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Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: +27 87 550 3493

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by Taylor Short,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: February 25, 2017

Preventive (or preventative) maintenance software is one of the core components of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). It helps businesses maximize their resources, minimize operational downtime, extend asset life spans and reduce costs of maintaining assets.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Preventive Maintenance Software?
Common Features of Preventive Maintenance Software
Important Considerations
The Cost of Deferred Maintenance
Case Study

What Is Preventive Maintenance Software?

Preventive maintenance programs are an application of CMMS that help organizations manage preventive care, as opposed to corrective or predictive care, of assets. These assets can include, for instance, manufacturing equipment, medical equipment, HVAC equipment and furniture.

The primary objective of maintenance schedule software is to prolong the life of an asset with a preventative upkeep schedule. This maximizes asset value and limits unnecessary replacement costs. It achieves this by scheduling regular equipment upkeep, reducing downtime by combining routine tasks when possible, and subsequently reducing repair-based expenditures and losses resulting from delayed or halted production.

A preventive maintenance system schedules standard asset upkeep tasks at the necessary intervals for equipment (e.g., oil changes for vehicles every 3,000 miles). It supports ongoing asset care that’s based on hours in use, frequency of use or other variables. It also creates a schedule for regular upkeep that alerts staff of upcoming tasks, generates work orders, schedules necessary vendors for routine care and arranges the tools and resources necessary to complete a task.

Preventive tasks are often determined by manufacturer recommendations, requirements based on codes or legislation, “expert” suggestions or the standard care for similar assets based on frequency of use and performance metrics. Our preventive maintenance software reviews can help you make the best purchasing decision.

There's an important distinction to be made between preventive maintenance and predictive maintenance. Predictive maintenance is a similar but distinct category of CMMS software wherein meters or sensors predict when a machine may breakdown. Repairs are thus performed when a machine shows early signs of potential failure, as opposed to the preventive method of using past repairs data to set a schedule for future repairs.

Common Features of Preventive Maintenance Software

Common features found in planned maintenance software include:

Electronic triggers & alerts Notifies the appropriate staff of upcoming upkeep, whether it be an ongoing or routine task. These triggers are determined by calendars and meter settings and notify appropriate staff when a task is due. In some cases, a preventive maintenance program’s alerts can combine current and upcoming tasks, further lessening asset downtime.
Variable or Fixed Scheduling & Forecasting Allows an asset’s upkeep to be planned in advance and in coordination with other scheduled tasks. Maintenance scheduling software can also schedule contractors, reserve the necessary equipment for a task and track work orders for consistent record-keeping.
Managing Meters Monitors the performance of assets and informs the appropriate staff when an asset is performing outside of its normal range. A fleet preventative maintenance program, for instance, can track performance based on vehicle mileage and standard vehicle care. In addition to calendar-based scheduling, user-defined meters can be set based on variables like frequency of use or miles driven.
Procedure Data & Documentation Library Stores procedure data required for maintainable assets within a facility. These libraries act as a resource for all planned and unplanned upkeep tasks. These resources reduce time spent seeking solutions.
Asset History & Budget Tracking Tracks and records information such as cost metrics, service providers and care history, asset depreciation expectations, asset warranties and budget information for routine and planned tasks.

Important Considerations

Before purchasing a new preventive maintenance system, organizations should consider the following:

Compliance reporting. Many companies are required to meet industry-specific regulations enforced by government agencies such as OSHA. Preventive software makes it easier to ensure you are complying with the national and international regulations that apply to your company and industry, and to file appropriate reports. This reduces the risk of penalties that result from non-compliance.

SaaS vs. on-premise deployment. Preventive maintenance software programs can be deployed over the Web (also known as Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS) or installed on your premises. Both options have benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to consider which one is best suited for your situation. For instance, Web-based or “cloud” software has lower initial costs and reduces the need for a dedicated IT team because the vendor provides support. However, if your facility is based in a remote location with poor Internet bandwidth, this may not be the best option. Additionally, if you need complex customizations, SaaS may not be the best fit. Meanwhile, on-premise systems generally cost more up-front and may require IT for maintenance and upgrades.

Mobile applications. Most preventive maintenance systems now offer mobile capabilities, which means that technicians in the field can complete tasks and access information on the go. For example, technicians and maintenance managers can:

  • Log real-time updates on repair jobs;
  • Take and upload pictures of assets for condition reports;
  • Access schedules, work orders, asset databases and parts inventories and
  • Scan QR codes on equipment to retrieve asset history, maintenance schedules and more.

These mobile capabilities expedite maintenance resolution, boost staff efficiency, cut costs and improve communication between personnel and management.

The Cost of Deferred Maintenance

Preventive maintenance has become a valuable and necessary effort for managers. In the economic downturn many organizations chose to defer preventive tasks that ended up being quite costly when equipment and assets face untimely replacement. Subsequently, many facilities are making the investment in maintenance planning software that not only stores repair history, but also offers crucial alerts notifying managers of upcoming tasks that are due for an asset or piece of equipment.

Historically, institutions have deferred maintenance because of a lack of funds or the need to realign budgets. However, this has led to costly repercussions and premature replacements. While organizations recover, many have taken the initiative to upgrade their preventative efforts to avoid more expensive major repairs. Some state organizations, like the California Department of General Services, are even offering state-funded preventative updates for safety-related upgrades like plumbing and roofing so that the educational process is not interrupted by temporary closures.

Case Study

Silver Reef Casino was facing many challenges with the way its facilities manager maintained its assets, which included everything from the guest room coffee makers to the washing machines and casino lights. There was no system in place to track work orders, review past maintenance records or even look up machinery serial numbers.

To fix these issues, Silver Reef Casino decided to invest in Bigfoot CMMS. The software allowed the maintenance staff to receive alerts whenever an asset needed regular maintenance, track all repairs and easily access information about any piece of machinery.

Screenshot of Bigfoot preventive maintenance software dashboard

Bigfoot CMMS also helped Silver Reef Casino save money in unnecessary replacement costs. Instead of waiting for a machine like a dryer to shut down—a replacement that could cost $20,000—the software sent reminders for regular repairs like installing a new $10 dryer belt before the old one completely broke.

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