As businesses grow the scheduled maintenance process becomes more complex, and it is exponentially harder to:
- achieve maximum productivity;
- contain operational and maintenance costs;
- have clear, concise reporting of maintenance activities.
Our guide to maintenance scheduling will demonstrate how Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software streamlines workflows and keeps facility managers in complete control.
With an ever-growing list of scheduled maintenance tasks to perform, and a growing number of reactive maintenance jobs coming in, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep all the balls in the air, and plates confidently spinning.
Even experienced facility managers sometimes struggle to prioritise problems that invariably arise, such as maintenance schedules, labour resources and use of equipment. Ask yourself:
- Have I got the inventory to complete the job?
- Will issues have a flow-on effect through the organisation?
- Does this satisfy statutory compliance?
With this in mind, here are the three basic steps to scheduling a job to make your working life so much easier. Plus, it will help you get the best return on investment (ROI) from your assets.
Step 1: Step back and look at the big picture
Before you schedule a maintenance job, enterprise asset management best practice strongly recommends you conduct a thorough criticality assessment. If you do not perform a criticality assessment to identify your most critical assets, you will base your decisions on perception rather than risk. This may result in wasted time and money.
For example, if a production line stops, due to something relatively small that could have been avoided, then the downstream impacts of production, deadlines and deliverables can become significant.
The key is to look further than the actual equipment itself, and determine what is depending on this equipment.
All businesses have their own terminology/criteria to rank priorities; some use a colour system (such as red, amber and green), and others a 0-10 numerical system (with a ranking of “10” deemed to be highly critical).
Basically, it comes down to this:
- Is it critical
In a perfect world, everything would be low-to-normal, but unless you’re super-efficient (or very lucky) this is rarely the case.
Once you have conducted your criticality assessment, and determined priorities, it is then a matter of working out how to track all of these issues so you can handle work requests with confidence.
Rather than struggle with spreadsheets (or sticky notes), a proven asset management system will keep you up to speed with every stage of every job.
MCGlobal Solution’s CEO, Steve Martin says:
“If this type of activity isn’t systemised, then the risk to the business is very high. Information in people’s heads can so easily be lost.”
When setting priorities to make sure non-urgent, yet time-sensitive maintenance work is not pushed to the back. For example, if the air conditioning is due to be serviced within a fixed period, failure to do so will infringe on Code compliance. Therefore, this will need to be slotted into the priorities list in a timely manner.
Having automatic alerts in your asset management system is a valued resource. It means any important, time-sensitive maintenance tasks won’t be overlooked.
Step 2: Assign your procedures
After looking at the maintenance work to be done and determining its criticality, your next step is to assign your procedures list.
In this step, you assign who does what – with unambiguous information about how it needs to proceed, when it needs to be done and who to pass the ball to once each process is carried out.
When assigning procedures attach documents
- Standing Operating Procedures (SOP)
- Safety instructions
- Photos (if necessary/available)
- and anything else that may relate to the job.
This documentation is particularly important because it ensures everyone is on the same page and all procedures are covered off. For example, if there are safety factors to consider such as if and when the power needs to be turned off (and back on again) during a maintenance job.
A procedures list provides valuable intel, such as
- determining if there are any site induction requirements;
- ensuring the correct parts are being ordered;
- deciding if risk assessments need to be undertaken;
- and so forth.
Ideally, to avoid double handling, this would all be carried out on a ‘click and done’ basis, with EAM software that seamlessly integrates with your operations. With the right facility asset management system in place, you’ll know instantly when things should happen.
Avoid potential problems
- Stakeholders must be totally clear on “what’s next”.
- The right people must have access to information as they need it.
- Approvals/checkpoints must take place before the next step is taken.
Step 3: Implementation
Provided you’ve followed the first two steps involved in scheduling a maintenance job, this final step should be simple to implement, especially if you have an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system to coordinate everything.
It involves checking job calendars to see what other work is happening concurrently; depending on the workload, this may dictate the assignment date and/or the labour chosen to complete the task.
With an EAM system in place, it will immediately show you which people with the right skills are available. Furthermore, it will then automatically send out notifications to:
- The people doing the job
- The job requester
- Other stakeholders
Enterprise Asset Management System
Sectors from healthcare to hospitality, and from manufacturing to retail, that follow these three steps will be improving operating efficiencies.
A proven enterprise asset management system will show who is doing what work orders now, and what is scheduled in the coming months.
You’ll have a total asset register, a failsafe inventory system, access to accurate recordings, and enjoy measurable results from an EAM software system with the utmost functionality.