By Michael Cowley
The final steps in this process involve gathering the necessary data and determining the best methods to display and communicate it related to your department's accomplishments.
First and foremost, you must have data. So you must have a proactive culture for your computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Work-order discipline and accountability must be close to perfect. The CMMS must be asset-based, not location-based, and technicians must complete work orders for all work they perform.
If you do not have or cannot create this type of work-order culture, your desire to market your department's maintenance performance is a waste of time and money.
If you are close to this type of work-order and asset accountability, you can move on to selecting specific ways to sell your department's maintenance performance.
Once you have established the items you want to measure and communicate, create charts and graphs, and set up a system to automatically publish them weekly and monthly. Post these performance measurements on department bulletin boards and Intranet sites, and e-mail them to top management.
I recommend scheduling monthly, quarterly, and yearly management-review meetings, where you develop an executive-summary presentation on the state of maintenance in the organization.
Using performance measurements and operational data, this presentation should communicate the accomplishments of the department since the last review, as well as current and future activities.
These reviews need to demonstrate the maintenance department's accomplishments — most importantly, all of the money the department has saved the organization.
Your critics see and talk about all of your department's mistakes regularly, so unless you have an active and aggressive program to broadcast the positive things the department does for the organization, top executives will not be able to see your department as bringing value to the company. Instead, they will continue to see the maintenance department only as a necessary evil.
Michael Cowley, CPMM, is president of CE Maintenance Solutions. Cowley provides maintenance training, coaching, and consulting services to facility and manufacturing organizations nationwide, and he is a frequent speaker at national facilities management conferences.
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