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Why is preventive maintenance a priority?

Why is preventive maintenance a priority?

Friday 25 december 2020

Permanently operational equipment, maximum customer satisfaction, resources assigned to missions and activities with direct positive impact on the company's profitability, are the main indicators of successful maintenance. To achieve this, it is essential to reduce corrective maintenance in favor of preventive maintenance. Let's find out why it is so important to optimize the preventive/curative ratio.

> Why a CMMS for industrial maintenance?


There are 4 types of maintenance: Preventive, corrective, conditional and predictive maintenance.

Type 1: Corrective maintenance is the most basic method. It is still called curative or more rarely reactive. It covers troubleshooting or repairs after a defect or failure. Basically it's too late!

Type 2: Preventive maintenance will plan recurring maintenance, control and measurement interventions on technical installations. The periodic maintenance plan or PMP associating to each equipment a range of maintenance is its basic element. More rarely, we speak of periodic, recurrent or systematic maintenance.

Type 3: Conditional maintenance is a subset of preventive maintenance. It is no longer a fixed period or time of use (read from a time or hour counter, etc.) that triggers the preventive work order, but a condition of the monitored installation (e.g. a vehicle's brake pad indicator light)

Type 4: Predictive maintenance is the most sophisticated method. It combines data analysis (big data) and sensor networks to anticipate the occurrence of a failure of the equipment or one of its components.


Let's start by evaluating the cost/benefit ratio of the actions required to implement a preventive maintenance program. Let's list here the elements to be considered.

On the cost side

In terms of costs we find :

  • Preliminary study and analysis
  • Project management and change management
  • Construction of the program, including the list of maintenance ranges
  • Collect data such as list of technical assets, quantities to be measured, etc.
  • Implementation of procedures: periodicity, team size, definition of roles, etc.
  • Raising awareness of the actors including training of the intervening parties: managers and technicians.
  • Selection and purchase of equipment for the measurement of physical quantities
  • Selection of subscription to CMMS software in SaaS

And on the savings side

Which will increase for the better:

  • Increase in the lifetime of equipment
  • Increase in productivity
  • Increased motivation of the technical teams who are moving into success mode
  • Increased staff safety
  • Increased quality of service: user safety, availability and responsiveness

What will go down for the best:

  • Decrease in unscheduled shutdowns
  • Decrease in urgent requests
  • Reduced repair time
  • Slowing down of the degradation of the installations
  • Reduction of energy consumption
  • Reduction of spare parts inventory requirements

We'll let you do your estimates and calculations, but we think you can roll up your sleeves and start your preventive maintenance program now. 


However, if you were not yet convinced, we detail below the disadvantages and advantages of such a project. Well, on the downside, and unless your equipment never breaks down which would justify no need for preventive maintenance, the only one we can point out is to be careful not to over-maintain the technical park, in other words to find the exact level of preventive maintenance to be carried out. The risk being to incur additional costs. On the side of advantages and benefits, the list will be much longer...

Increase in the life span of the equipment

As the equipment is monitored and inspected on a regular basis, minor defects that appear and could damage it are identified beforehand and eliminated as they appear. With perfectly executed preventive maintenance, the equipment's lifespan is considerably extended and the frequency of replacement is reduced.

Increased productivity

In the industrial sector, it's even a double productivity gain. On the one hand, for the production teams, who see the number of untimely machine stoppages reduced considerably and maintenance operations carried out exclusively during off-peak hours without disrupting the work of the operators. And on the other hand, for maintenance teams who can plan and organize their preventive interventions in advance and operate with complete peace of mind.

Increased motivation of technical teams

By establishing a preventive maintenance policy within the company, the maintenance department will see its image improved. This is true for the company's employees as well as for management and shareholders. The maintenance team will present a greatly improved state of service and will become recognized and esteemed. If we add to this a much smoother workflow, work schedules and commitments that are always respected, the staff will be valued and their motivation will be enhanced.

Increased staff safety

The malfunction of a machine or infrastructure equipment can have dramatic consequences causing physical damage to operators or users. Let's take the example of a machine on a production site with deviant behavior from normal or the fall of an elevator car. Perfectly controlled preventive maintenance will considerably reduce the risks for both production operators and maintenance personnel. Thus, intervening in an emergency and in a stressful situation to solve a breakdown very often leads the technician to take a much higher risk in intervention than a maintenance intervention which will always be carried out in a more serene climate.

Increased quality of service: user safety, availability and responsiveness

Needless to say, the quality of service delivered to equipment users, building users or residents will be favourably impacted by the implementation of preventive maintenance to replace the permanent troubleshooting that is an inevitable corollary of corrective maintenance.

Reduction of unscheduled shutdowns

A perfectly maintained and controlled fleet of technical assets will of course drastically reduce the occurrence of breakdowns and therefore operating stoppages.

Reduction of urgent requests

Assets maintained in perfect working order, with fewer failures, means less disruption for users and users, resulting in a drastic reduction in complaints, requests for intervention and work orders.

Reduced repair times

When a problem nevertheless occurs, the perfect condition of the equipment will simplify the repair, shorten the diagnosis time and speed up the repair. In addition, overly worn parts that break often damage other parts, resulting in greater damage, cost and time to repair.

Reduced energy consumption

The regular control of the assets, their good lubrication, the taking of measures such as electrical consumption to anticipate any drift will greatly help reduce consumption.

Reduction of spare parts inventory requirements

Since the probability of catastrophic breakdowns is limited, it is no longer necessary to hold a large buffer stock to compensate for possible supply delays in the event of an urgent need. Highly critical components are replaced on a regular basis. Parts can thus be ordered in advance when replacement is planned. Inventory management is simplified and the list of spare parts in stock can be considerably reduced. 

Material resources always available

The materials and tools necessary for the interventions are always available for most of the interventions, so the use of a certain type of material is planned in advance. They can also be more easily maintained in perfect working and calibration condition.

A respected service contract

If the maintenance service is committed to its internal or external customer via an SLA (Service Level Agreement) contract, specifying the level of service expected, the priority given to preventive maintenance over corrective maintenance will enable it to fully meet its commitments.


Dear reader, there are two possibilities if you read these last lines and have reached this point: you have read the entire article and are wondering why not everyone has entered full preventive maintenance mode or, you have jumped straight to the conclusion, like readers who start a novel on the last page. If you are in the latter case, and I myself sometimes start at the end, and if you don't start from the beginning, you will only have the answer to why preventive maintenance is not yet definitively adopted by everyone. I will come back to three tracks in more detail very soon: procrastination, a cumbersome corporate culture and habit that is difficult to change, no CMMS or CMMS software in place that is not well adapted and does not really facilitate preventive maintenance. 

Before coming back in a future article on procrastination and inertia specific to each company, let's detail the third factor that seems essential to us. The computer system that supports maintenance, the CMMS, will in fact hold all the information required for the perfect execution of the program. Thus, to be perfectly successful in the preventive maintenance approach, it is essential to rely on a modern, simple CMMS that is perfectly adapted to the monitoring of preventive maintenance, and to use the services of a software publisher/integrator who is totally committed to your side in this improvement process. The solutions and software publishers meeting these criteria are not so numerous. The choice of your IT partner will therefore have to be made with the greatest care. 


By the way, our ambition is to offer an unparalleled user experience. Check it out right away: try CMMS for free. Within 2 minutes, the time it takes to create your account, you'll discover what's newest in this category of software.

You can also benefit from a demonstration led by one of our consultants: book a videoconference

Good discovery and see you soon!


Writer: Pascal Fievet, Yuman's CEO & cofounder


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