If you are going to keep your heavy equipment running efficiently without significantly increasing running costs, you should be monitoring your maintenance key performance indicators (KPIs). Monitoring these KPIs also helps you better plan any future orders so as to minimize disruption to operations.
Whereas the list of heavy machinery maintenance KPIs can be fairly long, there are some that should be accorded the highest priority.
. Parts Reserve Report
Your parts reserve report shows you what parts you have in store that are not stock items. When it comes to parts reserve, it is all about striking the right balance. On the one hand, parts such as alpha gear drives need to be readily available when they are needed. Nevertheless, you do not want to tie down precious cash and storage space on infrequently needed parts. Maintain a minimal supply of parts in-house.
If you have an aftermarket parts vendor like costex.com that can supply them as soon as you need them, then use this service to your advantage. Another factor to consider is how regularly a particular part is needed. If it is replaced once a year, then you are better off having it remain in the hands of your parts supplier and only place an order for it when it is due for replacement.
Do not let your parts reserve exceed two weeks. By making these smart decisions, you will keep your inventory costs low, get replacement parts quickly, and reduce the likelihood of costly downtime.
. Warranty Reimbursement Report
Keep an eye on your labor and parts warranty reimbursement reports. You should check these regularly to ascertain that you are making the most of any parts and labor credits you qualify for from equipment manufacturers. You can define thresholds in your equipment maintenance software that flags a part or unit for a warranty credit based on mileage or period of usage.
Ensure your maintenance technicians understand the need to retain defective parts for a given duration. Each defective part should be stored with a record of the complaint, cause of the defect, and corrections. File these and compute the value reimbursed per part. Ideally, if you are managing your heavy machinery in a cost-effective manner, you should seek to keep the age of your equipment within the warranty period. That way, you can make maximum use of warranty credits.
. Preventative Maintenance Compliance
When you have a functioning preventative maintenance program, you have better control of equipment running costs. One component of such a program is establishing a preventative maintenance compliance report. The report should detail the number of times your team went past the scheduled mileage or date for doing preventative maintenance.
If the heavy equipment is being serviced on time, the compliance report should show a 100% score. It is a sign that you are successfully staying on top of preventative maintenance. While a 100% score is not impossible, many organizations find a 98% to 99% compliance score more realistic. This shows that preventative maintenance is being done on time, but without the burden of having an overstaffed technician team.
. Incidents of Unscheduled Maintenance
A high number of unscheduled maintenance tasks do not bode well for heavy equipment’s performance, durability, and cost. For instance, if you are experiencing numerous unscheduled tire repairs, then you should run a report of tire failure by cause of failure. This should provide an incisive summary of the main reasons for the high number of failures.
There is a possibility that a common thread of the incidents could show your drivers to be the problem. In that case, you can reduce these incidents by increasing driver awareness on routine tire checks such as examining tire tread and tire pressure. This will minimize the likelihood of a tire failure during use, improve worker safety, and minimize maintenance costs.
. Labor Productivity
Labor productivity is a reliable indicator of whether your maintenance department is overstaffed or understaffed. An 80% labor productivity level is often considered a practical, balanced goal to strive for.
So for a 10-hour workday, 80% productivity means your maintenance technicians provide eight hours of direct labor, one hour cleaning, and one hour for lunch. A higher productivity score would indicate that your technicians are under strain, something that could affect the frequency and quality of maintenance work. Likewise, a lower score may mean you have too many technicians for the volume of maintenance work available.
. Equipment Age
Equipment age refers to the age of your heavy machinery. Mechanical equipment deteriorates over time, so this is an important metric to monitor.
Of course, age alone does not indicate whether machinery needs to be repaired, refurbished, or replaced. However, it is crucial in knowing when equipment is approaching its end of life when maintenance costs typically start to soar. Note that refurbishment should not reset the age of equipment.
. Equipment Performance Metrics
The make and model of the equipment you purchase is perhaps the decision that will most determine the nature and effectiveness of maintenance. So before you make your next equipment order, evaluate the maintenance and performance history of all your current and past machinery. This may require extensive research but the cost savings and performance improvement are well worth it in the long run.
Run reports showing each equipment model’s historical maintenance costs, fuel costs, and frequency of component failure. Usually, you can get this data by running a report of work order history then filtering for engine, model, or make.
Automate Data Capture Where Possible
There is many other heavy equipment maintenance KPIs you can and should regularly monitor. The ones covered here provide a good snapshot of the different variables to take into consideration when keeping a lid on your maintenance expenditures.
One important thing to note though when it comes to KPIs is they are only as valuable as the accurate data inputted by your technicians and operators. To minimize the risk of human error or falsification that would reduce the reliability of KPI data, automate as much of the data capture process as possible.
For example, some equipment may have inbuilt computerized systems that would record speeding, abrupt acceleration, harsh braking, and sharp cornering. Were such data to be input into your maintenance program manually, an operator might be tempted to alter the information in order to paint themselves in a more positive light.