High Maintenance Costs

Don’t Blame Maintenance Entirely


I’m sure you have heard, or even said, “Why are the maintenance department’s costs above budget, again?” Allied Reliability believes that the maintenance department may be contributing to these high costs, although they certainly aren’t the sole contributor. Other departments also contribute through their actions or inactions.

Below are some common scenarios to get you thinking:

  • Parts are ordered but do not meet technical specifications, causing more failures.
  • The equipment was “value-engineered” during the project.
  • Production is running the equipment beyond design.
  • Operations doesn’t have or chooses not to follow, standard operating procedures.
  • No spare part sourcing strategy exists, leading to expediting fees and delays.

These are just a few examples outside of maintenance’s control that can drive up the overall corrective costs. How do you find the source of such over-spending? Allied suggests using a root-cause approach to identify all the sources and assign contribution percentages to help target areas for improvement.

Root Cause Selection

Which root cause methodology should be used? Start with the one your organization has selected or one that will provide the level of analysis required. Allied uses the Fishbone, or Ishikawa, method to leverage the following category framework:

Try adding your own contributors to these categories, and then see how they align to the ones that are shared in our on-demand webinar.


Maintenance is only one of the six categories contributing to high corrective costs. Identifying and analyzing the sources of excess cost is essential to remaining viable in today’s economic environment. It is common practice to view the maintenance budget versus actual maintenance costs as a lagging indicator displayed on a KPI dashboard, but few dashboards include the overall maintenance spend as routine and corrective.


Allied Reliability provides asset management consulting and predictive maintenance solutions across the lifecycle of your production assets to deliver required throughput at lowest operating cost while managing asset risk. We do this by partnering with our clients, applying our proven asset management methodology, and leveraging decades of practitioner experience across more verticals than any other provider. Our asset management solutions include Consulting & Training, Condition-based Maintenance, Industrial Staffing, Electrical Services, and Machine Reliability.

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