Centralized Vs. Decentralized Maintenance

There are two main types of facility maintenance: centralized and decentralized. A question all facility managers should ask themselves when organizing their maintenance is which type is most suitable for their facility. The answer greatly depends on the individual organization, and the benefits and disadvantages of each type should be considered before deciding. You should also consider how efficient and cost-effective each system is before choosing.

Decentralized Maintenance

In this system, there’s one maintenance group in place for each individual part of a facility; each runs fairly independently of the other. This means each area is attended to and maintained separately, with individuals responsible for a specific area. They usually report to an overall maintenance manager, but are only concerned with the maintenance issues under their care.

The consequence of this is most decision making is moved to lower levels of the organizational hierarchy, which is beneficial in terms of time, expert knowledge and accountability. The decentralized group usually has their own capital, maintenance teams, and contractors. A benefit of this model is increased satisfaction, as employees feel more responsible for the assets in their care and can get to issues faster.

One negative associated with having decentralized maintenance is a higher degree of variation in services. This means different ways of doing the same work can arise, as there is less need for communication between teams. Different attitudes about projects and standards of maintenance is also a factor.

Centralized Maintenance

Centralized maintenance differs in that one organization takes full care of a facility’s management. This means that all separate groups are under one umbrella. For example, enlisting the help of one company like MaintenX can assist your facility with general maintenance, landscaping, and janitorial services, without you needing to hire multiple experts.

Centralized maintenance can help increase focus on planning and organization, meaning costs can be lowered. Centralization also creates more detailed records and communication. Another benefit of this model is increased standardization and consistency of service. This can be a very efficient approach to maintenance, and can result in higher standards, increased equipment efficiency, and reliability.