Author: Dan DeGrendel
Maintenance optimization doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. Really it doesn’t. Yet many organizations simply can’t get their maintenance teams out of a reactive “firefighting mode” so they can focus on improving their overall maintenance strategy.
Stepping back to evaluate and optimize does take time and resources, which is why some organizations struggle to justify the project. They lack the data and/or the framework to demonstrate the real, concrete business value that can be gained.
And even when organizations do start to work on optimization, sometimes their efforts stall when priorities shift, results are not immediate and the overall objectives fade from sight.
If any of these challenges sound familiar, there are some very convincing reasons to forge ahead with maintenance optimization:
1. You can make sure every maintenance task adds value to the business
Through the optimization process, you can eliminate redundant and unnecessary maintenance activities, and make sure your team is focused on what’s really important. You’ll outline the proper maintenance tasks, schedules and personnel assignments; then incorporate everything into the overall equipment utilization schedule and departmental plans to help drive compliance. Over time, an optimized maintenance strategy will save time and resources — including reducing the hidden costs of insufficient maintenance (production downtime, scrap product, risks to personnel or equipment and expediting and warehousing of spare parts, etc.).
2. You’ll be able to plan better
Through the optimization process, you’ll be allocating resources to various tasks and scheduling them throughout the year. This gives you the ability to forecast resource needs, by trade, along with spare parts and outside services. It also helps you create plans for training and personnel development based on concrete needs.
3. You’ll have a solid framework for a realistic maintenance budget
The plans you establish through the optimization process give you a real-world outline of what’s needed in your maintenance department, why it’s needed, and how it will impact your organization. You can use this framework to establish a realistic budget with strong supporting rationales to help you get it approved. Any challenges to the budget can be assessed and a response prepared to indicate the impact on performance that any changes might make.
4. You’ll just keep improving
Optimization is a project that turns into an ongoing cycle of performing tasks, collecting feedback and data, reviewing performance, and tweaking maintenance strategies based on current performance and business drivers.
5. You’ll help the whole business be more productive and profitable
Better maintenance strategies keep your production equipment aligned to performance requirements, with fewer interruptions. That means people can get more done, more of the time. That’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Hopefully, this article has convinced you of the benefits of optimizing your maintenance strategies. Ready to get started or re-energize your maintenance optimization project? Check out our next blog article, How To Optimize Your Maintenance Strategy: A 1,000-Foot View.