Is your organization struggling with implementing or sustaining Maintenance Planning and Scheduling? While the benefits of Maintenance Planning and Scheduling are widely recognized, many organizations find difficulty in attempting to implement or sustain the effort. In this article, we’ll examine some of the reasons why and hopefully, provide some solutions to that you can put in place to move your organization further down the path of success.
First, many organizations struggle with Maintenance Scheduling due to a lack of partnership with the other stakeholders such as Production or Operations for starters. We don’t necessarily require their support to plan jobs but we definitely require access to the equipment to maintain it. There is an internal Maintenance group that can roadblock the Maintenance Scheduling effort as well, the Maintenance Supervisors.
Some Maintenance Supervisors believe that it’s their job to plan and schedule maintenance activities. In addition to having management support, one solution to these opportunities rests with education. Have you invested the time to educate and gain the buy-in for these groups? They need to understand the benefits along with the roles and responsibilities required. Recognize that Maintenance Planning and Scheduling is not simply a process but more so a system. Maintenance cannot perform it in a vacuum; you can try but without much success in the long run. It requires many different groups such as Procurement, Materials Management or Storeroom, Engineering, and Operations to succeed.
Another potential cause is that you are not measuring or sharing the results. Do you track and trend the various Maintenance metrics like Schedule Compliance, PM Compliance, accuracy of job plan estimates, number of schedule breaks, and so forth? Do you have targets and publish the numbers for all to see?
From a publishing standpoint, I’m talking about sending the numbers buried as an attachment in an email. I’m referring to having visual Communication Boards strategically located throughout your site. In addition, the Maintenance Supervisors should be reviewing the results with the Technicians at shift turnover meetings and such. Furthermore, have you educated the necessary stakeholders and Technicians on what the metrics mean?
What other barriers are you finding in your quest to implement or sustain your Maintenance Planning and Scheduling activities?
Speak soon, Jeff