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The Maintenance Management Blog

June 03, 2024

Ten Tips for a Successful Proactive Maintenance Program

Image: Maintenance technician looking at a tabletCompanies understand how preventive maintenance (PM) restores assets to a baseline operation and extends asset life. It minimizes safety hazards and reduces costs for labor, inventory, and production. This week, let's discuss ten tips for a successful proactive maintenance program that companies can follow.


Establish well-defined objectives for your preventive maintenance program. Determine what you want to achieve. Determine where you need improvements. Are you seeing too much unplanned downtime? Improving reliability? Where are cost issues a challenge?

Set your SMART goals. SMART stands for goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. These goals set you in the right direction for a successful preventive maintenance program.


With a multitude of tasks and limited resources, you need to know the important and urgent tasks. Focus your efforts on the most critical aspects first. Priority notations allow for a more structured approach.

Define Your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Labor accountability should be at the top. From there, you’ll have a much better handle on everything else. Costs for labor, inventory, and assets fall in line.

Other KPIs include scheduled maintenance critical percent, planned maintenance percentage, preventive maintenance compliance, overall equipment effectiveness, and mean time between failures. Determine which KPIs fit your company’s and maintenance department’s needs.

Involved Personnel

A successful preventive maintenance program is not just the responsibility of the maintenance department. It should include, to an extent, every employee. This means from the machine operator to the administrative assistant to upper management. Each person can be watchful for potential problems.

Machine operators can conduct cursory inspections, add lubrication, and make minor adjustments. Maintenance technicians need to work with production to offer suggestions for synergistic efforts.

Use Technology

Properly using technology will help you streamline and organize preventive maintenance tasks. A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is a beneficial system that organizes assets, scheduling, inventory, reporting, and work orders. The benefits include reduced costs and fewer instances of unplanned downtime.

Set Your PM Cycles

How often do you conduct PMs? Too many risks increase costs (in part because you're using too much inventory) and potentially more problems with assets. Too little leads to more unplanned breakdowns.

Match the PM strategy with frequency through guidelines (manufacturer or regulatory, maintenance history, asset importance, and costs). Review these cycles often and adjust as needed.

Training and Implementation

I mentioned labor accountability earlier. You must have skilled and trained maintenance technicians both in the specific PM program and using a CMMS (if needed).

Part of a successful regular maintenance program is not making major changes simultaneously. Start small. Begin in one area of your operations.

Analyze the results, then expand. This will help workers adapt faster to responsibilities and the CMMS software.


  • Review the section on KPIs, and plan for other reports. What reports does the CMMS offer?
  • Mean time to repair.
  • Planned maintenance percentage.
  • Mean time between failures.
  • Top equipment failures.
  • Inventory quantities.
  • Labor attainment.
  • Work order compliance percentages, top equipment costs, and numerous others.
  • Discuss with management what reports you’ll want.
  • Ask the CMMS provider about integrating the system with others such as accounting and Enterprise Resource Programs (ERPs)
  • Analyze the reports to see how the results are shaping up against your stated goals.

Continuous Improvement

One of the reasons you analyze the above reports is to continue to have a successful preventive maintenance plan. You’re always looking for areas to improve, new challenges, and higher goals. You make informed decisions to reduce unexpected equipment failures and lower costs.

Encourage A Preventive Maintenance Culture

As previously discussed, every employee, in one form or another, needs to take responsibility for preventive maintenance. Think of the preventive measures you do in your personal life. Your work-life PM strategies should be just as organized and effective, if not more.


Yes, maintenance is an expense, but consider it an investment in company assets and labor. Yes, a quality PM strategy takes time to implement and establish. Any successful program will require the effort of all involved. Yes, a CMMS can help improve and organize your preventive measures.

Yes, you can do it. Determination, dedication, and perseverance are the keys. For more information for a better PM program, visit the article at Facilities Management Advisor.

MAPCON / 800-922-4336


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: maintenance, preventive maintenance, CMMS — Stephen Brayton on June 03, 2024