You’ve probably read that predictive maintenance yields savings of 30-40% (compared to reactive maintenance), or savings of 8-12% (compared to preventive maintenance). What you probably don’t know is that those maintenance statistics are from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Best Practices guide from… 2010.

So much has changed in the past decade and it’s time we collectively update our references. The following maintenance statistics give you a real perspective of what’s happening right now. This is a good place to start if you’re looking for maintenance benchmarks to evaluate your own performance.

Maintenance is key to keeping businesses competitive and increasing return on investment. At the same time, companies need to control costs to remain competitive. So, how can maintenance managers provide cost-effective maintenance? Our team looked at the biggest and latest challenges in maintenance – including the one just mentioned – and the trends that take them head-on. Let’s dive in!

Top 5 maintenance trends not to miss

E-maintenance and Maintenance-as-a-Service (MaaS)

In order to stay competitive, relevant, and withstand market variations, manufacturers are expanding equipment-related services. One of those services is maintenance, which is known as e-maintenance or Maintenance-as-a-Service. Manufacturers know their own equipment better than anyone else, so there’s an authority argument to be made when they offer to help companies optimise their resources.

There are several e-maintenance models. Equipment manufacturers may offer subscription-based equipment maintenance, for example. Or they may offer predictive health monitoring through RFID tags or sensors. In both cases, manufacturers can aid companies in the reduction of their energy use, improve sustainability, increase safety, quality and, eventually cut costs. 

Sensor Technology

Although sensors are not a new trend, we expect them to grow. In 2020, Forrester predicted that companies that already used sensors on 25% of their machinery would increase their use by four-fold until 2023. And, after COVID-19, we’re sure a lot of people wished they had installed more sensors in their facilities to enable remote work.

Of course, we wouldn’t reduce sensors to their practicability. Since they provide automated data collection, they’re also the best source of reliable data. And data is the foundation of a good predictive maintenance strategy, which is another undeniable trend. According to the same research by Forrester, 47% of global manufacturers use predictive maintenance technologies to reduce operational costs. Now, it’s time for the other 53%. 

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR)

Augmented Reality (AR) has the potential to be one of the most disruptive technologies for maintenance. Its first application is immersive training. Instead of reading up on equipment manuals, technicians can see 3D modelsSiemens has applied this type of training to reduce some training sessions from a full day to only 45 minutes. Besides, it gives technicians an opportunity to train in a realistic but safe environment. 

Workers can walk through specific repairs, step by step, with realistic images of the machine or a piece of equipment. This training is ideal for well-established procedures with little variation. For example, replacing a given part in a machine, inspecting equipment, tag-out and lock-out procedures, and so on. However, AR can also be useful to prepare for uncommon and complex interventions. 

The second application is remote support. Using AR, experts can offer virtual repair oversight, providing support to on-site teams and technologies. This is very promising as a potential solution to one of the industry’s greatest challenges: the skills gap. Thyssenkrup, for example, already provides remote AR guidance from senior engineers to technicians, which reduces downtime by 50% and the length of repairs by 4 times.

📝 Read also: The role of Predictive Maintenance in enhancing manufacturing plant safety

Decentralised Repair Teams

Companies with several facilities often spread throughout different territories and countries, traditionally keep maintenance teams onsite at a great cost. Realistically, this is the only option that allows companies to react quickly to a sudden breakdown. But, if we take sensors and AR for granted in the near future, do onsite teams still make sense?

Decentralised repair teams are already feasible. Open networks of repair logs and real-time machine data (and extremely reliable, if it’s collected by sensors) allow managers to know what’s happening at any time. Meanwhile, AR can be applied to realistic training materials and virtual repair oversight. That means companies can either have smaller in-house teams or allocate them to a facility only when it’s strictly needed.

Ultimately, decentralised repair teams allow companies to optimise their workforce. They also reduce costs – on travel, training, etc – and cost variations. On the other hand, given the level of outsourcing in Maintenance and FM, it will impact many third-party companies. These companies will likely need to adjust their business model and differentiate themselves by the level of support and analysis they provide.

More Agility and Less Downtime

If you call us out for saying less downtime is a trend for the following years, we don’t blame you. In truth, less downtime is never out of fashion. But, since there’s increased competition, businesses need to become more agile. Arguably, adaptability is the greatest competitive advantage that companies can have. That means maintenance teams need flexible platforms where they can add or remove features with no hassle.

