The Maintenance Contribution: A Measured Approach to Uptime

The following text is taken from an article published in Plant Engineering magazine October 2010, written by Hank Bardel, a  Marshall Institute Senior Consultant.

Use Proactive Methods and Metrics to Prove the Value of Maintenance

"I spent X number of dollars last year on maintenance, but don’t know what I got for my money."

"The facilities are running, but I don’t know if the money I am spending is the correct amount."

These are common responses by senior management about their maintenance department and activities. Maintenance managers frequently fall short of answers for these questions too. This typically means that they have no metrics that highlight the contribution of maintenance. Unfortunately this means that the decisions made by Sr. Management in these organizations concerning maintenance are being based solely on the cost of doing maintenance instead of the "value added" activities available to maintenance organizations.

These value added activities include, preventive maintenance (PM), predictive maintenance (PdM), planning and scheduling of maintenance activities, etc.

The absence of metrics

Metrics should equate to a defensible position for all resources currently used to maintain the facility. This position starts with the understanding that the job of maintenance is to maintain equipment efficiently and effectively. Failure of the equipment to perform its intended function, for any reason, is unacceptable.

A lack of even the basic metrics, such justification for the current number of maintenance craftspeople or the storeroom materials used for repairs, can lead to poor decision making. Without understanding maintenance and seeing the appropriate metrics, maintenance costs are controlled by reducing maintenance craftspeople (or headcount) and materials, or both. Unfortunately the negative impact of this decision is not immediately realized. There can be short term savings associated with this decision. However, this decision will eventually result in maintenance’s inability to do even the most basic processes needed to maintain the facility......

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