What Is Deferred Maintenance & Why It's Not the Best Strategy to Follow?

Deferred Maintenance

An organization that is equipped with a lot of assets need to ensure that all piece of equipment and assets are in good condition. As they play important role in the production. However, some organizations rely on deferred maintenance, this strategy can be harmful to the organization in the long run! In exceptional cases, this strategy can work but not in all cases. In this blog, we will know what is deferred maintenance and its impact on the organization!

What Is Deferred Maintenance?

In this practice maintenance work such as replacement, repairing, upgrades are postponed due to the lack of resource availability. Sometimes managers do not have staff, budget, or time to perform maintenance or other critical assets have high priority. Thus, this deference is done either for cost-cutting purposes or meeting the budget.

In some cases, deferred maintenance is used for saving money. Deferred maintenance can also lead to higher maintenance expenses, asset and equipment failure, safety hazards for employees can also occur. For example, if AC is not repaired on regular basis, you will end up paying more money for maintenance, you may ask why? Because it increases risk and burden on internal parts of AC.

Why Deferred Maintenance Shall Be Avoided?

Deferred maintenance can lead to investing more money than regular maintenance. In simple words, it is more expensive and makes assets unreliable and their asset failure chances are increased. It is reactive maintenance in nature. It can interrupt daily operation as well as and impacts the productivity of the organization. When productivity suffers sooner its impact can be on the bottom line also.

Also Read: 6 Tips to Enhance Your Maintenance Management Strategy
Disadvantages of Deferred Maintenance

Deferred maintenance shall be avoided:

1. Decreased Asset Life

When maintenance is not done on time their wear-tear parts start impacting other parts of the machine as well and that decreases asset life.

2. Decreased Asset Efficiency

One of the main reasons for providing maintenance is to keep the performance stable. However, when maintenance is not done on time asset efficiency decreases and they do not function properly.

3. Safety Hazard

The safety of employees is a big issue and when maintenance is not done on time, it affects the health of employees. Not just that, unmaintained assets can harm or injure employees as well.

4. Irregular Compliance

Unmaintained assets or when assets & equipment are not functioning releases gas, which is not good for the environment of the organization. It leads to bad air quality. That is not good for business, this will be a rule violation as per the environment safety parameters. Your organization might end up paying a huge amount of penalty.

5. Expensive Repairing

When these assets are provided maintenance then it results in costly repairing as there are lots of activities that need to be done such as removing old parts and adding new inventory changing the air filter, engine oil. All these activities lead to expensive maintenance.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Deferred Maintenance?

The pros of deferred maintenance are as follow:

  1. Saving maintenance expenses
  2. By using preventive maintenance & deferred maintenance you can get an idea of future expenses

Cons of deferred maintenance are as follow:

  1. Increase chances of asset failure
  2. Poor service
  3. Increased asset maintenance bill
Also Read: Why Leasing Equipment Is More Beneficial Than Buying It?

What Are the Strategies to Overcome Maintenance Backlog?

For maintenance backlog clearance we have discussed few strategies below:

1. Categorize Your Assets

Every asset is important in an organization however, it is significant that you categorize each asset into critical assets and non-critical assets. In critical assets, you can put assets that are essential for the organization, and without critical assets, your daily operation related to the production and productivity of employees can suffer.

In the non-critical assets list, you can add those assets which are less essential compared to essential. Without them, your business operation will not be impacted as much. When you categorize each asset then you can know which assets have high priority! It helps clear old maintenance backlogs.

2. Do Not Waste Resources Unnecessarily

Lack of resources is the main reason why organizations shift to deferred maintenance. For organizations, this is the biggest challenge. Old assets that are barely worth fixing any longer or the absence of extra inventory are probably not going to improve without essential investments.

That means that the maintenance manager needs to ask for money for maintenance from top management. It is no surprise that OP management does not like being asked for money especially for maintenance.

That is why managers need to go prepared about the situation and explain to them how it will be beneficial in the long term. Management understands and provides managers the resources they require.

After that, it is the responsibility of the manager to invest money in the right way so that resources are not wasted unnecessarily & you can maintain your old maintenance backlogs. Keep saving maintenance.

3. Invest in Asset Management Software

For better and effective management of maintenance, asset management software can be very helpful! It can take care of assets as it can work as an eagle eye providing you a complete view of every asset.

Furthermore, you can know every detail about every asset plus you can keep track of maintenance. It alerts the maintenance team about the upcoming maintenance with their priority mentioned.

According to Markets and Markets,  “The Asset Management System Market is projected to grow from USD 16.8 billion in 2020 to USD 27.4 billion by 2025; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.3% from 2020 to 2025.”


Maintenance is a very critical part of business especially if there are assets and equipment in abundance. They need maintenance at regular intervals that too in proactively otherwise it can lead to customer loss.

We understand keeping track of a lot of assets is hectic and sometimes we forget about maintenance work. However, when we utilize asset management software it automates the process and keeps track of maintenance.

This software is really helpful in keeping track of assets and avoids asset theft and misplacement as well.

This software has the potential to organize operations related to maintenance. If pieces of equipment are a crucial part of your business, then you must invest in asset management software.

Also Read: Why Important to Have Office Inventory Management Software in Your Workplace?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the main reasons behind deferred maintenance?

There are several reasons behind deferred maintenance such as budget constraints, unavailability of required inventory, lack of high-skilled maintenance technicians. Overall lack of resources is the main reason behind deferred maintenance.

2. What are the benefits of asset management software for the maintenance department?

1. Accuracy
2. Discover ghost assets
3. Increased productivity
4. Reduced downtime
5. Extending asset life
6. Optimizing inventory
7. Track maintenance
8. Centralized information
These are the benefits of asset management software for the maintenance department.

3. Deferred maintenance can be used on which type of assets?

Deferred maintenance can be used on those types of assets that are non-critical. Those assets which do not have an operation-related dependency and even when they are not available work can be done.

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