Proactive Facility Maintenance: Cutting Costs and Boosting Efficiency

Dec 4, 2023

Many businesses are struggling with maintenance issues such as unplanned downtime and emergency maintenance which are the top concerns for European businesses (Infraspeak, 2022). In a world where downtime is a dreaded word and efficiency is king, proactive facility maintenance isn’t just a choice—it’s a necessity.

Are you constantly grappling with unexpected breakdowns, spiraling costs, and inefficiency? Imagine flipping the script: minimizing disruptions, cutting costs, and boosting efficiency. This isn’t a distant dream; it’s an achievable reality.

Here’s what this article will walk you through:

  • The fundamentals of proactive facility maintenance
  • The power and payoff of a proactive maintenance approach
  • Tips on maximizing uptime for your machinery
  • The roadmap to an efficient machinery ecosystem
  • Smart tactics for affordable maintenance costs today.

P.S. if you’re wondering how to bring this vision to life, meet Makula. Makula turns complex asset data into actionable insights, paving the way for smarter, more profitable maintenance decisions.

What is Proactive Facility Maintenance?

Proactive facility maintenance is a strategic approach that goes beyond fixing issues as they arise. It’s about anticipating and addressing potential problems before they escalate into costly breakdowns. In this method, the key is foresight: identifying and resolving issues before they disrupt your operations.

This approach particularly shines with the integration of digitalization. By leveraging data-driven insights, proactive maintenance evolves from routine checks to a predictive, precision-based practice. It’s not just about keeping your machinery running; it’s about optimizing its performance and extending its lifespan.

Digital tools play a crucial role here, offering real-time analytics that guide maintenance decisions. The result? You’re not only safeguarding your assets but also enhancing efficiency and reducing downtime.

The 5 Types of Proactive Maintenance

Embarking on a journey of proactive maintenance means embracing strategies that predict, prevent, and prescribe. It’s a shift from reactive to proactive, ensuring your machinery is not just running, but running right. The 5 different types of proactive maintenance are:

1.    Predictive Maintenance

Predictive maintenance relies on data-driven insights and condition-monitoring equipment to predict potential failures before they happen. It employs advanced analytics to detect subtle changes, helping preempt issues and optimize maintenance schedules for improved reliability.

2.    Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is one of the most common maintenance proactive strategies, favored by 80% of maintenance   (Plant Engineering, 2018). It is designed to keep your equipment in check and resolve issues before they arise. Preventive strategies are supercharged by digitalization, making routine checks more systematic and less intrusive.

3.    Prescriptive Maintenance

Prescriptive maintenance is one of the fastest-growing maintenance strategies leveraging the Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. One of the primary reasons for its industry-wide growth is its specific recommendations for managing costs and ensuring long-term savings.

4.    Condition-Based Maintenance

Productivity can be increased by up to 20% with the help of data analytics​​ highlighting the switch toward technology in facility maintenance (ToolSense, 2023). Condition-based maintenance is a proactive approach that helps prevent unexpected equipment failures and downtime by maintaining equipment based on its actual data. As a result, businesses can optimize maintenance schedules and reduce costs associated with unplanned downtime.

5.    Reliability-Centered Maintenance

Reliability-centered maintenance (RCM) focuses on preserving system functions, rather than just preserving equipment and balancing costs. Machine Metrics states that outages typically last four hours making time-based maintenance strategies highly inefficient (Machine Metrics, 2018). RCM addresses this by identifying critical system functions and implementing maintenance strategies specifically tailored to those functions.

Proactive Facility Maintenance in Different Sectors

The UK Facilities Management Survey 2023 indicates that most industries including healthcare and business segments saw a rise in demand for facility maintenance services over the last year (Mordon Intelligence, 2023). From energy and utilities to the hospitality sector, facility maintenance is taking the front stage as a means to reduce costs.  Likewise, diverse fields like manufacturing, property management, and education can also benefit from proactive strategies.

1.    Hospitality

In a customer-centric sector like Hospitality, inadequate maintenance can lead to guest complaints and negative reviews, hitting the bottom line hard. Unexpected downtime results in costs of almost $50 billion each year which can considerably reduce service quality, the heart of the hospitality sector (ToolSense, 2023). Therefore, proactive facility maintenance can benefit the hospitality industry by enhancing guest retention, brand image, and employee productivity.

2.    Manufacturing and Plants

Due to rapid digitalization in conventionally ‘non-tech’ industries such as manufacturing, software implementation will continue to rise in industrial maintenance. Moreover, the trend is changing, with almost 50% utilizing proactive maintenance by using digital tools (WebinarCare, 2023). Proactive facility management has already made significant strides in the manufacturing industry and is poised to continue enhancing efficiency in this sector.

3.    Farming and Agriculture

Like the rest of the world, rising global temperatures have a significant influence on agriculture and forestry in Europe (European Union, 2023). Similarly, the number of farms is decreasing as well requiring farmers to become more productive with their land (Eurostat, 2023). Proactive facility maintenance can help by preemptively identifying maintenance needs, thereby leading to increased productivity.

