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How to Measure and Improve Schedule Compliance for Preventive Maintenance

Schedule compliance is a maintenance metric that measures the percentage of work orders completed on or before the due date over a given period of time.

How do I improve schedule compliance for my preventive maintenance?

The most common way to measure schedule compliance is by tracking your preventive maintenance jobs. PM tasks, like lubrication or replacing air filters, are set to reoccur at specific intervals. To track your schedule compliance, simply find out how many PMs you complete before their due date and compare those to the total scheduled. The formula would look like this:

(Work orders completed on time ÷ Total scheduled) x 100 = Schedule compliance percentage

Let’s take a look at a couple examples to really dig into this.

Example 1: Food Processing Plant

First, let’s take the example of a food processing plant. For the next week, the maintenance planner has 150 recurring PMs scheduled for various pieces of equipment. Each task is due at a certain date over the course of the week.

By week’s end, the maintenance team completed 100 of the orders scheduled. On top of that, only 75 of them were completed on time. The team’s schedule compliance would then be:

(75 PMs completed on time ÷ 150 PMs scheduled) x 100 = 50% schedule compliance

Any leftover work orders would still need to be completed, and that could make schedule compliance harder the following week.

Example 2: Automotive Parts Factory

Some facilities track schedule compliance on a daily basis rather than weekly. Supposing an automotive parts manufacturer has 30 PMs scheduled for its technicians to perform by the end of the day. After their eight hour shift is up and the work is reported, it turns out they completed 25 of them. Their schedule compliance for the day is:

(25 PMs completed ÷ 30 scheduled) x 100 = 83% schedule compliance

In terms of this metric, it doesn’t matter if the leftover work is completed the next day. It’s still late.

How to improve schedule compliance for preventive maintenance

While a facility can still function at 40% to 90% schedule compliance, the world-class target is 90% and up. There are a few reasons why a company might miss this target:

  • Scheduling issues, such as scheduling tasks at opposite ends of the plant back to back
  • Supervisors not honoring the schedule
  • Workflow inefficiencies
  • Lack of qualified personnel
  • Unnecessary or over-frequent PMs

To improve your schedule compliance, you’ll want to take a look at these issues and find where you’re lacking.

The key to improving schedule compliance for your preventive maintenance is to analyze your data. This starts with tracking your PM work orders.

Track PM work orders

By far the easiest way to track PMs is through a CMMS, though work order management systems work too. If you’re still using paper or a spreadsheet, you’ll probably have a really hard time analyzing how many PMs were completed on schedule.

As you log PM work orders, the main metric you’ll want to look for is how many are completed by their due date. If you have a significant number (above 20%) that are completed late, you likely have room for improvement. On the other hand, any number above 90% may mean your team doesn’t have enough to do.

Find root causes

In order to make improvements, you’ll have to find the root causes of poor compliance. Often, these take the form of administrative practices, such as:

  • Measuring productivity with unimportant metrics
  • Inefficient scheduling practices
  • Inaccessible resources
  • Tendency to prioritize less important tasks

You might have some issues among your personnel as well, such as:

  • Preferences for certain types of tasks
  • Skill or training gaps
  • Lack of understanding on the importance of preventive maintenance

Still other factors may involve a high incidence of asset failure in your facility. In that case, you may want to revise the types of PM tasks you’re performing.

Your data can help you find where your schedule compliance is failing. For example, if you find that certain types of PM tasks tend to be put off, you might have a skills gap somewhere. If you have a large number of emergency work orders, you may have a tendency to prioritize tasks that aren’t actually emergencies.

Train your people

Once you know the root cause of your schedule compliance issues, you’ll be able to train your personnel and leadership in ways that will improve it. For example, if you have a skill gap, you might train your maintenance planners to take outside resources into consideration for each work request.

If your scheduling practices are causing issues with productivity, you’ll want to train your maintenance planners and supervisors in best scheduling practices. Through it all, make sure you keep discussions respectful in order to get everyone on board.