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If your predictive or preventive maintenance program isn't succeeding, there are some common reasons why it failed -- and ways you can get back on track.

Minor to major changes in the maintenance department have the potential to improve operations throughout an organization. When assets are maintained according to manufacturer’s instructions and historical performance, there is typically less downtime and more productivity among staff. This means the financial incentives for managers to improve processes are usually on target. Predictive maintenance (PdM) and preventive maintenance (PM) are the gold standards of facility upkeep, and many manufacturers are adopting these programs. But what happens if your program is falling short of expectations?

When a program isn’t producing the desired results, it’s best to not let it go on one day longer than it has to. But for PdM and PM programs, there are some major pain points that can help guide you to making changes to your current operations. Rather than abandoning all the work and time you’ve invested, take a look at these four common reasons a new maintenance initiative fails so you can make modify your plan for success.

1. Low User Adoption

The technologies behind predictive maintenance – CMMS solutions, asset condition monitoring systems and related sensors – have become more reliable in recent years, delivering valid results when supported properly. Without strong user adoption, however, even the most high-tech system can fail. What often occurs is that there’s a failure with implementation, resulting in a gap between personnel and your ultimate goal.

2. No Leadership Support

For any new initiative, having leadership support from the start is crucial. When management doesn’t fully support new processes, especially those meant to boost maintenance, those plans will have trouble gaining traction. This can also apply to funding and budgets. If, for example, a team is underfunded and understaffed, they will be unable to stay on top of maintenance no matter what tools they have at their disposal. Having a key stakeholder that champions your program to the organization can be a valuable boost to its success.

3. Poor Follow-Through

Many teams begin their journey to a new maintenance program in good faith and with the best intentions, then let things slip along the way. When you have a brand new solution in place, it’s easy to get motivated. Then, the work settles in, and your teams may feel unmotivated to stick to the new way of doing their day to day tasks.

The key is to keep that initial momentum up with a clear focus on your goals. Getting a new system to excel is a matter of following through on initial excitement and guiding every step, from technical implementation to employee training to everyday operations, all with the right solutions in place.

Keeping Your Eye on the Prize

The right CMMS solution and its accompanying mobile app, particularly solutions designed for a simple and effective user experience, can be powerful tools that can help you begin to solve many of these pain points. Look for a solution that has:

  • User-Friendly Features If it’s making their job harder, or starting to feel like a chore to use, a CMMS won’t take off with your team. When in the buying process, make sure that you not only get buy-in from leadership but also your team. After all, they’ll be using the platform every day, and if it’s too difficult to use then you’ll quickly see user adoption slip off
  • Reporting and Data – To get leadership support, you have to learn to bridge the gap between your expertise and what leadership cares about – i.e., return on investment, productivity and machine uptime. Having real-time data in your CMMS is a great step forward, and having reports generated directly from a central dashboard to give to stakeholders is even more powerful
  • A Dedicated Client Support Team – One of the benefits of cloud-based (also known as software-as-a-service, or SaaS) solutions is that they have a dedicated team to support your goals and maintain the software. You don’t want a vendor that will simply sell you a product and leave you hanging, so be sure to look for a company that puts client support first and foremost

Want to know more about how you can rally your team around new processes and solutions? Check out our guide: Empower Your Workforce Through Change Management!

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