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The Top Challenges of Managing Maintenance and Repairs In-House, And How Outsourcing Can Solve Them

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, managed services have always been a pivotal element in maintaining a competitive edge, especially regarding maintenance and repairs. Every good maintenance manager knows they are in a high-stakes game where making all the right moves can lead to significant savings in both time and money while enhancing operations and customer experience. 

In the ever-evolving landscape of business, managed services have always been a pivotal element in maintaining a competitive edge, especially regarding maintenance and repairs. Every good maintenance manager knows they are in a high-stakes game where making all the right moves can lead to significant savings in both time and money while enhancing operations and customer experience.  

However, missteps often result in costly downtime, financial losses, and a tarnished reputation.   

Today, we explore these critical issues as we examine the top challenges faced by maintenance managers in an increasingly competitive economy. More importantly, we explore strategies that help you mitigate the risks.  

Maintenance and Repair Management Overview 

Maintenance and repair management isn't just about fixing things when they break. It's a complex discipline, requiring a blend of strategy, planning, and proactive work to keep an organisation's physical assets in good condition. Successful maintenance managers need to strike the right balance between preventive and reactive maintenance to ensure optimal use of resources.  

A well-run maintenance department is your secret weapon to delivering exceptional customer experiences and preventing breakdowns and equipment failures, while also being prepared to act fast and nip problems in the bud before they can become disruptive. 

Whether it's scheduling, parts allocation, managing maintenance data, or keeping track of warranties, the maintenance team has a critical role in keeping operations running smoothly.  

Outsourcing your repairs and maintenance using a Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) also allows managers to track and control maintenance tasks to a fine degree. However, while a good Facilities Management System (FMS) goes a long way to resolving many maintenance issues, managers will always have hurdles to overcome.  

Here's how outsourcing can transform your maintenance operations: by providing access to skilled professionals, reducing costs, facilitating effective planning and scheduling, overcoming technological limitations, and ensuring compliance with industry regulations and standards.  

Challenge 1: Lack of Skilled Staff 

A well-functioning maintenance department is only as good as its people. One of the top challenges faced by maintenance managers is the shortage of skilled staff. It's no longer enough to be handy with tools; modern maintenance work requires a mix of technical expertise, problem-solving abilities, and digital literacy.  

In an era where preventive maintenance is increasingly important, maintenance staff need to understand how to use advanced tools like CMMS or EAM platforms, interpret maintenance data, and respond proactively to any issues.  

Training existing staff and attracting new talent can help, but outsourcing is another effective solution maintenance management can use to complement their in-house staff. With outsourcing, you get immediate access to expertise and experience as needed. As a result, your business becomes a lot more flexible in how it handles routine and emergency maintenance.  

Challenge 2: Budget Constraints 

Every maintenance manager knows the constant tug-of-war between keeping maintenance costs down and ensuring the good condition of the organization’s assets and equipment. It’s not difficult to see how budget constraints can pose a significant obstacle.  

Maintenance managers need to strike a balance between expenditure on preventive maintenance, which can prevent costly breakdowns in the future, and reactive maintenance, which addresses problems as they arise.  

So, what's the solution? Outsourcing maintenance introduces predictable expenditure, especially when opting into regular monthly maintenance packages. Your bank balance is safe because there's no need to make a massive capital expenditure to access advanced technologies or deal with the expense associated with training highly specialised staff.  

Challenge 3: Inadequate Planning and Scheduling 

Planning and scheduling are the cornerstones of successful maintenance management. Without a well-thought-out maintenance program, even the most competent maintenance team can quickly become overwhelmed by emergency repairs.   

Reactive maintenance tasks, unscheduled breakdowns, and last-minute changes can throw off the best-laid plans, leading to inefficiency and increased stress among the team.  

Many maintenance managers still rely on spreadsheets and other manual methods for planning and scheduling, which can be time-consuming and error-prone. A shift to digital tools can automate much of this work. Managers will benefit enormously from a real-time overview of maintenance tasks and resources that will help them in their decision-making.   

Outsourcing presents another opportunity for managed services to solve complex planning and scheduling issues. Outsourced maintenance suppliers like Ticked Off can provide access to the right contractors immediately and 24/7 support for round-the-clock emergency preparedness.  

Challenge 4: Technological Limitations 

Today's maintenance manager recognises the need to embrace technology. From managing in-house and third-party providers to automation systems that streamline workflows, technology is transforming the maintenance industry.  

However, this technological innovation comes with its own set of problems, like keeping up with a rapidly evolving maintenance industry, for example. This includes not only learning to use new tools and systems but also training the maintenance team to use them effectively.  

Furthermore, many organisations struggle with implementing and integrating new technologies into their existing systems. This can lead to issues like data silos, where important maintenance data is not easily accessible or usable for decision-making. Another growing maintenance challenge is the security of data, especially with the rise of cloud-based solutions and the need to encrypt sensitive information.  

Outsourcing gives businesses access to companies already using advanced technologies and the latest tools. Quality service providers are experts in their field and know from experience how best to use the technologies available to them.  

Your company will achieve significant cost savings without the need for continuous and expensive in-house upgrades. Well-managed services ensure you benefit from the latest technologies as they are introduced into the facilities maintenance sector.  

Challenge 5: Compliance with Regulations and Standards 

Compliance with regulations and standards is always ongoing. Maintenance managers need to ensure that their practices meet various industry and government regulations, which can range from safety standards to environmental regulations.  

Non-compliance can lead to legal issues, fines, and even shutdowns, not to mention damage to the brand's hard-won reputation.  

Maintenance data plays a critical role in demonstrating compliance. For example, a CMMS system can help keep track of maintenance tasks, record incidents, and provide reports for auditing purposes. These systems can also help maintenance managers ensure that every asset is maintained according to its recommended schedule, reducing the risk of equipment failure and potential compliance issues.  

When you do your due diligence for outsourcing maintenance tasks, you can be sure that your providers have a deep understanding of industry standards and regulations and are always up to date with the latest changes. It's often challenging to put specialist expertise on the payroll when regulations and compliance demand it. Using an outsourced service provider means you can access these vital skills on an as-needed basis.   

With everything a maintenance manager faces in the modern workplace, CMMS systems and outsourcing have become essential tools for ensuring they are always in the know and on top of your R+M function when outsourcing maintenance contracts.   

The Ticked Off CMMS and Managed Service offers a comprehensive solution to many of the common challenges for maintenance managers. From managing skilled staff and prioritising preventive maintenance to maintaining compliance with regulations, this system provides a single platform to manage it all, effectively and efficiently. Get in touch to find out more about how Ticked Off can help you with your maintenance practices and turn every challenge into a competitive advantage.