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6 Strategies for Value Added Building Maintenance Management

When talking about facility and operations management, maintenance management can make a huge difference in property value. Unfortunately, buildings with well managed daily operations and security can still lose valuation due to poor maintenance! 

What is Maintenance Management?

What is, precisely, maintenance management? It refers to tasks aiming to preserve the condition and efficiency of equipment and buildings while reducing breakdowns and increasing reliability. We are perfectly aware that in one building there are plenty of areas and situations where maintenance becomes strategically important but, that is not all! Different types of equipment require different types of maintenance strategy!

We have grouped all the main equipment or events where maintenance is required in 5 main strategies. let’s go through together and identify the best one for each group of issues.

Breakdown Maintenance ​

This maintenance strategy is a 100% reactive approach to an equipment “breakdown” event. Breakdown maintenance is the most intuitive (i.e. laziest) of all the strategies- fix parts only when they break! “Reactive” maintenance is totally unplanned, so it might cause havoc in a busy office tower or shopping mall. The strategic side of this type of maintenance is that intentionally letting equipment run until it fails is easy. It’s possibly even less expensive than regularly maintaining, fixing or replacing it.

Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance is a form of reactive maintenance that takes place during an unrelated inspection for different equipment. Technicians perform corrective maintenance when they discover an issue unrelated to the initial breakdown. The technician will then either immediately address the issue or generating a special work-order for future follow-up.

In comparison to proactive maintenance, corrective maintenance is designed with immediacy in mind and does not offer much preventative action.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive Maintenance is a more proactive approach to maintenance management, and helps to reduce the likelihood of significant equipment breakdowns. It involves analyzing past breakdowns or information provided by the equipment’s manufacturer to schedule routine tasks like replacements, cleaning, repairs and inspections. Preventive maintenance helps to avoid emergency issues and failures.

In addition to helping prevent costly downtime, preventive maintenance offers a number of other advantages for property managers. Regular maintenance can help extend the life of machines, increase their efficiency and performance levels and reduce energy consumption. Preventive measures can also improve safety by identifying potential hazards before they become a problem.

Despite these benefits, however, there is still much room for improvement when it comes to preventive maintenance. It can be too costly while not being 100% effective.

Predictive Maintenance

A more proactive way to address regular equipment maintenance is to predict issues and breakdowns and intervene before they happen. Predictive maintenance is a proactive approach to ensuring that equipment is optimally functioning and less prone to breakdowns. It utilizes data from previous failures and maintenance cycles, along with information gathered from sensors measuring temperature, vibration, and power consumption, to predict when servicing work should be performed.

Utilizing predictive maintenance technology, organizations are able to monitor their equipment more efficiently and accurately with data collected from sensors. This allows facility managers to shift their focus onto higher-value tasks that generate increased ROI associated with greater equipment reliability and a decrease in redundant maintenance work. Furthermore, by relying on predictive maintenance instead of traditional preventive methods, companies can reduce the costs related to corrective or breakdown repairs while also ensuring optimal efficiency is maintained throughout all operations.

Prescriptive Maintenance

While predictive maintenance allows anticipating and resolving a possible issue before it happens, prescriptive maintenance heavily utilizes data collected by sensors and IoT or AIoT. This enables facility and maintenance managers to find and fix what causes emergencies or issues.

Prescriptive maintenance goes beyond analyzing historical patterns. Instead, it focuses on what generates these patterns to identify the cause of a breakdown and related emergency. Through a deep analysis of data, it predicts what is likely to come next, when it will happen and, prescribes the corrective action. 

There’s one main difference between predictive and prescriptive maintenance. Predictive maintenance can avoid an impending failure or emergency. Prescriptive maintenace recommends the best way to avoid it through appropriate countermeasures. Applying the recommendations of “Prescriptive Maintenance” could result in extending the life expectation of an equipment far beyond the manufacturer’s suggested life span.

Of course, implementing prescriptive maintenance requires substantial investments. Stakeholders need to conduct a precise cost/benefit analysis before choosing this method. And this analysis usually restricts prescriptive maintenance to the most valuable pieces of equipment. This brings us to the last type of applicable maintenance strategy.

Reliability-Focused Maintenance

When prescriptive maintenance yields an unfavorable cost/benefit analysis facility and maintenance managers can apply a reliability-focused maintenance strategy. This involves classifying the equipment according to their impact on the well-being of the building and its users.

An equipment reliability-focused approach will result in a mix of the previous maintenance strategies. Pairing the right strategy to the acceptable average equipment efficiency will minimize risks while controlling costs.

Choosing the Right Maintenance Management Strategy

So how do you choose the most appropriate maintenance management strategy for the managed asset or building? This is a business decision which weights benefits, costs, and risks of each specific piece of equipment’s efficiency and failure. You must consider the “Cost-Of-Doing-It” versus the “Cost-Of-Not-Doing-It.”

For example, a higher CapEx for the implementation of predictive and prescriptive strategies can generate a much lower OpEx in the medium-term and results in an extended lifespan for the equipment.

A “criticality assessment” is a valuable tool to qualify the criteria defining the severity of having a piece of equipment out of service. The assessment should always consider these three areas of concern:

  • Safety
  • Quantitative impacts associated with maintenance costs
  • Cost of repairing against the cost of replacing

A rule of thumb is to assess the quantity and quality of resources that makes sense to spend on each asset. The more critical the piece of equipment is to the good performance of your asset and the users’ safety and experience, the more makes sense to allocate technical resources and financial support for its maintenance.

Dr. Gambero is a corporate advisor to ServeDeck, a Malaysia-based smart subscription cloud-based solution designed to significantly improve the organizational efficiency of facility operations and management. You can also browse approximately a hundred maintenance-focused proptech companies in the directory!


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