What is maintenance management?
Maintenance management is the structured process put in place to ensure assets and resources are functioning efficiently and effectively. The goal of maintenance management is to keep overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) high and to utilize resources effectively.
There are several moving parts to an optimized maintenance department, and prioritizing maintenance management is one of the keys to success. Because maintenance is the backbone of many organizations, understanding the importance of maintenance management has become a crucial part of maintenance teams’ strategies.
Objectives of maintenance management
Maintenance management is crucial to the success of your maintenance department and processes. Highly functioning equipment and assets ensure throughput needs are met, all outputs meet quality standards, customers are satisfied, and work environments are safe and comfortable.
Perfect maintenance management won’t happen overnight, but here are some objectives you can achieve over time with effective maintenance management processes.
Improve asset performance
If there’s anything you should be looking to achieve with maintenance management, it’s enhancing equipment and asset performance across your facilities. Luckily for you, as you focus on initiatives rooted in improved maintenance processes, this will come naturally.
With a proper process in place to track maintenance requests and preventive maintenance schedules, your assets will receive the care they need when they need it. Technicians will be informed immediately of an issue and can tend to it right away, and regular inspections will be performed according to the set schedule. Because of these outcomes, over time you will see a decrease in downtime and increase in lifespan across your assets.
Increase efficiency and productivity
This objective goes hand-in-hand with improving asset performance. As asset performance increases, so does efficiency and productivity.
Just like cutting vegetables with a sharp knife allows you to cut the same number of vegetables in two thirds the amount of time it takes a dull knife, assets that are functioning at their best are going to run smoother, fail less, and ultimately increase efficiency.
Over time, this will lead to increased productivity across the board—your team will spend less time fixing equipment and more time improving other processes.
Uncover maintenance trends and understand equipment performance
Understanding how your equipment is performing should be at the forefront of your mind, and maintenance management is key to understanding trends and taking action as needed.
By tracking all of the maintenance performed on your assets, you’ll be able to create graphs, charts, and trend lines to understand which assets are failing most often and when. These insights will allow you to make strategic designs about repairing equipment, replacing equipment, and who on your team is best-equipped to perform maintenance on each asset.
Ensure high quality throughput
Assets that are functioning properly are able to produce high quality throughput. And you know what helps assets function properly? A plan to inspect each asset on a regular basis and a system for repairing assets in an efficient manner to ensure they are in their best operating condition.
The benefit to you? Products that are produced on time with few to no errors.
Improve safety and meet compliance standards
The effects of properly maintaining your assets goes much further than improved processes and better output. It can help you meet compliance standards and improve safety in your facilities, too.
In 2019 alone, OSHA reported around 3,500 fatal workplace accidents that were attributed to hazard or safety violations. Equipment malfunctions occur all the time and can often lead to employee injuries or even death. Properly caring for your assets reduces risk of malfunction and increases safety for your staff and visitors. Scheduling preventive maintenance for assets in accordance with their equipment manuals will help you meet compliance standards as well.
Reduce maintenance costs
The final objective of maintenance management is to reduce costs. With insights collected from your processes, you’ll be able to make data-driven decisions regarding your equipment and facilities that will lead to direct cost savings.
However, the benefits from reduced downtime, higher-quality throughput, and increased efficiency will lead to incremental savings. With time, you’ll notice the large impact those smaller wins have on your budget as well.
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Types of maintenance management
The different ways to manage maintenance are vast, but the best maintenance management plans have a healthy mix of the following strategies.
Reactive maintenance is what first comes to mind when thinking about maintenance management. It’s exactly what it sounds like—performing maintenance after a failure or breakdown.
This type of maintenance is typically managed by submitting, working on, and closing out work orders or work requests. The work order process is a bit more complex than that, but essentially flows as follows:
Having a reactive maintenance plan in place is a must. Breakdowns are bound to happen, and it’s important that everyone knows how to get an asset up and running as quickly as possible.
Preventive maintenance is performed on assets at intervals of time or meter readings in order to minimize breakdowns.
Time-based preventive maintenance is based on the calendar. This maintenance can be scheduled daily, weekly, monthly, bi-yearly, yearly, etc. based on the need of each asset. A semi-annual HVAC unit check is an example of time-based preventive maintenance.
Meter-based preventive maintenance, on the other hand, is based on meter readings. Maintenance is performed after an asset runs for so many hours, drives for so many miles, or produces so many widgets. In contrast to time-based maintenance, the frequency of maintenance on one asset will constantly change. Changing a truck’s oil every 5,000 miles is an example of meter-based preventive maintenance.
Preventive maintenance checklists are a great way to determine which assets require maintenance on a recurring basis and the steps your team needs to follow in order to properly inspect each item.
Condition-based maintenance is a maintenance management strategy that monitors each asset and its performance to determine when maintenance needs to be performed. It will prompt you to tend to the asset when efficiency and performance are decreasing, or signs of possible failure are occurring.
Predictive maintenance is a type of condition-based maintenance. This maintenance management strategy uses sensors to alert you to perform maintenance when a reading is out of specification. With this type of maintenance, the system is always monitoring your equipment for any variations in performance and estimates a time when failure or a need for maintenance may occur.
One of the most sophisticated forms of maintenance, predictive maintenance ensures you spend time and resources on an asset when it is absolutely necessary.
Reliability-centered maintenance is a strategy in which each asset is evaluated individually to determine which maintenance should be performed and when. The goal of this strategy is to keep your assets running as efficiently as possible to produce at maximum capacity.
While this may seem like a few of the other maintenance strategies, what makes this strategy so unique is the time and attention put into analyzing each asset.
Depending on the frequency and type of breakdowns or issues the assets in your facility are experiencing, you may have predictive maintenance strategies laid out for some assets, preventive maintenance strategies, for others, and reactive maintenance strategies for the rest. Giving each asset the maintenance management strategy it needs to perform its best will optimize your maintenance in the long run.
Investing in maintenance management software
A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS software) can help your organization tackle the objectives above using the various types of maintenance management mentioned.
One of the main reasons organizations choose to manage maintenance with a CMMS is because it allows them to track all of their maintenance initiatives in one location. Each organization’s maintenance goals are different, and each organization chooses to run their day-to-day operations differently.
Thankfully, a CMMS gives you a variety of ways to manage your assets and maintenance:
- Pull up your daily, weekly, or monthly schedule on a calendar to see what’s upcoming for you and your team.
- Scan a QR code to access information regarding an asset directly from your phone.
- Assess equipment and team performance on your organization’s personalized reporting dashboards.
- Schedule preventive maintenance at frequencies or meter readings of your choice.
- Add sensors to your equipment to receive notifications when an alarm is triggered or a reading is out of specification.
Maintenance management is crucial to the success of all organizations, no matter the size. Without it, production stops, safety violations arise, efficiency drops, and your organization can’t operate effectively.
The best maintenance leaders are determined to find the best maintenance management strategy for their team and put systems, processes, and maintenance best practices in place to support that vision. Start examining your assets and think about the benefits you’ll achieve by ensuring they are properly cared for. Maintenance management has helped countless organizations, and you could be next.
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More maintenance management resources
- Maintenance Management Assessment Tool
- On-Demand Webinar: 5 Ways to Achieve Operational Excellence in Facilities and Maintenance Management
- eGuide: How to Implement Maintenance Best Practices to Exceed Company Standards and Improve Performance
- CMMS Software: Benefits, Features, and Vendor Comparison