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Maintenance management is a process designed to ensure assets get the regular maintenance they need. This is important for ensuring all company assets and resources continue functioning efficiently. Maintenance management is usually structured to maximize and optimize asset maintenance services.

Are you considering adopting a detailed maintenance management process in your business? Here is everything you need to know about the basics of maintenance management.

Worker man with yellow helmet and ear protection maintenance management

What Is Maintenance Management?

Maintenance management is defined as the process of maintaining an organization’s assets and resources efficiently. However, instead of focusing on intangible assets like computer software, it focuses on physical assets like machines. After a company acquires physical assets, it is important to ensure these assets continue to perform as effectively and efficiently as they can.

To achieve this, the company needs to provide consistent asset maintenance. Assets are essential to the running of any business. Whether the assets are real estate, furniture, equipment, or machinery, they are important in any business’s revenue-making strategy.

The ability of a business to operate efficiently often depends on the state of these assets. To ensure assets are always in shape tip-top, businesses often employ asset maintenance services. However, because companies often have a lot of assets, keeping track of what asset gets what maintenance service and when this service is scheduled can become tricky.

To solve this problem, companies are adopting efficient maintenance management services. Maintenance management is one of the most important aspects of business that is usually underrated. Like any other business process, it has undergone several evolutions, from archaic and arduous to being streamlined using various automation software. 

How CMMS Helps Maintenance Management

Maintenance management today is performed using a computerized maintenance management system software or CMMS software. CMMS eliminates the need for manual recordkeeping to manage maintenance tasks in a business lifecycle. Instead, its centralized nature ensures that the entire process is automated.

CMMS handles several maintenance tasks such as scheduling, record keeping, data collection, and management. It facilitates maintenance planning while making workflow more seamless and improving asset performance. Essentially, CMMS software offers businesses organizations, tracking, and managing your maintenance operations.

This makes it easier to track maintenance processes, get real-time updates, and get notifications about changes in an asset.

Why Is Maintenance Management Important?

Maintenance activities play vital roles in determining the life length of an asset. This directly affects the success of an establishment. Essentially, maintenance is important for the success of any establishment. Why?

This is because assets that lack proper maintenance experience downtime, need frequent repairs, or are lost due to extensive damage. To ensure this does not happen, it is essential to employ maintenance management. Maintenance management is essential because it ensures the timely and orderly maintenance of assets.

It controls maintenance resources and activities necessary to preserve and prolong the life of a company’s assets. This offers a solution to keeping assets in efficient working order for a longer time, thereby keeping risks to production due to the dysfunction of assets at bay.

Maintenance management is important to keep assets in maximum and optimum condition. This will, in turn, encourage efficient production and business operation, increased production quality, improved productivity, and lower operational costs.

Types of Maintenance Management Strategies

Maintenance management comes in different types. The mode of operation of each type varies and often yields various results. Some maintenance strategies are highly effective, and some are less effective than others. Regardless, there are maintenance management strategies for every type of asset, depending on the business’s resources.

Some maintenance management strategies include:

1. Reactive Maintenance Management

Reactive maintenance management is also known as run-to-failure, corrective, or breakdown maintenance. It is usually adopted when an asset breaks down from overuse without adequate maintenance. An instance is when a truck is used continuously without any upkeep to ensure all its parts are functioning adequately.

Soon, it will reach a breaking point where it will not work anymore. When this happens, the maintenance management that is adopted is reactive. Reactive management is typically used for assets that do not impact a business’s production. These assets are known as low-priority assets as their breakdown does not necessarily cause a change in the quality or rate of business operation.

Reactive maintenance is a go-to optimization option for saving time and resources that would otherwise have been spent on these low-priority assets. By waiting for the asset to break down, the business spends more on repairs than it would have spent on precious collective repairs. 

Reactive maintenance requires careful analysis of what assets are low-priority.


  • Saves maintenance costs, time, and resources on maintenance
  • Helps businesses divert maintenance fees to more important assets


  • Asset breakdown might take the asset out of remission for a while
  • If serious damages caused the breakdown, repairs might be extremely expensive

2. Preventive Maintenance Management 

Preventive or proactive maintenance is a more courteous form of maintenance management. It involves the scheduling of routine and constant maintenance services to prevent the breakdown of support physical assets. A preventive maintenance task is typically employed for the prevention of asset damage and downtime.

