Best Practices for Equipment Preventative Maintenance
No matter what your industry or the size of your organization, the right approach to equipment maintenance is critical to your bottom line. Equipment that is properly cared for, maintained on the right schedule and inspected regularly will always be ready to perform and will enhance the safety and productivity of your workforce.
For many, a reactive approach to maintenance – waiting until something breaks before initiating a repair – is the typical approach, but this can impede operations and workflow and impact your bottom line. A proactive approach to maintenance ensures that your equipment is always in ideal operating shape and that you can rely on these important assets when you need them most. Learning more about preventative equipment maintenance can extend the life of your assets and prevent unnecessary downtime or delays.
Make a List
You can’t create a plan is you do not know what equipment you have and who made it. Review your inventory to document the type, make and serial number of each piece. Any manuals, warranty details, maintenance checklists and aftermarket parts should be included as well. You’ll need this information to create a comprehensive preventative equipment maintenance program that works.
Evaluate Each Piece
Once you have a comprehensive list of your equipment, get a baseline of the current state of each piece, how often you use it and what hours each piece is needed for. Equipment used only a few times per year has difference maintenance needs than pieces that are deployed and relayed on daily.
Keep Supplies on Hand
Once you have the information above, you can order supplies and parts for the equipment that is used most often and that you rely on most. If something does break, or a scheduled maintenance session arrives, you’ll have the right tools on hand. You may also get a price break when you order early – you’ll be able to avoid rush shipping and processing fees that could come into play if you need something in a hurry.
Create a Schedule
Some pieces require more maintenance than others, and depending on use, some will need more frequent and regular maintenance. Create a schedule that allows you to allocate company time, technicians and resources on a regular basis. Making a realistic schedule ensures technicians are available and prepared to perform key maintenance tasks before they become urgent. You can also schedule several similar types of equipment at the same time to boost efficiency and save both time and money.
Internal vs. Outsourced Technicians
If you have a trained team and the right tools on-hand, it is often more cost effective to handle preventative maintenance in-house. If you have a unique piece that requires either specialty equipment or specialized training, you may be better off hiring an expert outside of your own organization. By choosing the most qualified and well supplied person to perform your maintenance, you can be sure your equipment is in good hands and that you are ready for anything.
Review your preventative maintenance program regularly to ensure it is cost effective and that you are getting the most from the process. You should also add any new piece of equipment to your roster and your maintenance schedule to ensure that it gives the longest possible lifespan and use for your brand.