What Is Maintenance Management?

Maintenance management is a system of processes designed to protect and properly maintain the physical assets and resources of a company. 

By keeping track of equipment, workers, contractors and all the costs associated with those assets, maintenance management systems not only save companies money on repairs and inspections, but ensure that both employees and complex machinery alike stay safe, efficient, and productive.


Maintenance management software also helps to minimize equipment failure and production downtime. It also helps track preventive maintenance schedules.

Practices vary across industries, but the primary goal of any maintenance management system is to limit the amount of resources that are wasted. By making sure that a production is efficient on every level, maintenance management systems aim to keep a company’s physical resources reliable and available at all times. 

Today, this is done through a combination of practices, with different systems, personal and computerized management software all working together to ensure maximum efficiency. 

Why Is Maintenance Management Important?

For a consumer or civilian outside of the maintenance industry, equipment failure would likely result in nothing more than a minor inconvenience.

Maybe you have to wait an extra ten minutes for the subway one morning, or maybe your power goes out for a night. 

However, for a large company, unplanned equipment failure can be catastrophic and costly. In fact, according to Aberdeen Strategy and Research, unplanned equipment downtime that interrupts production can cost a company, on average, $260,000 per hour in revenue. 

This is exactly the type of thing that maintenance management systems aim to prevent. 


A wide range of industries—including transportation, IT, engineering, oil and gas, energy, and healthcare—all use maintenance management software to avoid such a staggering loss in revenue. However, saving money is just one of the many ways that maintenance management systems are helping companies across the world. 

Here’s 5 reasons why maintenance management is so important: 

1. It Minimizes Equipment Downtime

As mentioned above, maintenance management systems can help prevent unplanned downtime of equipment, saving companies thousands if not millions of dollars in revenue. In fact, shutting down equipment in a safe, fast and cost-effective manner is one of the key benefits of proper maintenance management.

With the right maintenance management software, companies can ensure that most if not all of their equipment downtime is planned and expected. This allows inspectors, repair technicians and industrial maintenance managers to to schedule visits during off-hours or off-season days.  

2. It Maximizes Equipment Lifespan

In addition to saving money by preventing downtime, maintenance management systems also keep machinery working longer. This delays the need to buy new equipment, and can open up much needed budget space for both small and large companies. 

If industrial equipment is properly inspected and maintained, then it is certain to last. By extending the lifespan of machinery and ensuring that all equipment gets its full use before being retired or thrown away, maintenance management software can dramatically limit the amount of resources that are wasted. 

One piece of properly maintained equipment may outlast three iterations of a poorly maintained one, so it’s both important and cost-effective to use maintenance management software to extend the lifespan of different assets. 

3. It Increases Productivity

When all equipment is working as intended, human employees are able to turn their attention to other more important projects. Effective maintenance management means that employees are spending more time in the field working and less time in the office filing papers or sorting through maintenance requests.   

Additionally, with no fires (figurative or literal) to put out, inspectors, facilities managers, utility managers and more are all able to focus on preventative maintenance instead of corrective repairs. 

Not only is this a more cost effective operation, but it’s also one that puts less stress on individual workers. Scheduled inspections are far less intense than emergency repairs, and with the proper maintenance management, the latter will be a truly rare occurrence. 

If maintenance management systems are working properly, a loop of sorts begins to form. A continuous feedback of optimization and efficiency that serves the whole company will quickly be apparent, and overall productivity will almost certainly increase. 

4. It Helps With Regulatory Compliance

All industries—healthcare, transportation, engineering, and more— have regulations and codes that must be met in order to avoid fines, severe penalties or more serious accidents. Quality maintenance management systems help companies with their compliance to these regulations. 

By accurately recording the time and location of maintenance inspections and automatically creating and sharing the appropriate reports and audits, maintenance management software allows companies to keep up to date with all of their industry's rules and regulations. 

5. It Saves Lives

There’s more than just regulatory fines to look out for in the industries that use maintenance management systems. In many of these fields, improper care or faulty equipment can lead not only to sunk costs and lost revenue, but to serious injury and death. 

In industries where equipment malfunction is not just costly but hazardous, proper maintenance management systems are all the more important. Without it, equipment like boilers, electrical wiring or hydraulic presses become dangerous and deadly. 

However, proper maintenance management and safety training can help prevent these accidents before they even happen, saving not only money, but lives. 

Types of Maintenance Management

Now that we know why maintenance management is important, we can begin to look at the different types of maintenance management systems that are out there.


Here’s five different types of maintenance management, listed from most simple to most complex: 

1. Run-To-Failure Maintenance 

This is the most basic type of maintenance, and one that many modern maintenance management softwares try to replace. In a run-to-failure maintenance system, equipment is used until it breaks, and only then is it fixed or inspected. 

