Companies that rely on equipment typically employ either a reactive or preventive approach to maintenance.

Reactive maintenance is fixing things when they break. This approach can sometimes save money short term but often ends up costing even more in the long run.

Scheduled maintenance is a planned program where maintenance tasks are conducted routinely to avoid larger, more costly fixes in the future.


Here are 5 reasons why the preventive approach yields better overall returns:

1. Cost Savings

Companies that rely solely on reactive maintenance are essentially waiting for a problem to happen, and this can often be a costly move. Unplanned downtime can result in idle employees, halting the production line, missed deadlines, and – for property managers of hotels, resorts, school campuses and other consumer facing industries – long-term damage to their brand and image.

An unexpected failure can result in having extra costs including overtime charges for technicians and expedite fees for overnight delivery of parts. A scheduled maintenance program is designed to avoid these types of repairs by replacing worn parts before they break. Efforts should be focused on preventing equipment failure rather than emergency fixes. Maintaining equipment is less costly and quicker than large repairs.

2. Improved Safety

When equipment isn’t working in optimal condition, it creates many hazards, unsafe working conditions and even emergency situations where workers are injured. Scheduled maintenance improves the safety of equipment and therefore the safety of company workers resulting in fewer on the job injuries and accidents.

3. Decreased Equipment Downtime

While almost all maintenance tasks require some equipment downtime, a scheduled maintenance program can decrease and optimize that downtime. For example, a company doesn’t experience unexpected downtime as much as if they were to rely solely on reactive maintenance. Decreasing equipment downtime is a benefit that saves time in maintenance and day-to-day operations.

4. Improved Reliability

Scheduled maintenance can also help a company to be a more reliable business partner. Customers can count on a company to deliver products, materials, or service on time, without unnecessary delays. By always offering a reliable product or service, a company can enhance its customer service and improve its reputation.

5. Preservation of Assets

Most equipment these days is certainly not cheap, but the better a company cares for its equipment, the longer it will last. Scheduled maintenance will prolong the life of equipment so a company can get more hours out the equipment, resulting in reduced costs and increased profit.

The numerous benefits of preventive maintenance has caused many maintenance managers to shift from reactive maintenance to a regular, routine scheduled maintenance plan meant to prevent problems and optimize equipment. Scheduled maintenance is the best option for companies that want to succeed long term.