Planning The Transition From Reactive Maintenance To Preventive Maintenance

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Transitioning from a reactive to a maintenance scheduling  strategy is a collaborative effort involving the whole maintenance team with some support from upper management.


The core team members on this project are both the maintenance manager and maintenance technicians. The maintenance manager has a complete picture of your maintenance operations, while technicians have unique insights that can only be obtained by actually turning the wrench.


Ensure their participation from beginning to end as both roles have invaluable insights, allowing them to catch potential technical problems with the implementation early on.


Get everyone on board
Incorporating new maintenance strategy will often affect more than just your maintenance team.


For example, employees from other departments will use new procedures to report potential problems and malfunctions as well as have to get used to planned shutdowns for regular inspections and maintenance work, upper management will get new (more detailed and accurate) cost reports, and so on.


To ensure smooth implementation, everyone should be aware of the upcoming changes.


If we are talking about a huge facility and large maintenance teams, there is one preceding step you need to take before we can talk about any plans or implementations. That is, of course, getting the support of upper management, as the transition could require considerable capital investment.


The best way to earn that support is to show the potential return on investment. Just for illustration, your argument could go in this direction:



“We estimate that we will have to spend $2000 and 100 hours on this project. The estimation also shows that, by the end of the year, we can save 400 hours’ worth of time and decrease downtime by 20%, resulting in X dollars saved.“

Choose and customize your CMMS
An important step to developing an effective maintenance program is having the ability to track, manage and organize a lot of data from different sources.


While it’s not impossible to do this manually, it is often a system riddled with human error and ineffective in providing true and accurate data. If you want to accurately and efficiently manage your maintenance operations, you’ll need a modern maintenance software that is designed to support your preventive maintenance efforts.


Finding the right software that fits your company and can be customized to fit the specific needs of your facility and your workflow will ease the transition into preventive maintenance.


With the ability to track work orders, schedule PMs and track parts, a CMMS is designed to ensure the efficiency of your preventive maintenance operations. Additionally, a good CMMS will assist in maintaining historical data of asset performance which becomes a powerful diagnostic tool when servicing equipment and also helps you to coordinate your preventive maintenance operations in a more cost-effective manner.


We could go on and on about different features and advantages that a computerized maintenance management system brings to the table so if you are still not convinced, be sure to check out that post.


Define measurable goals
Before investing your time and dollars, the transition team should first determine the major goals that this change aims to accomplish.


What is the current state of the reactive maintenance strategy that needs redefining? What are the goals for the preventive maintenance program?


The goals can look something like this:


  1. Reduce repair costs due to reactive maintenance practices by 15%
  2. Reduce the number of breakdowns by 20% by the end of the year
  3. Increase company profits and productivity by reducing unplanned equipment downtime by 40%
  4. Increase current response times by 10%
You can even break those goals into several milestones to track your progress and see if you are moving in the right direction.


If you don’t have historical data showing your costs, the number of breakdowns, downtime or response times, no worry. Get started with your CMMS and you’ll start to quickly get those numbers before your PMs begin to take effect.
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