How To Implement Root Cause Analysis In Maintenance Planning

How often do you see your maintenance staff? Are they familiar faces that you rely on for preventative care of your facility? Or do they only see you in your most stressed, dire circumstances when something has gone terribly wrong? If the latter is the case, you are likely relying on reactive maintenance planning for your facility. This approach is oftentimes the most convenient, but also the most costly for many reasons. It leaves no room for analysis or careful planning. When your facility is flooding or the HVAC system has shut down, a quick fix is all you can afford. 

This is why we at MaintenX recommend preventative maintenance planning. It allows for the analysis of maintenance issues and offers technicians to provide long-term solutions rather than quick fixes. We use a system of root cause analysis, the practice of determining the source of a maintenance need, and creating the solution for its root cause rather than the surface issue. 

This approach is similar to how a doctor might treat a patient for disease. The patient comes in with a list of symptoms. While the doctor could simply prescribe medication for the symptoms, they are much more successful when they diagnose the problem causing the symptoms. A fever may be indicative of a cold, or it could be something much worse. The same is true for an HVAC that is running slowly, a backed-up drain, or a problematic electrical circuit. You may see the symptoms, but your maintenance technician can identify the root cause if given time to analyze and diagnose. 

Root cause analysis is critical for several reasons. First, it is the only solution that is likely to stop a maintenance problem from recurring. By only treating the symptoms (for example, running chemicals down a backed-up drain), you temporarily fix the appearance of the issue, but the cause is still lurking in the shadows. If instead, you allowed your plumber to snake or perform hydro-jetting on the drain, or do an inspection to assess the issue, you might find a major blockage of line break that is in need of immediate repair. 

Root cause analysis is not an easy way out. It requires you to schedule regular preventative visits with your technicians in order for them to catch symptoms early. Again, there is no time for root cause analysis when you have a major system breakdown in the middle of the workday or when a tenant is furious. You must invest time upfront to notice the subtle signs of a breakdown to come. Using this approach to maintenance, you can build a more efficient and cost-effective maintenance plan. 

MaintenX performs this thorough analysis during preventative maintenance services. We provide the basic preventative maintenance services, but also go deeper to ensure you are not caught off guard by a major maintenance issue in the future. For this level of customer care, contact your local MaintenX team today. 


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