Effective maintenance management is difficult to achieve without experience and a fundamental understanding of every moving piece in the facility. Maintenance and Operations need to be on the same page and both taken into consideration when planning out a successful strategy that does not hinder production.
Scheduling maintenance without enough planning can result in workers without the proper skill level being placed on machinery that they are not equipped to handle, or workers being scheduled to repair equipment without being provided the proper tools or parts. As important as the schedule is, proper planning needs to happen in advance to guarantee the desired results. Here are four proven tactics to effectively plan and schedule maintenance.
#1: Regular Meetings with Colleagues will Keep Everybody on the Same Page
Depending on the size of the company, the capacity of the facility, and the number of plants that are operational, there may be many positions that are required to facilitate proper factory maintenance. In a really small facility, many of these duties may be handled by one or two employees working closely side by side, but many larger companies will have multiple employees each working on a particular aspect of the process. This makes it harder to avoid basic mistakes, and the amount of work will require separate maintenance planners, maintenance schedulers, maintenance supervisors, and maintenance coordinators.
In order for daily maintenance to go off without a hitch in larger facilities, all positions must be on the same page and agree on the tactics being used to keep the facility functioning at its best. Daily meetings between all employees who are responsible for facilitating an aspect of the maintenance plan is imperative so that everybody has a chance to challenge any aspect before it is implemented. Learning that the maintenance coordinator has an issue with a repair at the very moment it is meant to occur will cause delays that could have been avoided and will only add maintenance to the backlog.
#2: Communicate with the Equipment Operators
Proactive maintenance schedules have been proven effective in lowering the cost of repairs and creating a safe work environment. As efficient as preventative maintenance is, following the set guidelines put in place by the manufacturer can lead to a schedule that isn't as practical as it should be. Further data can be taken into consideration to alter the schedule to one that fits the facility, and nobody knows the machinery better than the men and women who have been trained and certified to use it safely.
An open line of communication between a maintenance manager and the operators in the facility will provide a better idea of which machines require more maintenance and will provide invaluable insight into scheduling that looks fine on paper but interferes with daily operations when put into practice.
#3: Remember to Reschedule the Backlog
The entire goal of planning and scheduling maintenance is to keep facility equipment and machinery up to date so there are no delays in the production process. Unfortunately, all the preplanning in the world can't stop untimely delays or repairs that can't be completed for a variety of reasons. This work will shift to the backlog to be completed at a later date and every day that it's not rescheduled and finished can cost the facility in terms of lost labor time or equipment failure if the maintenance is time sensitive.
The facility's backlog will include any maintenance that was previously scheduled but not completed and needs to be rescheduled in the future. While it is impossible to avoid the inevitable addition of work to the backlog, it can continue to add up if the work is not rescheduled in a timely fashion. Forgetting about the backlog can result in an overwhelming amount of maintenance to be scheduled in a short amount of time and may cause safety concerns for the operators whose equipment is not receiving the upkeep it was scheduled for.
#4: Planning and Scheduling Extends to Personal Duties as Well
An organized planner will extend their own facility maintenance planning and scheduling tactics inwards to make sure their own work is mapped out well in advance and scheduled to take place during downtimes. It is incredibly easy to allow personal duties to take a back seat, especially when a string of setbacks or emergencies take priority. Maintenance planners can find themselves with an overwhelming amount of responsibilities at the end of the week that all need to be finished in quick fashion. Planning these personal duties in advance and scheduling them out through the week will guarantee that the additional work gets finished in a timely manner and will cut back on any unnecessary stress.
Sockeye was created to simplify the work order scheduling process for maintenance managers and planners. Taking advantage of Sockeye is just one of the many steps you can take to help plan and schedule daily maintenance like a boss!
Working closely with colleagues and taking input from the operators who spend their entire day with the equipment will provide invaluable data while making sure every department is on the same page when work needs to be done on a facility asset. The amount of stress that can be eliminated and time that can be freed up by pairing the latest CMMS software with Sockeye is invaluable to any overworked planner, scheduler, or manager.
“Sockeye’s greatest advantage is ease of scheduling. With a simple drag-and-drop, you can allocate workers. Scheduling used to take me hours to do for just one crew, and I planned schedules for six different crews. What used to take me up to five days of work can be now done with Sockeye in just under an hour," explains Todd Hicks, Planning and Shutdown Superintendent at the AV Group in the Aditya Birla Group case study.