4.    Schools and Higher Education

Education is the third-largest sector in the facility maintenance industry (Fortune Business Insights, 2023). Proactive maintenance in schools aims to maintain a healthy environment, optimize facility use, and support the needs of staff and students. Ensuring that campuses are well-maintained and safe is a top priority, and proactive facility maintenance can effectively contribute to achieving this goal.

Benefits of Proactive Facility Maintenance

The size of the European facility management market is anticipated to increase from USD 347.25 billion in 2023 to USD 416.83 billion by 2028 (Mordon Intelligence, 2023). Digitalization streamlines proactive maintenance benefits, turning it into a more predictive, responsive, and cost-effective process.

Let’s spotlight some key advantages:

    1. Extended Equipment Life: By catching issues early, proactive maintenance can extend a machine’s life by 20% (PwC, 2018). The extended lifespan of machines translates into substantial cost savings, as it reduces the need for frequent replacements. Also, it contributes to consistent production quality and reliability, enhancing overall business performance.
    2. Cost Savings: According to the Aberdeen Group, unscheduled equipment downtime costs $260,000 on average (Aberdeen Group, 2019). Proactive maintenance curtails the high costs of emergency fixes and downtime by implementing a holistic approach. This isn’t about spending less; it’s about spending smart.
    3. Efficiency Management: A recurring theme among facility managers is that almost 45% want to improve efficiency (ToolSense, 2023). One potential answer is proactive facility maintenance. By adopting proactive strategies, facilities can anticipate and prevent issues before they escalate, leading to more streamlined and efficient operations.
    4. Downtime Reduction: One study by Deloitte highlights a significant reduction in breakdowns (70%) due to proactive maintenance practices (Deloitte, 2017). This emphasizes the effectiveness of benefitting from proactive maintenance strategies in enhancing operational efficiency.

Proactive Maintenance Best Practices

Navigating the proactive maintenance landscape requires a map of best practices. It’s about adopting a mix of tactics to keep your machinery humming without a hitch. Here’s your checklist for maintenance mastery:

    1. Routine Inspections: According to an estimate, 18% of companies spend more than 40 hours per week on maintenance (Finances Online, 2023). This highlights the high maintenance demands faced by many organizations, displaying the need for regular and thorough checks to ensure operational efficiency.
    2. Data-Driven Decisions: In the second quarter of 2022, around 80% of respondents to the RICS Facilities Management Survey reported increasing their investments in data analytics, up from roughly 60% of respondents in the first quarter (Mordon Intelligence, 2023). By analyzing patterns and trends in analytics you can also anticipate issues to prevent unexpected downtime, thereby boosting maintenance efficiency, extending equipment life, and cutting costs.
    3. Employee Training: Approximately 68% of employees believe training and development is an important initiative and should be implemented (Whatfix, 2021). This highlights a strong consensus on the need for equipping maintenance staff with the skills required to effectively identify equipment issues.
    4. Leverage Technology: When using facility maintenance software, 74% of users believe it improves productivity while 58% believe it is cost-effective (Finances Online, 2023). This shows technology plays a pivotal role in proactive maintenance strategies. By leveraging digital tools like Makula, facilities not only streamline maintenance tasks but also optimize cost management effectively.

Tracking Facility Maintenance with KPIs

Effective proactive facility maintenance hinges on a data-driven approach, using key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate maintenance strategies. Regular monitoring of well-defined KPIs provides insights into equipment health and helps optimize maintenance resources.

Here are some essential KPIs for tracking proactive facility maintenance:

    1. Mean time between failures (MTBF): MTBF measures the average time between equipment failures. A higher MTBF indicates better equipment reliability and a reduction in unplanned downtime.
    2. Mean time to repair (MTTR): MTTR measures the average time it takes to repair failed equipment. A lower MTTR indicates faster repair times and reduced downtime.
    3. Maintenance cost per asset: This KPI measures the average cost of maintaining each asset over a specific period. A lower maintenance cost per asset indicates more efficient maintenance practices.

By tracking these KPIs and analyzing the data over time, facilities can identify trends and assess the effectiveness of their maintenance strategies. This helps make informed decisions to improve overall equipment reliability and reduce maintenance costs.

Enhance Your Facility Maintenance with Makula

You’ve now got the blueprint to turn maintenance into a strategic asset rather than a dreaded cost. By embracing these practices, you’ve not only upped your maintenance game but also set yourself up for long-term success.

Let’s quickly recap the essential nuggets:

    1. Proactive maintenance paves the way for cost savings and efficiency.
    2. Digitalization is key, turning maintenance into a data-driven, precision-based practice.
    3. The vital role of regular inspections, data analytics, and employee training in a successful proactive maintenance program.
    4. Tracking KPIs like MTBF and MTTR is crucial for evaluating the effectiveness of maintenance strategies.

When you leverage Makula, you’re choosing a partner that aligns with your proactive mindset. Our suite of tools is designed to seamlessly sync with your dedication to maintenance excellence. Just as you’ve learned to anticipate and prevent issues, Makula anticipates your needs, ensuring your maintenance strategy is always a step ahead.


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