Planned preventive maintenance is an integral offering for many field service companies, especially for those in the fire safety, security, and property maintenance industries.
Providing a preventive maintenance plan to customers, service businesses can reduce the likelihood of an asset breaking down or failing. Managing planned preventive maintenance schedules – what needs to be serviced and when – can get complicated, especially for large properties with many assets. By incorporating the right software into your preventive maintenance plan, you can efficiently manage even the largest maintenance schedules to ensure you never miss a planned service again.
What is planned preventive maintenance?
Planned preventive maintenance (PPM) is the regular maintenance and servicing of an asset or piece of equipment to increase uptime and reduce the need for reactive maintenance. By creating a time-based schedule of services that occur at regular intervals (e.g. every month, six months, yearly, etc.) the likelihood of a system or asset failing can be reduced, as well as the associated burden, losses, and costs for the business.
PPM is often preferable when compared to reactive maintenance, as reactive maintenance requires waiting for something to break before servicing it. When dealing with equipment that has many safety or legal considerations, a preventive maintenance plan can help businesses stay compliant. As such, PPM is especially vital for assets such as elevators, fire alarms, smoke detectors, security systems, and much more.
Some of the challenges that accompany implementing a PPM strategy are:
- Knowing which services need to be completed and when
- Managing repeat visits to the same property
- Admin burden of processing hundreds (or thousands) of monthly services
- Staying compliant with statutory maintenance dates
With the right planned preventive maintenance software, field service businesses can tackle those challenges, take control of their PPM schedule, and offer a more reliable service.
Commusoft planned maintenance software
Commusoft work order management software offers comprehensive planned preventive maintenance tools for managing your PPM schedules over the course of the year. This includes PPM templates, a PPM calendar per property, and automatic PPM work order creation. When combined with Commusoft’s scheduling, asset management, and customer communication features (plus much more), this offers the full package for field service businesses.
Log all of your service tasks
One of the most important elements of a preventive maintenance plan is keeping an accurate log of every task that is due at a property. Losing track of even one task can result in unhappy customers, a breach of contract, and potentially dangerous situations.
Tracking maintenance tasks on paper or with spreadsheets means your schedule is vulnerable to potential loss and does not work directly with your management software. With Commusoft, you simply create a maintenance plan and add as many tasks against it as required. For each task you determine how often it needs to occur, choosing from weekly to yearly intervals. This preventive maintenance plan can then be reused in the future for other contracts and customers as needed, saving you from unnecessarily creating duplicate plans.
Providing different types of services to one customer? E.g. fire safety and electrical maintenance? You can add multiple PPM schedules to one customer, to properly reflect the varied types of work and services you supply them.
Build and validate your schedule
Once you have a list of maintenance tasks, you’ll need to determine when they should be planned for. Commusoft offers an interactive PPM scheduler that gives your staff an easy solution to quickly plan out multiple services. The PPM calendar shows every task as a row, with columns per each week of the year – simply pick a week for the task to occur. If it’s an annual maintenance task, the system won’t let you add more than one per year, similarly, for a monthly task, the schedule will highlight each interval that a task is due and not allow you to add too many or too few per interval. This stops accidental planning issues or mistakes such as scheduling an annual work order to occur more than once in a year.
Commusoft can validate your preventive maintenance plan once you have added all the required tasks. By validating the schedule, the system will alert you if you have missed any tasks and also make optimization suggestions. For example, if you have planned to service the fire alarms in the first week of September and the smoke detectors in the second week of September – the system will suggest you carry both out in the same week to save you a repeat visit. However, you can choose to ignore these suggestions if you would prefer to stick with your original schedule. Optimization suggestions can help make your business more efficient, by reducing the number of unnecessary repeat visits to a property.
Additionally, to make building PPM schedules quick and easy, you can have the system automatically fill out the entire maintenance plan for you. Simply provide a few parameters, (e.g. choosing which week of the month a monthly task occurs) and the system will autocomplete the entire schedule, saving you both time and effort.
Add statutory dates to tasks
Many industries will deal with statutory dates for certain services or maintenance tasks. The statutory date is the date that a particular task is legally required to be carried out by. In order to stay compliant with the relevant regulations and legislation, it is critical that statutory dates are included as part of your planned preventive maintenance software.
When building a PPM schedule in Commusoft, you can add a statutory date (or multiple) to a task. By setting the statutory date, the system will lock the PPM task to that week and ensure it cannot be moved. This ensures that everyone on the team can see the task’s statutory date and will not be able to accidentally move it.
Additionally, if you use Commusoft’s service level agreement feature, the statutory date can automatically create an SLA for the PPM work orders. For example, a PPM work order has a statutory date to be completed by the 1st of June. When the work order is auto-created 2 weeks prior, the expected completion date is automatically set to the 1st of June. An SLA countdown will then display on the work orders informing the user how long they have left to complete the job.
Incorporating statutory dates directly into your preventive maintenance plan and tracking as an SLA assists your business to stay more compliant with various regulations.
Automatic PPM work order creation
Now that you have the tools to create a complete planned preventive maintenance schedule, it’s time to start following the plan and providing the services. Commusoft helps by automatically creating the appointments as set out in the maintenance plan and adding any relevant details. There’s no need to tediously raise each word order!
You can customize the number of days in advance that the PPM word orders will be created, so based on your preference, word orders could be raised 1 day or 30 days before a task is due. The PPM word order is then ready to be scheduled by your office team and assigned to a technician. Some preventive maintenance plans may include hundreds of word orders over the course of a year – understandably, office staff don’t want to manually raise each of these individually. By auto-creating PPM word orders for you, Commusoft saves your team countless hours of repetitive admin.
Start building your preventive maintenance plan
Whether you’re building your first preventive maintenance plan or you’ve been offering PPM to your clients for years, Commusoft is the ideal solution for your field service business. Let Commusoft take your PPM organization, operational efficiency, and reporting to the next level by logging every task, creating and validating a visual schedule, tracking statutory dates, and automatically raising word orders. You can manage your preventive maintenance plan with less effort and admin burden, yet produce improved results that will continue to drive your business towards success. Find out more about service contract management in Commusoft.