How to convince your manager to invest in maintenance

June 1, 2022

As we have already commented here on the blog, maintenance is still seen by many companies as a cost center, a necessary evil.

Therefore, it is common for the sector to face resistance from industrial managers when requesting resources for investments, especially when the company goes through a crisis, internal or external, that affects the business.

Allied to this, many times the benefits in adopting better maintenance practices, implementing technologies in the process, and generally investing in the sector are very clear to the team involved, however, not so obvious to those who are not specialists in the area.

Thus, the challenge remains: how to justify investments in maintenance and overcome this resistance encountered?

Here are some practices that can help in this task:

Justify with numbers

First, we propose that you and your staff treat maintenance as an investment in productive capacity.

Keeping this in mind, before trying to convince the company’s managers to invest in a program or in maintenance improvements, it is necessary to collect data, to have a technical foundation.

Start by researching some basic data:

  • What is the total production capacity of the company or industry for which you are seeking investment?
  • What is the current “efficiency”? If you don’t have data ready, you can estimate this metric by evaluating the actual production in a period divided by the theoretical production if everything ran at full speed during all hours of operation. Efficiency has a direct relationship with spending, so try to estimate in monetary terms how much this represents as well. Reduced spending and increased turnover is music to any manager’s ears.
  • How many unexpected breakdowns has the company / sector had in the last few months?
  • What is the amount or percentage of defective products produced?

Try to gather as much information as possible. Look for KPIs that can help show the current situation.

It may be necessary to involve other sectors, such as production.

Some companies have their own controller’s department, which can also help in this task.

Finally, make some estimates, develop plans to justify your proposal. Try, for example, to estimate what the impact of the investment would be in terms of capacity, production efficiency, and cost savings.

Speak the language of managers

If you or your team want to convince managers not to cut costs or invest more resources in maintenance, use language they understand.

Avoid extremely technical terms about which they have no knowledge.

For example, if you are trying to justify investments in vibration monitoring of critical assets, talk in general terms about the subject, point out the benefits of the practice, what the gains are for the company.

Talking about the failure frequencies of a specific bearing will probably not add to your task of convincing them, but on the contrary, it may confuse them and make them question the real need for what you are proposing.

Involves other sectors

The appeal of two or more sectors demanding more resources for machine maintenance will certainly have more impact when it comes to demanding investments.

Try to involve collaborators from other sectors that may be interested and corroborate with your demand.

The quality department will also be interested in improvements that decrease the number of defective products or rework. Use these sectors as allies!

If you have access to KPI data, try to find out which KPIs involve both yours and other industries at the same time.

You can use them as a starting point to win allies and gain more technical background on the subject.


Investments in maintenance generally increase the levels of safe and continuous plant operation, and by reducing the likelihood of unexpected equipment breakdowns, employee safety is also positively affected.

Present accident and incident data, numbers and severity, if any, and if you believe that further investment can help prevent them.

Returning to the example of investments for asset monitoring, if you are looking to fund a wireless monitoring system, such as the Solution, arguments such as risks to inspect certain components, machines in unhealthy environments, or at height can be used as a way to make the investment viable.

In addition, the requirements to comply with NR12 (Brazilian regulatory standard) have become greater, precisely to prevent accidents and work incidents. Use it as an ally.

Staff motivation

Is your maintenance team always “putting out fires”? If the answer is yes, issues such as motivation and quality of work can be good arguments to demand greater investments in improvements.

This is because a plant with a flawed and strongly reactive maintenance system can lead to extra workloads for employees, stress due to working under pressure, rushed decisions and operations due to rushed services, among other negative points, and can impact motivation, quality of work, and team turnover.

An organized system, which allows a PCM (Maintenance Planning and Control) program to be well performed, positively impacts the motivation and morale of the team, resulting in greater engagement of the members.

Make the industrial manager understand these issues and give examples of situations that have been occurring within the company to corroborate your view.

Less inventory

Does your company have a large inventory of spare parts? When they are needed, are these parts in good condition, ready to be put into operation?

Machines and components that sit idle in inventory for too long can deteriorate, rust, or present problems that render them unusable or require maintenance before they are even put into operation.

Is this common in your company? If so, this can be a good argument in the search for maintenance solutions that increase the reliability of the machines in operation and decrease the need for spare parts.

These are some practices that can justify to managers the need to invest in improvements and new technologies for the maintenance sector.

Did you remember anything else while reading this text? Share it with us!

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