Asset Intelligence and Management

Asset Intelligence and Management

EZO CMMS Blogs What Is Planned Maintenance

What is Planned Maintenance? Types, Examples, Benefits, and More

Planned Maintenance

In some cases, you respond to a system breakdown or failure and in other cases, you proactively prevent breakdowns or failures by planning maintenance activities beforehand – reactive and preventive maintenance respectively. 

When you delve deeper into the subject of preventive maintenance, you’ll discover that there are different types of preventive maintenance – planned and scheduled maintenance. 

Planned maintenance and scheduled maintenance may sound similar, but there are some distinct differences between them.

In this blog post, we will explore planned maintenance in detail—discuss its examples, types, the  difference between planned and unplanned maintenance, and its advantages. 

What is planned maintenance? 

As per a report published by Ponemon Institute, large organizations face an average downtime cost of almost $9,000 per minute, whereas SMBs experience costs ranging from $137 to $427 per minute. 

While downtime costs may fluctuate based on industry and organizational factors, one thing remains the same: strategically planned maintenance programs lead to increased bottom lines because of less downtime and higher productivity. 

Planned maintenance refers to a maintenance process that specifies what materials, tools, tasks, and services are required to solve a problem. The aim of planned maintenance is to define what work needs to be done and how it needs to be completed. Scheduled maintenance details who will perform the tasks and when they will be completed. 

In other words, planned maintenance is a basic form of preventive maintenance (PM) that is performed with a predetermined plan. 

This type of maintenance approach is more focused on reducing unplanned equipment downtime as it allows the maintenance teams to perform regular, scheduled tasks and inspections at predefined periods, ensuring that assets remain in optimal condition. 

Also Read: What is Preventive Maintenance? Types, Examples, Benefits, and Process  

Examples of planned maintenance

Several examples can be used to better explain planned maintenance. Some of the examples of planned maintenance are as follows: 


– Testing and replacing backup power supplies of machinery such as batteries

– Inspecting wear and tear on belts, chains, and other moving parts of machinery

Office equipment

– Regularly checking and cleaning office equipment such as printers, copiers, and computers to remove dust and debris that can affect performance

– Checking and organizing office cables to prevent tangling and tripping dangers


– Frequently changing the engine oil and oil filter of vehicles to ensure proper lubrication and prevent engine damage

– Cleaning and replacing air filters of vehicles to maintain airflow and performance

Types of planned maintenance

Planned maintenance consists of two types: planned preventive maintenance and planned and unscheduled maintenance. 

Planned preventive maintenance

This is a type of planned maintenance that focuses on repairing equipment before it breaks down. For example, planning to change a bulb before it burns out is known as planned preventive maintenance. 

Planned and unscheduled maintenance

This type of planned maintenance is aimed at deploying a strategy to repair or replace equipment as soon as possible when it breaks down. 

It helps reduce maintenance costs by preventing last-minute rush orders for replacement parts. For example, a maintenance manager may purchase a spare battery in case the current one dies.

Arguably, the most integral aspect of planned maintenance is that organized and well-structured workflows reduce reactive maintenance and unexpected downtime while increasing your KPIs (key performance indicators).

Difference between planned and reactive (unplanned) maintenance 

Reactive maintenance, also referred to as unplanned maintenance, involves solving issues as they arise and fixing breakdowns when they occur. This approach can tend to be more expensive due to urgent equipment repairs, often leading to extended downtime.

On the other hand, planned maintenance is scheduled in advance and is a proactive approach to prevent issues. It involves regular inspections and servicing of equipment, which helps reduce unexpected breakdowns and associated costs. This maintenance method allows for more efficient resource allocation and contributes to overall operational stability and reliability. 

The following illustration depicts the key differences between planned maintenance and reactive (unplanned) maintenance: 

Difference between planned and reactive (unplanned) maintenance

It is noteworthy to add that no maintenance plan is better than the other; it completely depends on an organization’s specific needs and priorities. 

Key advantages of planned maintenance 

Planned maintenance offers several benefits to organizations. Some of the key advantages include: 

Lowered maintenance costs 

Planned maintenance helps organizations lower maintenance costs. Devising a PM plan can help detect small issues and prevent them from turning into major failures and incurring costly repairs. 

Increased asset lifespan 

Regularly maintaining assets can extend their lifespan. Properly maintaining assets and ensuring they operate in optimal condition reduces the frequency of replacements. 

Enhanced workplace safety 

Preventing equipment breakdown benefits everyone involved. Apart from reaping the cost savings, you can also ensure that the operators and workers in close proximity to your equipment experience enhanced safety in the workplace with reduced risk of accidents. 

Reduced downtime 

Planned maintenance allows teams to address issues before they become big failures. In the event of an equipment breakdown, technicians can follow the maintenance plan to quickly bring equipment back to its normal working condition.

