Is your Maintenance Program Optimized? 3 basic questions to get started. – Part 2

How do you know if your maintenance program is truly optimized? What are the benefits of optimization? Most importantly how do you get optimization started? This is our second post in our 3 part series that helps you to evaluate optimization with 3 basic questions. Here is our second question:

How good is my CMMS at estimating?

Walking down the midway at a carnival you might pass a vendor who wants to guess your age. They are willing to reward you with a prize if they cannot guess within a certain degree of accuracy. These individuals are trained to make quick observations and guess based on averages. On the other extreme, there are scientists who employ sophisticated techniques based on the half-life of particular elements to date ancient artifacts.

One of these forms of estimating is a parlor trick, the other a serious evaluation. Which does your CMMS more closely resemble when it comes to estimating?

There are many areas within a CMMS that allow for estimating. Therefore, we will focus on the most common, Preventive Maintenance, for the sake of simplicity.

A CMMS typically provides the ability to estimate labor and material costs on a PM. How accurate are yours? If you find your estimates completely unreliable your ability to optimize may be severely hampered. A question to consider is how did these estimates become worthless? Was it because you never made use of the feature in the first place? Is it because keeping up with this data is tedious?

If, on the other hand, you feel that your PM estimates the question could be asked how do you know? Some CMMS applications provide functions for updating a PM with a more realistic depiction of work. However, not all CMMS are created equal in this regard. Is the function mostly automated or mostly manual? Does the process accommodate PM work that may have been included in a larger work package? Does the CMMS give you the tools to trend this data?

You will see a ripple effect of measurable improvement throughout the department as your PM program becomes optimized . This will come the form of schedule compliance, wrench time, and material ordering and availability.

Optimization of this kind is not possible in every maintenance department. Many managers struggle with even minor improvements in accurate estimating. In our next post we will discuss one more basic question related to optimization.

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