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How to Optimize Maintenance Scheduling

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All organizations strive to make their plants as efficient as possible. This requires making sure technicians and engineers can focus on work while reducing the amount of wasted time and resources. Maintenance work management is a crucial component of a plant or facility’s workflow and can have a lasting impact on the efficiency of your organization.

To optimize maintenance productivity, you need to look at both scheduling and planning. Work scheduling is where all maintenance-related resources are scheduled to be used within a specific time. For effective and efficient maintenance scheduling, organizations need to account for the technician's knowledge and the availability of materials, tools, equipment, and assets.

There are five principles to adopt that will dramatically improve your maintenance scheduling. Once these are entrenched in your organization, productivity will increase, your team will be able to eliminate guesswork, and you’ll have the capacity to adjust and react to unexpected situations. Another key benefit is that your backlog will become more manageable.

1.Prioritize daily and weekly schedules

Adhering to your daily and weekly schedule is critical, but you also need to recognize that unplanned work is inevitable. Therefore, you need to define what constitutes emergency work and have a process for how you identify and prioritize the different types of unplanned work.

2. Allocate work for every available hour

If you under-schedule, you're merely building inefficiency into the process. On the flip side, if you overschedule, you’re increasing the likelihood of poor performance on schedule compliance. If you allocate all of the available hours, you will have a realistic view of the metrics and key performance indicators.

3. Update the daily schedule one day in advance

When it comes to the daily schedule, don’t try to plan too far in advance. Solidifying the daily plan the day before work is set to start allows you to account for both the work in progress and any new high-priority and unplanned work. As part of the daily schedule, make sure that each operator's skills match the allocated tasks.

4. Take skills into account

A job plan should detail the number of technicians, work hours per skill level, and the job's duration. By planning around the lowest skill level required, it ensures that you don't send two highly skilled workers to a task that only needs one expert and one helper. By allocating tasks around skills, this will drive up wrench time.

5. Track and evaluate performance against schedule compliance

There is no point in having a detailed plan unless you track it's execution. By monitoring schedule compliance, organizations gain insight into the workforce's efficiency, and they can use the findings to adjust future plans to increase time on tools.

With efficient planning and scheduling, you can quickly and easily reassign tasks based on availability, reschedule work that can be done later without impacting operations, better manage your work order backlog, and track schedule compliance. When you adhere to these five maintenance scheduling principles, you can shift from reacting to problems to creating a maintenance center of excellence.


Derek Shickel's picture

Thank Derek for the Post!

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