Maintenance planning and scheduling is an essential cog in the maintenance process. Without assigning someone to oversee job plans and maintenance plans, work cannot be carried out at maximum efficiency.
Proper maintenance planning and scheduling mean time and money is less likely to be wasted due to mistakes that can be avoided. For example, wrongly assigning team members work they are inexperienced in or failing to factor in equipment failure can halt maintenance plans and increase the risk of production downtime.
Read on for an overview of how to optimize maintenance planning and scheduling with the help of the staff you already have.
What is Maintenance Job Planning?
Maintenance planning is the process of developing a course of action to ensure that maintenance technicians have everything they need to complete work orders. When the maintenance team can do their job efficiently, operations run more smoothly and downtime is reduced.
Maintenance planning is carried out by a maintenance job planner. This is the person who is responsible for making sure that all necessary tools are available to the maintenance team and that maintenance is properly scheduled to minimize equipment downtime.
A maintenance planner must form close relationships with the technician team so that they can efficiently oversee all maintenance planning and scheduling activities. Maintenance planning involves choosing which work order/s to prioritize and then planning and scheduling maintenance around this critical work order/s so that equipment can stay up and running and production can resume as normal.
Effective maintenance planning requires:
- Spare parts management and inventory tracking
- Effective management of work orders and documentation within a maintenance system
- The planning and scheduling of preventive maintenance activities according to priority level and equipment criticality
- Coordination of equipment failure during preventive maintenance to minimize downtime
- Training employees on how to follow the maintenance program
What Should A Maintenance Job Plan Include?
Maintenance job plans are complex and require in-depth planning and scheduling to make sure each job is carried out efficiently. You can take a look at some of the essential areas a maintenance job plan should include below.
Choosing the right team
For maintenance planning to be completed successfully, job plans should be executed by the right team members. The maintenance job planner should work closely with the maintenance team to understand their strengths and limitations. By sending a team member to perform maintenance work on equipment they are not trained in, the scheduling work plan is put at risk.
Ensuring the team has the correct information
It is up to the maintenance management staff to make sure that the maintenance team has the correct information. This includes all safety procedures and PPE. Maintenance plans that overlook employee safety are not up to standard.
The maintenance job planner has the challenge of scheduling maintenance plans around production. This means that the job must be completed on time and, where possible, maintenance plans should be scheduled around production time.
The maintenance planner also needs to schedule maintenance plans around the team’s availability. Job plans should also consider whether special tools are required for the job and if so, planning should include scheduling of the whereabouts of these tools at specific times.
Follow up and analysis
Maintenance planning does not finish when the work has been completed. The maintenance planner also has the responsibility of analyzing the work and identifying job areas that require improvement. If there are potential ways that maintenance work could be carried out more effectively, the maintenance job planner must update the job plans accordingly.
What Are Critical KPIs To Track Maintenance Job Planning Performance?
To optimize maintenance planning with your current staff, you should start by understanding what key performance indicators (KPIs) are critical to the success of failure of job plans. You can take a look at some of the critical KPIs your maintenance job plans should include below.
Preventive maintenance (PM) is critical to the efficiency of the operation as a whole. Optimizing maintenance planning relies on the job planner properly scheduling each PM job for each piece of equipment. For example, if a piece of equipment needs to be serviced every six months, the maintenance planner will distribute a work order that sets a fair deadline for the PM task within this time period. They will then track PM compliance to ensure that the risk of an equipment failure is minimized due to PM job plans being properly executed.
For maintenance job plans to be successfully implemented, it is essential that the maintenance team complies with the work schedule. If you schedule 10 work orders but only 8 get done, your schedule compliance would be 80%. Keeping track of the schedule compliance among your team can help you identify the problem areas and respond accordingly. If a certain job is being missed each week, it might be a case of speaking to the team member/s responsible and finding out why they have not been able to complete the job as required. It may be that they don’t understand how a specific piece of equipment operates and that they need to be retrained.
Responding to Downtime
No matter how precise you are when creating job plans, there are always going to be factors you cannot predict. Unplanned events and random equipment failures are inevitable and will often interfere with planned work. Still, you can track equipment failure and come up with solutions for how to work around it. This means that when specific equipment downtime occurs, the person responsible for the maintenance job assigned to that piece of equipment can be reassigned to another job elsewhere.
Net Available Hours
Many organizations make the mistake of job planning based on gross available hours. For example, if there are ten technicians on the maintenance team working eight hours per day, the maintenance planner will schedule 80 hours of work. The trouble is, scheduling in this way does not account for sick leave, training days, or vacations. To properly optimize your maintenance job schedule, you should schedule for net available hours, not gross available hours. This will help you to avoid scheduling overcapacity.
Net hours can be calculated by subtracting the actual hours worked from your gross hours. If you find that your team is completing the work you have scheduled in less time than anticipated, you may need to rethink your scheduling if you want to optimize your plan.