Maintenance KPIs and maintenance metrics

Turning numbers into action

The essential guide to using maintenance metrics

What are maintenance 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.

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 you 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 committing 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
  • Costs and spending
  • Safety and compliance
  • Asset performance
  • Downtime
  • Work order management
  • Inventory management

What are maintenance metrics?

Maintenance metrics are measurements that give you insight into how everything and everyone is operating at your facility. They quantify the daily activity of maintenance, and in doing so, paint a picture of how people and assets are working. These numbers also allow you to compare the impact of these actions on the ultimate goals of your department.

Having the numbers makes it easier to find strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. Metrics tell you a lot about how everyday tasks influence the bigger picture, which gives you control over your maintenance operation and practical ways to improve work.

For example, the ultimate goal of your maintenance department might be to decrease inventory costs. This is the big boulder that needs to move forward. But there are a lot of different, smaller actions join together to push the boulder, little by little, like inventory accuracy and failure rates. These are maintenance metrics.

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

  • Turnover ratio
  • Slow-moving parts percentage and obsolete parts percentage

Maintenance KPIs vs. maintenance metrics: What’s the difference?

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

KPIs are numbers that tie organizational progress to maintenance performance, while 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 are first and foremost a way to communicate — they are meant to convey a message. If that message looks like a string of nonsense, it won’t do your operation much good. That’s why you must take great care to choose the right maintenance metrics to measure before beginning to track the data.

Select metrics that are relevant to your organization’s goals, can be understood by you and your team, and can be used to make a difference in the way you work. Every metric should relate to specific maintenance KPIs. Follow these steps when defining metrics:

  1. What is your desired outcome?
  2. Why does this outcome matter?
  3. How can you measure progress and influence the outcome?
  4. Who is responsible for the business outcome?

Make sure to get feedback from a variety of stakeholders, like technicians, operators, and managers, to gain a better sense of which business processes need to be measured and why.

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. * Click on each question to see how to tackle it. *

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.

Walk before you run: Harnessing the power of maintenance metrics

Metrics are like any other raw material at your facility. You can’t use either of them unless you have the right infrastructure, like equipment, staff, delivery trucks, and more. Before data can make a difference at your operation, you need to build a system that supports it, including the right tools, processes, and people. By taking it slow and ensuring you’ve created a solid foundation, your team can harness the power of maintenance metrics and climb to new heights.

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