9-11 May 2023
ICC Sydney

Discussing reactive, preventive and predictive maintenance strategies

Discussing reactive, preventive and predictive maintenance strategies

While trying to become more efficient, facility managers (FMs) may consider the choice of maintenance strategies as an important factor. For most organisations, having a property that is well maintained is crucial to cutting costs, saving time and energy, and most importantly, ensuring occupant comfort.

There are generally three different approaches to maintenance strategies – reactive, preventive, and predictive. Although each strategy has its positive points, the predictive method is usually the preferred method for savvy FMs.

The traditional method, also known as reactive method, is the easiest and also an outdated maintenance approach. This is the “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” strategy.

Maintenance staff and FMs work endlessly to develop a more efficient, cost-effective strategy for their departments. While some departments still might operate in a reactive mode, many others have implemented some or all of the concepts of preventive or predictive maintenance.


Most common approach to maintenance

All three methods have their merits, but most FMs try to be more preventive than anything else. In an ideal world without stringent budgets, FMs try to strive for a higher percentage of preventive and predictive maintenance over reactive.

Segmenting critical areas such as medical, life safety, process control and utility service equipment and allocating a preventive maintenance program is a cost-efficient way of ensuring critical services receive optimum maintenance as these are core areas which require a proactive approach.


The impact management can have on maintenance methods

A reactive approach to maintenance costs more to address and impacts the comfort of building occupants. FMs need to acknowledge the benefits of preventive maintenance and promote that solution to senior management. Training is also key, and efficient and well-trained staff are the greatest asset to a company aiming to reach higher standards of maintenance.



The biggest challenge for almost any facility operation is budget. With drastically reduced budgets, it sometimes is difficult to spend money in order to save money. This is especially true if you are setting up a new program or requiring more advanced technology. Changing the mindset that spending money upfront will result in savings in the long term is a challenge. When resources are scarce, the foremost thought is to cull maintenance funds, especially preventive maintenance. This approach will result in a short-term cost decrease but a much larger long-term increase. What needs to be done is to quantify the impact on cost, both long term and short term, to make informed decisions.


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