What is reactive maintenance in commercial property?
Reactive maintenance is also known as “breakdown maintenance”. These are the repairs that are done when equipment has already broken down. The reactive maintenance process is focused on restoring the equipment to its usual or normal operating condition. The elements of broken-down equipment are therefore returned to working order within the defined service specifications by replacing or repairing all the faulty parts and components.
GDS undertakes reactive maintenance call-outs to commercial property locations on behalf of key principal contractors. Not all breakdowns can be planned for. Occasionally, damage is a result of accidents, human error and even forces of nature such as extreme weather situations. Our service includes a 24/7 call out as a white label supplier to your company.
One average, in commercial properties, emergency breakdown repairs cost 3 to 9 times more than planned repairs. Therefore, maintenance plans that rely solely on on reactive maintenance are generally the most expensive plans to operate. Breakdown maintenance is so much more expensive because shutdowns happen during active production runs – instead of pre-scheduled maintenance shutdowns during downtime where fixed operating costs and labour considerations are factored. Furthermore, expedited shipping of key spare parts cost much more than planned and routine regular shipping from a logistics perspective. A 3rd factor arguing against the sole reliance on a reactive maintenance plan is that maintenance staff are often forced to work overtime to repair the plant or machinery. This costs more and has additional consequences in planning normal labour shifts.
The Advantages of Reactive Maintenance
- Lower initial costs
- Requires fewer staff
- No maintenance planning needed
The Disadvantages of Reactive Maintenance
Due to the unpredictable nature of a reactive maintenance plan, there are a number of disadvantages:
- Difficult to control budgets
- Shorter life expectancy of assets
- Safety issues
- Time consuming
- Sporadic equipment downtime
- Inefficient use of resources
- Interferes with planned work
- Collateral Damage
- Indirect costs
- Repeat issues
- Higher energy costs
When Is Reactive Maintenance Useful?
For the best ROI, reactive maintenance can be performed on components that are inexpensive or easy to replace. In places where the failure would not cause any collateral damage and in places where the cost of reactive maintenance is not greater than preventative maintenance. Reactive maintenance is also ideal for businesses and principal contractors that cannot plan all elements of work due to the nature of the industry.
Reactive maintenance is always factored into and present in all maintenance strategies. Despite the best laid plans, equipment failure can’t always be perfectly predicted. There is a useful industry-wide “rule of thumb” on the subject. Aim for only 20% of your total maintenance time to be devoted to reactive maintenance.