Debt is something that most people avoid incurring. The long-term consequences of falling in debt are much harsher than the short-term benefits of debt. Similarly, in the industrial sector, deferred maintenance can be considered as acquiring maintenance debt. Despite knowing the upshots of incurring maintenance debt, there are several managers and facility owners who fall into the trap of deferred maintenance. Keep reading to know more on what deferred maintenance is and the dangers associated with it.
Deferred Maintenance – What is it?
Deferred maintenance includes the blunder of delaying repairs and maintenance activities for saving costs, for readjusting budgets or for meeting funding levels. Companies often make the mistake of marking these projects as low priority as compared to other important projects in the present budget cycle.
Whether it is budget, or staff members, or time, maintenance teams are really unfortunate to always work with restrained resources. This might be the pivotal reason behind postponing maintenance tasks until the high-priority tasks are resolved.
Common reasons behind delayed maintenance
Deferred maintenance isn’t something that occurs overnight. Here is a detailed analysis of the issues that lead to backlogs in your company.
#1: The maintenance department is subject to a fixed budget
Inadequate funds can force the maintenance department to process the workflow in such a way that it cuts down costs. Reallocation of money can have a worthy impact in the short term but as the machinery’s condition keeps declining with time, this can lead to unnecessary downtime.
#2: Lack of strategy to handle spare parts inventory
As long as performing of maintenance tasks are concerned, organization is the main factor. The teams not only need the appropriate parts and tools to get things done but they also have to be sure about the place to get them when they need them. When the maintenance team is confused about where to locate a tool, they are wasting time.
#3: Your company doesn’t have a proper preventive maintenance approach
Preventive maintenance programs are designed in such a manner that the team can keep maintenance as their main priority, save money in the long run and make sure the equipment functions properly. If your team doesn’t practice preventive maintenance, you will be subject to long list of pending work orders and backlogged tasks.
#4: Your team doesn’t have knowledge on performing repairs
Maintenance technicians who lack the knowledge required to repair something won’t be able to close a work order on time. Similarly, if your team doesn’t have trustworthy document management system, the team members won’t know the right kind of work to do. Maintenance delay will lead to backlogged work orders. Hence, knowledge is one of those maintenance engineer skills you should look for.
Avoiding the costly consequences of deferred maintenance
Now that the causes are known, let’s take a look at the effects of procrastinating vital repairs. Here is a list of ways in which deferred maintenance can impact your organization.
- Safety threats: Machinery that is not functioning properly can suddenly cause physical injury or harm to occupants and employees.
- Compliance concerns: Companies can be charged with thousands of dollars in the form of fines for not complying with the safety standards.
- Health hazards: Irregular inspections and cleaning leads to poor mold, air quality, mildew, as well as other health risks.
- Reduced efficiency of machines: Machinery that is not checked, that has unclean filters or loose parts, won’t give their optimum performance.
- Costly repairs: Not regularly maintaining machines can lead to unexpected costs of repair, which is much more than preventative maintenance costs.
- Shorter life span of assets: Assets and equipment that go through rigorous wear-and-tear won’t last through their full life cycle.
- Hampers productivity: Sudden machine downtime can have an adverse impact on the productivity of your company.
Deferred maintenance can cause a huge financial loss every year due to negligence in consistency and proactive repairs. If you do not plan your asset failure, then that could be stressful and there would be a loss of time that the facilities team would not be able to fix. It’s time to change the thought process and the approach your facilities team adopts. They have to adopt a more proactive approach rather than a reactive approach to maintenance.
So to save yourself from backlogged maintenance, you have to study the points mentioned above which save your company from equipment failure, save time and money. With the right kind of tools, approach and resources, you can overcome deferred maintenance. With tools like modern software solutions, you can empower your team to handle your backlog bit by bit and your workflow becomes much smoother.
Therefore, if you don’t want such blunders to reduce your company productivity, deploy a preventative maintenance plan.