More than ever, today’s facility managers are challenged to keep pace with changing industry trends while at the same time being cognizant of profit margins and returns on investments (ROIs).

What can you do to keep a step ahead?

In particular, companies are increasingly finding a need to adapt to new technologies that are now dominating many industry and service sectors.

These changes have transformed how businesses do business in terms of production processes as well as how they communicate with and deliver its products to end users.

Why is a preventive maintenance schedule important?

While computer technology is largely responsible for increased business efficiency in terms of resource, material, and timing savings, it has also made it necessary for companies to rethink and reconstruct their facility maintenance practices.

These changes along with a competitive economic climate has resulted in an increasing number of companies turning toward CMMS systems as their facility maintenance software.

What is a preventive maintenance schedule?

Maintenance management software have become the solution of choice for overall facility maintenance because of their ability to synthesize thousands of data points which at any given time, can provide a user an overview of a facility’s operation or alternatively, show the status of an individual piece of equipment.

Among its many capabilities (i.e., track work orders, quickly generate accurate reports, mobile device accessibility, paperless functionality and secure cloud based interfaces), the major drawing card for many companies is its ability to instantly determine which of their assets requires preventive maintenance or repairs.

Being able to schedule equipment maintenance checks with maximum efficiency and customize preventive maintenance schedules offers companies the opportunity to extend equipment lifespans, improve its organization and manage time, resources and labor more efficiently. These benefits ultimately result in reduced operational costs and increased company profits.

Monthly maintenance calendar (current work and planned preventive maintenance)

What are the steps for setting up a preventive maintenance plan?

Here are the five steps you can follow to get the preventive maintenance plan that works best for you.

  1. Get a handle on your assets
  2. Use architectural drawings to locate assets
  3. Gather operating and maintenance manuals and serial codes
  4. Review equipment repair histories
  5. Initiate, review, and adjust your schedule

It’s important to do each step as carefully and fully as possible. Missing information from one step makes all the following steps either more difficult or impossible.

Get a handle on your assets

Since company assets are unique and vary by industry and sector, size of the organization and production activities, there is no “cookie cutter” method to developing an inventory list for the purpose of developing a preventive maintenance schedule.

At the outset, determinations need to be made about which assets require routine checks and which do not.

In general, company assets that will benefit most from a preventive maintenance schedule are those that have a critical operational function, failure modes that can be prevented with routine maintenance and a likelihood of failure that increases with time or use.

Assets less amenable to preventive maintenance scheduling may be better handled using spreadsheet systems.

Use architectural drawings to locate assets

An architectural drawing is a rendering of an architectural design as plan and/or elevation views of a building or structure.

Many CMMS software systems have the capability of integrating architectural drawings with preventive maintenance programs. Using these drawings make it possible to view supply levels visually rather than in a spreadsheet format alone.

Most important, exact locations of equipment can be highlighted on the drawings. Knowing the locations of critical equipment in need of preventive maintenance software can facilitate efficient preventive maintenance scheduling because technicians can be deployed to service several pieces within close proximity in a shorter time frame as opposed to the time required to service items spread throughout a facility.

This approach results in better time and resource utilization management.

Gather operating and maintenance manuals and serial codes

An important aspect of establishing equipment maintenance schedules is becoming familiar with equipment O&M manuals which among other things, set out recommended maintenance schedules and procedures as well as troubleshooting information.

Serial codes are important to ensure that when replacement parts are needed, the correct ones are ordered.

An efficient preventive maintenance will benefit from technicians who are knowledgeable about the assets they are servicing as well as having the appropriate parts on hand, when needed.

Review equipment repair histories

Apart from setting preventive maintenance schedule based on O&M manual recommendations alone, gaining additional information about asset use and repair histories can be helpful.

Since no two operations are identical, O&M manual recommendations are just that – recommendations.

They do not replace a thorough review of repair and inspection histories. This added information is beneficial in fine tuning preventive maintenance schedules to reflect the actual usage and performance of a particular piece of equipment.

Equally important, a review of the repair histories will provide valuable information about prior downtime and serve as a baseline upon which improvements can be targeted.

Initiate, review, and adjust your schedule

The only way to know how well a preventive maintenance is performing is to put it into motion and then review the repair and supply reports after six months. At that time, it may be determined that the schedules in place are operating efficiently as is.

Alternatively, it may be determined that some assets require more frequent maintenance while others require less. It may also be determined that an asset is better replaced because repairs have become too frequent and the associated downtimes interfere with company operations.

An important benefit of CMMS generated preventive maintenance is that adjustments can be made with little effort.

Benefits of a thorough preventive maintenance schedule

The introduction of automated CMMS driven preventive maintenance software has streamlined and taken the time consuming work out of earlier “pencil and paper” or spreadsheet approaches.

The robust properties of maintenance software make it possible to generate a broad range of data that these other approaches are not able to replicate. By reviewing operational data including supply, work order and preventive maintenance reports, CMMSs assist management in making informed projections and planning for their company.

By utilizing and adjusting preventive maintenance schedule as needed, businesses are able to achieve the goals of increased efficiency and profitability.

Next steps

Hippo’s here to help you get the solution that works best for you, from answering your questions about everything related to maintenance to helping you book a live software demo


Facility managers face constant pressure to keep up with industry trends while holding back costs. Many are embracing facility maintenance solutions, which include the ability to set up, run, and track preventive maintenance programs. The benefits are clear: once the maintenance team can use a systematic collection of inspections and tasks to find small issues before they become large problems, they can cut costly unscheduled downtime. At the center of the program is the schedule, where the facility manager lays out what work the team does and when. Setting up the schedule is a five-step process. First, you need to determine which assets to include in the program. Second, you should locate all the assets, which involves plotting them on facility maps and floor plans. From there, you need to collect all your existing documentation, including operating and maintenance manuals. Next, take a close look at the maintenance and repair histories. Your manuals tell you what should be, but the histories tell you what is. Finally, you can initiate your program. But it’s important to remember that this last step is iterative. You need to keep going back, checking how well the program is working, and make adjustments.

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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