MRO Magazine

Maintenance Goals for 2019

April 8, 2019 | By Peter Philips

Plant audits can help to create goals for maintenance for the coming year.

It has been customary for me to challenge the readers of MRO to create some maintenance goals for themselves for the upcoming year.

Let me tell you how I arrived at this maintenance audit and how we are setting maintenance goals for 2019. I have been working almost exclusively with one company for the past two years implementing the maintenance module of SAP. Overall, there were 16 large manufacturing plants involved in North America.

On January 2, 2018, after many months of preparation and testing, we went live with six Canadian plants (the U.S. plants went live on July 1, 2018). With a successful Canadian launch, we have been using the past 12 months to iron out some minor issues and working hard to become familiar with the new software package. The ultimate goal was to become stable with the new program by the end of 2018. The company provided each plant with training, documentation, and extra resources where necessary to support the new maintenance tool.


This past fall an audit was developed to measure the plants progress and two days were spent at each plant to roll it out. The audit focused on four main areas. Key performance indicators (KPIs), master data, spare part management, and work order flow. Each of the categories was broken down into specific areas with objective scoring criteria. In all, there are 65 questions in the audit with scoring ranging from zero to three. This was considered a baseline audit, and there was no pass or fail. It was a starting point for plants to identify areas for improvement.

0 – Not Started
1  – Partially Done – Not Fully Defined or Trained Out
2  – Mostly Done – Not Consistent – Have System – Have Trained
3  – Always Do – Consistent – At a World-class Level

The ultimate goal was for every plant to score a minimum of 90 per cent by the end of 2018. With this score, we would consider ourselves stable with the new program and 2019 would concentrate on implementing advanced functions of the SAP PM Module.

The first audit was conducted in September to determine the baseline score of each of the six Canadian plants. From the results of the audit, every plant created a 100-day plan to address items with low scores. A 100-day plan is simply a list of detailed activities in the form of a Gantt chart, which tracks the specific actions for each item. Every item has a person(s) assigned and time lines are set for completion. Plants are asked to meet and review their plans weekly and update their progress.

From the chart (page 17) you can see that some plants were in a better position than others. Indeed, the plant with the score of 44.1 per cent had a long way to go to meet the 90 per cent goal.

From September until mid-December every plant participated in a weekly call with company management to update their progress. Special attention was paid to Plant 6, and additional resources were provided to help bolster its efforts. Meetings were held with Plant 6 maintenance staff to discuss the issues holding them back and decisions were made to move forward at a quicker pace.

During the third week of December, I conducted the year-end audit to determine the final scores of each plant. No plant achieved a 90 per cent score, but some came very close. Plants improved their overall scores by five to 25 per cent.

Overall, some trends could be seen in the data, specifically in spare part management and work order flow. The focus now is for the plants to achieve 90 per cent before the end of the first quarter 2019.

The audit exercise has been very revealing, in how we operate within the maintenance department and has highlighted strengths and weaknesses. I would recommend maintenance departments at every company take the time and to use a tool like an audit to measure their performance.

As I mentioned, here are some goals companies can work on for the coming year.

1. KPIs – At a minimum measure yourself on MTBF, MTTR, and work order completion.

2. Master data – Ensure your master data follows a nomenclature that is easy to understand and can only be added to or changed by designated people.

3. Spare parts management – Ensure your storeroom is organized, labelled, and all parts have assigned vendors and prices.

4. Work order flow – Plan and schedule every tradesperson to at least 75 per cent of available hours. Monitor your work orders for completion. Man-hours are entered; parts and comments are added to every work order. PM tasks are detailed and every critical equipment component has an appropriate maintenance strategy to ensure its reliability. I challenge the reader to participate in a 2019 audit and develop goals for your organization for the coming year.


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