Getting Your Act Together—Maintenance Excellence | Part 2 of 5

The MicroMain Blog is pleased to present another entry in our guest blogger series. We are reaching out to third party industry experts for their take on maintenance management and how it can complement a quality CMMS system. Dale R. Blann is the Principal/CEO of Marshall Institute, a leading asset management consulting and training company. In this blog, the second in his five-part “world class maintenance” series, he outlines the questions all management professionals should ask themselves in their pursuit of World Class Maintenance.

Guest Blogger: Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO, Marshall Institute Inc.
dblann@marshallinstitute.com | www.marshallinstitute.com | 919-834-3722

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The First Step: Getting Your Act Together

By Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO, Marshall Institute Inc.

Peter Drucker, the famous Management Guru, once said that the task of business — any business — is to make resources (labor, materials, capital) productive. Believe it or not, maintenance is a very real business involving a lot of labor, materials, and capital.

Based on my experience, the deficiency most often associated with the maintenance process in most plants is a “systemic” one — that is, the “systems” in place to effectively manage and control maintenance processes and resources are severely lacking; ineffective at best, non-existent at worst.

How can you be World Class . . .

… when maintenance does not even have management attention?

… when the basic belief is that money spent on maintenance does not contribute to bottom line?

… when the basic attitude is: “Maintenance is a ‘necessary evil.’ The way to optimize it is to minimize it.”

How can you be World Class . . .

. . . when roughly 50% of all your maintenance work is preventable? (Meaning unnecessary or premature.)

. . . when up to 30% of your PMs might not be adding value? (Are a waste of time and resources.)

. . . when the average productivity (value-added, ‘wrench’ time) for your maintenance workers is probably not higher than 30%? (Leading to overstaffing, high labor costs.)

How can you be World Class . . .

. . . when the work order system is inadequate, producing little useful information or accountability?

. . . when there is very little pre-planning or scheduling — an excess of “reactive” work?

. . . when inventory/spares organization and control is poor?

. . . when vital information is simply not available; there is a lack of data for evaluating maintenance costs; the data is almost worthless due to poor data discipline; the CMMS is often poorly implemented and underutilized?

. . . when there is a lack of cooperation between Maintenance and Operations?

… when there is a lack of basic skills & knowledge at the Craft/Operator level?

Maintenance improvement begins with the implementation of good processes or systems for managing the maintenance resources. To make maintenance productive requires the implementation of effective organizational structures, work control methods, planning & scheduling techniques, optimal PM strategies, and information management.

Here are the five major “systems” that must be well-implemented for the productive management and control of maintenance resources—labor, materials, and capital:

Work Order Control

To systematically identify, approve, prioritize, plan, schedule, assign, communicate, report, and control the work.

Materials Management

It’s half the budget. If not “managed,” materials management creates more than half the problem. It’s not art, it’s science.

Preventive (and Predictive) Maintenance

It’s what we do, it’s who we are. Our job is not to fix it when it breaks — but to maintain it so it doesn’t!

Planning & Scheduling

Things always go better when planned ahead!

Information Management

You can’t manage what you can’t measure. If you call yourself a maintenance manager, this is your “sand box.” It’s your job to play in it. You don’t need permission.

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