How to Conquer Your Maintenance Backlog

Very few facility managers want to admit how intimidating their backlog can be. It’s a never-ending problem that only seems to grow. Tackling the backlog all at once can seem like an impossible task, but the longer a facility waits, the worse it will get. However, MaintenX can help you eliminate the backlog and get you in a position for maximum maintenance success. 


Typically, the backlog includes all work that has been requested, planned, but not completed. The backlog is measured in its entirety by the predicted hours or weeks it will take to complete. Some facilities are able to schedule their backlog effectively, while others treat it as a first-come, first-serve order of services.


While you may think you need to eliminate the backlog completely, experts believe that having zero backlog can lead to an increase in maintenance costs. Without scheduled services, the maintenance team may focus on corrective and preventative maintenance that is low-priority. This can lead to unneeded labor hours and services, which is not ideal either. 


MaintenX recommends scheduling two weeks’ worth of scheduled services, and two weeks of lower priority services for planning in the future. Your maintenance staff needs a game plan for their week if they are to use their time efficiently. However, you should always be looking ahead for preventative services to ensure that your long-term maintenance pals are reached. 


In order to achieve this ideal four-week backlog, you’ll want to prioritize your workload based on available parts, staffing, and urgency.  Equipment that is near the critical point should be addressed in the first week, while regular preventative repairs can be scheduled for weeks two and three. A system of balanced planning and execution is essential for a seamless backlog. 


You also want to plan generously for reactive maintenance during this four-week backlog planning period. You never know when reactive maintenance repairs will come up, so we suggest scheduling for 5-10 hours less than your regular workweek to accommodate these changes. You don’t want to overwork your maintenance staff while they’re trying to eliminate existing work orders!


With these tips in mind, your facility can effectively reduce downtime and create a process for backlog management. To learn more about our system at MaintenX, contact your local team today!

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