Proactive Maintenance Planning Drives Significant Benefits Versus Reactive Models

Oct 21, 2021 2:22:50 PM | 4 minute read

Every business wants to adopt and sustain a proactive maintenance agenda. Getting ahead of potential problems typically translates to a longer life for equipment, decreased maintenance costs and a lower risk of downtime. Those are all worthy objectives for any facility. Making the shift from reactive to proactive maintenance involves a complete transformation. 

So, is it worth changing to a proactive maintenance mindset from a reactive one? What are the real costs and risks?

In this article, we’ll look at the differences between proactive and reactive maintenance and what the true costs can be if your strategy and planning is overly focused on waiting for equipment failures. 

Proactive vs. Reactive Maintenance

A reactive approach to equipment and facility maintenance is the standard operating model for many businesses. It involves only responding to a breakdown or malfunction. The appeal of this model is that there is less upfront cost because you’re not investing in proactive measures. You’ll also need less staff and don’t have to worry about planning or budgeting for recurring preventative maintenance activities. 

While that may seem inviting, being reactive is risky. It can quickly put your workflows in limbo, as you’re likely dealing with the unexpected downtime of equipment. According to a study from GE, unplanned downtime is common, with 82% of companies experiencing it. However, just because it’s prevalent doesn’t mean businesses shouldn’t work to prevent it. The reality is that downtime costs money, puts the sale of products and services in jeopardy, and reduces customer confidence in your company. 

The Real Costs of Downtime

A big picture number on downtime costs is a shocker. The price tag? It’s estimated that unplanned downtime costs the economy $50 billion per year. To put that on a more relevant scale, the International Society for Automation (ISA) states that most facilities lose at least 5% of productive capacity, with some averaging up to 20%. This can have a direct and significant impact on everything from top line revenue to bottom line profitability.

In any facility dependent on equipment , you are subject to this potentially catastrophic business risk. The best way to decrease unplanned downtime and face its capital consequences is to transform your facility into one that’s proactive and predictive. 

Proactive Maintenance is Essentially Equipment Check-Ups

Proactive or preventative maintenance describes ensuring all equipment receives regular visits by technicians for a check-up. It’s similar to taking your car in for service at each mileage milestone. Having a preventative maintenance schedule in place will often catch issues before they cause unplanned and costly disruptions.

Regular attention can also keep your equipment running for longer. For example, periodic planned maintenance of food service equipment translates to less risk of outages that could impact diners. On the other hand, the reactive approach in this example could mean a night of business cut short and substantial losses in revenue.

From Proactive to Predictive

The natural extension of a proactive maintenance strategy is predictive maintenance, which uses data and analytics to detect issues before they become actual problems. The data obtained by proactive maintenance, if collected correctly, can be used to project equipment aging, lifetime, and other key potential equipment failure points. According to research from Deloitte, predictive maintenance can increase productivity by 25%, reduces breakdowns by 70% and lowers maintenance costs by 25%. 

Achieving these kinds of returns makes the upfront costs of planning marginal compared to what you’ll lose from downtime or catastrophic equipment failures. 

How Vixxo Support Preventative Maintenance Planning and Predictive Capabilities 

In developing a program for proactive and predictive maintenance, many organizations partner with a facilities management company. Vixxo combines proactive maintenance with predictive analytics to build custom solutions for clients, while at the same time making sure your day-to-day reactive service calls continue to be handled quickly and cost-effectively. We can help you develop a maintenance program that reduces equipment downtime, minimizes reactive repairs, and gives you greater control over your facility spending dollars.

This holistic and data-driven approach to facilities maintenance lets you track the performance of your machines over time, giving you complete control of the lifecycle of the asset. 

About Vixxo

We’re more than a traditional facility maintenance vendor. We provide end-to-end service with our network of more than 150,000 service technicians, specializing in every trade imaginable, including restaurant, grocery, convenience store, and retail facilities. 

Contact us today to learn how we can build a custom maintenance plan that works for you and your business.