Quality, cost reduction and efficiency are the main goals of companies in any industry in the age of industry 4.0 in which we are living. Maintenance as a strategic function plays a key role, as it ensures the availability of the company’s equipment and resources. Moreover, it is a strong ally in today’s management systems.
There are so many processes and spreadsheets that are used by maintenance professionals, that they end up getting lost and have difficulties in understanding the characteristics of the company’s equipment. And this delays the preventive process, resulting only in a corrective maintenance, which in turn causes damage to the business.
Having maintenance as a strategic function is beneficial to the business and ensures much more quality, economy and return on processes. Here’s how to outline strategies and what benefits for your business.
How to outline maintenance strategies in your company
To use maintenance as a strategic role in your organization, you need to have good planning. Only in this way is it possible to have professionals qualified to optimize the use of equipment without risk, presenting only solutions. Strategic management is solely responsible for defining where, when and why to apply each type of maintenance.
With this, it is possible to ensure greater availability of equipment and consume as little as possible resources. In addition, the maintenance strategy allows the industry to identify operational bottlenecks, while also improving machine performance. In this sense, five pillars should serve as a guideline for planning: costs, flexibility, efficiency, quality and reliability.
The main objectives of maintenance as a strategic function are:
- Make a diagnosis related to aspects such as services, processes, competitiveness, vulnerability and quality of products;
- Implement projects that modify and optimize processes;
- Monitor and monitor the effectiveness of actions and implementation steps.
With it it is also possible to establish guidelines for maintenance strategies of equipment installed in the company. On the other hand, it allows systematizing the maintenance of the machines according to the importance in the production and risks that a possible failure would cause to the business.
Several areas should be involved in the decisions that will outline the maintenance strategy, such as inventory, human resources, logistics and production. After all, these will be the sectors affected by the actions. There are many methodologies that can be used by the market. Next, we’ll talk about one of them: Maintenance Planning and Control (MPC).
MPC and planning phases
MPC is a service methodology that ensures data management, the search for improvements and good planning of processes within a company. In fact, these are the pillars that ensure the success of a business.
This methodology is what provides for the execution of maintenance from start to finish, ensuring that strategic management is applied with all processes and resources. This ensures the operation of the assets and the improvement of the operation. In fact, this is an extension of the maintenance department.
There are many assignments to the MPC that are of fundamental importance to the maintenance results. They vary according to the model adopted by each company. However, we will see which are the main ones used in the planning of the maintenance strategy.
- Creation of the schedule: it is the schedule that will guide the work and ensure the flow of activities. Thus, it is necessary to be careful not to overload the team, determining deadlines not reachable by all;
- Stop scheduling: The action serves to maintain the good condition of the equipment and repair damage and other risks. With the PCM it is possible to have the necessary information to program the exact moment of the stop;
- Service instruction: it aims to describe the activities and resources that will be important for each type of intervention;
- Resource planning: it is also necessary to plan resources for procurement of materials such as parts, components and even labor contracting to perform maintenance;
- Follow-up: all processes should be analyzed and compared with the results obtained, because it is essential to review the actions if something is not going as planned;
- Instrumentation: in some cases, there is a lot of equipment that needs to be measured with a certain periodicity and the MPC makes planning for this to occur on schedule.
The benefits of maintenance as a strategic function
There are many benefits of using maintenance as a strategic function. One of them is safety, because equipment that is up to date with maintenance tend to have fewer accidents. In addition, achieving continuous improvement, ensuring the operation and control of production processes in the company are also benefits. Check out some more advantages of using the strategy in your company.
Maintenance plays a key role in the production line and quality of services. After all, this depends on the constant operation of the equipment. However, it is only possible to achieve the results with more preventive and less corrective maintenance and this is only possible with a well-planned and implemented MPC.
Maintenance planning allows the most common problems to be raised, enabling an action plan to be developed to resolve them as soon as possible. Thus, the schedule of production lines can be followed faithfully, reducing unforeseen events with cases of unscheduled maintenance. In addition, you can also provision resources for future services.
As we mentioned earlier, working with maintenance as a strategic function is also possible to keep everyone safe. In fact, the accident rate is something that worries industry worldwide. Typically, they are caused by mechanical or operational failures that can be avoided with efficient maintenance planning.
Certainly cost reduction is one of the most significant impacts of strategic maintenance management. The economy with reworks is huge. Not to mention that employee productivity also increases, as they waste less time stopping equipment during maintenance.
Another benefit of maintenance as a strategic function is the monitoring of KPIs, maintenance performance indicators. They assist in overall maintenance quality and improve production performance. This data is important because it provides information about the causes of repairs in categories separated by equipment lifecycle, making it easier to identify where to focus efforts to increase reliability.
Now that you know all the benefits and steps to plan a maintenance strategy, how about you start implementing in your company?