Having a preventative maintenance program in place is essential for making sure that all of your technology equipment is functioning properly. The manufacturers of your assets have specific recommendations for the maintenance of the products that they provide.
There are many ways that you can manage the maintenance of your assets such as a spreadsheet, program, or clipboard. With diligent analysis of entering data, all of these are acceptable ways to help you with your maintenance. Make sure that you follow these eight steps to help implement your system.
Pick an asset for testing
Form your baseline
Gather data on your asset
Manage your tools, spares, and consumables
Start your Maintenance management program
Set your asset maintenance schedules
Monitor and make adjustments to your system
Duplicate this for all assets.
Step 1: Pick an asset for testing
When looking to implement a new maintenance program, we feel that it is best to test it out on a few devices first rather than wholesale switching your entire fleet. It will take some time, and you will face some issues as you work to get the system right for you. However, if you take the time to get the system right for these few assets, then it will be easier to implement the same steps with the rest of your fleet.
To get started in choosing the right asset(s) for testing, find out which ones will be the cheapest to have down for an extended period of time. It is due to the fact that any asset that is down costs your department time and money. This will happen as you try to find the right system, but you are able to do this without crippling your workforce by using assets that are not necessary for day-to-day activities.
Step 2: Form your baseline
After you have chosen the asset/s that you are going to use for testing, the next step is to set a baseline. This could be set any number of factors such as the current maintenance process or the performance of the devices. You need to know where to start, otherwise, you will not know how to move forward.
Step 3: Gather data on your asset
When you receive your assets, they will have recommended maintenance schedules that could be a set schedule or a certain number of operating hours. You will need to make sure that you are running the maintenance according to these standards. If you are not, this could void the warranty of your asset/s.
Next, look at what is causing the downtime for the device/s that you are testing. Once you know the causes of this downtime, you are better able to determine if there are any additional steps that you and your team need to take to help prevent the downtime.
Step 4: Manage your tools, spares and consumables
This next step allows you to make sure that your staff has everything that they need to complete the required maintenance for your fleet. Take a look and see what equipment you will need to complete the tasks required for your maintenance program. Whether you need something that is a consumable, a specific part, or a certain tool to complete the process, you should track these items so that you can make sure that you have them available when you need them. Once you have this in place, also set an ordering system in place for them.
Step 5: Start your Maintenance management program
Now you are ready to set the specific process you are going to use. With the correct asset management software, you can know when you need to order new parts, or when an asset's next scheduled maintenance is. At this point, you should have questions answered such as, how your techs should handle these maintenance procedures, and the timeframe in which they should be completed. This will help you to have a clear understanding of what the processes are for each task.
Step 6: Set your asset maintenance schedules
Now that your tasks are in place, now you should maintenance should be performed. To start, use some predictive measurements such as the run time, mileage, and any other factors that the manufacturer sets. Also, check back and make sure that the timelines are also being accounted for on both what the manufacturer says and any additional that your team might need. Take all these, and set the weekly, monthly, or yearly scheduling that is required.
Now that you have all this information laid out and ready to go, decide how you want your team to keep track of it. Are you going to have it written on a communal calendar, or are you going to set notifications in an electronic calendar?
Step 7: Monitor and make adjustments to your system
No matter how well-planned something is, there will always be issues that occur at some point. Because of this, you should constantly look for ways to improve your system to make it the most efficient for your needs. To do this, use the same tests for your baseline to take a deep look and see exactly how the maintenance program is working. Also, ask the people that you have performing the maintenance how it works for them, and see if there are ways they think the process could be improved upon. Its okay if this means that you eventually have to go back and re-adjust your schedule, or the program itself.
Step 8: Duplicate this for all assets
Now that you have your system how you want it to run, go back and duplicate this for your entire fleet. Take your time and make sure that the steps you put in place are followed exactly as they should be. As with everything, there will still be issues that arise as you continue to add more assets to the process. This will allow you to be set up for success in the long run, rather than being a band-aid solution.