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Through the use of a CMMS, managers can implement their chosen set of KPIs to measure the efficiency of a department and identify areas to improve. It can be a tricky process because managers run the risk of gathering irrelevant data and wasting time.
“You need to have set KPIs so that your dashboard is set to give you the type of reports you want, to be able to drive business forward by understanding what’s happening within your operation,” Shouse says. “Keep it simple. I can give you a list of 157 KPIs, (but) quite honestly, the normal operation needs 10 to 15 to be able to understand what’s happening.”
When creating KPIs, managers must think in terms of those that will help them achieve what they want to accomplish, Shouse says.
“Decision-based data is the key,” she says. “I see people with dashboards, and it’s crazy. Why do I care how many times the phone rings? I do care about how long a customer was on hold. I do care if the problem was resolved the first time. If I’m measuring rework, that’s important.”
Managers must carefully consider the KPIs to use. The duties in maintenance and engineering departments often vary because of an emergency or a system breakdown, making the process of creating effective KPIs a challenge.
“The accepted concept of KPIs is an awkward fit for facilities,” McElroy says. “In most locations and most contexts, facilities just don’t work that way. The whole quality industry, and the metrics for performance, don’t adequately reckon with the volatility, variability, velocity, and the venue of stuff that comes flowing toward facilities. In the real world in facilities, you are not measuring one task being performed a million times. You are measuring a million tasks being performed once.”
Shouse suggests managers take their time when developing KPIs.
“Don’t try to do everything at once,” she says. “Figure out what’s really going to drive your business, what’s going to move your needle, and start with five (KPIs). Do it very raw, capture it appropriately, then add on another five.”
Benchmarking — comparing the past performance of the department to its current department or comparing department performance to that of other similar departments — also can help managers improve productivity.
“There’s no cookie-cutter approach,” Shouse says. “I’ve worked for multiple companies, and what’s important to me may not be important to the next person. (Sometimes) you want to learn from best practices. For that reason, benchmarking can be very helpful. The problem is so many companies are so diverse now and there are so many conditions.”