maintenance terms glossary

Maintenance Terms Glossary

Common maintenance management terms and their definitions


The term is used to describe items controlled by a company from which a benefit is derived. For industry purposes these items are considered non-human fixed assets and represent the core data to be used in an asset management system. Examples include: Buildings, Computers and Furniture etc.

Bar Coding

Using barcode symbols to identify an item. Bar coding is the most common form of automatic identification used in automatic data-capture technologies. And bar codes track virtually everything.


Computerized Maintenance Management System

Corrective Maintenance

Maintenance work intended to correct an existing problem (as opposed to preventive maintenance which is intended to prevent future problems.

Credit Memo

A credit note or credit memorandum (memo) is a commercial document issued by a seller to a buyer. The seller usually issues a Credit Memo for the same or lower amount than the invoice, and then repays the money to the buyer or sets it off against a balance due from other transactions.


Time when equipment is not available for use (e.g. because it’s broken or being repaired)

Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)

Differs from Asset Management because it treats the asset from a company (enterprise) perspective. It refers to the management of assets to the benefit of the organization as a whole and not limited to a specific area such as a department, location or division. It includes the entire process from initial planning, designed use, installation, training, operations, maintenance and eventual retirement/replacement.

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

An attempt to integrate all of the computer applications used by an organization, so that (for example) the maintenance software exchanges information with the accounting software which exchanges information with the inventory software which exchanges information with manufacturing software.


Facilities Maintenance Management System


A mobile device (also known as a handheld device, handheld computer or simply handheld) is a small, hand-held computing device, typically having a display screen with touch input and/or a miniature keyboard and weighing less than 2 pounds.


A custom list of parts or tools, whether stocked or non-stocked, which may be replaced or installed periodically or randomly.


Are methods used in accounting to manage inventory and financial matters involving the amount of money a company has tied up within inventory of produced goods, raw materials, parts, components, or feed stocks. These methods are used to manage assumptions of cost flows related to inventory, stock repurchases (if purchased at different prices), and various other accounting purposes.


Is an abbreviation for Lock-Out Tag-Out.

Maintenance Repair and Operations (MRO)

Also known as Maintenance Repair and Overhaul is the fixing of broken or damaged physical items. This includes any mechanical or electrical device.


Abbreviation of Preventive Maintenance.

Predictive Maintenance

Is based upon the actual condition of the equipment and a determination of when maintenance should be performed to minimize costs. New technology techniques such as ultrasound, infrared and vibration online testing make predictive maintenance a viable alternative in certain circumstances. However, for most equipment the complex metrics for making educated guesses (predictive) is provided by preventive maintenance programs.

Preventive Maintenance

The care and servicing by personnel for the purpose of maintaining equipment and facilities in satisfactory operating condition by providing for systematic inspection, detection, and correction of incipient failures either before they occur or before they develop into major defects.

Proactive Maintenance

Taking action before something happens: anticipating possibilities and getting ahead of the game. In maintenance, it means an emphasis on preventive maintenance instead of corrective.

Purchase Orders (PO)

A PO is a commercial document issued by a buyer to a seller, indicating types, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller will provide to the buyer. Sending a purchase order to a supplier constitutes a legal offer to buy products or services. Acceptance of a purchase order by a seller usually forms a one-off contract between the buyer and seller, so no contract exists until the purchase order is accepted. It is used to control the purchasing of products and services from external suppliers.

Reactive Maintenance

Responding to maintenance needs as they occur, also referred to as On-the-fly work. These jobs are not scheduled on the calendar, they occur due to breakdowns, damages, failures. If preventive jobs are adhered to – completed in a timely fashion as they come due – it is expected the reactive jobs may be reduced and possibly avoided.

SaaS (Software as a Service)

Sometimes referred to as “on-demand software” is a software delivery model in which software and associated data are centrally hosted on the cloud. SaaS is typically accessed by users using a thin client via a web browser.


Length of time that equipment remains up and running (continuously available for use)


A Webinar (short for Web-based Seminar) is a seminar or presentation that’s transmitted over the Internet. A key feature of a Webinar is its interactive elements–the ability to give, receive and discuss information, rather than just receive it.

Work Order

Detailed information to inspect, fix, repair, or complete a project that may include labor, parts, and service notes. Work orders may initiate from a scheduled – preventive service, an on-the-fly repair need, or a request for service.

Work Request

A document/online form used for making the initial request for maintenance. Once approved, the document is normally converted into a work order.