Maintenance planning and scheduling are the most crucial parts of an organization's development. Several kinds of strategies can be used for maintenance planning. Reactive maintenance or proactive maintenance can be applied, and it can be mixed up as well.
For example, preventive maintenance or predictive maintenance can be used in certain situations. Condition monitoring maintenance and emergency maintenance can be used to detect developing faults or predict equipment problems.
For efficient maintenance, planning and scheduling are essential. Choosing the right type of maintenance is important. It's one of the critical activities that can help ensure equipment reliability and help in achieving quality in operations.
With the right maintenance plan and schedule in place, you can extend the lifespan of your OT assets. Thereby, significantly reducing your expenses. However, some things are required to be done, and some should be disregarded to achieve effective and efficient maintenance planning and scheduling.
This article comprehensively explains the do’s and don’ts of maintenance planning and scheduling. Before we get into it, let’s examine the benefits of maintenance planning and scheduling.
Advantages of Proper Maintenance Planning and Scheduling
The benefits of effective maintenance planning and scheduling include:
- Cost reduction
- Speedy job execution
- More efficient use of labor hours
- Lesser spare parts holdings
- Reduced equipment downtime
- Reduced stress and injuries
- Enhanced workflow
Do's of Maintenance Planning and Scheduling
Successful maintenance planning and scheduling involves prioritizing and organizing daily jobs so that they are done proficiently. To achieve this, here are some maintenance planning and scheduling methods you must put into practice:
1. Choose a Good Maintenance Planner
Effective maintenance planners are usually excellent team technicians. They should have good relationships with colleagues and know the plant well. For proper maintenance execution, the job of the maintenance planner is the most crucial. They have the biggest responsibility when it comes to maintenance. Hence, putting the right person in this position is essential.
Maintenance planners should be highly skilled and experienced for the maintenance to be performed efficiently. Also, they must have a solid knowledge of maintenance planning principles and practice and be well-experienced as a maintenance technician.
2. Train Maintenance Planner Properly
For effective maintenance planning and scheduling, the maintenance planner must know how maintenance operation works. That is why proper training like reliability training is important for maintenance planners. Expertise, knowledge, and experience are not enough; maintenance planners need to know how the process works.
So after choosing the right person for the task, ensure that he or she is properly trained. Maintenance planners must know how to properly use computerized maintenance management system (CMMS software).
Also, ensure that the planners know how to use your plant's work order software. This includes pulling data from the software and generating reports. This way, they will have proper knowledge about equipment maintenance history.
3. Ensure That Maintenance Planners Are Planners Only
For effective maintenance planning and scheduling, do not allocate many tasks to the maintenance planner. If the maintenance planners need to shoulder all the responsibilities, they won’t be any time to handle and focus on other tasks.
4. Keep a Record of Maintenance History
Maintenance history is one of the most important things in maintenance planning and scheduling. It can assist in knowing the asset's current condition. Maintenance history is vital when it comes to boosting equipment and assets efficiency.
Unlike reactive maintenance that needs less planning, proactive maintenance requires more planning. For example, when you are using proactive maintenance subsequently, you can use asset history for efficient maintenance planning and scheduling.
5. Offer Feedback on Completed Jobs
To make resourceful maintenance plans relevant, modern data is vital. Once technicians finish a job, they should give detailed feedback (be it good or poor) to the planning department through the work order system software. Basically saying "complete" or "fixed" isn't offering thorough information to know what and what’s not working.
6. Make Adjustments Based on Feedback
Technicians give feedback for a reason. It's crucial for planners to weigh all feedback to make sure work orders are better or remain efficient. This also tells technicians that their voices are being heard, which push them to keep offering excellent feedback.
Don'ts of Maintenance Planning and Scheduling
Below are the things you must avoid for effective maintenance planning and scheduling.
1. Don't Give Incomplete Information
Information is essential in every job, particularly in a maintenance job. Providing comprehensive information is crucial to ensure quality work is delivered; otherwise, work will suffer. Additionally, a lot of time will be wasted as further information will be needed.
2. Don't Take Small Feedback
After every maintenance work, the organization and maintenance manager must know the activities that are completed. They must also know how long the process took and what parts were modified. To achieve this, it’s better not to provide one-word feedback. A detailed feedback assists in improved maintenance and helps in future maintenance jobs.
Overall, detailed feedback from maintenance technicians allows maintenance planners to learn and prepare for future tasks.
3. Don't Ignore Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
KPI allows you to know your asset performance. As such, you can compare the current performance with the past data collected, which will help you know how the asset is performing. There is no metric that offers you a general view of maintenance planning and scheduling. However, different key performance indicators can offer insight from previous performance in the maintenance management.
Hence, measuring maintenance planning and scheduling effectiveness is essential for constant improvement. Monitor KPIs to discover opportunities for development and direct your decision-making process.
4. Don’t Give Unclear Instructions in Maintenance Jobs
Maintenance planners should offer in-depth job instructions to help maintenance personnel complete the job without stopping to gather extra information. Instructions for a job should include details like the estimated time frame a task takes and the particular equipment and materials needed.
Hence, instructions have to be as simple as possible so that even the least experienced members of the maintenance team can understand. A new maintenance technician should have the same success prospect like the experienced mechanic when doing the job.
These are some essential do's and don'ts of maintenance planning and scheduling. When assets are well-maintained, you can expect high-quality work, which ultimately increases productivity.
Customers will be glad when they receive their delivery on time, which is the result of maintenance. Thus, maintenance is important for every business. Appropriate maintenance planning and scheduling will make your company more competitive in the universal market.
Follow these maintenance planning and scheduling instructions to reduce expenses, enhance equipment reliability, and improve maintenance operation effectiveness and efficiency.
Doing effective maintenance may sound daunting, but you can hire a maintenance consultant. Expert maintenance consultants will give you reliable training and guide you with every step to achieve effective maintenance planning and scheduling. Reliability consulting, along with the precautions highlighted above, can be the game-changer for your business.