More maintenance management problems
This post is a continuation of a previous post Maintenance Management – Sources Of Failure (Part 1). In it we discussed common sources of complaints about the maintenance program and maintenance team and how to deal with them. In this post we will look at a few more sources of failure and how to handle them.
Maintenance scheduling affecting equipment availability or operations:
This is when you get complaints from other departments that equipment is not available due to maintenance work being done on them – usually preventive planned maintenance (since they will probably not be complaining if you are fixing a breakdown!). This complaint can be quite valid and definitely requires you to look at your maintenance schedules. Most maintenance software can generate a maintenance calendar showing when equipment/ locations are due for maintenance in the next few months. This can be very useful to discuss with operations to identify possible schedule clashes and allows you to make adjustments to the plan to reduce them. Showing that you are actually considering such needs can go a long way in alleviating concerns that maintenance schedules are creating problems for other departments.
Problems working with maintenance team (poor attitudes, no status updates, etc.):
Typically you will notice this as complaints about certain maintenance personnel or in the worst case about yourself! Try to identify what is actually upsetting the people making the complaints. Frequently it may be because they are unaware of the status of maintenance work being done or completed. You will need to provide a way for such status reports to be easily available to them e.g. your maintenance software may have a feature to allow guest users to check on the status of maintenance work or they could get an email alert when a maintenance work request is completed. Problems can also occur due to clashes in attitudes – other teams have expectations of maintenance personnel which the maintenance personnel are unable to meet because of inadequate training on how to respond to and handle such expectations and requests. This will require you to spend some time understanding these expectations and training or providing guidance to your maintenance team on how to meet them (e.g. to avoid being defensive, taking criticism positively, not to lose their tempers, avoid using confusing or bad language and so on).
Being ignored & taken for granted?
Ironically this usually happens when you are doing a really good job of maintenance management. Since other departments rarely experience any major maintenance failures they tend to ignore the pro-active work being done by the maintenance team. In such situations there is a real danger of maintenance budget cuts or the maintenance team being blindsided with unexpected changes being made in terms of processes and equipment. You need to find some way to make other teams and management understand your value. One way could be to provide regular updates on maintenance work done as well as unexpected breakdowns that have been fixed. Try to meet with operational teams to identify how changes in maintenance planning and calendars could help them do their jobs better. You will be effectively positioning your team as a useful resource to other groups.
CMMS software can help!
As mentioned in the previous post, solving many of these problems requires you to be able to collect and analyze a lot of maintenance data. Having a good CMMS software system makes it possible to be able to collect such data and do further analysis. If you are looking for a CMMS software package you can download a fully functional 30-day trial of FastMaint CMMS maintenance management software and see how well it meets your needs.Download CMMS Software