In the early days of industrialization this was the norm, though manufacturers quickly realized that reactive maintenance was expensive and unsustainable. For this reason, run-to-failure maintenance systems are growing less and less common as more sustainable and cost-effective options hit the market. 

2. Time-Based Maintenance 

This is a preventative maintenance style that is largely based on the calendar. Time-based maintenance management describes any kind of maintenance task that’s done at regular scheduled intervals. This can include daily, weekly or monthly maintenance inspections as well as any task that needs to be done every time at the same time. 

Something as simple as checking one’s smoke alarms or air filters once every six months could be considered time-based maintenance management. 

However, while regularly scheduled inspections can catch most problems before they happen, it is far from the most efficient type of maintenance management. With a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) in place, options now extend far-beyond time-based maintenance.  

3. Condition-Based Maintenance

Another umbrella category of sorts, condition-based maintenance describes any maintenance system that uses sensors, tests or other hand-held equipment to monitor the physical condition of an asset. 

These sensors and other devices are in constant communication with a condition monitoring technology system that can identify when an asset is experiencing an issue. The system then sends an alert to the technician, often long before the naked eye could have been aware of such a complication. 

4. Predictive Maintenance 

Using a combination of condition-based maintenance, machine learning systems and other computerized  technology, predictive maintenance management systems attempt to forecast when an asset might fail. 

Think of predictive maintenance as an early warning signal. Instead of identifying a problem that has already occurred, these types of maintenance systems attempt to predict when an asset might need repairs, even if it isn’t yet showing signs of wear. 

5. Prescriptive Maintenance

Prescriptive maintenance takes predictive maintenance to the next level.

In addition to identifying and forecasting production failures, prescriptive maintenance systems allow assets to self-diagnose and offer technicians recommended courses of action.  

Having trouble picturing it? 

Imagine a piece of equipment that has to be kept at a very specific temperature. Predictive maintenance systems could tell you when the equipment is likely to fail, but would be unable to tell you how to fix it. 

Prescriptive models on the other hand would be much more specific. Instead of just informing you that the asset will shut down, prescriptive maintenance software could, for example, tell you that reducing the equipment speed would double the time before it is likely to fail.

By offering calculated solutions to their own problems, assets operating under a prescriptive maintenance management system make the job of maintenance personnel easier and more efficient. For this reason, prescriptive maintenance management (and other concepts like fully autonomous maintenance) are considered the premier maintenance management systems available today. 

Sometimes, due to limited resources, maintenance must be deferred or triaged. In these cases, only the most urgent maintenance needs are addressed at the present moment, and other maintenance needs are pushed back to a later date.

Maintenance Inspections

One key aspect of all maintenance management systems is inspections. Maintenance inspections — whether performed by a human worker or an autonomous vehicle like a drone or other robot — are a key part of any maintenance management solution. 


However, just as there are many different types of maintenance management, there are all kinds of different maintenance inspection types.

Let’s quickly take a closer look at this vital part of maintenance solutions that, in combination with hardware, software and other complex systems, keep production safe and efficient. 

Here are four of the primary types of maintenance inspections:

1. Safety Inspections

This is the type of inspection that even someone outside of the maintenance industry is likely to be familiar with. The goal of any safety inspection is to ensure that all steps of the production process are safe for human personnel. To this end, safety inspections can include everything from double checking first-aid kits to inspecting harness equipment and fall safety mechanisms.

Safety inspections are also an important part of implementing the hierarchy of control at any company, which is a list of different levels of control that can be used to keep workers safe.

Learn more about the hierarchy of control in this in-depth guide.

2. Failure Finding Inspections

While safety inspections aim to stop a piece of equipment from malfunctioning, failure-finding inspections double check the protocols that are in place for if it does. In a failure-finding inspection, failure states are simulated. This tests the operation and functionality of back-up equipment and ensures that, should operations ever fail under uncontrolled circumstances, the proper secondary systems and protective devices are fully functional. 

3. Building Interior Inspections 

Interior inspections can include everything from checking the air filters and smoke alarms to looking for cracks, damage or other signs of wear and tear inside a building. Additionally, all doors and locks should be checked and bathrooms examined for any plumbing issues or water damage. 

4. Building Exterior Inspections

Exterior building inspectors look at windows, walls, doors and paint and try to identify any area that has recently taken damage. Additionally, inspectors look out for any foliage or overgrowth that may be hiding or causing problems. Exterior inspections also take into account roofs, gutters, drain pipes, sidewalks, driveways and any other fixtures on the outside of a property that may need special care or attention. 

Drones and Maintenance Inspections

Inspections are, by nature, a dangerous business, and inspectors regularly expose themselves to hazards on the job. Falling, exposure to gas, and being trapped in a tight location are just a few of the dangers that inspectors face every day. 

