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Maintenance is More than Just Fixing Assets

Posted under Blog by Kristin Smith, Content Marketing Specialist

We’ve all heard the saying “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. For years, maintenance organizations have lived by this rule, waiting until the moment an asset breaks before fixing the problem. Traditionally, this is where maintenance began and ended. Differing schools of thought have since emerged about preventing and predicting failures as a new approach to maintenance. These approaches, however, require a change in maintenance practices.

If you read our Scheduling is more than Changing Dates blog, you know that we at VIZIYA view Maintenance as more than just fixing assets. To us, maintenance needs to be viewed as a holistic process. Organizations need to take a step away from just fixing a broken asset and ask themselves about what other asset factors they may be missing.

Take the following scenario as an example:

A sensor on a critical asset warns of a possible impending issue. Your systems notify your team and a work order is created to complete an inspection. Upon inspection, the technician notes there is an issue to be fixed and the work order is upgraded to a repair work order. The repair is completed and everyone continues on with their work.

This is a typical scenario maintenance teams may come across. A problem is imminent so the part is repaired to prevent a costly breakdown. While this situation does prevent unplanned downtime and in turn controls maintenance costs, it fails to take several other critical areas of maintenance into account. When a problem occurs with an asset, or when an asset fails, maintenance teams should not only be asking themselves how to fix it, but they should also be considering areas such as warranty, budget, inventory, schedule, and so on. They should be asking themselves questions like:

  • Is this part still under warranty?
  • Will I void the warranty by repairing it without contacting the vendor first?
  • How does this repair affect my maintenance budget, do I need to make adjustments?
  • The technician needed for this repair is in the field, how can we get him this work order information?
  • Do I have the part necessary to make this repair on hand? and
  • How will this repair affect our other necessary work for this week?

When maintenance organizations take a moment to step back from the immediate problem at hand and look at the work from a broader perspective, it becomes clear that in order to make your maintenance practices seamless, they need to extend well beyond just fixing the asset.

Let’s review another example:

A sensor on a critical asset warns of a possible impending issue. Your systems notify your team and a work order is created to complete an inspection. Upon inspection, the technician notes there is an issue to be fixed and the work order is upgraded to a repair work order.

The Planner/ Scheduler is notified of the Break-in Work Order. They review their existing schedule to see what work needs to be rescheduled in order to accommodate this new issue.

  • All spares are reserved or ordered for the specific job
  • A warranty claim document is generated and sent to the Vendor asking for approval to work on the asset or to send to the repair team. All Warranty instructions are attached to the mobile work order.
  • The Supervisor is also notified and instructed to assign the required craftsperson.
  • The Scheduler/Supervisor reviews the schedule to determine the impact on compliance
  • The Work Order cost is added to the budget and the Supervisor/Manager can review and allocate money from reserve if a possible overspend exists.
  • Required permits are generated and issued for approval including any risk assessments.
  • The craftsperson arrives at the job site and the mobile work order is made active and work can be started from the mobile device

Once work is complete, the final costs are tracked in the budget and management can adjust

plans to ensure budget compliance. Failure information such as actions taken, reasons for failure etc. along with Work Order information such as costs, types, work efficiency etc. are captured for analysis. The Warranty claim is solidified with actual costs incurred, recovered, etc. and is finalized and available in analytics. If the warranty claim is honoured, it is reflected in budgeting reimbursements; supply chain can use the information to negotiate based on price or coverage and to improve and build stronger relations. If the warranty claim is denied the reasons for denial is passed back to the Reliability and Maintenance groups to initiate a CI process.

In this scenario, your maintenance processes have gone well beyond just fixing the asset to include other critical asset areas. Asset warranty, maintenance budget, team notifications, PM compliance, technician mobility, and maintenance analytics should be taken into consideration every time an asset issue arises.

Benefits

When you extend your maintenance process to include these critical areas, your organization can:

  • Utilize analysis of accurate asset health data to improve planning and scheduling effectiveness, increase production capacity, increase effective maintenance measures and reduce craft idle time.
  • Maintain an accurate maintenance budget, which improves budget credibility and creates the opportunity for better budget negotiations.
  • Recover maintenance operational and capital spend through warranty claims
  • Optimize inventory carried and reduce the inventory carrying cost through improved planning, scheduling, warranty management, etc
  • Link warranty loss cost to vendors, loss reasons and utilize the information for improved vendor selection and creating strategic partnerships.

When maintenance organizations are solely concerned with fixing a broken asset, they miss the opportunity to extract potentially exponential value from their maintenance strategy.

For further details on how to take your maintenance organization beyond just fixing assets, Request a Demo of the VIZIYA WorkAlign® Product Suite. 

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