Reactive maintenance is defined as maintenance activities that are in response to a problem, such as a malfunctioning HVAC unit. The nature of reactive maintenance means that the asset must physically break down or fail to trigger work orders and responses. Unfortunately, a reactive maintenance approach leads to severe consequences for building occupants and capital planning, and with Facility Managers under higher pressure to avoid unnecessary expenses, reactive maintenance and reactive facilities management strategies will only worsen the problem. Facility Managers need to understand the negative impacts of reactive maintenance and reactive facilities management practices. Ultimately, this goes back to building the foundation for a strong business case for proactive maintenance and incorporating the negative impacts of reactive maintenance in building a strong business case.
Reactive Maintenance Contributes to Lost Control of Your Budget
Reactive maintenance strategies are often the result of a budget crisis. When a company looks to cut costs, the facilities maintenance budget is often the first victim. The irony lies in the costs associated with reactive maintenance. Instead of correcting a problem while it may have been a small repair, the series of events leading to the complete breakdown of an asset means its cost will naturally increase. Even high-priority assets, such as HVAC units, do not necessarily quit unexpectedly. The failure of the asset is the response from the equipment that smaller malfunctions exist within it. Unfortunately, this “run-to-fail” mentality ultimately leads to lost control over the budget. This occurs when Facility Managers suddenly need to repair or replace an asset without planning for it in the first place.
Reactive Facilities Management Damages Brand Image and Value
The next impact of reactive maintenance affects your brand image and ultimately it’s value. Brand value is the way your organization is perceived for providing goods or services to consumers. If your buildings are not up to par, consumers are likely to shop with your competitors. Think about it; no one wants the shop in a store with visibly poor maintenance practices or the potential maintenance issues with the store assets. Toilets that run unnecessarily, or broken faucets might not seem like big issues, but they tarnish the customer experience, which in turn, tarnishes your brand value.
Lack of Visibility and Insight Leads to “Guess-Based” Labor and Resource Planning
As explained by Jason Reece via LinkedIn, another problem with reactive maintenance derives from the problem with labor and resource planning. In addition to paying for the cost to repair or even replace an asset when it breaks down, Facility Managers must also ensure enough labor resources are available to address the problem. For companies operating on a current reactive maintenance schedule, available technicians may be devoted to other issues in the maintenance backlog. Unfortunately, the inability to handle an immediate need leads to additional problems added to the maintenance backlog. As a result, the Facility Manager is unable to achieve any form of true labor and resource planning.
Reactive Maintenance Only Addresses What’s Visibility Broken
Since reactive maintenance is based on malfunctions that are evident, repairs usually only address the visible problem. Underlying problems may exist, and not being able to track the data alluding to these problems will lead to more frequent breakdowns and additional issues.
Kick Reactive Maintenance to the Curb
Instead of trying to keep up with a reactive maintenance backlog, Facility Managers should conduct a cost and benefits analysis of proactive maintenance, consider the return on investment (ROI) of proactive processes and take control over total cost of ownership. Get started today by contacting ENTOUCH online now.