Facility management is not an easy job, and mistakes or miscalculations can sometimes have serious consequences. There are plenty of responsibilities to juggle, including implementing repair plans, coordinating technicians, and scheduling servicing. There is also administrative work like meetings, budget reports, and other obligations. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for tasks to fall through the cracks.
Of course, lack of available resources or funding can also cause delays. Many facility managers have to make the painful decision to delay some maintenance while waiting for funding or budget cycles. Whatever the reasons, the results of neglecting or putting off maintenance can be nothing short of devastating.
Delayed Repairs Lead to Replacements
Delayed maintenance can have serious long-term consequences. Although they may seem negligible, repair delays can have compounding effects on costs. Neglecting essential servicing can lead to more in-depth fixes and even replacements of parts and machines.
Deferred maintenance can lead to more deterioration of assets resulting in a higher cost when buying new equipment. The more you delay, the more physical damage is happening. In other words, the longer you wait for the repairs, the bigger the chances of the equipment being damaged beyond repair. Then you are left with no choice but to purchase new equipment, a far more costly option than repairing an existing item.
Regularly scheduled maintenance is essential because it adds predictability and reduces equipment breakdown. An obvious consequence of delaying vital repairs is the hindrance of daily operations. Maintenance delays lead to unexpected downtime. This inactivity or reduced work has a direct effect on the company’s finances.
When components, utilities, or mechanisms require servicing to continue operations, your company or organization becomes less productive. This factor leads to extra costs and decreased output. When you fail to perform regular maintenance activities, the operation life of the equipment is shortened.
Scheduled maintenance can have a good return on investment since it will add a few more years of service on the essential equipment if it’s appropriately performed. It means you don’t have to buy new equipment for a much longer time. It also means that operations will continue with no delays.
However, delaying maintenance would mean an unpredictable repair schedule. You can be in the middle of an important activity, but when your equipment breaks down, you have no choice but to stop and wait for the repair.
Unscheduled breakdowns and repairs can take their toll on the operation. These neglected fixes will eventually require time and energy to address whether they are caused by delayed maintenance or equipment replacement.
The time needed to address maintenance needs can create a backlog of work orders for even the most experienced managers. There will be no choice but to stop work and wait for the repairs to finish. These delays will create backlogs in your workflow, affect work quality, and eventually have financial repercussions.
Health and Safety Risks
Equipment breakdowns can also be disruptive and dangerous. Defective equipment can cause injuries, accidents, and irreparable damage. Delays in maintenance can also affect worker safety. For one, workers will feel compelled to service equipment and utilities at a rushed pace, potentially leading to work injuries. Additionally, once repairs are implemented, you and your team may be tempted to speed production to make up for the lost time. This increased pace can lead to mistakes and accidents.
Accidents in the workplace can be caused by many factors, including lack of training, work methods, reliability, and maintenance. Accidents can happen anytime, but they worsen if the equipment is not maintained correctly or the maintenance schedule is not followed. Equipment failures are a significant cause of severe accidents in the workplace. According to one study, 272 out of 773 accidental events are caused by equipment failure. This figure means one-third of all accidents can be attributed to equipment failure, presenting health and safety risks.
Maintenance is Always Worth It
Even under the best circumstances, delays are inevitable, but it’s essential to follow maintenance schedules and act on maintenance requests right away to minimize delays. Although delays will happen from time to time, deferred maintenance can cost your company time, money, and safety. Deferred maintenance can also lower work efficiency and delay important work.
An excellent way to avoid compromising infrastructure integrity is to invest in work order software to organize technicians and stay on top of servicing needs. A work order management system lets facility managers effectively organize and track all work orders in a single dashboard for easy access and control.