There is nothing maintenance managers wish more than to have their assets running 100% of the time and no breakdowns to register. In fact, it is impossible to prevent or predict every malfunction — but centralising all tasks and setting up a careful preventive maintenance plan leaves us one step (or several steps) closer.

When companies adopt reactive behavior (i.e. they act only after malfunctions occur), they are operating at 10 to 40% of their capacities. It is estimated that 50% of the time is spent on emergency repairs, which are 3-5 times more expensive. It’s not the end of the world, but it’s far from ideal.

Making a transition to a preventive attitude requires a profound change of habits. Corrective maintenance must be complementary to preventive and predictive maintenance and this is where the need to create a comprehensive maintenance plan at the beginning of each year comes in. Fortunately for you, we have divided this task into 5 easy steps:

1. Define goals 

Any plan should be designed to meet certain specific objectives. Therefore, the first step in creating a preventive maintenance plan is to clarify the goals you want to achieve. 

What is your main objective with this preventive maintenance plan? To reduce downtime? To increase asset reliability? To reduce costs or increase compliance with preventive maintenance? Defining these is what makes your plan useful and effective.

You also need to think about what has been causing you to fail to achieve these goals so far: is it the lack of communication between technicians? The forgetfulness of deadlines? The inadequate stock of parts when a malfunction occurs? Is your CMMS inadequate or insufficient? Understanding this is important to understand how your team can implement the plan you are outlining. There is no point in leaving your dreams on an Excel sheet. 

2. Make an asset inventory

Yes, we said you could create a preventive maintenance plan in 5 steps, but nobody said it would be easy. One of the most time-consuming phases of this whole process is mapping assets, and categorise them by equipment families. We recommend that you do it directly in your CMMS,  as this will allow you to associate them with their locations, assigned technicians, manufacturer’s recommendations, warranties, and quality standards to be met. 

Once you have entered your assets, you can use your CMMS to associate tasks to the corresponding asset, generate automatic work orders, or send automatic notifications to technicians about reported equipment failures. Here’s how you might set a preventive maintenance plan on your CMMS.


Example 1 – Preventive Maintenance Plan (PMP) for an air conditioning equipment

Building Name: Building 8

Year of PMP: 2019

Equipment family: HVAC Rooftop 

Active: air conditioning rooftop bar 


List of Planned Tasks:

Every 12 Months

Inspection – Detection and correction of gas leak points

Cleaning – General Cleaning

Each month

Inspection – Data logging

Inspection – Fluorinated Gases Inspection Service

3. Setting priorities

Now that you have all your assets organised in the software, it’s time to move on to the next step. Your time, your team and your resources are precious — and limited. So, you need to set clear priorities. What pieces of equipment are crucial for your operation? In the past, what have been the most expensive corrective maintenance interventions for the business? 

There are breakdowns that you should avoid at all costs, because they disrupt the normal operation of the business and cause high and unnecessary costs. You should also consider risk assessment, since there are assets that may be jeopardizing the safety of your staff, your customers, your employees, and even the community. Then, organise your planned preventive mantenance schedule based on this order of priorities.

4. Creating KPIs for the maintenance plan

Let’s go back to point 1 of our maintenance plan: setting goals. If you have set goals, you now need to know whether you have achieved them. Therefore, no maintenance plan is complete without defining the appropriate performance indicators (KPIs) to measure their effectiveness. Plan straight away what the best indicators are to evaluate your progress, what data you will use to measure them and how you will collect that data. 

Some of the most common indicators are the planned maintenance percentage, preventive maintenance compliance, the overall equipment effectiveness, the critical percentage of scheduled maintenance and the mean time between failures. If your team is always diligent in entering the data, your CMMS  should automatically measure some of these KPIs to track your progress.  

Learn more about this step in our article on measuring the effectiveness of your maintenance plan.

5. Review and improve

Nothing is perfect! Before preparing the preventive maintenance plan for the following year, you should review your last maintenance plan, the KPIs, the reports and the points where you fell short of expectations. Consider what went better than in previous years and what failed. Review your objectives for the coming year, make improvements to the maintenance plan and reduce corrective maintenance costs from year to year.

Now that we have explained how to create a 5-step maintenance plan, we only ask for one thing in return — make emergency repairs no longer the norm in your company in 2020!  

Ready to make a plan and don’t have a maintenance software?  Download our maintenance plan template in Excel!

Need more than that? Talk to one of our experts and learn how Infraspeak can help you create and manage preventive maintenance plans!