Of all of the major components of a well-managed maintenance department — including organization, staffing, work order systems, spare parts and supplies, training, performance measures, quality control, and preventive and predictive maintenance — the maintenance planning and scheduling (MPS) process is missing more often than all of the other components, according to an article from Facility Maintenance Decisions magazine on the FacilitiesNet website.
The likely results of not having MPS are chaos, high costs, low quality, and low morale. Without MPS, you’ll always have a reactive organization, and the costs to maintain equipment will be four to six times higher than they should be. the article said.
In small organizations, it can be difficult to justify a full-time MPS position, but you should be able to justify the function. Assign the MPS task to a technician so one day each week, that person spends time scheduling work for the upcoming week.
One alternative method to justify a full-time planner, especially in organizations with 15 or more technicians, involves wrench time — the amount of time technicians spend inspecting, troubleshooting and fixing. The U.S. average for wrench time is 25-30 percent of total available time. Optimal wrench time is closer to 40 percent. MPS is the biggest difference between the two.
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