Maintenance work management is the core of maintenance management. It is where all the plans and strategies become reality; it is where Maintenance and Operations meet face to face.
It is where the effectiveness of the material management function and the information management systems are tested; it is where the competence of supervisors, planners and craftsmen are demonstrated, and where the success and cost-effectiveness of a maintenance management system are determined. This is where it all comes together – where the rubber hits the road!
An effective work planning and control (WPC) process or system identifies and validates all the maintenance work to be done (both tactical and non-tactical), matches it with the required resources through proper planning, schedules when it will be done, allocates the tasks to competent individuals and ensures that it is done correctly and timeously. Finally, the work details and costs are captured for reporting and analysis purposes.
When should you seek help with work planning and control?
The lack of a proper WPC process and system can cause several systemic issues such as:
- No record-keeping and therefore no history of maintenance work that was done
- No information about which assets incurred the most maintenance costs
- Uncontrolled and escalating backlog
- Duplicate tasks or work orders
- Uncertainty about the status of preventive and statutory maintenance
Work being prioritised based on gut feel
- No planning of work, resulting in delays while resources are mobilised and information prepared
- No scheduling of work, resulting in conflicts with Operations
- Overloaded or underutilised resources
- Inability to forecast labour, materials and spare parts requirements.
The advantages of work planning and control
With WPC in place, unpleasant surprises are eliminated and the scene is set for a stable and predictable environment that works according to predefined rules.
Basic WPC in place gives you:
- Peace of mind that preventive and statutory tasks are being done.
- Accurate maintenance costing, including labour, contractors and spare parts.
- A realistic account of backlog and an effective system to reduce the initial backlog, moving from reactive maintenance to proactive maintenance.
- Easy identification and safe removal of duplicate tasks and work orders.
- A simplified and semi-automated planning and scheduling cycle.
Advanced WPC in place gives you:
- Better utilisation of the maintenance staff’s time.
- Improved coordination between Operations, Maintenance and stores.
- Accurate budgeting based on forecasted tactical maintenance, labour and spare parts.
- Availability of spare parts and other resources when needed.
- Optimal utilisation of equipment stoppages for opportunistic maintenance.
- Elimination of wasteful waiting time.
- Proper prioritisation of maintenance work according to predefined rules.