How Reactive Maintenance Can Impact Your Company's Management

Reactive Maintenance – Expect The Best, But Prepare For The Worst

There are three types of facility maintenance solutions: predictive, prescriptive, and reactive maintenance. When a LESCO 360 client elects to stick with the latter only, we help them expect the best but also prepare for the worst! To better understand how this applies to your annual maintenance budget, let’s unpack what reactive maintenance is, the 4 types, some benefits, the bigger cons, and how to control the chaos.

reactive maintenance solutions, atlanta gaWhat is reactive maintenance?

As you may have guessed, reactive maintenance doesn’t take any kind of action until it’s necessary. A close analogy is deciding to only refill your vehicle’s gas tank when the low gas light comes on in the dash.

Reactive maintenance is a passive response. It can have some financial benefits, especially if all of your equipment is relatively new or still under warranty. It can also lead to some costly side effects.

The 4 types of reactive maintenance

While reactive maintenance sounds simple, there are four nuanced variations.

  • Breakdown: Once a component is no longer operational, you or a member of your team issues the repair ticket. This is always an unplanned event.
  • Run to failure: This is an intentional version of the previous variation.
  • Corrective: With both of the previous two variations, you replace the equipment. With Corrective, you repair the equipment instead.
  • Emergency: While Breakdown related in nature, emergency maintenance involves a health hazard. A pipe broke, there’s a short in your wiring, etc.

The 3 benefits of reactive maintenance

With reactive maintenance, there are three big benefits.

  • Lower short-term costs: In the short term, you can save money — especially if your equipment is in relatively good shape.
  • Minimal staffing needs: Lean operations don’t require a fully-staffed maintenance department.
  • Shorter budget meetings: With reactive, there’s no worry about what happened last year. You don’t need to budget for repairs as you simply hope they don’t happen.

5 cons of reactive maintenance

As you might expect, there are also five major cons of reactive maintenance.

  • Potentially larger repairs costs: Your maintenance expenses can often spiral out of control, requiring costly solutions to be up and running again.
  • Equipment or facility downtime: Proactive maintenance aims to prevent downtime. Reactive maintenance virtually assures there will be productivity lapses.
  • Unplanned labor or vendor costs: Emergency repair can be costly, especially if it’s after hours or doing a supply chain shortage.
  • Equipment dies faster: Proactive maintenance helps to extend the life of your equipment. Reactive maintenance frequently leads to a need to replace equipment more often.
  • Energy inefficiencies: Technology advances often lead to higher energy efficiency ratings. Using an outdated furnace far beyond its lifespan will only lead to higher energy costs. In addition, equipment will run less efficiently if it’s not properly maintained.

Ways to control the chaos

As we mentioned, there are sometimes valid reasons to operate with a reactive maintenance program due to short-term situations. When that happens, you want to expect the best, but prepare for the worst. Be sure to:

  • Have a designated maintenance team;
  • Fully stock equipment and backup supplies, and;
  • Have the right kind of tools for when repairs pop up.

integrated facility management, nashville tnWorking with a facility maintenance partner

Ultimately, each facility chooses the maintenance program that works best for them. Due to budget concerns, some choose reactive maintenance only.

When that’s the case, we’ll work with them to ensure their maintenance needs are cared for throughout the downturn so that they can return to a more proactive solution. If your business needs help with any type of facility maintenance, we’re here to help. Contact any LESCO 360 team member by giving us a call at 866-947-5044 or filling out our short website form.