What is a maintenance strategy?

●      What are the four types of maintenance strategies?

●      Types of maintenance strategy FAQs

●      Conclusion

When it comes to the delivery of property repairs and maintenance services, having a comprehensive maintenance strategy in place is essential. In doing so, you will be able to establish an extensive decision-making framework that allows you to analyse how a property needs to be maintained, schedule that workload and then execute the required maintenance.

There are four main types of maintenance strategies that you need to be aware of, so you can determine which particular method works best for you and your organisation. Any property and its assets will require maintenance to keep it in good condition, which is especially relevant with social housing.

From job scheduling to responding to emergency repairs, the maintenance strategies we explore in this article will help you to create an approach that works for both you and your customers.

What is a maintenance strategy?

Put simply, a maintenance strategy consists of identifying, resourcing and executing repair, replacement and inspection decisions. It determines the order of required actions that are needed to keep a particular system functioning – both in terms of scheduling and assigning work. Having an effective strategy in place will help to improve the quality and productivity of your operation, while also reducing costs.

What are the four types of maintenance strategies?

There are four types of maintenance strategies, all of which can be used independently or together. In this article, we will focus on how each type works in the delivery of property repairs and maintenance services, but they are all still relevant to sectors other than housing.

So, let’s take a look at the different maintenance strategies and see which works best for your organisation.

Corrective

Corrective maintenance is when an issue is identified while working on another problem. For example, an engineer may attend a property for a standard security inspection and notice that there is a faulty appliance that could potentially be hazardous. This relies on identifying problems at the last minute, rather than being able to predict what will need fixing in advance – also known as reactive maintenance.

Unlike more strategic, planned strategies, this could lead to issues not being correctly identified. However, it does serve a purpose for non-critical assets, such as changing light bulbs.

Pros:

●      Issues are fixed quickly

●      A reduction in downtime

●      Less planning is involved

●      Fewer people and resources are needed

Cons:

●      Very unpredictable

●      Can work out more expensive when you’re reactionary

●      Makes scheduling work challenging

●      Jobs may take longer than anticipated, creating a backlog

 

Preventative

Arguably the most popular type of maintenance strategy, preventative maintenance usually relies on software to provide statuses and updates on when maintenance work is likely to be required. The theory behind this approach is that routine, scheduled inspections will extend the life of an asset and reduce the need for large-scale maintenance.

It allows you to automate a lot of your maintenance scheduling and ensure that not only your operation is more organised, but also helps the people carrying out the property repairs and maintenance services.

Pros:

●      Reduces the likelihood of emergency repairs

●      Increases an asset’s product life

●      Reduction in unexpected downtime

●      Easier to plan and predict

Cons:

●      Immediate costs can be higher in terms of software and processes

●      Extra staff may be needed to manage and carry out routine inspections

●      Could lead to unnecessary maintenance work

●      Can experience misinterpreted data

 

Risk-based

Risk-based maintenance focuses on work that would put the customer at the most risk if it were to fail or not happen. This strategy is slightly more complex in the sense that each facility or property would need its own customised strategy, requiring a carefully planned approach. Priority would be assigned based on the needs of a particular property and the amount of work that would potentially be required – plus how urgent the maintenance work is.

Due to its complex nature, it requires reliable data, a very capable team that has mastered prevention maintenance and the ability to conduct thorough inspections.

Pros:

●      Risk of total system failure is greatly reduced

●      Able to prioritise work and target those most in need

●      Helps to prevent property damage and risk to life

●      Able to effectively allocate engineers/staff

Cons:

●      Some properties/customers could slip through the net

●      Relies on highly accurate data

●      Requires a lot of time and skill

●      Can be costly

 

Condition-based

Our final type of maintenance strategy is condition-based maintenance, also known as predictive maintenance, which allows you to predict failures before they happen using data. This means you can prevent problems from arising by carrying out the required maintenance work at just the right time. For example, this could be in the form of smart technology that’s used in a property to alert the maintenance team when there is a faulty appliance that needs attention.

With this strategy, you can monitor when there has been a change in performance and allocate repairs and maintenance services before something major goes wrong. The main goal is to understand when the best time to carry out maintenance work is, so wasted visits are reduced and the reliability of the work is high. In turn, this should help to reduce costs.

Pros:

●      Very proactive

●      Able to fix a problem before a major failure happens

●      Reduces unexpected failures and repair time

●      Can reduce maintenance costs

Cons:

●      Can result in misinterpreted data

●      Time consuming and hard work to monitor

●      Initial costs for the right software and technology are high

●      Not all maintenance work can be predicted

Types of maintenance strategy FAQs

 How do you create a maintenance strategy?

Start by assessing your current maintenance strategy to identify its strengths and weaknesses. Then, you’ll need to assemble a team of colleagues across the organisation to discuss the following:

  1.  Defining your vision. Use your list of strengths and weaknesses of the current strategy to highlight areas of improvement. Set clear objectives.
  2. Ensure everyone is on board. Don’t restrict strategy involvement to the more senior members of your organisation. When it comes to property maintenance, it’s a very hands-on process, so all areas of the organisation need to buy into what you’re doing.
  3. Plan and allocate work. Map out your resource allocation and determine who will be responsible for what. Think about the what, how, and when of your maintenance activities. Ensure each team member knows about their day-to-day tasks and how they contribute to the overall maintenance strategy.
  4. Execute your new maintenance strategy. Once you’ve finalised the new processes and conducted staff training, you’re now ready to get started. Always allow for feedback so you can tweak the strategy if required and see what aspects of it are working well. It’s also important to keep monitoring your goals to see if you’re performing as expected.

 

Why do we need a maintenance strategy?

With a solid maintenance strategy in place, you’ll be able to streamline the way you identify, schedule and execute any maintenance work that’s required at properties. This will benefit both your staff and the customers you serve. There is a huge list of excellent reasons why you need a maintenance strategy, many of which have been explored in this article.

 

How do I choose a maintenance strategy?

In many instances, it’s not a case of choosing one type of maintenance strategy, but instead opting to create a version that utilises all of the different maintenance strategies we have discussed. This is because there are pros and cons associated with each type and every organisation is different. When it comes to fine-tuning your maintenance strategy, make sure you include people from multiple departments across your entire organisation.

 

Conclusion

Achieving an effective and successful maintenance strategy is hard work. However, your organisation will likely be rewarded with lower costs, better productivity and happier customers if you use a combination of the four types of maintenance strategy discussed in this article.

At ROCC, we can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, thanks to our innovative social housing repairs software, digital inclusion platforms and mobile working solutions. However, we don’t just rely on software solutions alone, we also handle process mapping, training and effective system delivery.

Get in touch with us today and speak to an expert about our comprehensive IT housing systems and solutions.