We can start by using the standard business model as we discussed before here: To understand Maintenance, Start from Business.
Or, we can use a simplified Business Box Model (BBM) which applies to all sort of activities. This BBM facilitates the understanding of business. When it is applied on the micro level inside the organization, it helps to model each business unit as a building block for the complete business. It also explains the relation between the different units.
The Business Box Model (BBM)
The idea is simple, Investment in Resources and Assets will fuel Assets to generate Products that will bring Profit. Side activities are the influence of Regulations and Markets on the process and the produced effect on Environment and Community.
We shall introduce a quick win here for the maintenance. The Gear that transforms inputs to outputs of this Box Model are the Assets. The Assets need to be maintained delivering at certain pace and quality. That’s where maintenance takes the lead in caring about the assets health. In case that maintenance role is overlooked, then the assets will decline in performance and consequently production and capacity and this will directly impact profit.
Maintenance is the activity of maintaining the assets performing for the longest possible time up to the designed or targeted capacities and qualities.
This role can be assigned to any team working inside the facility and close to the assets. It depends on the organizational structure and the size of the facility whether there is a necessity for a dedicated maintenance team or not. For some small size production line there is one team for operation and maintenance. This team shares the production and the maintenance tasks. But, here comes a burden, some activities needs skills and theoretical background that is taught in technical schools. Unless the production team is built based on containing some members with these capabilities, any training on the machine maintenance won’t be fruitful.
The technical schools provides these skills and backgrounds for the future technicians along a 2 or 3 years course mixed with the hands on practice. When this technician gets employed, the work place adds an in house hands on training that links these skills and knowledge to these specific assets and technology used.
How to apply the Business Box Model to the Maintenance Team and how to link it to the organization?
- Resources: Spare Parts, oil & Grease, safety gadgets
- Investment: Parts and fluids budget, labor cost, tools, training, license and certification
- Regulations: Internal Job description and external Coded of Conduct of the profession
- Marketing: the Cooperation with other team and KPIs or Benchmarks Dash Boards
- Assets: Maintenance Team, Maintenance System (even manual), Documents, Tools, Mobile Equipment, History records
- Product: Activities accomplished
- Profit: Uptime and OEE -Overall Equipment effectiveness-
- Community: Healthy relation between maintenance team and other organization teams as production, stores, purchase, safety, projects and planing teams. This Healthy relation smooths the flow of processes with the organization and generates safe working environment
- Environment: Less wastes from maintenance and production
Linking Maintenance to the business objectives.
As a maintenance team, do we know what are the organization plans for the next year, 2 or 5 years? Do we have plans to support the organization targets?
Suppose the organization is going to digitize its processes, how can maintenance be prepared for that and not taken by suprise?
What if there is a plan to add more technological products? How will the maintenance team adapt? What about reducing cost with 25%?
One organization is targeting to outsource all non core activities, how its maintenance team get prepared? Is there some maintenance activities that can be outsourced?
- As a maintenance leader or manager what are the questions that you need to ask yourself to get aligned with the organization:
- Is there a mission and vision for the maintenance department?
- Does It have goals and objectives?
- What KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are in place to support this direction and what can be added?
- Did we make a Gap Analysis?
- Is our proposal ready for approval with estimated budget?
If these alignment activities are not in place, then the maintenance team and the maintenance activities will be attuned from the organization. This will create burdens in the communication between maintenance and other administrative business units and technical business units.
This situation is not in favor for any party of the organization especially if we considered the Maintenance business unit as the care giver for the equipment. Equipment is the core asset that is used to generate revenue.