Making headway with maintenance and fleet management budgets today requires that companies start collecting and leveraging big data to drive their decisions. This is what makes comprehensive software for asset management a tactical investment; it’s a tool for making informed decisions from a bird’s eye view.
Firms are beginning to track all of their processes in granular detail, hoping to squeeze more efficiency out of their facilities budgets and get a handle on the big maintenance cost-drivers. But that leaves the open question: What data points should you track to monitor the efficiency of your maintenance programs.
A Note on Data Collection
You can’t overstate the importance of capturing data to help you analyze your processes. No matter how sophisticated your software suite, you can’t analyze what you don’t track. When you implement a new CMMS, it makes sense to err on the side of tracking too much in hopes that you’ll eventually be incorporating that information into actionable decisions further on down the road.
Measures of Maintenance Efficiency
Costs of Downtime: When calculating the lifecycle profitability of a particular vehicle in your fleet, or trying to determine the loss of productivity due to an equipment failure, you have to understand all the costs of having a particular asset taken out of production.
Repair Costs and Frequency: Repair costs per asset is a good metric to measure varying groups of assets by, even if using it to assess the entire budget is comparing apples to oranges. In a sense, this is related to downtime measurements, in that you’re assessing the profitability of a particular vehicle or asset based on the ratio of maintenance costs to service benefit you derive from the asset.
Corrective vs. Preventive Maintenance: Evaluating total maintenance costs usually does not give enough detail to inform major decisions. Total man-hours spent on corrective versus preventive maintenance will be one indicator of whether your current maintenance schedules are effective at preventing unscheduled downtime and reducing more costly corrective repairs. The percentage of work planned as opposed to that related to breakdowns or corrective repairs is also an effective measure to consider.
Equipment Lifecycle: With the right data points, you should be tracking more than simply the lifespan and depreciation of various assets. The lifetime repair costs, average downtime during the equipment lifecycle and regular upkeep/preventive maintenance can all go into calculating the lifecycle. What’s more, you can coordinate lifecycle stats with maintenance schedules to adjust accordingly to reduce lifetime costs and extend the total lifecycle to maximize value.
Focusing Your Analysis for Greatest Effect
When analyzing your performance data, it’s important to focus on strategic assets where any changes are likely to have the most benefit. Identify the assets which most directly impact revenue, where an equipment failure would be especially costly, maintenance costs are unusually high or where small gains in efficiency (such fleet-wide fuel efficiency) would result in large cost-savings across the board.
In every category, process or individual equipment measure, it’s essential to have benchmarks which indicate success or failure, trailing indicators which can trigger alerts and draw attention for immediate action before a small problem turns into a system-wide failure that results in significant costs, or worse, unsafe conditions.
The more data you are able to track, the more leading and trailing performance indicators you have to tell you whether you’re being successful. And those indicators will be verified at the end of the quarter or year when you see significant efficiencies materialize on your bottom line.