Picking the best type of maintenance strategy for your business
A well-planned maintenance management strategy is crucial to running any business the right way. It deals with running regular functional checks, scheduling servicing events, and installing all replacements in a timely manner.
Every company’s maintenance strategy should encompass all assets, whether small-sized units and machinery or the overall infrastructure. Let’s see how maintenance is categorized on the basis of the asset type that it services.
1. Corrective maintenance
Also known as ‘run to failure’, corrective maintenance is suitable for equipment that is not frequently used or is of low value. Since these assets have low priority for the business, their maintenance is usually only carried out after a defect is spotted.
This makes sense as well. Regular maintenance of such assets incurs more costs than the revenue they generate. For this reason, such assets are only repaired when they break down.
2. Preventive maintenance
Preventive maintenance plans regular inspections for assets and is best for high-value assets. This type of maintenance helps keep untimely breakdowns at bay.
Periodic inspections sometimes halt operations so planning for them is key. Companies design their processes around the inspections so employees can deal with other tasks in the meantime. Planned equipment downtime is always better than sudden breakdowns that completely disrupt workflows.
A smart way to identify critical assets is by identifying high-priority tasks in your workflows. Equipment that’s integral to these tasks is classified as high-priority.
3. Predictive maintenance
Predictive maintenance involves examining the current capacity and physical state of assets to predict when and how they are going to breakdown.
This strategy is dependent on
This strategy is best for frequently used assets.
Which strategy will work for you?
Your maintenance management strategy can be a combination of corrective, preventive, and predictive maintenance. To set up such a strategy, you will need to categorize your assets on the basis of their usage frequency, their monetary value, and the kinds of processes they’re involved in.
This will establish their importance and consequently, how you should prioritize them. Assign corrective maintenance to low priority items, preventive maintenance to high-value items, and predictive maintenance to items that are used very frequently.
If you don’t have very many high-value assets, you might not need an elaborate maintenance strategy. In this case, you can get away with one type of maintenance for all your assets.
Common maintenance challenges
According to Capterra, around 51% of the manufacturing facilities now use a computerized maintenance management system. This number is expected to grow in coming years due to high productivity demands of businesses.
Using outdated manual techniques to plan servicing events is now a thing of the past. In fact, firms that continue to do so contend with crippling challenges.
1. Maintenance costs can go over budget
When it comes to selecting repair personnel or maintenance methods for your assets, you need to keep the company budget in mind. It can be hard to maintain a balance between quality maintenance sessions given the budget constraints.
Without automated maintenance management software, it is hard to keep tabs on
2. Data keeping and decision making is not accurate
Keeping and updating a paper trail of your asset utilization patterns and lifespan can be demanding. Such data recording takes a lot of time and confuses employees, especially since you have to record past and present data on tool operations, service requirements and current workflows, all three simultaneously.
Organizations that lack a robust program to sort, store and update such extensive data may suffer a great deal, especially since inaccurate records lead to faulty decision making.
3. Lots of big ticket assets end up in the dumps
To cater to capital intensive projects, companies invest heavily in big-ticket equipment and machinery. If their lifespans are not properly monitored, these assets start to deteriorate and eventually stop functioning. Once this happens, you have no option but to
However, if you work to extend the useful life of such items from the get-go, you end up saving a lot more. This is hard to achieve with manual systems as there are too many assets and too many services involved.
How to effectively set up a maintenance schedule
A well implemented maintenance management strategy can exponentially increase your ROI. To achieve this, you need to take the following steps.
1. Deploy the right resources
Like any other business task, maintenance requires a dependable support team. You need to hire managers, training staff, and technical personnel experienced in the field of maintenance management. Recruiting a knowledgeable human resource is essential if you want to run an optimized service plan.
Next comes choosing a suitable software resource. There are many maintenance management software solutions available in the market. You can shortlist and deploy the one that fulfills your objectives and falls within your company budget.
2. Catalog and prioritize assets that require maintenance
To decide which tools to check in for maintenance, you need to list down all your assets first; this makes it easier to distinguish between high and low-value assets. Your first priority should be frequently used, high-value items.
When prioritizing items for maintenance, keep the following points in mind.
- Which assets are primary to business workflows?
- How many of them need more frequent service sessions?
- What is the repair cost of each asset?
The easiest way to determine which assets receive priority maintenance is to look at the returns they generate. The ones with greater returns require prioritized repair sessions. You might want to exclude equipment which is in the maturity stage of its useful life and is expected to be disposed of soon.
3. Implement robust data collection
After you’re done selecting the assets, you need to gather data on their procurement details and maintenance requirements. You can refer to manufacturing dates and user manuals to read more about the repair needs of your assets.
You are most likely to find a detailed service guide along with basic usage instructions too. It is also helpful to see the usage patterns to detect when and how equipment failure is expected. You can then devise inspection and repair routines accordingly.
4. Set maintenance goals
Before diving into a new maintenance management system, it is important to formulate the goals you wish to achieve with it. Some firms want to improve their productivity levels whereas others aim to lower overhead downtime costs. Once you know your goals, you can morph your maintenance management strategy to meet your objectives.
