Centralised versus Decentralised maintenance practices in Industries

Centralised versus Decentralised maintenance practices in Industries

Planning and scheduling are essential for both centralised and decentralised maintenance operations in any company. This is true for any Indian organisation which is either employing decentralised maintenance practices or possessing a centralised maintenance operation unit. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of having centralised or decentralised maintenance operational practices : 

Planning and scheduling is the main forte for organisations that employ centralised maintenance practices. This is rendered primarily due to those centralised maintenance operations applied. But this often raises the concerns of the operations unit if their issues are not addressed properly and on time. They might face the obstacles to function seamlessly if the maintenance of machines and the relevant orders are not processed rapidly. 

This creates the need for decentralising all maintenance operations. The main advantage is the extreme pace and precision in which the maintenance requests are processed because each section of the industry is responsible to report to a separate maintenance manager who is designated that particular area of the organisation’s maintenance. Decentralising keeps maintenance requests from piling up due to accumulation and amplification through various levels of the organisation. These individual units may report to separate maintenance managers or a single manager with each individual being responsible for each machine operating in the company. 

    • Productivity: The problem with decentralising maintenance operations is that it results in the decline of productivity. This is an expected outcome. Though it is evident that the decentralisation of maintenance activities leads to the rapid addressing of urgent maintenance requests, still the decentralised forces lack scheduling of work in advance and hence extreme difficulty is faced while tidying up the residual reactive work. Initially, lower priority work should be terminated in order to minimise reactive work. Scheduling helps in enhancing maintenance operations through setting objectives and attempting to reach them. At times it is witnessed that in the Indian industrial sector, organisations employ a hybridisation of centralised and decentralised forces for maintenance operations. Centralised maintenance activities do most of the work in such organisations where hybrid strategy is applied in maintenance. Decentralised units have separate areas to respond to and the work is generally high priority and should be responded to with extreme urgency. 


  • Priorities: Centralised and decentralized maintenance activities have variable values. While centralisation of maintenance activities values schedules, decentralised maintenance practices value priority and urgency of work. A perfect combination of both enhances the overall performance of the organisation. 
  • The synergy between operations and maintenance: A perfect combination of operations and maintenance activities drives the productivity of any organization and hence Indian organizations need to employ the best of both in all their core operations. Attaining the proper balance between operations and maintenance is possible through balancing scheduling and prioritisation of work. Scheduling improves maintenance productivity by setting objectives that should be achieved. Having a proper priority system helps in ranking the work in terms of urgency. At times, priorities recommend breaking the schedule in order to respect imminent urgency. 


Thus Indian organizations should employ both centralisation and decentralisation of maintenance activities and achieve a perfect synergy out of them to drive the efficiency to the fullest. 

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