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The Pros and Cons of Various Maintenance Options

The Pros and Cons of Various Maintenance Options

Customer satisfaction extends far beyond the purchase of machines and devices. Service providers have to consider how best to keep their customers satisfied with their product offering. The best way to do this is to provide first-class service. There are a number of different options available to choose from. Below is a list of the three types of service and the pros and cons of each.

Corrective Maintenance

As its name would suggest, corrective maintenance is performed in order to correct an existing problem. This means that the issue has already occurred and must be resolved. There are two types of corrective maintenance: breakdown and shutdown.

Breakdown Maintenance

Breakdown maintenance is a viable solution for equipment that is not necessarily essential to the performance of routine operations. In this case, the machine performs all its processes until its parts are completely worn down or there are equipment failures. Only once the machine is no longer operational are parts replaced.


  • Simple: There is no need for sensors and digitalization to detect potential malfunctions early on.
  • No planning: Appointments for replacement of parts do not need to be scheduled in advance.
  • Complete wear and tear: All components are used until they are completely worn down.


  • Customer dissatisfaction: When customers experience unexpected breakdowns this can lead to a stop in production, which is not only frustrating but also results in a direct loss of profit and perhaps unhappy customers at the other end of the supply chain.
  • Chaos and disorder on the service side: If a number of customers experience unexpected breakdowns at the same time, service providers without a field service management and Crowd Service solution will not have the resources to tackle the increased demand. This will only increase the level of customer dissatisfaction.
  • Missed learning experience: Since spontaneous problems need to be fixed immediately, there is no time to investigate what went wrong and implement measures to avoid similar problems in the future.
Shutdown Maintenance

The term shutdown maintenance is also self-explanatory. Operations must be completely halted to allow for the repair of a problem. Though service technicians often try to avoid this measure, it might sometimes be the only option.


  • No planning: Appointments for replacement of parts do not need to be scheduled in advance.
  • Necessary means to an end: Some machine parts can only be replaced when a machine is non-operational.


  • Financial loss: A complete standstill will result in significant financial losses.
  • Customer dissatisfaction: Unexpected breakdowns that require a complete stop to all operations can seriously harm a business and its entire supply chain.
  • Chaos and disorder on the service side: A large number of simultaneous unexpected breakdowns without a significant workforce means there will not be enough resources to tackle the increased demand.
Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance, also known as periodic maintenance, involves the scheduled inspection of machines and their parts while they are still operational.


  • Simple planning: Since repairs are planned in advance, all possible replacement parts and service technicians are available
  • Increased life expectancy and quality of machines: By replacing parts before they are damaged, the general functioning of the machine is never compromised. This means there is less stress and general wear and tear compared to machines that are serviced using breakdown maintenance.
  • Less downtime: Since parts are replaced before they can break down, there is no unexpected lengthy downtime as customers wait for available replacement parts and service technicians.
  • Predictable service charges: As these services are performed on a regular basis, customers know exactly what annual expenses to calculate for maintenance.


  • Replacement of working parts: Parts are often replaced before they have been completely worn down.
  • Maintenance timing: Preventive maintenance is always performed after a specific period of time elapses and does not necessarily take into consideration machine operational time. That means that a machine will receive predictive maintenance every 6 months regardless of whether it is operational round-the-clock or only for an 8-hour period every day.
Predictive maintenance

Predictive maintenance is the most technologically advanced form of maintenance and it relies on the digitalization of processes. To be more precise, it requires that machines be equipped with sensors which transmit signals to IoT devices to determine if repairs are required. For example, an engine outfitted with a sensor can transmit information about its temperatures that might indicate if it is overheating, and thus perhaps in danger of malfunctioning. This kind of monitoring might be condition-based: conditions are analyzed, like previously mentioned, to detect any abnormalities that might point to a problem. And it can also be statistical: previous failures and breakdowns are analyzed to provide a statistical model for predicting future problems.


  • Minimum downtime: With potential failures being detected before they occur, the amount of downtime is minimized.
  • Optimized use of parts: All machine parts are used until shortly before they are no longer operational.
  • Minimized expenses: Since all parts are only replaced when it is absolutely necessary, but also before a machine is no longer operational, the costs of unnecessarily replacing parts and lengthy downtimes disappear.


  • Short-term costs: Since repairs are need-based, the costs are not always predictable as is the case with preventive maintenance.
  • Need for flexibility: Both customers and service technicians have to shift their mindsets and any traditional notions about maintenance and adapt to real-time services and solutions. For service providers, this might mean adopting a field service management and Crowd Service solution.

What kind of service you provide is partially contingent on your processes and resources. However, knowing your customers’ demands and operational procedures will help you determine the best kind of service to offer to ensure customer satisfaction.

White Paper The Shift from Reactive to Proactive Service with Data Analytics and Internet of Things


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