It targets high-priority business assets that are essential to business operations. Essentially, these assets are vital to the success of the business. Therefore keeping them at optimal condition is important at all times. A business’s maintenance department also uses preventive maintenance operations for assets that may be too costly to repair.

They use the “prevention is better than cure” approach and choose to avoid these costly repairs with cheaper maintenance alternatives. An example of a preventive maintenance approach is scheduling a truck for frequent oil changes, tire pressure checks, and other maintenance services. 


  • Less equipment downtime 
  • Assets remain efficient for a longer period
  • Longer asset life
  • Fewer interruptions during crucial operations due to asset breakdown
  • Increased workplace safety as assets are now less prone to/less likely to cause accidents
  • Maintenance checks are consistent and considered in advance to form a routine
  • Major signs of asset damage will be caught extra early


  • More labor-intensive
  • Waste of resources due to over-maintenance
  • More expensive than reactive maintenance
  • Requires continuous improvement on the machine

3. Predictive Maintenance Management

Predictive maintenance management is a condition-based type of management. It involves a “watch and wait” strategy where the asset is watched to determine the best time to schedule a maintenance service. Hence, the maintenance is scheduled based on the asset’s current condition.

The process is pretty simple. It involves watching an asset constantly and being on the lookout for a problem. However, this simple process can become complex very quickly. For instance, if a business’s truck starts leaking oil while being operated, it clearly indicates there is already a problem.

While this does not signify a complete breakdown, it shows a deviation from the normal truck operation. However, predictive maintenance isn’t based on waiting for the asset to show a visual sign of damage. Sometimes, a business will get its technicians to inspect the assets to determine if there’s a problem.

These inspections are not routine but are usually scheduled depending on the asset. Predictive maintenance is best applied in businesses with complex assets. These include energy-intensive industries such as electricity and oil & gas.


  • Reduces time spent on maintaining assets
  • Increases asset life expectancy
  • Minimized unexpected asset failure
  • Reduces money spent on spare parts for repairs
  • Ensures safety for asset operators or maintenance staff


  • The asset might require conditioning equipment, which might equally be costly
  • Hiring technicians to monitor assets might be expensive.

4. Reliability-Centered Maintenance

Reliability-centered maintenance is finding the best maintenance strategy for an organization. It is usually put in place to ensure machines continue to be as reliable as the business expects. Reliability-centered maintenance involves creating a detailed maintenance strategy for each asset to optimize it.

By optimizing this machine, businesses will be able to ensure the machine continues to remain highly productive. An instance of reliability-centered maintenance is if a conveyor belt runs 20 full rounds before breaking down, maintenance will be scheduled after every 19th round.

This will enhance performance and ensure the conveyor does not operate until failure.


  • Reduces equipment downtime
  • Minimize overhauls.


  • High cost 
  • Continuous process
  • Time-consuming as it requires analysis of every asset.

Objectives of Maintenance Management Strategies

Regardless of the maintenance program or management strategy employed, all strategies share one common objective. These objectives include:

1. Controlling Costs

Without proper maintenance management, businesses cannot track asset maintenance. Businesses will have trouble allocating maintenance services properly to all assets. As a result, they will also be unable to track the funds dedicated to providing the assets with these maintenance services.

Maintenance management fixes this problem by helping businesses allocate maintenance funds more efficiently. This helps the business shave off unnecessary costs and create a maintenance budget that serves its financial capacity.

2. Scheduling & Allocating Resources

Time and resources are two important elements in business. Maintenance planning or scheduling makes it easier to manage the time and resources spent caring for assets. This gives an easy overview of employee efficiency and helps the business prioritize various operations.

Doing this ensures all assets, and every other work operation, get the attention, time, and resources they deserve.

3. Minimize Downtime

Minimizing asset downtime is a vital objective in asset maintenance. Proper maintenance management ensures that assets remain tip-top, reducing downtime due to breakdown. It does this by enabling maintenance personnel adopt a more effective maintenance approach. This results in fewer operation and production interruptions. 

