There’s an old adage that says:

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

It refers to the fact that it is significantly easier, and less expensive, to prevent bad health from happening than it is to try and fix health issues once they’ve occurred. For many, this idea is fairly obvious. Helmets cost less than head injuries, and knee pads cost less than treatment for road rash.

But, when it comes to an organization’s assets, some people forget to bring over the same practices. When it comes to personal health, those practices are diet and exercise. In the case of your assets, they are called Preventive Maintenance.

Now to be clear, Preventive Maintenance is not free. Just like a gym membership, most Preventive Maintenance programs have a cost to get started. It can seem like a lot in the moment, but those costs will pay dividends in the years to come. Let’s look at both scenarios for a moment.

The Costs of Reactive Maintenance

In the case of a Reactive Maintenance program, maintenance costs are only incurred when an asset breaks down. The only other costs come from operating the assets. While this might seem good, there are very big disadvantages to using a purely reactive program.

First, the repairs due to breakdowns tend to be greater than those from preventive maintenance.

Additionally, it is difficult to know when an asset is going to break down until it actually does. This means that you are rarely prepared for your maintenance costs. Breakdowns can also cause cascade failures where the first failure causes damage to other systems that then need to be repaired. The unpredictable nature of breakdowns also means that it can come at inopportune times, like when everyone in your organization has come in to work. This results in lost productivity and revenue, in addition to the costs you need to pay.

Lastly, and potentially the greatest, are the costs from needing to replace assets. While some will be repairable, others will have been run into the ground, making operations impossible until the asset has been replaced. Needless to say, the costs of replacing and installing a new asset can be extremely high.

The costs associated with a Reactive Maintenance are unpredictable and high, but they come at infrequent intervals. This can make it feel like playing a reverse lottery with those costs. The problem is that you have little to gain, and if you hit the big break, you’re the one that will be paying.

The Costs of a Routine Maintenance Program

When you own a car, you know that regular maintenance needs to be performed on it to keep it running. The oil needs to be changed and the tires need to be rotated every so often. By performing these manufacturer recommended routine maintenance tasks, you extend the life of your car significantly. You also prevent some of the most common and expensive breakdowns, like overheating and blown out tires.

Routine Maintenance costs seem pretty straight forward. You perform the maintenance on the asset according to the manufacturer’s recommended schedule and pay for the labor and parts. On our car example, that means an oil change every three months or 5,000 miles. For personal health, this usually entails a yearly checkup to make sure everything is going well. For your assets, this type of maintenance includes any regular, routine maintenance that comes recommended by the manufacturer of the asset like lubrications, belt replacements, or other relatively simple tasks.

These Maintenance Programs reduce the costs of a Reactive Maintenance program significantly. Not only will some of the most expensive and common breakdowns be prevented, but the costs to carry out the maintenance them will be less as well.  After all, it costs a lot less to change the oil in a car than it does to replace an overheated engine block.

Routine Maintenance is also predictable. It comes at regular intervals, and you can schedule it to be done during a time that is convenient to your operations. This allows you to minimize your revenue lost during those times.

It should also be noted that a Routine Maintenance Program will not eliminate all breakdowns. It will only prevent the ones related to the routine maintenance you are doing. For other emergency major breakdowns, you’ll still be dealing with the costs as if they were completely Reactive with the possibility of needing to replace assets and cascading failures.

The Costs… and Benefits… of a Preventive Maintenance Program

Routine maintenance is significantly better than purely reactive maintenance. It can extend the life of your assets and reduce the likelihood of certain types of breakdowns. But, in order to start preventing the catastrophic breakdowns, you’re going to need to implement a fully Preventive Maintenance program.

Preventive Maintenance takes a more concerted effort to perform maintenance before breakdowns occur. This is done through scheduled maintenance beyond basic routine maintenance and regular inspections to identify your assets’ current condition.

Performing maintenance on this level requires more investment up front, but drastically reduces the likelihood of emergency breakdowns. Preventive maintenance requires a good preventive maintenance software, like ManagerPlus, to make sure that nothing falls between the cracks. These platforms cost money, but are well worth it.

With Reactive maintenance, little tracking is necessary. No maintenance needs to be performed until an asset goes down. Routine maintenance is more complicated and can benefit from an asset management platform to help track your individual maintenance schedules. By the time you want to implement Preventive Maintenance throughout your organization, a powerful Asset Management platform is no longer optional. It will enable you to make the changes that will help you realize and record those returns on investment you’ve been looking for.

ManagerPlus is Your Next Step

With ManagerPlus, you’ll have the #1 Maintenance management software. We enable you to schedule all of your maintenance with automated notifications and alerts when they come due. You can perform inspections at regular intervals and set up workflows from them. That means that when an asset fails a line item on an inspection, you can set it up to automatically generate the right work orders. You’ll also gain access to Request Management so that your operators can report back and request work when they notice issues.

The end result is an Asset Management platform that will help you revolutionize the way you do business. You’ll be able to get real-time insights into the way your assets are running. Give us a call today and let us show you how ManagerPlus can be the answer you’re looking for.

About the author


ManagerPlus is the preferred solution across the most asset-intensive industries, including Fortune 500 companies, to improve reliability and minimize downtime.
Share this post


Facility Manager KPIs and How to Know Your Facility is Running Smoothly [Updated 2023]
New Tech for Tough Trends in Farming
2022 EAM and Asset Management Trends

Subscribe to the ManagerPlus blog

Stay up-to-date with ManagerPlus’ news, tips, and product updates by subscribing to our weekly email notifications.