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How to Create a Planned Preventative Maintenance Schedule

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how to create a planned preventative maintenance schedule

When it comes to maintaining each important element of your business’ infrastructure, keeping one step ahead is the smart option. No one wants to be chasing their own tails, trying to put out maintenance fires as they appear.

Putting in place a planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schedule will keep you ahead of the game with maintenance, so nothing gets overlooked or falls behind. This post will outline the areas that need PPM and how to create a schedule that works for you.

Areas that need PPM

You might think your business doesn’t need a preventive maintenance schedule. After all, is there that much equipment that needs maintaining? The short answer is ‘yes’, for pretty much all businesses sizes and sectors. Consider the following:

  • Electrical installations and equipment – for example, lighting, alarm systems, appliances and office equipment.
  • Security and physical access control – for example, systems that use key cards, pin codes and fingerprint scans.
  • Cleaning services and equipment used
  • Firefighting equipment and systems
  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems

The next question is why all that equipment requires maintenance – or more specifically, preventative maintenance. The answer is that PPM has a number of advantages, such as:

  • Keeping your workplace safer by mitigating problems before they arise.
  • Minimising disruption by swapping major breakdowns for minor repairs.
  • Staying compliant by keeping up to date with tests and inspections.
  • Keeping costs down and giving you better visibility of your inventory.

The most effective way to keep on top of your preventative maintenance is to make a schedule and stick to it. Here’s how to create one…

7 simple steps to creating your schedule

1. Choose your preventive maintenance schedule type

Firstly decide what type of schedule suits your business best. There are two broad types of planned preventative maintenance schedule to choose from:

    • Fixed preventative maintenance – repairs and inspections carried out after a certain time period has elapsed. For example, you might need your electrical appliances checking every five years.
    • Floating preventative maintenance – scheduled depending on when it’s needed, such as the last time the asset was serviced. For instance, your drains might need to be inspected because they haven’t been checked for some time – but this isn’t a fixed annual or monthly requirement.

Each approach has its advantages. With a fixed schedule, it’s easier to spread maintenance out to manage resources and costs. That’s because maintenance won’t coincide or overlap unless you want it to.

There’s also less chance of maintenance being pushed back because operatives or contractors are literally working to a fixed schedule.

On the other hand, a floating preventive maintenance schedule is suited to maintenance that’s needed fairly regularly but not necessarily on time. It provides more flexibility but that could come at a cost to compliance.

Let’s use fire alarm servicing as an example. It’s typically required every six months, meaning a fixed schedule is more suitable. You need to know when that six month mark is approaching, rather than having a floating reminder to get your alarms serviced at some point.

2. Take an inventory of your assets

The next step is to run through everything that requires maintenance at your site. This includes electrical appliances, wired alarms, heating and air conditioning systems, your electrical installation, and plumbing systems. There are also vehicles to consider, including everything from company vans and electric charging points to forklift trucks in the warehouse.

Note how often they need maintenance and inspection in order to stay compliant or just maintain proper function.

3. Prioritise your essential assets

Depending on the size of your business, maintenance schedules could take a lengthy amount of time to complete, so it is important to know what to focus on first. This is where compliance definitely comes into play. While you might be able to leave a plumbing inspection for another couple of months, you can’t take any chances with your electrical installation, for example.

4. Set the right intervals

One risk of using a preventative maintenance schedule is that you end up over-inspecting your assets, wasting time and resources. If you have determined intervals between maintenance periods, things can run much more effectively and you will cover all bases. You can do this by using the asset’s manufacturing manual or any equipment maintenance data to help you. Experienced contractors can also advise on suitable intervals for things like PAT testing.

5. Use appropriate software

Keep all related documents and plans securely stored, using planned preventative maintenance software. Asset recording, scheduling calendar and even an inspection checklist can all be stored in one location, giving access to staff and contractors and making a simple and effective process for your preventive maintenance. Volta Compliance offers a secure portal for all documents, certificates, renewals and scheduling information you may need, allowing easy access from any device 24/7, all year round.

6. Use trusted contractors

It goes without saying that the people carrying out work are vital to the success of any planned preventative maintenance schedule. Using a team of professionals who understand your industry and its hazards, can be vital in having an effective and safe PPM schedule. A good contractor can help reduce business interruptions and eliminate any costly disasters with equipment – not just by inspecting and repairing it, but also by recommending suitable dates for the next inspection based on their experience and specialist knowledge.

7. Monitor and review your schedule

Once your preventive maintenance schedule is up and running, it is important to monitor it to ensure your plan is working effectively. You may need to adjust timelines for inspections or schedule more frequent maintenance than you first thought. Keeping on top of elements that need improvement or change is the best way to develop a schedule that works well for your business maintenance.

planned preventative maintenance schedule

Advice & assistance with your planned preventative maintenance schedule

If you want to reap the rewards of planned preventative maintenance, Volta Compliance can help. We provide PPM contractor services for businesses throughout Yorkshire to minimise disruption, keep repair costs down and maintain electrical compliance.

Our team can help you with a schedule for your preventative maintenance by advising on suitable intervals for inspections, plus carrying out those vital checks and any necessary remedial work. Having a clear and well-thought-out plan will take a big job off your to-do list and give you complete peace of mind.

If this sounds good to you, call Volta Compliance on 0113 397 1361 or email [email protected] and we will be in touch soon.


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Richard Carr Volta Compliance
Richard Carr
Managing Director
Richard is the Director of Volta Compliance. He is a fully qualified approved electrician graded with the JIB. Richard has over 20 years electrical experience working on commercial and industrial installations.