Mastering Reliability: A guide to crafting an Effective Asset Maintenance Strategy for any Business

SSG Insight
  • Published date: 28 November 2023

Optimising asset performance is the primary goal of asset maintenance strategies

 

Put quite simply, the primary goal of an asset maintenance strategy is to optimise asset performance, reduce downtime, extend asset lifespan, and control maintenance costs. It varies from industry to industry as our vast experience has shown us, but generally that’s the goal for all.

However, creating a plan for an organisation from a small business to an enterprise group, is no easy feat. It involves various elements and methodologies, not to mention different approaches, and has to ensure the effective and efficient maintenance of all assets from equipment and machinery to facilities and infrastructure.

Here we explore our top tips for key components of a typical maintenance asset strategy, (and in the articles to follow we’ll look more closely into a few specific industries):

  1. Asset Criticality Assessment: Identify and rank your assets based on their criticality to the organisation’s operations. Critical assets are of course those whose failure would have a significant impact on production, safety, or cost, remember to include even the smallest or cheapest of parts, it’s not always the big things that go wrong.
  2. Preventive Maintenance: Define your scheduled maintenance tasks and intervals to proactively address wear and tear, prevent breakdowns, and ensure equipment reliability. Remember to include routine inspections, lubrication, and component replacements.
  3. Predictive Maintenance: Consider how you will implement technologies and techniques, such as condition monitoring, predictive analytics, and sensor data, to predict when maintenance is needed based on the actual condition of the asset. These will of course minimise unnecessary maintenance and maximises asset uptime.
  4. Corrective Maintenance: Whilst an aim of your strategy is to plan maintenance and reduce reactive activity, we all know unexpected failures will still happen, plan for these maintenance actions. Remember to include procedures for emergency repairs and troubleshooting.
  5. Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM): Apply RCM principles to identify the most suitable maintenance approach for each asset, taking into account factors like safety, reliability, and cost.
  6. Spare Parts Management: Ensure the availability of critical spare parts and consumables to minimise downtime during maintenance activities. Remember to check all parts including not having too many of one in stock as it’s leaving vital cash on the shelf.
  7. Work Order Management: Implement efficient processes for generating, tracking, and prioritising work orders for maintenance tasks. Remember to think about how other staff may log requests and ensuring you can gather vital details from them easily.
  8. Training and Skill Development: Provide necessary training and skill development for maintenance staff to ensure they can effectively perform maintenance tasks. Remember to identify when training or certification expires so you always have a qualified team available.
  9. Budgeting and Resource Allocation: Allocate budgets and resources based on the criticality of assets and the maintenance strategies defined.
  10. Performance Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Establish metrics to assess the effectiveness of the maintenance strategy, such as mean time between failures (MTBF), mean time to repair (MTTR), and overall equipment effectiveness (OEE). Remember to think about what data you need to report on and why before you start, what will impact the team and the business?
  11. Continuous Improvement: Include a commitment to ongoing reviews and improvements of the maintenance strategy as technology evolves and asset conditions change, as well as how your business plans to evolve.
  12. Regulatory Compliance: Ensure to check that maintenance activities comply with relevant industry standards, regulations, and safety requirements. Remember to think about how you will be notified of changes and what impact this will have on your strategy and ongoing maintenance.
  13. Environmental and Sustainability Considerations: Integrate sustainable practices and energy efficiency measures into the maintenance strategy, as per your business goals and aims. Remember to think about how you track this to demonstrate that the maintenance team have supported these goals.

 

These are our top tips for crafting your effective maintenance asset strategy however, specifics for individual organisations will depend on factors such as the nature of your assets, industry regulations, available resources, and business goals. We highly recommend developing your asset maintenance strategy through a collaborative effort between maintenance teams, engineers, and management, with a focus on optimising asset performance while minimising costs and risks. This collaboration and connectivity bring about the best results and ensures you have a robust strategy in place which staff then buy into.

If you’d like to know more about working with our global teams and how they have supported organisations with their asset maintenance strategy, please contact info@ssginsight.com. This article is the first in a series around strategy, and those to follow will focus on a couple of specific industries with more detail based on our 40 years of experience working with customers around the world.

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