Operations & Maintenance

The State of Planned Maintenance in 2019

Ryan Chan

To understand what’s most important to maintenance teams, UpKeep surveyed 271 maintenance managers within organizations large and small, in various industries. What we found is that, across the board, planned maintenance is the most important key performance indicator (KPI) for 54% of maintenance managers, followed by uptime (30%) and wrench time (16%).

Graph of most important maintenance metrics

When more maintenance is scheduled, wrench time and uptime naturally increase. Technicians spend less time waiting around for reactive repairs and more time performing work. Assets are also less likely to break down. The majority of maintenance managers understand this. But in some cases, it’s hard to not prioritize KPIs like uptime.

Of the different industries surveyed (manufacturing, facility management, fleet management, and property management), uptime is valued nearly as much as planned maintenance by maintenance managers at manufacturing plants. This makes sense because, if a critical machine goes down, everything stops. This is not the case for other industries. For instance, if a truck breaks down in a fleet, the rest of the fleet continues to function.

There’s a gap between the perceived importance and actual implementation of planned maintenance.

What’s surprising is the gap between the perceived importance of planned maintenance and to what extent it’s actually implemented. Of the maintenance managers who say planned maintenance is most important to them, only 2 out of 5 say more than half or their work is scheduled. The other three say either less than half of work is scheduled, very little, or none at all.

Graph of amount of planned maintenance work that's implemented

These overall percentages are nearly identical to those by maintenance managers in the manufacturing industry—where a planned maintenance percentage of less than 50% is generally considered unacceptable.

However, maintenance managers are working with the budgets they have. About half of maintenance managers in the manufacturing industry say they’re unsatisfied with their budget and need more budget for equipment, retaining talent, software, and facility improvements (in order of importance).

There’s an opportunity to improve planned maintenance percentages with tools already available to maintenance teams.

Another reason planned maintenance is lower than desired is that maintenance managers are not using the tools already available to them to make scheduling more work easy. For instance, less than half of teams that use a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) schedule all of their preventive maintenance tasks (PMs) in it. Other teams that use a CMMS either schedule some of them, none of them, or don’t perform PMs.

Graph of the amount of PMs scheduled in CMMS software

To increase the amount of PMs that are scheduled in the CMMS, better onboarding and training might be needed. Technicians and maintenance managers need to understand how to use the CMMS to schedule work and complete work orders.

Some ways to do this include:

  • Asking your CMMS provider to come to your facility and train your team
  • Attending free online CMMS training sessions (here are some by UpKeep)
  • Creating an internal implementation guide for how your organization will use the CMMS

It’s hardest for medium-sized maintenance teams to fully utilize their CMMS for PM scheduling.

Even with the aforementioned training options available, it’s still harder for medium-sized maintenance teams to fully utilize their CMMS for planned maintenance. They have a team that’s big enough to make CMMS adoption challenging and small enough to deprioritize formal scheduling.

Graph showing amount of maintenance teams that schedule all PMs in their CMMS

Small teams might utilize their CMMS for PM scheduling slightly more than medium-sized teams because less people means less hurdles to implementation. And large teams might utilize their CMMS for PM scheduling drastically more because the success of their organization depends on it. As previously stated, scheduled work means more uptime. And more uptime means better business.

Additional Insights

The State of CMMS Adoption in 2019

The State of Maintenance Operations in 2019


271 maintenance professionals (manager level and above) who use the free or paid version of UpKeep responded to this survey. Respondents were in one of four industries: manufacturing, facility management, property management, or fleet management. Responses were largely North American (US and Canada) based, but did include international responses as well. If you want responses broken out by industry, team size, or something else, please email us.

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