Defer Maintenance at Your Own Risk

Facility managers are familiar with the practice of deferred maintenance, but could the perceived long-term cost-savings from postponed maintenance be a myth? 


In today’s blog, Omnia360 discusses the three negative impacts, along with the overall importance of deferred maintenance. 

What is Deferred Maintenance? 

It’s the common practice of postponing maintenance activities like repairs in order to save cost and reallocate resources, time, and labor, towards other activities. Facility managers or directors must think strategically when making these decisions, taking numerous factors into account: long-term profitability projections, material resources, time commitment and labor. 


Deferred Maintenance Has Major Impacts

Facility managers should typically avoid deferred maintenance, if possible. It can negatively impact the following: 

  • Occupant safety 
  • Risk of unforeseen breakdowns 
  • Asset performance and lifecycle 


Without regular preventative maintenance, your equipment’s usefulness life cycle will shorten. Proactively repairing and troubleshooting your facility’s equipment is a lot more cost-effective than dealing with a major equipment issue later on. 


Let’s say that your team is wanting to save a bit of money or happens to be dealing with major maintenance issues, leaving you squeezed for time. You might consider ignoring a filter change on your HVAC system to save cost on the margins.


The downside to this is that more dirt, dust, and debris builds up in your air filter, forcing your HVAC to work harder, leading to energy inefficiency, a higher utility bill, and increasing the risk of a major breakdown in the future. 


Three Primary Negative Impacts of Deferring Maintenance

Decreases Machine Efficiency. Without proper care, machinery works less efficiently, hiking up monthly expenses and overhead costs. Hot water heaters, HVAC units, and other such equipment must be regularly inspected for optimal performance.

Shortens Machine Lifespan. If left unchecked, a poorly-running machine will have to work harder to perform, thereby shortening its lifespan and, eventually, requiring you to foot the bill for a full replacement. 

Increases Long-term Costs. As issues go unaddressed, they get worse. That means any maintenance performed will cost more in terms of time, labor or parts. It’s more cost-effective to have regular preventative maintenance scheduled throughout the year.


Deferred Maintenance Done Right is Still Important

Deferred maintenance still has its place. There’s only so much time, money, and labor to tap into. On the other hand, you also don’t want an excessively long laundry list of maintenance tasks piling up in your backlog — it’s bad for productivity. 


One thing is certain: You have to prioritize some maintenance tasks over others.


Contracting with a third-party facility management company helps you identify and sort tasks from high to low priority, and organize them in a listed queue based on variables like cost-benefit analysis, replacement or repair risk, budgetary constraints, and time scale. 


Integrated FM Management Can Save You Money

As a manager, identifying cost-saving initiatives is great, but deferred maintenance isn’t the best option. An FM service company can perform an on-site audit of your facility and local areas for cost savings, then create a strategic methodology for actualizing it. 

According to some academic studies, deferred maintenance often occurs due to variables like:

  • Poor maintenance planning
  • Unavailability of skilled maintenance personnel
  • Insufficient funding
  • Unstable organizational structure

Knowing this, our skilled facility managers take into account several factors before choosing to defer maintenance for parts of your building: 

  • Money/Budget 
  • Service parts 
  • Time 
  • Required skills

New Perspective: Preventative Maintenance is an Investment

When it comes to putting off maintenance tasks, take a different perspective. Rather than associating cost savings with deferred maintenance, think of preventative maintenance as a long-term, budget-friendly investment in your facility, your employees, customers, and business as a whole. 


Contact Omnia360 for Comprehensive FM Services Today

There’s a reason why we’re called Omnia360. We provide around-the-clock, comprehensive, integrated facility management services that work with your in-house team. Contact us today for more information at (833) 360-6642.