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Solving Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Challenges

Solving Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Challenges

Proper maintenance planning and scheduling influence the success of any maintenance department. A lack of effective planning and scheduling can result in decreased wrench time, work effectiveness, equipment reliability, and equipment uptime as well as increased costs. Wrench time is the time that maintenance technicians spend at work, using tools and in front of jobs. Time spent obtaining assignments or traveling to and from work sites doesn't count. Typically, workforce wrench time is between 25% and 35%, but maintenance planning and scheduling can raise wrench time to above 50%, essentially doubling the labor of your workforce. Higher wrench time equals lower costs.

Effective planning and scheduling is also crucial for moving out of reactive maintenance mode into a more planned, productive environment. One of the most important functions of facilities maintenance software, also known as CMMS/EAM software, is to plan and schedule maintenance work. Maintenance software can be used to report on the maintenance jobs that are to be carried out. Once a routine maintenance job is performed, the software automatically adjusts the calendar and reschedules the job so that it is performed on the next due date. Effective maintenance planning and scheduling with facilities management software increases the reliability of facilities and assets. Learn more about website maintenance services offered by WebmaisterPro.

Planning vs. Scheduling

The terms planning and scheduling are often used interchangeably, but they are very different. Planning is more strategic in nature and refers to the overall design of maintenance jobs that are to be performed over a period of time. Scheduling describes the work that will be done on which date and with what resources. Scheduling outlines the steps, resources, and timeline required to implement a plan. Planning a job should be done before scheduling a job. In large organizations, there is typically a maintenance planner and a maintenance scheduler. The maintenance planner might be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Develop an annual work plan
  • Maintain standard operating procedures, including use of facilities management software
  • Develop a long-range plan spanning the life of critical assets
  • Analyze adherence to the plan and key performance indicators to identify opportunities for improvement
  • Determine maintenance policy for assets and components

A maintenance scheduler may be in charge of the following tasks:

  • Develop daily, weekly, and monthly schedule on the CMMS/EAM
  • Determine work priorities
  • Maximize the availability of assets
  • Ensure that maintenance technicians have a healthy backlog of productive tasks
  • Ensure the availability of spare parts and special tools

Many companies have developed a hybrid maintenance scheduler/planner position that combines these two roles. While this is better than burdening a supervisor with all of the above tasks, it is ideal for larger organizations to hire both a maintenance planner and a maintenance scheduler. Some companies even go as far as to hire a maintenance coordinator in addition to a planner and a scheduler. Maintenance coordinators are generally responsible for assessing work requests, evaluating contractor performance, preparing CMMS/EAM reports, and assisting planners, schedulers, and supervisors to ensure that maintenance jobs are properly planned, scheduled, and performed.

Effectively Planning and Scheduling Maintenance with CMMS/EAM Software

Facilities maintenance software simplifies the planning and scheduling of routine maintenance by creating a single, consistent source of information that standardizes and consolidates all relevant data, including work orders, regulatory requirements, resource availability, etc. CMMS/EAM software also enables organizations to optimize maintenance plans and schedules by taking resources, time, skill sets, and other factors into consideration. Maintenance schedulers can use a CMMS to create and track work orders as well as monitor resource usage, while maintenance planners can use the software to look at the big picture by developing, monitoring, and measuring key performance indicators via an easy-to-read dashboard.

At DPSI, we offer CMMS/EAM systems that streamline scheduling and planning to ensure that maintenance technicians have the tools, information, and parts they need to do their jobs right and in the shortest amount of time possible. Our professional services team also offers consulting and on-site audits to help your organization develop an effective maintenance planning and scheduling program.

For more information about DPSI's products and services, please visit www.dpsi.com

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