Easy to use. Powerful software. Priced right.

The Maintenance Management Blog

June 19, 2023

Inside Your CMMS - Preventive Maintenance

Image: maintenance men on top of machine

This is the second part of the core that is inside your CMMS (computerized maintenance management system). Last time we discussed work orders. This week, the shift is to preventive maintenance.

It shouldn't have to be mentioned but unfortunately, many companies still operate under a reactive maintenance mindset. Nothing is repaired until broken. I'd like to see how those companies fare in the ways of productivity and cost.

Preventive maintenance is a simple concept to understand. You take care of your health. Diet, exercise, annual doctor visits for a general physical. Not simple enough? You brush your teeth daily. You don't wait until something starts hurting. In fact, you're trying to not have something hurt.

You take care of the '"health" of your car. Oil changes, tune-up, new tires, spark plugs, even something as simple as regular washings.

You look after the "health" of your house and grounds. HVAC, inspection, trimming, etc.

Why would you not have the same attitude in the workplace, especially if you're in the maintenance department? I'll bet the supervisor in one of these "reactive" companies schedules an oil change for his truck.

It cannot be overstated that for any company large, medium, or small, preventive maintenance in some form is necessary for business operation. Unplanned downtime, extra labor, and extra purchases all cost money. At some point, the financial "pain" catches up.

As stated in other posts, I have no general dislike for spreadsheets. Used properly they are useful for personal and home use. However, in a maintenance department, spreadsheets are limited. In fact, they can be detrimental to operations because of these limitations.

This is especially true when we're talking preventive maintenance (PM).

Let's explore nine advantages a CMMS provides in this area. When considering investing in such a system, think about the details you want to include. Remember, we're just creating PM jobs, not work orders. That work order generation within the PM area can be good, but for this discussion, we're focused on the actual job to do rather than the form to send to a worker.

Title. A good suggestion for this is to start with the regularity of the PM. Weekly, Monthly, Quarterly, Annually. Starting the title like this helps when sorting the PMs. Follow this with a description of what you are working on and what you are doing to it. Quarterly, packing equipment, inspect, clean, and lubricate.

Type. There are numerous types of PMs. Inspection, environmental, and even shutdown PMs.

Priority. How important is it? Sometimes that PM is an emergency. Get to it now to stave off extensive repairs later.

Checklists. Similar to other maintenance, repairs, etc., many PMs require a certain order for completion. Or there could be multiple areas on the machine that need attention, including meter/gauge readings. A checklist is a great way to assure everything is done.

Description. Yes, you had a brief description in the title, but you should have a field for more details. Yes, you could input the steps to follow like a checklist. An "attached" checklist gives you the option of having the worker manually, well, check off each step for the record.

What's it for? Yep, we love our equipment, but what about other assets? Buildings and grounds. Inspections of fence line, roofs, sidewalks, etc. A PM could be part of a route as mentioned last time for fire extinguisher inspection in multiple locations.

Labor. Also similar to what can be included on a work order, add a crew, craft, shift, or employee(s).

BOM. Yep, another detail you'd include on a work order. What bill of materials (parts/tools/supplies) go with this PM?

Attachments. These should be common data entry windows throughout your CMMS. Images, safety protocols, or links to procedural videos are beneficial to the worker.

Preventive maintenance is vital for business. Did I already state that? Consider this a reminder. Since you care for your assets, you want to have as much information for their care as you can. One area within your CMMS should provide windows for those details.

What do you and your workers know about the PM tasks? Discuss that with the maintenance department, then call Mapcon Technologies at 800-922-4336 to look into a superior and comprehensive system ready to work for you.


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: preventive maintenance, maintenance, CMMS — Stephen Brayton on June 19, 2023