What is maintenance backlog?
Maintenance backlog is made up of work that needs to be completed for safety reasons and to avoid further asset breakdown (e.g. an oil change for your truck is scheduled for every 5000 miles). When the odometer reading hits 5000 miles and the work is due this task will sit in your maintenance backlog until it is complete. The longer it sits there, the more precarious it can become.
Over and under-resourcing labour
While some level of maintenance backlog is acceptable and unavoidable, the appropriate level of maintenance backlog should be determined in relation to each business need. Maintenance requires labour and an over resourced crew will have a small maintenance backlog while a under resourced crew will have a large maintenance backlog that is growing all the time. The ideal scenario is a maintenance backlog that is stable and controllable, even if the facility was hit with a record number of emergency breakdowns. Maintaining a balance between resource allocation and the costs associated with maintenance is essential.
How much is too much maintenance backlog?
Maintenance backlog can be determined for the entire maintenance operation or by the asset. Businesses find that the context and level of risk associated with each particular asset determines the level of backlog acceptable. Low risk assets tolerate longer maintenance backlogs while high risk assets tolerate shorter maintenance backlogs.
Maintenance backlog for higher risk assets
Maintenance backlog for higher risk assets can put a healthy business in a dicey situation. Notable risks include equipment failures, non-compliance with mandatory fire safety requirements and statutory safety legislation, costs to remove and replace assets, production losses, and warranties that do not hold up in court.
Fiix combats maintenance backlog
It is diffiult to measure or control maintenance backlog without a computerized maintenance management system like Fiix. A CMMS helps maintenance managers get a grip on what work needs to be done, and when by giving them full visibility on backlog or its breakdown. In the report (right), the supervisor can see how old the work is. The maintenance manager can also use the maintenance backlog data in the CMMS to determine if they are over or under resourced. Should they get everyone in on the weekend to close out some older jobs? By using a CMMS, like Fiix, to track work that is due, businesses can control maintenance backlog and increase their assets availability and reliability.