IFM Innovators

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How to set an integrated maintenance system

Integrated maintenance refers to a comprehensive approach to maintaining equipment, machinery, and facilities by combining various maintenance strategies and practices into a unified system. The goal of integrated maintenance is to optimise maintenance processes, increase operational efficiency, and reduce downtime while effectively managing costs.

In an integrated maintenance approach, different maintenance methodologies are strategically combined based on the specific needs of the assets and the organisation. These methodologies may include:

Preventive Maintenance

Regular inspections and planned maintenance tasks are carried out to prevent equipment breakdowns and failures.

Condition-Based Maintenance

Equipment health is continuously monitored using real-time data, and maintenance is performed when certain predefined conditions are met.

Predictive Maintenance

Data from sensors and monitoring systems are used to predict when equipment might fail, enabling maintenance activities to be scheduled just in time.

Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM)

Maintenance decisions are made based on the criticality and impact of failures on overall operations.

Reactive Maintenance

Unplanned repairs are performed in response to unexpected breakdowns or failures.

Total Productive Maintenance (TPM)

Focuses on involving all employees in maintaining equipment to maximise overall equipment effectiveness.

By integrating these different maintenance approaches, organisations can create a more holistic and efficient maintenance strategy that considers factors such as equipment reliability, operational needs, costs, and safety. 

Integrated maintenance aims to strike a balance between preventing failures, addressing issues promptly, and optimising resource utilization, ultimately contributing to smoother operations and improved overall productivity.

Technology is hailed as the ultimate time-saver, but we all know that’s not always the case. Digital tools like CMMS, for example, often fail to deliver on that promise. Their complexity makes them cumbersome for those in the field, and over time they become abandoned cornfields with very little valuable data.

Current CMMSs are not the answer

According to McKinsey, technicians continue to spend less than half of their time doing practical work, dropping below 30% in some cases. During the remainder of the time, they’re looking for the right materials and tools, along with protective equipment, reading relevant information, entering information, checking permits and so on. 

Granted, technicians will never have their hands on tools 100% of the time. Even with the most cutting-edge technology, they will always spend time getting whatever they need for the repair. But they can get themselves organised much faster with intuitive software that compiles all the relevant information. 

Centralised information and integrated operations

For service providers, whose core service is maintenance itself, integrated operations aren’t just “something nice to have”. Everything must be connected to the core to maximise resources, be agile, and become more competitive. Even less obvious integrations, like accounting tools, can streamline business with clients.

Integrating your maintenance software with your client’s building management systems — like Siemens BMS, BISYS or Projedomus — is pivotal to collect data in real time, receive notifications, and make data-based decisions regarding maintenance intervals, energy consumption, asset lifecycle management, and much more.

Service providers can also improve their own planning, be it through integrations with their ERPs, route optimisation software, or communication tools. Overall, it’s safe to say integrated operations offer a better user experience to your team as well. 

Benefits of integrated maintenance operations

Integrated maintenance can help you deliver a better service. However, we’ve also seen that the user experience doesn’t improve just from the client’s point of view. For managers and technicians alike, it’s much easier to manage their daily routines.

Failures happen – that’s a fact of life. What sets you apart is how quickly you can solve them. When your technicians can easily access the equipment’s logs and technical docs, they’ll reach a diagnosis faster and see how the problem was previously fixed.

According to McKinsey, condition monitoring and advanced troubleshooting, which are ‘simpler’ than predictive maintenance, can yield impressive results. But you’ll need a data-focused mindset and reliable data, which is easier to come by with integrated ops.

Non-residential buildings use, on average, 40% more energy than residential buildings. Making sure equipment is well-maintained, as well as integrating your maintenance platform with building management systems, can have a real impact on reducing most businesses’ carbon emissions.

If you associate “integrated operations” with “remote work”, you aren’t entirely wrong. While it’s not all there is to it, integrated operations certainly enable several teams to work together remotely, which makes you more agile, resilient and Industry 5.0-ready.

Centralising information and integrating your platform with your client’s software helps you comply with regulations, laws or even ISO quality standards. Besides, you can collect data that proves compliance with the SLAs you agreed to.

Ultimately, integrated operations allow you to collect more data, which supports better decisions. You can figure out ways to avoid waste and maximise resources, improve maintenance planning, and deliver a top notch performance every step of the way.


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