4. Meet Compliance & Regulation

Proper asset maintenance work ensures work safety. By making sure all assets get proper and frequent maintenance, businesses can ensure they meet business safety regulatory compliance across federal, state, and local levels. This is especially important for meeting the Occupational Safety & Health Act (OSHA).

5. Extend Asset Life

Without frequent and proper maintenance, an asset will suffer wear and tear and depreciation. If this goes on for too long, the asset expires before its time. Maintenance management prevents this by making sure assets are in good condition. This extends the useful life of these assets, makes them last longer, and helps the business maximize them for a longer period.

6. Find Trends 

Maintenance management is used to discover trends among assets. By studying the past maintenance history or historical data of assets, managers can easily get an overview of the scope of daily operations within the establishment. This can be made easier by using technology such as machine learning and artificial intelligence to gather this data and sort it into easily-digested information.

maintenance management workers success advantages

Advantages of Maintenance Management Strategies

Maintenance strategies play a vital role in the success of any establishment. Without adequate maintenance, an asset is prone to damages, wear and tear, and depreciation. Maintenance management mitigates these risks, helping assets perform efficiently and effectively for longer.

Some advantages of maintenance management practices include the following:

1. Reduces Equipment Failure

Maintenance increases asset uptime and minimizes downtime. Lack of maintenance is the leading cause of equipment failure in business. For businesses that depend highly on equipment in their operations, this may lead to a loss of revenue. In fact, unplanned asset downtime usually leads to as much as $50 billion in loss annually.

To prevent this, businesses must provide all the maintenance services their equipment, machines, and other assets need to remain in peak state. By implementing maintenance management, businesses can ensure their machines get the attention they need.

Faults are unavoidable, and the constant operation of machines usually leads to wear and tear. When machinery is left to go on for too long without adequate maintenance, it accumulates faults that essentially snowball into more serious damages. Maintenance management prevents this and minimizes the risks of asset failure.

By cleaning, lubricating, and servicing these assets, businesses can ensure they continue to function efficiently and enjoy profitability for a longer period.

2. Extends Asset Longevity

Machinery is a piece of equipment that is not supposed to last forever. At some point, maybe in some years, a machine will be so unsalvageable that it won’t be able to function. This is usually due to factors such as damages, natural depreciation, or lack of maintenance.

Providing adequate maintenance services ensures the asset performs more efficiently and for a longer period than it would without servicing. Asset maintenance management practices ensure equipment longevity by eliminating elements that put it at risk, such as constant malfunctions.

When equipment receives constant maintenance through maintenance management, it undergoes frequent inspections, cleaning, and other services that make it less susceptible to damage.

3. Improves Work Safety

Although mistakes often cause work accidents due to equipment, they can be avoided. Equipment accidents are usually caused by mismanagement by staff or mismanagement by the maintenance team. Machines that receive constant maintenance without being overturned usually perform more efficiently.

When machines are properly maintained, they are not at risk of breaking down, exploding, or overheating. This increases employee safety, thereby reducing the chances of workplace incidents.

4. Cost Management And Forecasting

The Muni train in San Francisco used to be neglected without proper maintenance. This costs the economy at least $50 million annually. Although ignoring maintenance services for total failure repairs may look like a great way to save money, repairs are usually substantially more expensive. 

Maintenance is a cost savings solution that focuses on removing small faults as they appear. While repairs require finances to take care of the extensive and usually disastrous damages, smaller faults are easier to manage. Repairs play a huge role in company cost overrun.

Maintenance management prevents this by creating a cost-effective maintenance schedule that will eliminate the risks of repairs. Additionally, because maintenance management creates schedules, businesses will be able to anticipate future costs for maintenance.

These costs are a better option than the substantial and usually unforeseen costs accompanying repairs. Being able to predict these costs make it easier to perform important asset management processes such as making audits of fixed assets.

Getting Started With Machine Maintenance

Machine maintenance offers lots of benefits when implemented in business operations. With a proper maintenance strategy, business assets such as equipment and machinery can perform more efficiently over a longer life cycle. Applying machine maintenance strategies in a business might seem like walking a tightrope at first.

However, with the proper plans and maintenance systems, the organization can begin enjoying a successful machine maintenance program.

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