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With a vision and a road map in place, along with the ability to demonstrate and sell the accomplishments and contributions of their departments, managers can take concrete steps to debunk the myth that maintenance is a necessary evil.
The tangible items managers need to accomplish are these: a detailed and accurate work order and asset history system; planning and scheduling of all maintenance work; an efficient PM program; and a system of accurate performance measures that demonstrate the success of the entire maintenance function.
A detailed work order and asset history system — or computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) — is critical if you have any hopes of demonstrating maintenance success. Data is critical in this process. You cannot go on opinions and gut feelings. You need accurate, detailed data.
A complete work order history and birth certificate for each asset is critical to understanding asset performance. This also means you must document all work performed on each asset. To accomplish this every minute of every day, maintenance technicians must completely document work requests. If you know the accurate history of each piece of equipment, you will be able to predict the equipment’s future. This might sound impossible, but trust me. It works, and the key is accurate, detailed, and complete data.
The next task to address is work planning and scheduling. It is critically important to know what technicians are going to do and when they are going to do it. Best-in-class performance involves planning and scheduling 80 percent of total available work hours each week. This sounds impossible, but world-class organizations achieve this goal week in and out. Success requires a dedicated effort and possibly employees reassigned to perform this function, but you will quickly see that the investment pays for itself in two-three weeks.
The next tangible item that will allow your department to change the image of maintenance from cost center to profit center is PM. Effective PM is critical for changing the culture of reactive and emergency work to one of proactive, planned and scheduled maintenance work. If you properly complete PM, you will eliminate or dramatically reduce emergencies and breakdowns. Technicians must perform on-time, accurate, detailed PM on all critical pieces of equipment.
The last tangible task is to take all of the data you are now collecting and use it to develop detailed performance measures that accurately demonstrate all of the positive contributions your new and revitalized department is doing. These performance measures include but are not limited to: PM performance; the percent of scheduled and planned work; the percent of reactive work; the age of all deferred maintenance work; the history and cost of completed work on each critical asset; repeat work requests after completed repair or PM; and additional non-work history measurements, such as customer satisfaction and work audits and inspections.
Take all of the above and roll it into monthly, quarterly, and annual meetings covering the state of the assets and building. Produce a report to assist in demonstrating and selling the department’s accomplishments — the good things the maintenance team is doing to assist with overall business success and profitability. This strategy will debunk the myth of maintenance as a cost center and necessary evil, and it will set the department on a course to become a high-performance maintenance organization.
Michael Cowley, CPMM,
is president of CE Maintenance Solutions —
www.cemaintenancesolutions.com. Cowley provides
maintenance training, coaching and consulting services
to facility and manufacturing organizations nationwide.
He is a frequent speaker at national facilities
Agree? Disagree? Have something to say? We want to hear from you. Visit myfacilitiesnet.com/MichaelCowley, and start a conversation.
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