However, that’s not enough to reduce idle time and improve productivity. Companies are looking to become more agile across the board, eliminate waste, and implement lean practices. Lean maintenance includes “just-in-time” inventory management and procurement, kaizen, reliability-centred maintenance, and condition monitoring (which, in a way, is also “just-in-time” maintenance). 

Reduced downtime not only improves uptime, it also increases the equipment’s useful life. Both have a positive impact on equipment ROI, thus growing profit margins. It plays into sustainability as well, since we must use resources for as long as possible and quit “Europe’s throwaway culture”. 

On average, maintenance accounts for 20-50% of the total operating budget. Effective maintenance is critical to ensure competitiveness and productivity. It’s a tall order for maintenance managers, sure, but it’s not impossible to provide top-notch services with greater agility and economy. As long as you have the right technology, of course!

Since you’re here…

📝 Don’t forget to check the Industrial Maintenance Trends until 2030! 
📝 You may also be interested in the Facility Management Trends and Challenges for this year

Maintenance is Changing: but are we changing with it?

For European companies, the main pain points are unplanned downtime and emergency maintenance (90%), ageing IT infrastructure and technology (88%), connecting modern assets and analysing data (76%), obtaining asset data (40%), connecting older legacy assets and obtaining data (29%), maintenance cycles (24%), connecting assets from remote locations (24%), monitoring assets in real-time (22%), and collaboration with vendors (20%).

Maintenance challenges

Source: CXP Group Report, 2018 


Maintenance Budget and Efficiency

  • In 2021, 42.5% of companies in the US spent 21-40% of their operating budget on cleaning and maintenance equipment/supplies. About 35.79% spent only 1-20%, 16.78% spent 41-60%, 3.36% spent 61-80%, and 1.57% spent more than 80% [Statista]
  • 29% of plants spend 5 to 10% of their annual budget on maintenance; 24% spend 11 to 15%; 17% spend more than 15%, another 17% spend less than 5%, and 13% don’t know [Plant Engineering, 2021]
  • Around 88% of facilities outsource some of their maintenance operations. On average, 23% of their maintenance tasks are outsourced [Plant Engineering, 2021]
  • 68% of manufacturers considered their safety program “good, but needs improvement”, while only 19% classified it as “excellent, best in class”.  [Advanced Technology, 2020]
  • 93% of companies consider their maintenance processes are not very efficient [CXP Group, 2018]

⚙️ Does your company fit into those overwhelming 93%? Here are 50 actionable ways to improve your efficiency. 


Maintenance Metrics


Maintenance Strategies

  • 88% of manufacturing companies use preventive maintenance, 52% use run to failure, 40% apply preventive maintenance using analytics tools, and 22% reliability-centred maintenance (RCM) using operational data analysis [Plant Engineering, 2021]
  • In industrial maintenance, 80% of companies link a CMMS to greater productivity. Most think predictive maintenance is the best strategy to reduce downtime and reduce the probability of failure, but RCM is what provides the best overall equipment effectiveness. [Advanced Technology, 2020]

Still running to failure: statistics about unplanned downtime

Maintenance Statistics | Unscheduled Downtime
Source: Plant Engineering


  • The top causes for unplanned equipment downtime are ageing equipment (34%), mechanical failure (20%), operational error (11%), lack of time for maintenance (9%), poor equipment design (8%) [Plant Engineering, 2020]
  • The Aberdeen Group calculates that unplanned equipment downtime costs, on average, $260.000 an hour (€220.400)
  • To decrease downtime, 46% of companies plan to introduce or change their maintenance strategy, 46% intend to upgrade their equipment, 33% want to improve training and increase frequency, 32% would like to expand monitoring capabilities, and 16% to implement automated analytics/ machine downtime. Plus, 13% to increase scheduled downtime, 9% want to hire additional maintenance technicians, and another 9% to outsource maintenance services. [Advanced Technology, 2020]

Maintenance Statistics | Decrease Downtime

Source: Industrial Maintenance 2020 | Status, Trends + Forecasts Report, Advanced Technology, 2020

⚙️ If run to failure is your Achilles’ heel, here are 8 actionable ways to reduce reactive maintenance in your facility.

