Effective planning and scheduling are critical components of an organization’s maintenance management strategy. A well-structured maintenance program helps reduce downtime, minimize costs, and ensure the reliability and longevity of assets.

This article will discuss the importance of maintenance planning and scheduling, provide a checklist for an effective maintenance planning process and outline five crucial planned maintenance procedures for achieving the best results.

The importance of maintenance planning and scheduling

Maintenance planning and scheduling go hand in hand when it comes to comprehensive facility care. And while the two work together, they each play a distinct and necessary role.

What are maintenance planning and maintenance scheduling?

Maintenance planning determines which task requires which materials and resources to maintain assets.

Maintenance scheduling involves allocating the time and resources to execute each task.

Both processes are essential for successful asset management, as they complement each other in ensuring efficient and cost-effective maintenance.

What does a good maintenance plan look like?

A solid maintenance plan is the foundation for a reliable and well-maintained facility. Proper planning helps to minimize downtime, optimize resource allocation and extend the life of assets. Conversely, effective scheduling ensures that a maintenance task is completed on time and within budget, contributing to overall productivity and cost efficiency.

Preventive maintenance, a key element of maintenance planning, involves conducting regular inspections with the appropriate maintenance task to prevent equipment breakdowns and prolong asset life. Integrating preventive maintenance into the planning and scheduling processes reduces the likelihood of costly and disruptive unplanned downtime. 

Effective maintenance planning process: your checklist

There’s a lot to keep track of when it comes to maintenance planning. From creating a maintenance schedule to nailing down equipment specifications, there are many moving parts.

The phases of maintenance planning depicted in 6 steps, including: identify assets and maintenance needs, create a maintenance plan, allocate resources, set a maintenance schedule, implement and monitor progress, and evaluate effectiveness.

A systematic planning approach can help ensure that your maintenance tasks are executed on time and within budget.

An efficient maintenance planning process consists of several essential steps, including the following:

  1. Identifying the assets requiring maintenance and their specific maintenance needs
  2. Developing a comprehensive maintenance plan, including preventive and corrective tasks
  3. Allocating resources, such as labor, materials and equipment, to complete the tasks
  4. Creating a maintenance schedule based on priority, asset availability, and resource availability
  5. Monitoring the progress of maintenance work and adjusting the plan and schedule as needed
  6. Evaluating the effectiveness of the maintenance plan and identifying areas for continuous improvement

Following these steps and leveraging a maintenance checklist can ensure a smooth and effective maintenance planning process.

Five crucial planned maintenance procedures

There are several types of planned maintenance procedures that organizations can implement to maximize asset performance and minimize downtime. These include the following strategies:

  1. Routine maintenance involves regular inspections and adjustments to ensure the proper functioning of equipment and systems. These tasks are typically performed on a daily, weekly or monthly basis and include activities such as lubricating moving parts, adjusting belts, and checking for leaks or other signs of wear.
  2. Preventive maintenance is scheduling tasks to identify and address potential issues before they become critical, reducing the likelihood of equipment failure and downtime. Preventive maintenance typically involves periodic inspections, cleaning, and minor repairs to keep equipment operating at peak performance.
  3. Condition-based maintenance includes monitoring equipment performance with sensors and conducting maintenance based on specific criteria, such as wear and tear or asset age. This method helps optimize maintenance activities and prioritize critical assets by focusing resources on the equipment most likely to experience issues or failures.
  4. Predictive maintenance utilizes advanced technologies, such as sensors and advanced predictive data analytics, to monitor equipment conditions in real-time and perform maintenance only when necessary. This approach can lead to significant cost savings and improved asset performance by preventing unnecessary maintenance tasks and reducing the likelihood of catastrophic failures.
  5. Equipment reliability-centered maintenance is a systematic approach to maintenance planning that focuses on the most critical assets and optimizes maintenance activity to improve overall equipment reliability. It aims to ensure that resources are allocated to the assets that contribute most to overall operational performance and seeks to minimize the risk of unexpected failures or downtime.

Implementing a system for planned maintenance activity can help organizations achieve better asset performance, extend equipment life and optimize maintenance performance.

A curved line graph shows how setup costs and the cost of downtime increase incrementally from reactive maintenance to preventive maintenance, condition-based maintenance, predictive maintenance and reliability-centered maintenance.

In many cases, the worse condition an asset is in, the more expensive it will be to repair it. Cost-effectiveness comes down to two points: The criticality of the asset versus how much it would cost to fix it if it fails.

Predictive maintenance, for example, will likely have higher upfront costs due to the necessity of advanced equipment, but for the most critical assets, it may save you more in the long run. At the same time, using a predictive maintenance plan on non-critical assets is unnecessary. Instead, it may be more cost-efficient to use a less expensive type of planned maintenance, such as routine maintenance. 

However, the five types of planned maintenance all share one commonality: every type is less expensive than unplanned maintenance.

The role of technology in modern facilities management

Technology advancements have significantly impacted maintenance planning and scheduling, providing organizations with powerful tools to streamline processes and improve overall efficiency.

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) have become an integral part of modern maintenance management, offering a centralized platform for managing maintenance tasks, tracking asset performance, and generating data-driven insights.

Preventive maintenance scheduling calendar in FMX is shown in both desktop and mobile applications.

These systems enable organizations to automate their maintenance planning processes, monitor assets in real time and make informed decisions based on data. By leveraging technology, maintenance teams can identify patterns and trends, prioritize tasks and allocate resources more effectively. Furthermore, using mobile devices and cloud-based solutions allows for greater flexibility, accessibility, and collaboration among team members.

In addition to CMMS, advancements in technologies such as the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence have opened up new possibilities for predictive and condition-based maintenance. Collecting and analyzing data from sensors and other sources can provide valuable insights into equipment performance, allowing maintenance teams to anticipate potential issues and take action before problems escalate.

New task windows open in FMX mobile and desktop for time-based maintenance planning work.

FMX offers a comprehensive maintenance management solution that simplifies the maintenance planning process and helps organizations achieve peak performance. FMX’s powerful tools and features streamline maintenance activities, improve asset management, and allow you to make data-driven decisions that lead to better outcomes.

Learn more about FMX’s maintenance management solution and book a personalized demo to see it for yourself.

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