For this reason, drones and other unmanned autonomous vehicles are quickly being adopted across the inspection industry. Not only are drones a much safer alternative to human inspectors but, because they're often outfitted with a number of specialty cameras and sensors, drones can see and hear things that human personnel could never hope to notice.

Consider a drone like the Elios 3, an indoor UAV that comes with a LiDAR sensor that creates 3D maps in real time. The Elios 3 has several features to help inspectors working in confined spaces.

maintenance-management-flyability-6The Elios 3

Outfitted with technology that takes measurements that are accurate within 5mm, the Elios 3 is just one of many different drones that is dramatically reshaping the inspection industry. 

Aren’t drones expensive? Yes, undoubtedly. However, while the upfront cost of an inspection UAV may be high, the return on investment is more than worth the purchase. For one, any sort or liability insurance or medical bills caused by injury on the job are virtually eliminated with the use of drones. 

Additionally, without the need to build stories-high scaffolding for a single trip, the cost associated with each individual inspection will be drastically reduced. This means less downtime too, as scaffolding often takes up space in a production line and shuts down the entire process. 

This, in addition to other benefits like increased access, higher quality data and an accurate historical record of all previous inspections, proves that drones and UAVs will soon become indispensable to the inspections and regulation industry. 

They are already becoming an essential part of many maintenance management solutions, and as the cost and access to drone technology continues to lower, this trend will only continue. 

[Case study: Elios 3's 3D Mapping Helps City of Lausanne in Water Department Inspections]

Examples of Maintenance Management

Before we look at the many different types of computerized maintenance management systems that are available, let’s first examine some industries in which maintenance management software is already being used to great effect. 

1. Maintenance Management in Restaurants

Commercial kitchens have a wide range of equipment and other assets that need to be regularly inspected and maintained. Some of these assets — like ovens and deep fryers — can pose serious health risks if not properly taken care of. Others can cause serious lapses in services or an unsatisfactory customer experience if they fail. 

When David Hadley, the owner of six McDonald’s franchises in Oklahoma, implemented a computerized maintenance management system to help handle his maintenance requests, the results were startling. 

All six McDonald's locations were able to shorten their repair time from 3-4 days to 1 day only. Additionally, equipment downtime was cut by almost 50%, and the franchise’s equipment now runs correctly more than 95% of the time. 

2. Maintenance Management in Construction 

This example almost speaks for itself. Unplanned equipment failure in the construction industry – whether it be a faulty handheld drill or a vehicle that won't start — can result in huge losses for both the construction company and their clients.  

Proper maintenance management in the construction industry goes far beyond faulty equipment though. The best maintenance management systems will also take into account weather, environmental hazards, human error and a whole host of other variables when making sure that a construction site is safe and efficient. 

In fact, there’s few industries where all of the concepts of maintenance management—cost reduction, safety, equipment maintenance and efficiency—all come together as they do in construction. If you’re looking for the cutting edge of maintenance management, keep your eye on this industry. 

3. Maintenance Management in Hospitality 

For many hotels and resorts, keeping track of the hundreds of different maintenance requests that come in every week can quickly grow unruly if not impossible. Between plumbing issues, elevator maintenance, electrical wiring and more, there are a lot of things that can go wrong at a hotel. For this reason, a proper maintenance management system is vital to any hospitality business.  

When one Mariot location in Ohio introduced a computerized maintenance management system to its entire maintenance staff, the increase in productivity was almost instant. Gone were the days of lost maintenance requests and half-baked radio communication. Instead, all maintenance requests were fielded quickly and accurately, and the overall experience for both guests and staff was dramatically improved. 

Other Examples of Maintenance Management

These are just three examples of how maintenance management systems can work across different industries. As we’ve already mentioned though, nearly every business can stand to benefit from a streamlined maintenance system like these. 

Other fields in which complex maintenance management systems are already being implemented include plastics manufacturing, animal feed production, food processing, automobile manufacturing, healthcare and much much more. 

Maintenance Management Software

There are all different types of maintenance management software out there, and each system has different use cases and abilities.

If you're looking for a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to implement into your own business or company, take a look at the options below and consider which one will best suit your specific needs. 


1. UpKeep

Upkeep has a whole suite of apps, software and other resources that help companies with all of their maintenance issues. With a focus on document consolidation and automation of preventative maintenance tasks, Upkeep is a great option for any business looking for a cutting-edge CMMS. 

Upkeep also has a number of case studies published on their website, so if you’re looking for more specific details on how this computerized maintenance management system can help your business, consider starting your search there. 

  • Industries of Expertise: Gyms and Fitness, Food and Beverage Manufacturing, Government Buildings, Restaurants and More. 

