FastMaint CMMS Software - Maintenance Management Software - From $995
Equipment & Facility Maintenance Work Order Software For Utilities, Manufacturing Plants, Industrial & Commercial Facilities

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maintenance planner overwhelmed with scheduling issuesWhat does the maintenance planner do?

The maintenance planner has many responsibilities chief among them being to plan and schedule maintenance work. The planner also needs to make sure that spare parts and supplies are available to complete planned maintenance work as well as the technicians are available to do the work. The maintenance/ operations manager could have the responsibility of being the maintenance planner but frequently this is a function done by someone else who reports to the maintenance/ operations manager. On large sites with multiple facilities you could have multiple maintenance planners each responsible for specific facilities or areas.

What are the challenges faced by the maintenance planner?

One of the biggest challenges of the maintenance planner is unexpected equipment breakdowns that frequently get priority to be fixed. This delays/ reschedules other maintenance work resulting in further maintenance backlog. The job of the maintenance planner can be quite hard to do without the right tools.  One of the best tools to help manage both the unplanned and preventative maintenance work to be done is computerized maintenance management software (CMMS software). CMMS/ maintenance software offer a variety of features that can help make the job of the maintenance planner easier.

Some CMMS/ maintenance software benefits for the maintenance planner

  1. A way to create a library/ template of all different types of maintenance tasks – both unplanned and preventative maintenance. This helps to standardize best practices and make it easy to generate work orders as needed since much information can be copied from the task template onto the work order.
  2. Reminders when work orders are due and an ability to track past due work orders.
  3. They offer a variety of statistics that can be useful to show to upper management to understand the health of the maintenance system. Changes in certain parameters can give warnings of potential issues e.g. a continually increasing work order backlog.
  4. A variety of reports that can be shared or provided to other groups e.g. maintenance calendars to help schedule maintenance work with production/ operations, equipment history reports with maintenance costs & parts used, availability checking to find future part & resource (technician) requirements for scheduled maintenance.

What sort of responsibilities does the maintenance planner have?

The planner should be able to show that maintenance issues are not affecting operations/ production or causing other losses or delays. Equipment downtime should be within limits. Secondly maintenance costs are not spiraling out of control. Ideally you should be seeing a reduction in unplanned/ breakdown work and an increase in planned/ preventative maintenance once the maintenance planner starts working. Spare part costs can also be significant especially when holding spares and supplies that are not needed for some time. The maintenance planner should be able to do some amount of just in time inventory planning for such items. It is important to cultivate good relationships with a select group of vendors who are able to demonstrate an ability to supply reasonably priced and acceptable quality spares and supplies with short notice. The CMMS/ maintenance software should be able to generate Planning reports for future periods that can give you an idea of spares and supplies that will be consumed on preventive/ planned maintenance in the near future. Having the ability to specify reorder limits on parts also makes it possible to keep an eye on parts that need to be reordered as work orders are completed. Maintenance planners also need to ensure that the skill levels of technicians doing the maintenance work are adequate – they may need to identify training needs and schedule them as required.

CMMS/ maintenance software – an important tool for the maintenance planner

Maintenance management software/ CMMS software is an important tool in the arsenal of the maintenance planner. Use of a CMMS software package makes it a lot easier to plan, schedule, track, report and analyse all the maintenance work done. If you are looking for a CMMS/ maintenance software program you can download and try out a fully functional 30-day trial of FastMaint CMMS Maintenance Management.

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