Maintenance Planning 101

Making the Best of Your Time and Resources

Congratulations! You’re the new maintenance manager of Megamonolith Corporation. Although you’re exited about the position, you realize you have your work cut out for you. Megamonolith recently bought out another company, and you’re assigned to the site. During your first six months, you conduct a facilities audit and discover that the prior maintenance program consisted only of breakdown repairs. (For information about facility audits, please refer to my white paper “The Facilities Audit” available through my website at

One of the first things you need to do is establish a work coordination and management program that helps you and your staff identify, prioritize, plan, and track corrective actions. The same process must be used by everyone involved in maintenance, and at every location. How can you do this?

The system we propose provides these important benefits:

1.Easy retrieval and dissemination of information.

2.Ensures immediate response for emergencies and safety related issues.

3.Avoids wasted time.

4.Provides easy to follow guidelines and standards.

5.Uses off the shelf software.

6.Establishes procedures.

7.Highly cost effective.

The central point of a maintenance planning system is the Work Reception and Coordination Center, or WRCC. Depending on the size of your facilities, it may be a group of personnel or a single specialist who may even be an outsourced service provider. The WRCC is a single point of submission for all work requests; prioritizes and coordinates all work requests, and provides a current status of all work in process. Through use of database applications, the WRCC provides critical information including priority, lead and assist shops or contractors, and ensures that standardized forms and processes are used.

A word about priority. Regardless of the final form of your maintenance planning program, you must ensure that work requests are responded to in the proper manner. Here’s a suggestion:

Priority 1: Threat to life, health, or security. Requires immediate, on-site response.

Priority 2: Impairs working conditions, affects ADA/handicapped access or code requirements but does not meet Pri-1 criteria. Requires acknowledgment within 1 business day.

Priority 3: Highly desirable, will improve productivity, customer service and/or work conditions.

Requires acknowledgment within 2 business days.

Priority 4: Desirable, routine work or improves community relations. Requires acknowledgment within 2 business days.

Some companies establish another high level priority for work requests from C-level personnel, which could be listed following either Priority 2 or 3 in the above matrix.

Here’s a flow chart for the work request:

1. Incoming work request –> Priority 1?

Yes- notify Facility Manager and send work order immediately to lead shop. Lead shop begins work.

No- go to step 2.

2. Decision- does job meet criteria for planning?

Yes- request goes to maintenance planner and then to Facility Manager for approval. After Facility

Manager approval, the work order is sent to the lead shop or filed for later use when funds and

resources are available.

No- If within WRCC authority, work order is generated and sent to lead shop for action. If request is

outside WRCC authority, work order goes to Facility Manager for approval and scheduling.

The Facility Manager has authority to reject and/or schedule all work orders.

Under normal conditions, the work request would be submitted by the manager of the originating department. Priority 1 requests are the only ones that should bypass this important step.

The WRCC decides if the job meets criteria for planning to ensure that manpower, budget, and equipment resources are available. Routine work that is within the scope of WRCC authority results in a work order that is sent to the lead shop. Other requests go to maintenance department personnel and then to the facility manager for final approval before being issued as work orders.

Source by Richard Buzard

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