Preventive Maintenance: good on paper, harder in real life

  • 94% of companies consider Maintenance, Repairs and Operations (MRO) extremely or somewhat important to avoid downtime, follow lean practices, and manage preventive maintenance. [Peerless Research Group (PRG), 2018]
  • 37% of companies handle all their MRO manually, but 27% have already automated 25-50% of their tasks, 21% have automated 50-75%, 9% are mostly automated, and 6% are fully automated. [Peerless Research Group (PRG), 2018]
  • In industrial maintenance, 60% of companies associate preventive maintenance with better productivity, and over 60% with decreased downtime and improved safety. [Advanced Technology, 2020]

According to an ARC Advisory Group’s Enterprise Asset Management and Field Service Management Market Study:

  • As much as 50% of maintenance costs are a “waste”
  • Around 30% of preventive maintenance is too frequent
  • As little as 18% of age-related failures follow a pattern 

Maintenance Software Statistics

  •  60 – 80% of CMMS implementations fail. Why? Poor user engagement and training, lack of support from management, and unclear goals, roles, and responsibilities [Fiix Implementation Guide, 2019]

Predictive Maintenance and Data: are they delivering? 

  • 48% of plants already use connected devices to capture, analyse, and improve maintenance. A further 30% is looking into it.  [Plant Engineering, 2021]
  • In Spain, 60% of businesses had already invested, or planned investments, in predictive maintenance in 2018. In Germany, 54% had already invested in predictive maintenance and 80% planned to invest.  [CXP Group, 2018]
  • 89% of companies are worried about data security and privacy. The lack of ability to process that and inappropriate infrastructure are the other inhibitors to implement predictive maintenance. [CXP Group, 2018]
  • Specifically, in the UK, 85% of businesses see planning maintenance processes based on predictive insights as a major challenge. [CXP Group, 2018]
  • The global predictive maintenance market will grow to $23.5 billion by 2024. [IoT Analytics, 2019
  • 91% of businesses reduce in repair time and unplanned downtime, after implementing predictive maintenance [CXP Group, 2018]
  • 93% improve the maintenance of their ageing infrastructure [CXP Group, 2018]

According to PWC’s “Predictive Maintenance 4.0 – Beyond the Hype: PdM delivers results”, a study with 268 real European companies from Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands:

  • Predictive maintenance decreases costs by 12% 
  • Availability improves by 9%
  • Extends the lifetime of an ageing asset by 20%
  • Reduces safety, health, environmental and quality risks by 14%

The Future of Maintenance: what managers think comes next

But is it so easy to invest in predictive maintenance and connectivity? Apart from ageing equipment, what are the obstacles managers face? 

  • Managers believe the main challenge they face in the future is ageing equipment (67%). Other challenges include lack of understanding of new options/ technologies (37%), lack of resources or staff (34%), lack of budget (29%), lack of training (28%), lack of support from management (26%), employee buy-in (23%), poor scheduling, rarely followed through (20%), other (2%), and non-applicable (1%).  [Plant Engineering, 2021

Automation, IoT, and the skills gap

  • The International Data Corporation (IDC) projects $ 4.1 billion will be invested in augmented and virtual reality for industrial maintenance by 2024.
  • But there’s a skill gap. Only 29% of facility managers believe their technicians are “very prepared”, 45% say they’re “somewhat prepared”, and 26% “not at all prepared” [Peerless Research Group (PRG), 2018]
  • The lack of skilled personnel is real. 31% of companies outsource operations because “skilled individuals are hard to find.” 58% of manufacturing employees have worked in the industry for more than 20 years.  [Plant Engineering, 2021]
  • In industrial maintenance, the situation worsens. The three main reasons to outsource maintenance are lack of time or manpower (48%), lack of skills among current staff (41%), and too many specialised skills (39%). [Advanced Technology, 2020
  • 48% of manufacturing companies find the process of hiring, onboarding, and retaining the biggest challenge to their current program. Moreover, 41% viewed the lack of resources or staff as the biggest challenge to improve maintenance [Advanced Technology, 2020

⚙️ We’ve also given you a few ideas to reduce turnover in maintenance and increase retention. Also, if you’re looking for an Intelligent Platform to help you with your maintenance operations in 2024, come have a chat with us! 

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