Estimating the Impact of Good PMs: The Other 12-Step Program


Like motherhood and apple pie, preventive maintenance (PM) activity is almost universally considered good. Have you ever stopped to think about why?

Right intention: It’s oriented toward minimizing downtime and saving money.

Pre-emptive action: Proactive in nature, it keeps you ahead of the curve and minimizes stressors.

Easily planned: Because you’re not reacting to an emergency, you can carefully manage inventory consumption and labor schedules.

Minimal impact: Done during downtime, it creates little or no disruption of your business’s core mission.

Ancillary benefits: In addition to saving money and keeping production moving, PM activity can also extend asset life, improve product quality, and create safer work environments.

So why, then, do many organizations seem to spend so much time on breakdowns and emergency repairs—and almost no time implementing successful PM programs? After all, modern CMMS software, like MPulse, has everything you need to schedule and track PMs, and to notify technicians when they need to occur. Sometimes, though, the hardest part is justifying to yourself and others the return on investment (ROI), in time saved, that a strong PM program would provide. It seems hard to find enough time in your day to “add” another activity.

Well, I can’t put any more time in your day, but I can give you 12-steps and a simple template to estimate the time-saving impact of an effective PM program. You can build the spreadsheet from scratch using the instructions below, or start by downloading this template I’ve provided for you.

1.     Create a spreadsheet with these column headings:

   a.     Asset Unique ID

   b.     Asset Name

   c.     Asset Criticality

   d.     PM Strategy

   e.     Projected PM Hours

   f.      Maintenance Hours, Past Year

   g.     Estimated % Saved Hours

   h.     Estimated Recovered Hours

   i.      Estimated Hours, Next Year

   j.      Net Savings, Labor Hours

2.     List your major assets with a Unique ID for each.

3.     Rank criticality of each asset from 1 to 5 (least critical to most critical).

4.     Sort by column 3 (Asset Criticality), in descending order (most critical at the top). Focus only on “5”s for now.

5.     Using manuals and the Internet, review and research manufacturers’ suggested maintenance activities for each of your most critical pieces.

6.     In the PM Strategy column, record the preferred PM strategy for each critical asset:

   a.     RTF: Run To Failure

   b.     TBS: Time-Based Scheduled maintenance (once per month, quarter, year, etc.)

   c.     UBS: Usage-Based Scheduled maintenance (number of hours, revolutions, cycles, hits, blows, etc.)

   d.     CBM: Condition-Based Maintenance (when “x” reaches a prescribed point, change the oil, filter, belts, etc.)

7.     In the Projected PM Hours column, based on your research, place your estimate of the total labor hours per year for all PM activities for each asset.

8.     In the Maintenance Hours, Past Year column, put your estimate of the total maintenance hours consumed by each asset over the past 12 months.

9.     In the column labeled Estimated % Saved Hours, enter your estimate of the hours saved if your PM program for that asset is fully implemented. Don’t worry about getting it perfect. You’re the expert here. Give it your best guess.

10. In the Estimated Recovered Hours column, multiply column 6 (Maintenance Hours, Past Year) by column 7 (Estimated % Saved Hours), to get the total number of hours you project saving with adequate PMs.

11. In the column labeled Estimated Hours, Next Year, create a formula to calculate the following: [Maintenance Hours, Past Year] + [Projected PM Hours] – [Estimated Recovered Hours].

12. In the column Net Savings, Labor Hours, deduct column 9 (Estimated Hours, Next Year) from column 6 (Maintenance Hours, Past Year). Then subtract column 5, Projected PM Hours. This will display your net projected savings.

I’ll be the first one to admit this template isn’t perfect. And just filling it out isn’t going to get you results. If you do take the time to complete it, though, you’ll have a realistic idea of where you’re likely to get good results by implementing better PM procedures. The exercise itself will force you to prioritize your efforts. Then you can take the next step of getting those schedules into your CMMS so that next year at this time, you’ll be measuring real results instead of just estimating them.