Being a Maintenance Manager can be a very rewarding job, but it can also come with huge challenges and pressures around effective management of costs, time, safety, efficiencies and much more.
At Add Energy, we understand the highs and lows you face with maintenance management. In this blog, we have combined some top tips for becoming an even more effective Maintenance Manager, despite the challenging environment you work in...
1. Understand your unplanned breakdowns
One important habit we identified was to continually understand how many equipment failures the business is having versus the amount of maintenance the problematic equipment has received.
The common perception is often that failures occur when equipment hasn’t been maintained, but in reality, the equipment often fails because the wrong type of maintenance has been applied. It is key that the maintenance being carried out is in fact correct. And that as equipment ages and wear occurs, it is important that the routines carried out are reviewed and updated.
If a key item was to fail, set plans in motion to review the maintenance and failure history with a view on how to improve the maintenance routines and reduce future failures.
Having the correct maintenance in place is vital to reduce failures but also improve the lifespan of equipment.
2. Ensure your morning meets and planning meetings are as efficient as possible
People’s time is extremely valuable, especially in the maintenance line of work. This is why ensuring your meetings are as efficient as possible is important, and everyone gets value.
Here are a few tips that, from our experience, will help:
- Read and understand morning reports prior to taking the morning meeting. Don’t turn up with the report fresh off the printer!
- Brief your team on any anomalies reported prior to the meeting commencing
- Ask your team for their feedback on the report before the meeting commences
- Have the right people at the meeting. Why have vendors spending 1-2 hours a day traveling to meetings if they’re not always required?
- Keep to the timing for the meeting. If it only takes 5 minutes, then that’s fine. If the duration is 15 minutes then make sure it does not overrun.
3. Don’t deviate from priority work
Each week, the business will set a target on the amount of maintenance that they plan to do in the coming week. It is important to understand any break-ins to that plan and can they be avoided.
Unplanned work has a tendency to drop into schedules, but that does not always mean it has to be done.
It is important to ensure that work that does fall into these schedules is justified and of value.
More often, planned work is not carried out and pushed to the side by unplanned work that could be scheduled into future weeks.
We would suggest looking to see what work is breaking into the schedule and is in fact high priority work or carries sufficient justification to “jump the queue”.
Ensuring the right maintenance is carried out at the right time can not only be a compliance issue, where the equipment is safety critical, but is also key to ensure equipment is maintained as per its agreed frequencies which have been agreed by the business. The correct maintenance at the correct time will ultimately reduce unplanned failures in the future.
4. Be a supportive, communicative team lead
Be supportive to everyone in the team, and make each individual feel they are important and that their input is appreciated. Remember, nobody knows everything.
Talking and listening are both equally important. As a “leader”, you must always be transparent and honest in passing on or receiving information. Encourage your team members to be the same, and never talk down to them.
5. Maximize the potential of your team
As a Maintenance Manager, you need to rely on key people to get the work done and ensure the safety and performance of the asset. Here are some tips on getting the most out of your team:
Get to know your people. This includes their skills (past and present), their strengths and their weaknesses
Talk to them, and above all, listen to them!
Be prepared to challenge and be challenged
Be aware of individual workloads. They may get bored if it is too light, or stressed if they are inundated or overloaded.
Visit them if they work from an external location. Have them visit you if time and logistics permit.
Have an open door policy if you work in a separate office
Coach and support where required
Supervise and manage at an appropriate level
Never assume, check!
Don’t pass the buck and likewise don’t let them pass the buck.