Finish What You Started: How To Improve Basic Maintenance Systems

Maintenance systems are as complex as the facilities for which they are designed. Without even considering the hassle that emergency repairs cause, preventative maintenance is something that must be continually monitored and improved based on the changing needs of the facility. However, this is not how preventative maintenance plans are often organized. 

Many facility managers, especially when changing hands, focus on the new and exciting improvements to the system that they can implement. They focus on the newest tools and strategies, and oftentimes neglect to diagnose the problem first. When new systems are implemented faster than old ones are improved, this can lead to a breakdown of trust between the facility management and maintenance staff. 

When a solution is proposed before the problem is diagnosed, this only leads to greater insufficiency. This is why MaintenX takes a “finish what you started” approach to preventative maintenance planning. It’s critical to first improve basic functions of the maintenance staff, such as work order management and wrench time, before moving on to lean management or performance maximizing tools. 

This is important for several reasons. If the basic issues of the maintenance team and planning are not addressed, it will be much harder to focus on preventative maintenance. You can’t implement cutting edge systems if you are constantly putting out fires, which is what happens in many commercial facility maintenance programs. 

Dr. W. Edwards Deming, renowned statistician and systems thinker, put it simply: “People cannot be more productive than the system they work in allows them to be.” 

Before you begin implementing new strategies, take time to analyze your current inefficiencies and the simplest solutions to fix them. Are you struggling to keep up with service orders? Perhaps you should work on basic internal communication or implement a basic online work order management system before moving onto advanced methods. Or, if your maintenance workers’ wrench times are increasing rather than decreasing, a basic training session could be more effective than changing maintenance procedures entirely. 

Analysis of your core maintenance issues will help you first create a system in which people operate effectively. Once you have a smoothly running system that can prevent problems rather than simply put out fires, then you can move on to more advanced solutions. This is the approach MaintenX takes to our preventative care. We choose experienced technicians who are solid on core competencies, and those who can easily adapt to any maintenance task or plan. 

To learn more about preventative maintenance planning and implementation, contact us today!

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