Maintenance department having problems?
Maintenance departments in many organizations often have a thankless job! If things are running smoothly no one remembers them. The opposite happens when there are delays or problems due to maintenance requirements. Are you getting many complaints regards facilities maintenance or equipment maintenance? Is there a lot of pending maintenance work? Is it taking too much time to complete? If this sounds familiar, here are three quick maintenance metrics to help you identify causes and solutions.
Maintenance managers and maintenance planners can use these metrics to pinpoint the real issues and how to fix them. These maintenance metrics are not too hard to collect if you have maintenance management software. You should also use them even when everything is going well. You will get a quick measure of your maintenance program as well as identify early actions to take if the metrics are changing in a negative way.
Three Useful Maintenance Metrics
1. Work order backlog
This is usually measured in hours or days. It represents maintenance work that is due but has not yet been completed. Over time you want to see a maintenance backlog that remains about the same or is reducing. As a maintenance manager you need to have a good idea of your work order backlog and the trend over time. Big jumps in your maintenance backlog need to be investigated. It can be due to planned maintenance work. For example a seasonal shutdown where you have much equipment to maintain. Or planned maintenance keeps getting delayed due to schedule conflicts or other reasons.
If this maintenance is not critical you may want to close such work orders and reschedule the maintenance to a later date. Waiting for critical spare parts or supplies can also delay work order completion. This results in an increased maintenance backlog. Talk with vendors and suppliers to get parts and supplies delivered when needed. Consider other suppliers if existing suppliers cannot meet your needs.
2. Work order completion percent
This represents what percentage of work orders scheduled in a period have been completed or closed. You should not see major changes in work order completion percent over time. It should track work order backlog in its trend. If there is a difference, for example work order backlog is steady but completion percent is falling – you may have a problem! It means that smaller jobs (most probably preventive maintenance checks) are not being done. Hence there is less impact on the backlog but a big impact on the completion percent. Dropped preventive maintenance checks will most probably come back to bite you in the future when equipment breaks down.
3. Average days to complete work orders
This tells you how many days on average it takes to complete a work order. You should not see large swings in this average days to complete work orders over time. A large increase in this value is a signal that there may be problems completing work orders. You may have spare shortages or scheduling conflicts with maintenance technicians.
To help fix this, it is better to break up large maintenance jobs into smaller tasks of a few days or less. Each task will have its own work order. You could chain these task work orders to each other by using something like the relative task we have in our FastMaint CMMS program. When one work order is marked as completed, the next work order in the chain is scheduled. When you break big maintenance tasks into a series of smaller tasks, it is more easy to track progress as well as identify where work is stuck.
On the other hand, say you do not see much change in work order backlog or completion percent. But the average days to complete work orders goes up. This can mean you will start seeing customer satisfaction issues. Work is getting done but is taking much longer to complete. Other departments and customers are waiting longer for maintenance to be done.
There are several other metrics that are also useful. However, these three are a good way to get a quick fix on the overall health of your program. You should investigate unexpected changes in these metrics.
Additional Maintenance Metrics You Can Use
Download our free guide “Key Maintenance Management Metrics for Maintenance Planners“. It covers some additional maintenance metrics that are useful to manage your maintenance program.Download Key Maintenance Metrics