Planned or preventative maintenance refers to taking a proactive approach to the maintenance of your facility. Being proactive helps to ensure that smaller issues are identified before they escalate meaning there is less possibility of business downtime and breakdowns, saving you time and money.
Here, we will explore just some of the many benefits of implementing a planned maintenance schedule, as well as the risks associated with not having one before considering how to best create an effective planned maintenance schedule.
How a Planned Maintenance Schedule Could Help You
Whilst reacting to a maintenance issue within your premises can be a legitimate way to carry out your facility management, there has been increased research that shows that just reacting to an issue may not be the most cost-effective approach to running your business. In fact, spending time creating a planned maintenance schedule that takes into account all aspects of your facility, from your air conditioning units to your lighting system, and ensuring that each is inspected on a regular basis and any necessary repairs carried out, is both a smarter and more cost-effective approach.
Employing a comprehensive planned, preventative maintenance schedule from MSL will help put your mind at rest that any repairs and maintenance is taken care of before it escalates into wider problems. This can help alleviate the stress of maintenance from employees and allow more time to concentrate on other important aspects of your business.
- Decrease Energy Bills
Regularly maintaining systems, such as lighting, central heating or AC units, will ensure that they run efficiently which, in turn, means that they use less energy, helping to reduce your energy bills. In fact, bills can be reduced anywhere from 5% – 40%, which can be a significant saving for your business. At MSL we also offer an ESOS assessment service to identify cost effective, energy saving measures for large undertakings.
- Saving Money
Planned maintenance means that all aspects of your premises are checked regularly, and any issues are fixed before they become bigger problems. This can improve upon the lifespan of your lighting systems for example, as with regular checks they are less likely to fail and issues can be resolved efficiently. This saves you money on expensive replacements and ensures you get the most out of your investment.
Similarly, unexpected problems such as a roof leak can cause your business to have to shut down completely whilst appropriate repairs take place. This can cause loss of revenue and unhappy customers. Planned maintenance can ensure regular checks of the fabric of the building take place, helping to identify and repair small issues which may lead to that larger leak.
- Safe Working Environment
Regular maintenance of your facility ensures that all aspects of your premises are how they should be. This minimises any dangerous incidents and makes your facility a safer and healthier place for both your staff and customers. Additionally, many facilities management companies, like MSL, offer compliance maintenance as part of their property maintenance plan. This means that you can be assured that your facility complies with all health and safety legislation, helping you to avoid costly legal fees, and keeping your facility a safe place to work.
- Peace of Mind
Knowing that your facility is being taken care of by a comprehensive maintenance scheme means that you have peace of mind, and can continue with the day to day running of your company safe in the knowledge that everything is being done to ensure your premises run smoothly and safely.
- Prevents Breakdowns
It goes without saying that as your equipment is being regularly checked for faults, any potential defects can be spotted early and repaired before they progress and turn into full blown, costly, breakdowns.
- Greater Life Expectancy of Assets and Equipment
Replacing office equipment is incredibly costly, whether it’s simply a broken computer or an entire lighting system, being able to reduce the likelihood of them being completely replaced is a definite plus. By introducing a planned maintenance schedule to check your equipment, you are able to fix most problems before they become too big and the entire piece of equipment needs to be replaced, thus maximising their life expectancy and value.
By employing a company to undertake your planned maintenance schedule you are giving yourself back time. Time you don’t need to be thinking about your equipment and possible breakdowns, and instead can be undertaking the important things, like meeting your customers or ensuring you are making healthy profit margins!
- Protecting Your Investment
A property that is well maintained ensures that you have a much more saleable asset than one that has a large amount of issues that require attention. Should you want to sell in the future, these problems may put off potential buyers or lead them to make an offer that is much lower than you would wish. So, investing now (in a planned maintenance program) really does have a knock-on effect for any future investments.
- Business Continuity
Business continuity is highly important in order to remain profitable and trustworthy. Should your retail business for example have to shut unexpectedly due to unplanned maintenance, this could impact on the loyalty of your customers. The same would be true of an office which would be unable to answer customer calls due to closure during maintenance work. Ensuring a planned maintenance schedule is in place will help business continuity as by conducting regular inspections issues will be identified before they escalate. Any repairs can also be undertaken in line with your business opening hours to minimise disruption and keep your customers happy. Performing maintenance outside of trading hours can also help to reduce downtime and prevent impact on profits.
- Happy, Returning Customers
Customers want a company that can deliver, on time and with minimal issues. Difficulties mean delays will occur whilst being dealt with, leading to annoyed customers who may possibly not return. Planned maintenance ensures that these issues are reduced, and your customers remain happy.
How Unexpected Maintenance Can Affect Your Bottom Line
There’s no denying that whilst many of us start a business because of a genuine passion we have for our chosen industry, there will always be a part of you that also chose to take the plunge in the hopes of making some money. Therefore, it makes sense that we want our business to run with minimal outgoings to ensure that our profit line keeps increasing. However, one sure fire way to encounter problems will be when your business suffers impromptu and costly expenditures, such as unexpected emergency maintenance work.
When it comes to maintenance there are generally two approaches a business can take, reactive maintenance and planned maintenance. Most companies, however, will adopt a blended strategy of the two.
Reactive maintenance is when unexpected issues arise which need immediate repair, these can be surrounding the fabric of a building or equipment within it for example repairs to air-conditioning units to ensure normal operating conditions. Planned maintenance however, involves regular inspections of a building to minimise the chances of unexpected issues occurring. Whilst both have their place in a business, relying too much on reactive maintenance can be problematic, especially when it comes to your bottom line:
There is no denying that replacement is far costlier than repair when it comes to maintaining the fabric of a building. Not conducting regular inspections will eventually lead to more severe consequences and ones that are more likely to involve larger repairs or a complete replacement. These occurrences are likely to be very expensive.
Repairs or replacements take time which can lead to long periods of downtime where work may not be able to be undertaken, thus affecting income. This can also negatively impact your workforce.
Whilst you may have allocated a budget for unexpected breakdowns, you will be unable to predict how often or how severely things will break. Even the most generous ‘breakdown budget’ can be stretched causing you to have to pay out more money than you expected. This will, in turn, affect your annual profit margins and your ability to effectively budget.
Loss of Customers
If these issues start to occur regularly, you may begin to find that your client base dwindles. Customers do not want to put their faith in a company that constantly disappoints with un-met delivery times or closed facilities.
How to Create a Planned Maintenance Schedule
Creating an effective planned maintenance schedule involves understanding the inner most workings of a facility in order to practically assess the business needs and develop a planned maintenance programme that is practical, cost-effective and efficient. MSL can work with you to assess your business needs and budget, before developing a planned maintenance programme that works for you. This can include a ‘forward maintenance service’ which involves all non-critical issues being grouped together and completed in the same pre-planned visit which can reduce the amount of call outs and therefore the overall cost.
Your planned maintenance schedule will differ depending on your business type and needs but will begin with an assessment of your facility and can include the following types of maintenance:
- General Maintenance
- Air Conditioning Maintenance
- Roofing Maintenance
- Roller Shutter Maintenance
- Pest Control
MSL Property Care Services are able to create a bespoke, comprehensive and cost-effective planned maintenance programme which takes into account the specific needs of your business to help you run safe and effective workplace. For more information, contact us today.