There are generally many opportunities for organisations to improve their maintenance performance. Typically, the opportunities may not be obvious or easily executed by the in-house management team because of day-to-day work pressures. In such cases, it can make good sense to get some outside assistance. This will help the organisation to identify the main issues and to get started on a programme to improve performance.
Organisations are often reluctant to take the step of consulting outsiders on issues like this. There is often concern about the cost and about not getting value for money or even an outcome. Before engaging a consultant on such an undertaking, try to clarify some simple ground rules in advance. For example, if there is an interest in undertaking a Maintenance Audit, the advice below is worth following:
- Be satisfied that the consultant has a good background in the subject.
- Define the brief. This is the most important stage of the procedure. Be absolutely sure that you are satisfied with the brief and get the explicit agreement of the consultant at this stage.
- Include clear deliverables and outcomes in the brief.
- Do not hesitate to include explanatory and follow-up actions in the brief.
- Obtain a fixed cost for the activity defined in the brief.
- Finally, try to keep to the brief. If changes are required, then follow a similar approach with them as well.
Performance Improvement Tools
Use the procedure above to start a Performance Improvement Programme. This can include any or all of the following:
- Maintenance Audit
- Maintenance Process Improvement
- Spare Parts and Stock Control
- Lean Tools Application.