5. Reflect and adjust
The key to a successful business strategy is to keep evaluating its performance and adjust it accordingly. This means you need to track the functionality and performance of the equipment that you regularly service. This will help determine if your efforts are bearing fruit.
Analyzing equipment performance also helps identify any maintenance roadblocks that exist so you can come up with ways to tackle them.
Let’s say, a printing machine is being checked in maintenance more often than before. Does it need to be replaced now? The only way to find out is to monitor and evaluate your asset performance and maintenance strategy in parallel.
Why do you need maintenance management software?
The best way to avoid the challenges of ineffective maintenance practices is to invest in maintenance management software. With an automated system at hand, companies also have access to a centralized database where they can easily update asset performance and record repair schedules.
1. Automatic service triage
Companies are advised to schedule their assets for maintenance before they are dispatched to employees for use. Maintenance management software allows you to schedule tailored maintenance for assets and define all future service routines to make service tracking easy.
It eliminates the need for manual scheduling and saves you from missing out on a service session. Seamless functioning of assets post repair events increases productivity levels, whilst lowering the
2. Maintenance alerts
Capital intensive organizations schedule work projects well in advance. They cannot afford to have last minute cancellations. Let’s say, you had to check in a forklift for repair and you did not notify the construction team about it. Without proper knowledge of service events, the whole construction project can lag behind.
Maintenance management software helps avoid such inconveniences by allowing you to generate alerts. These are sent out as customized emails to relevant users before a repair event begins and again,
Maintenance management software keeps all the associated personnel updated on the repair schedule. It also alerts the team of any extended repair sessions so they know which equipment will be unavailable for how long, thereby ensuring smooth workflows.
3. Service history
Preventive and predictive maintenance means forecasting equipment failure before it actually happens. For this reason, it is critical to have access to the service history of all your assets.
With maintenance management software, you can clock in every type of service that a machine is checked in for. This gives you an idea of the repair frequency of each asset so you can prepare ahead of any malfunctions.
For instance, a drilling machine which is near the end of its useful life is likely to be checked in for repair more often than usual. This might be an indication of a much-needed replacement that could save on large scale maintenance costs.
4. Procurement planning
To ensure an uninterrupted supply of assets for daily tasks, it is important to design a solid procurement strategy. The best way to cope with running out of inventory is to order buffer stock.
Keeping buffer stock for big-ticket items may not be wise. However, you can follow this practice for smaller tools and equipment by following these steps.
- Identify current demand
- Lay down buffer stock specifications
- List vendor options
- Draft a procurement budget
- Generate purchase orders for buffer
- Oversee the
- Replenish wading inventory with buffer stock
Maintenance management software allows you to record asset lifespan so you know how long an item is expected to last. You can set a minimum inventory threshold for all your business tools and replenish from buffer stock as needed.
5. Lifecycle management
From the moment you buy an asset to its retirement, maintenance management software lets you record all critical asset details, including the depreciation of assets over their lifetime.
With maintenance management software, you can spot equipment nearing its retirement so you do not check it in for extensive maintenance. Cut down on costs by switching to other higher value machines which have a longer useful life.
Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your maintenance strategy
Investing effort and money in something without bearing measurable result is a zero-sum game. Therefore, it is important to monitor how your maintenance strategy is faring. This allows you to make necessary adjustments so you can get the most out of planned maintenance.
Here are the metrics to track:
1. Maintenance backlog
Maintenance backlog refers to delayed service sessions that pile up during peak seasons. Longer intervals between individual maintenance sessions add to the backlog. This means higher chances of equipment downtime and a greater risk of costly failures.
Track this metric and set an upper threshold for the pending maintenance sessions. It’s always recommended to keep your backlog to a minimum!
2. Mean time to repair
This metric indicates how long it takes on average to repair an asset and consequently, for how long tools stay out of production. Accurate knowledge of this data can help you decide whether to repair an asset or to replace it.
With this metric, you can also gauge how well a given piece of equipment responds to its designated mode of maintenance.
3. Equipment efficiency
Equipment efficiency can be broken down into three key components.
Selecting the right maintenance management software is just as important as evaluating its utilization. By tracking trends in overall equipment efficiency, you can see how well your software is performing.
The right software goes beyond the basic nuts and bolts
Carefully chosen maintenance management software coupled with a robust maintenance strategy can work wonders for your business. It can raise the productivity levels of your equipment and can help you achieve set targets in time. An automated program has the ability to scale up with growing business needs while keeping your data secure in the cloud.
Additionally, maintenance management software allows for extensive reporting and analysis of your maintenance sessions. This is extremely useful as it lets you track how well your maintenance strategy is doing across different projects. A thorough view of your maintenance plan alerts you of problem areas so you can fix them as needed.
EZOfficeInventory is the leading equipment maintenance software. It ensures your assets are in top condition with preventive maintenance and helps improve decision-making by tracking maintenance histories. We offer a free 15-day trial – no credit card required!