How do I know if I’m scheduling enough work for my maintenance technicians?

If you’re not sure whether your maintenance technicians have enough to do each day, the metrics you’ll want to look at include your schedule compliance, wrench time, and planner productivity.

First, check your PM schedule compliance

To start, you’ll want to look at schedule compliance. This is a measure of how many planned maintenance tasks you complete by their due date within a set timeframe (typically a week).

If your schedule compliance is a bit low (below 40%), then your technicians probably have enough to do. In some cases, they might have too much, but a low schedule compliance metric could indicate planning inefficiencies as well.

Now, if you’re consistently over 90%, there are a couple of possibilities:

  1. Your technicians are awesome and just get work done ahead of schedule
  2. Your team doesn’t have enough to do

To figure out which, you’d benchmark your technicians’ wrench time by your highest performer.

Measure wrench time

Wrench time is the percent of time your technicians spend actually performing maintenance tasks, and measuring it—often done by just observing your technicians—can give you some insight into how your maintenance planning is going.

The optimum target for wrench time is 55%, but the average is usually around 25% to 35%. If your average wrench time tends to be below that, your team might not have enough to do.

Now, you’ll typically have one or two over-performers, so keep that in mind when measuring wrench time. What you might try is to take your highest performer, measure their wrench time, work hours, and workload, and use that to create a benchmark for where the rest of your team should be. If the rest of your team is significantly behind, it might be a good idea to assign them more tasks.

Look at planner productivity

One last metric that can help you nail things down is planner productivity.

Planner productivity is a measure of how much work you’re planning over a month. You might measure it in hours, work orders, or job plans.

While there’s no one ideal number for this metric, an especially low number could tell you you’re not planning enough work. On the other hand, if this number is pretty high, your crew is probably getting enough to do.

Wrapping up the assessment

So, to wrap up your assessment:

High schedule compliance + low wrench time + low planner productivity = probably not enough work being assigned

Other combinations are likely symptoms of issues aside from your maintenance crew’s productivity, such as inefficient planning or poor workflow management.