Maintenance KPIs and maintenance metrics

The essential guide to using maintenance metrics

What are maintenance key performance indicators (KPIs)?

Key performance indicators (KPIs) measure the performance of a person, department, project, or company over time, and how effective they are at achieving their aims.

Why are maintenance KPIs important?

Maintenance KPIs measure how well your operation is doing at achieving its maintenance goals, like reducing downtime or cutting costs. They are benchmarks for your facility and highlight where your team is now, how far you still need to go, and what you need to do to get there.

Maintenance KPIs are quantifiable goals that reflect the larger objectives of the organization. They are an endpoint you are reaching for.

For example, your organization’s ultimate goal might be to cut costs by a certain amount. There are several ways maintenance can impact this goal, like departmental spending or production waste. When you attach numbers to these components, they become KPIs. This might be as simple as saying you’ll reduce maintenance spending by 10% or commit to reducing production waste by 20%.

Although every facility will have different targets, some of the most common maintenance KPIs revolve around a few key elements, including:

  • Efficiency
  • Cost and spending
  • Safety and compliance
  • Asset performance
  • Downtime
  • Work order management
  • Inventory management

What are maintenance metrics?

Maintenance metrics provide insights into the daily operations of your facility, offering a detailed view of how people and assets function. They serve as a valuable tool to gauge the effects of these activities on the overall objectives of your maintenance department. By having these metrics, you can quickly identify areas of strength, areas needing improvement, and potential opportunities. These metrics offer a clearer understanding of how routine tasks contribute to larger goals, enabling better control and enhancement of maintenance operations.

For instance, while the broader aim might be to cut inventory costs, individual metrics such as inventory accuracy and failure rates are the smaller steps that collectively contribute to achieving that main objective.

Common maintenance metrics

Everything in maintenance revolves around humans and machines. Optimizing the performance of people and assets is crucial to maintenance success. That’s why the most widely used maintenance metrics address the way equipment and people work.

There are three main categories of maintenance metrics—asset, operational, and inventory metrics. Understanding each helps connect the dots between actions and impact, so you can make informed decisions and upgrade your facility.

Inventory metrics

Inventory metrics

Maintenance KPIs vs. maintenance metrics

Maintenance KPIs and maintenance metrics are often used interchangeably. However, there’s a difference between the two.

Maintenance KPIs are numbers that tie organizational progress to maintenance performance, while maintenance metrics connect maintenance performance to maintenance actions. In other words, maintenance KPIs are a target your business is aiming at, and maintenance metrics are the arrows you’re shooting at that target.

For example, your ultimate business goal may be increasing revenue by 20%. Revenue is directly impacted by downtime because the less equipment is running, the fewer products are made and sold. Therefore, one of your maintenance KPIs is downtime. All sorts of quantifiable actions can influence downtime, such as the mean time to repair (MTTR) or planned maintenance percentage. These are your maintenance metrics.

Choosing the right maintenance metrics

Metrics convey vital messages. If unclear, they're unhelpful. So, ensure your chosen maintenance metrics align with your organization's objectives and are clear to your team. Each should tie to a specific maintenance KPI. When defining metrics, consider:

  • What's the goal?
  • Why is it important?
  • How can progress be tracked and influenced?
  • who's accountable for the outcome?

Always seek input from varied stakeholders, such as technicians and managers, to understand which processes require measurement.

How to measure maintenance metrics

Now that you know what metrics to measure, you need to know how to track them. There are three ingredients for measuring maintenance metrics: Tools, processes, and people.

The right tools capture the numbers and calculate the metrics. The right processes turn data into information, and information into strategies. Finally, the right people help your organization run the tools, execute processes, and implement strategies.

Preventive maintenance software is one of the best tools for collecting accurate information from every asset, work order, and purchase. It also allows you to create processes, like automated reports, that lead to better decision-making. Software, like a CMMS, also makes it easier for people to do, measure, and improve their work.

There are three key questions you need to ask when setting up a system to track and measure maintenance metrics.

How are you going to measure progress?

This question helps you get organized. It includes knowing what numbers to look at, your goals, the tools you’re going to use, who is responsible for tracking progress, how you’re going to ensure data is clean, and how often data is tracked and analyzed.

How can you influence the outcome?

This question helps you take action. Tracking metrics is not a passive task. You need to establish every way a metric can be influenced, identify the areas you have control of, and build a plan for making a positive difference in these areas.

How will you know you’ve been successful or not?

This question helps you close the loop. You’ll reach your goal and create a new one, or come up short and make adjustments. Either way, you need to understand what the finish line looks like and what to do once you’ve crossed it or not.

Harnessing the power of maintenance metrics

Metrics are akin to the essential resources in your facility. Without the appropriate infrastructure–be it machinery, personnel, delivery vehicles, or other essentials–they remain untapped. To truly leverage the potential of data in your operations, it's crucial to establish a robust system replete with the necessary tools, methodologies, and experts. By methodically building a sturdy base, your team will be poised to unlock the full potential of maintenance metrics and elevate their performance to unprecedented levels.

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