Measurement—A Tool for Continuous Improvement
A strategic issue in business excellence is the process of
Scores of maintenance activities can be measured, but the following
criteria are appropriate for deciding what should be measured:
• What is critically important?
• What needs to improve the most?
Specific measures of maintenance performance will vary by business.
As shown in Figure 1 they should be balanced between functional and
business measures. A compilation of maintenance function measures
• Percent emergency work
• Percent preventive/predictive work
• Percent planned work
• Reporting levels
• Maintenance hourly personnel per first time supervisor
• Maintenance hourly personnel per support staff
• Maintenance hourly personnel per total plant hourly
• umber of crafts
• Maintenance resources allocated to areas
• Annual inventory turns
• Storeroom investment per estimated replacement value
• Storeroom investment per maintenance hourly personnel
• Inventory accuracy
• Stores service level
• Late purchase orders
• Maintenance labor efficiency
• Maintenance labor utilization
• Safety meetings
On the more strategic side, business measures of maintenance
effectiveness could include the following:
• Equipment uptime improvement
• Total equipment effectiveness/productivity
• Unplanned maintenance downtime as percent of total time
• Number of failures per period per category
• Mean time between failure by category
• Mean time to repair by category
• Maintenance cost as percent of estimated replacement value
• Maintenance cost as percent of plant controllable cost
The set of maintenance function and business related measures should
be a balance of in-process measures and outcome measures. The
in-process measures provide information for corrective action
before the outcomes occur. For example, safety training is preferred
over accidents and injuries. Measurement of the latter is too late
as far as preventing accidents and injuries.
Longmuir  has developed guiding principles for the measurement
process which will shape which measures are appropriate as well the
proper use of results.
The principles include:
• Use measurement to improve; to solve problems and make decisions
• Measurements provide the "where" and "when," but not the "how"
• Measure what is important, not what is easy to measure
• Strive for a balanced set of measures
• Link measurements to the organization's vision, mission, and
• Align measures with upper and lower level measures
• Keep measures as simple as possible
• Successful measures are actionable
• Do not imply performance ceilings
• Do not use measurement as a club
• Use a great deal of involvement to assure relevance, buy-in, and
• Do not wait for perfection before starting
The last point about getting started leads to the benchmarking area
of this discussion. Benchmarking impacts the measurement process by
reducing the total number of measures used. In life after
benchmarking, plants should leave in place the smallest number of
measures possible to adequately track progress in identified areas
of the best practices.
To be Continued
For balance of this article, click on the below link:
Lean Manufacturing Articles and go to Series 01
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