Around the 1500s, the famous Dutch philosopher Desiderius Erasmus wrote that “Prevention is better than cure”. Today this is the mantra used in modern medical practice. In other words, it is better and easier to stop a problem or start doing something before something goes wrong or something bad happens. Being reckless has always led to pain and suffering which further leads to a lot of unexpected expenses and time to recover.
One of the most complex and magical operating systems in the world is our human body, and the most modern medical practice promotes prevention as the best method. So, what about man-made inventions? Doesn’t it need any preventive methods to avoid any painful issues from occurring as asset ages?
Being in the facilities management or community management world does allow you to explore the inner workings of various types of properties. So, while enjoying these peaceful site-seeing trips we do come across sudden bumps or potholes which sometimes are nauseating or can give you a deep sting in your heart (Oops! This is being overly dramatic…let us tone it down a notch).
What I meant was that you will come across eyesores or dilapidated conditions of your treasured properties or assets. Unfortunately, it is not a rare sight. For sure most of you who may be reading this will agree. A lot of thought processes were put into designing, planning, procuring, and implementing the assets or systems on various types of properties. A lot of money has been poured into getting the finished product ready for occupation.
As time passes, the possibility of breakdowns increases and once it does, the expense to repair the same increases too. The old-school thought process is to keep at it and repair it when it breaks down.
Analysis of data collected over the past decade has been published in numerous journals and white papers evidencing the benefits of preventive maintenance. Most famous authors have unanimously agreed and weighed preventive maintenance over reactive maintenance. Some of the areas famously highlighted are:
1. Improved RELIABILITY
- Preventive maintenance helps to improve the reliability of your assets. It helps build confidence in your customers. The most reliable product will have the highest value in the long run..
2. Improved EFFICIENCY
- Any asset not maintained in a systematic way will lose its operational capability over a period and will become more expensive to operate.
3. Improved SAFETY
- Any asset when left unattended for a long period becomes a hazard by itself, there may be a lot of contributing factors such as nature. But preventive maintenance will be the first mitigation method that shall be applied to reduce the severity.
4. Improved SUSTAINABILITY
- The life cycle of any asset is from its cradle to the grave, if we have to toss any asset into the garbage on a frequent basis this is against sustainability. We are indirectly polluting as well as spending more energy to produce more.
5. Reduced BREAKDOWN
- Preventive maintenance strategies put forward by most manufacturers as well as industry best practice helps to reduce downtimes. The less downtime, more the productivity.
6. Reduced COST
- All the five aspects above will contribute to or save a lot of indirect costs, at the same time being able to avoid explosive unexpected repair costs is a big cost-saving method. Looking at all the above aspects indicates, that a well thought out preventive maintenance is the key to an efficient life cycle of the built environment.
The author, Fahad Mohamed, is Director for Dubai and Northern Emirates regions at Adeeb.