Better workplace culture

Planned maintenance reduces equipment downtime and employee downtime (refers to the period during which an employee is not actively engaged in productive work). By planning out PM activities, you can relieve the stress of unexpected equipment failures and ensure your employees remain active, cooperative, and generally happier. 

What is the planned maintenance schedule and why is it important?

The planned maintenance schedule is an integral part of a maintenance plan. Creating schedules ensures technicians perform PM tasks on time. Workers can get the time to plan and acquire necessary resources with maintenance schedules. 

It is recommended to determine a “maintenance window” to initiate your program year. Beginning at the start of the calendar year is ideal, but sometimes it might not be possible to wait until then. It is important to communicate the timeframe to the entire production team to avoid any confusion. 

How to make a planned maintenance schedule

Creating a maintenance schedule isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach for every organization. Each organization has unique maintenance needs and therefore requires different approaches. However, these tips will provide an effective getting-started guide for a basic schedule:

1. Perform a criticality analysis

Determine which assets require routine checks and which do not. Find critical assets, their potential failures, and the likelihood of those failures. Non-critical assets can undergo scheduled unplanned maintenance. 

For instance, if a non-critical asset, such as a secondary piece of equipment, shows signs of potential failure during routine inspections, the maintenance team may schedule an unscheduled maintenance plan to solve the issue before it worsens. 

This proactive approach helps avoid unexpected breakdowns, ensuring even non-critical assets remain in optimal condition. 

Top tip

2. Establish PM intervals

In the beginning, you can schedule PM intervals based on your manufacturer’s suggested maintenance guidelines. Furthermore, you can schedule asset maintenance by date, meter readings, alarms, or after completing other tasks. A well-planned schedule decreases unexpected downtime. 

3. Educate and implement your maintenance strategy 

Engage the entire team in planned maintenance, ensuring they are fully aware of their roles and responsibilities. The team should be trained on any new technology or processes as it will help them become familiar with the maintenance strategy and available resources. 

Consequently, this will lead to smoother and more successful execution. For teams recently introduced to planned maintenance, you should consider a trial run for seamless adaptation of the maintenance strategy. 

4. Use planned maintenance software

Technology plays a significant role in executing planned maintenance. Employing planned maintenance software such as CMMS software enables you to efficiently organize all the resources needed to plan maintenance, including labor and parts. 

This software streamlines tasks such as scheduling, inventory management, work orders, and reporting. It also ensures timely triggers, quick technician responses, and consistent availability of necessary parts, reducing disruptions during maintenance work. 

5. Allocate work orders

Schedule recurring work orders during periods that will cause minimal disruption to in-house operations and customer services. Scheduling around production and/or service lines may appear to be daunting in case you are running a 24/7 operation. 

However, it is not advisable to shut down all production lines to briefly service specific components. Your technicians should be provided with well-defined standard operating procedures (SOPs) to perform the tasks with minimal disruption.  

6. Utilize maintenance KPIs

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) help you keep track of asset maintenance, personnel safety, environmental safety, equipment performance, and associated costs. The decision to retire equipment depends on factors such as the total number of breakdowns, costs for replacement parts, repair time, and much more. 

You may phase out an asset due to the need for an upgraded model, changes in operations, or increased maintenance costs leading to  complete failure. With equipment service history, you can optimize scheduling intervals. 

A user-friendly CMMS helps you automate maintenance scheduling, allowing you to set up predefined maintenance schedules for your equipment. At the same time, it lets you track your KPIs effectively such as asset availability, inventory turnover, work order backlog, etc., ultimately enabling data-driven decision-making and improving the operational efficiency. 


Planned maintenance is an ideal approach for organizations looking to reduce maintenance costs, increase profits, and improve workplace safety. 

Organizations can significantly reduce equipment downtime and maintenance costs by proactively solving potential issues and regularly tending to equipment. 

Planned maintenance leads to increased asset lifespans and enhanced workplace safety, fostering a more efficient and productive work environment.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

What is planned maintenance?

Planned maintenance is a maintenance process that determines what tools, materials, tasks, and services are required to address an issue. An example of planned maintenance is the inspection of wear and tear on belts, chains, and other moving parts. 

What is the role of planned maintenance?

The main role of planned maintenance is to specify what work needs to be done and how it needs to be completed. 

What is the difference between planned and scheduled maintenance?

Planned maintenance specifies details such as how and what tasks will be completed whereas scheduled maintenance defines the duration of the task and who will complete it. 


EZO CMMS is robust maintenance management software that helps you manage assets, schedule maintenance, and track work orders – all in one place. Streamline operational workflows and enhance productivity using this computerized maintenance management software. 

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