risk - Many - if not most - equipment-failure incidents could be entirely avoidable. A scheduled maintenance plan can fully address these avoidable risks.
  • Poor legal compliance - Depending on your industry, your organisation might be subject to different legal compliance obligations. Faulty equipment can lead to weak compliance outcomes, which can expose your business to further regulatory risk.

How to implement a scheduled maintenance plan

Your scheduled maintenance plan should address the what, why, and how of the work - as opposed to only the when of the work - which is only maintenance scheduling and not maintenance planning.

You should be asking:

  • What is the work to be done?
  • How will the work be done?
    • And what materials, equipment, documentation, and other resources do I need?
  • Why am I doing this work, and what are the outcomes it will deliver?

In other words, set your goals and targets for the plan.

Other things to consider include appointing a dedicated maintenance planner, defining required maintenance work processes, and documenting and communicating all instructions and feedback for jobs. Your maintenance planner plays a critical role and should be appropriately trained. Logging granular data from past maintenance jobs can assist you - and your maintenance planner - with making informed decisions for future jobs and forecasting.

Maintenance plans can include pre-defined triggers like time periods, condition assessments, and metre readings. Using an asset management software platform with full-featured maintenance planning tools can streamline the process, allowing you to set out a detailed schedule and add extra users like technicians and maintenance personnel.

If you want to find out more about how a quality asset management software platform can enhance your maintenance planning, contact Smart Asset Software today to book a free demo.


Benefits of having a maintenance plan

A formal maintenance plan could have a positive impact across nearly every facet of your organisation:

  • Equipment efficiency - By maintaining equipment efficiency, you could experience longer equipment life cycles, maximised uptime, and enhanced options. You could also have a reduced need to keep inventory like spare parts.
  • Efficient use of labour - Whether you’re working with contractors or in-house technicians, a formal plan could be conducive to a more efficient use of labour.
  • Productivity and morale - Optimised equipment can support improved operations and productivity, which in turn can raise morale among your staff.
  • Equipment value - A scheduled maintenance plan could be associated with higher residual equipment value. When the time comes for disposal, you could get more money back.
  • Best practice standards - Your business could achieve best practice standards through a plan that allows you to be proactive and accurate about maintenance, including forecasting, identifying trends, and short- to long-term planning. This could lead to better safety and compliance outcomes.
  • Excellent ROI - Preventative maintenance, which should be incorporated into any effective maintenance plan, could yield as much as 545% in ROI for your maintenance spend. An improved ROI due to maintenance planning could apply to your capital investment dollars as well, as you take better care of your equipment, achieve higher productivity, and extend life cycles.
  • Improved production quality - Well-maintained equipment could drive greater production quality outcomes, which can have a positive impact on customer satisfaction, repeat sales, revenue, and profit margins.

Getting started with a scheduled maintenance plan

A formal scheduled maintenance plan is essential for any organisation seeking to get more out of its assets while avoiding unnecessary costs, risk, and wasted time. Without a comprehensive plan, your organisation could be characterised by inefficient maintenance, poor compliance, and excessive risk. With the right maintenance plan, you could lower equipment downtime, boost production quality, and reduce the risk of things like operations interruptions and employee injuries.

An effective schedule maintenance plan should cover what’s the work, why you’re doing the work (your goals and desired outcomes), and who will carry it out. Finally, the best way to ensure your plan is comprehensive and logs all the essential data is to use a reputable asset management software platform.

Still can’t plan out your schedules? Download our brochure to discover more about our asset management solutions, or check out our blog to read more about asset management.


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