  • Current Clients: Marriott, Siemens, Yamaha and McDonalds. 

Learn more about UpKeep.

2. Aptean

Aptean offers specialized products that are easy to implement and can quickly be customized to a wide range of industries. They offer both EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) and OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) software. 

Many of Aptean’s solutions are data and analytics focussed. Additionally, Aptean’s software solutions are designed for seamless integration with other enterprise systems, which allows for streamlined workflows and an ease of adoption. 

  • Industries of Expertise: Ports and Logistics, Healthcare and Pharmaceuticals, Food and Beverage, Power and Energy.

  • Current Clients: GE, Volvo, and Ferring Pharmaceuticals

Learn more about Aptean.

3. ValueKeep

Valuekeep’s software solutions allow clients to connect to their team, optimize maintenance activities, and improve asset uptime in one, all-purpose software solution. Valukeep’s computerized maintenance management system has four main goals: eliminate paperwork, reduce costs, improve data entry and increase productivity. 

Other core features of Valuekeep include inventory management, custom integrations, push notifications and personalized support. They have subscription plans available at a number of different price points for companies all around the world. 

  • Industries of Expertise: Agriculture, Food, Building Management, Healthcare and Construction. 

  • Current Clients: Ulster Rugby, Globalia and The Mars Group. 

Learn more about ValueKeep.

4. Limble

Limble’s bills itself as “a CMMS software that's easy enough for your team to actually use.” To that end, Limble offers solutions that can reduce time spent handling work requests by up to 34%, and reduce time communicating with requesters by up to 41%. 

Other features include custom generated reports, spare parts inventory management and multiple language CMMS. 

  • Industries of Expertise: Food and Beverage, Hospitality, Clothing Manufacturing.  

  • Current Clients: Holiday Inn, Nike, Unilever and Pepsi. 

Learn more about Limble.

5. FMX

FMX is an asset management and computerized maintenance management system that looks to improve a maintenance team’s toolset. Their solutions aim to plug holes in budgets and reduce the time that’s spent looking up work history. 

Other features include facility rental, preventative maintenance scheduling and work order management. FMX has a wide range of products at different price points, so each company or individual can tailor their services to their specific needs. 

  • Industries of Expertise: Schools, Zoos, Religious Organizations and Nonprofits.  

  • Current Clients: Wendy’s, Polynesian Cultural Center, and the Minnesota Vikings.

Learn more about FMX.

Maintenance Manager Jobs

Are you thinking of becoming a maintenance manager yourself? Well, as we’ve explored above, the field touches a whole host of other industries, including healthcare, manufacturing, construction and more.

For this reason, you’ll find a wide variety in the types of maintenance manager jobs available. 


An industrial maintenance manager may have a completely different job description than a facilities maintenance manager. Similarly, a utility maintenance manager may be expected to perform an entirely different job than someone with the title of maintenance supervisor. 

That being said though, there are some responsibilities that nearly every maintenance manager shares. See what they are below, and read on for information on maintenance manager salaries!  

Here are four key responsibilities maintenance managers have:

1. Managing Expenses and Preparing Budgets

All maintenance managers need to have at least a basic understanding of accounting and expense tracking. While many of the CMMS that we examined above can automate this process, it’s still important for a maintenance manager to know where their funds are going and how to identify areas in which money could be better spent. 

2. Working with Contractors, Hiring and Firing Staff

This responsibility emphasizes the “manager” portion of the maintenance manager title. While paperwork and inspections can be replaced by software and drones, face-to-face interaction with maintenance workers and other technician staff is still a primary responsibility for any maintenance manager. Assigning technicians to tasks, scheduling contractors and hiring other staff is a central task of all maintenance managers. 

3. Overseeing Regulation Compliance

Whether it be OSHA, a health department or any other sort of regulatory board, one key responsibility of a maintenance manager is to make sure that all operations under their department are in line with the established rules and regulations of their industry. If something is not up to code, it is ultimately the maintenance manager’s responsibility. 

4. Reporting Progress

A successful maintenance manager must be able to read, understand and interpret reports about their work and the work of those operating underneath them. Whether these reports are auto-generated by a CMMS or created manually, accurate, data-driven analytics are vital for any maintenance manager to understand. 

Maintenance Manager Salary

The average annual salary for a maintenance manager is $80,000 USD, though this can vary dramatically depending on location and industry.

Entry level maintenance managers can expect to make around $55,000, and applicants with more experience and expertise can easily make more than $100,000. 

According to Indeed, maintenance managers in Louisiana, North Carolina, New York, Vermont and Minnesota can expect to make more than their counterparts in other U.S. states. Maintenance managers are paid the least in westernU.S. states like Idaho, Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah. 

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