What is operations and maintenance?

An operations and maintenance program (also known as an O&M) is a combination of general maintenance, management, training, budgeting, and business processes that are used collectively for the proper functioning of a facility. It encompasses the maintenance and care of assets that do not require in-depth technical knowledge of how that asset functions.

Work that must be performed by a highly-skilled engineer or technician with specific knowledge of the equipment’s inner workings and design would fall under corrective or reactive maintenance. Operations and maintenance management is more general and is a form of preventive maintenance. Operations and maintenance usually includes tasks to maintain equipment before significant issues arise, such as inspections, cleaning, minor part replacement, lubrication, and fluid monitoring.

Example of operations and maintenance

An example of a general operations and maintenance task is performing oil changes on a vehicle fleet. This can be performed by technicians with a wide range of skill levels. Something more complex, like a transmission replacement, would likely need to be assigned to a more knowledgeable technician. Also, it would not be performed regularly, so it would likely fall under a different maintenance category.

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Five ways a CMMS helps improve your operations and maintenance

Using a computerized maintenance management system to manage maintenance operations is a best practice when executing an operations and maintenance plan. There are five areas in particular where using a CMMS would be significantly beneficial:

  • Work order management: A CMMS allows you to easily create, complete, and optimize work orders and work requests while keeping your records in one place.
  • Asset management: A CMMS helps you see and manage all equipment information in one place— everything from repair history and cost to hierarchy, parts consumption, and more.
  • Parts and inventory management: A CMMS enables you to organize your inventory and stay on top of stock levels so you can get the right parts, at the right time, for the right price.
  • Reporting and analytics: Data-driven decisions can be made based on real-time KPIs and custom benchmarks that can easily be displayed on a dashboard. Reports can also be quickly generated.
  • Mobile maintenance: A CMMS mobile app enables you to manage work orders from anywhere, at any time, even if you are unable to connect to the internet. You can find work orders, assets, and parts in real-time and record parts usage or completed work straight from your phone or tablet.
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