Maintenance directors create the overall vision and strategy for a company’s maintenance department
They are responsible for establishing processes, procedures, and standards for supervisors and technicians
Directors rise to their positions from being top-performing technicians and supervisors
Management certifications, in additional to technical certifications, are important for professional development of directors
What does a maintenance director do?
Maintenance directors manage an organization’s maintenance department at the highest level. They are responsible for setting the overall goals, strategies, and objectives for not only the entire department but also for individual team members. They oversee, direct, and lead the work of maintenance supervisors and help them set the direction for their individual shifts.
Maintenance directors also create the maintenance policies and procedures for an organization, including how that business will meet or exceed Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) and other pertinent agency rules and requirements. Additionally, they create the process for how reparation and maintenance tasks are assigned, completed, and reported on by the organization.
Depending on the size of the organization, maintenance directors may report directly to the business’s owner or vice president of operations. They typically work with a team of supervisors who manage maintenance technicians on different shifts.
Key performance indicators include equipment uptime, customer satisfaction survey scores, schedule compliance, and safety metrics (e.g. number or incidents).
- Sets overall maintenance department goals, processes, or procedures to accomplish company objectives
- Ensures all health, safety, and regulations are followed
- Creates a preventive maintenance system as well as procedures to keep day-to-day operations running smoothly
- Oversees, motivates, and reviews maintenance supervisors including management of training and professional development
- Has a big-picture mentality that can create a vision and mission for a maintenance team
- Delegates tasks and responsibilities to maintenance supervisors in an effective, positive, and efficient manner
- Understands and follows OSHA guidelines and other regulations
- Exhibits problem solving and team building skills
Who should hire a maintenance director?
Larger businesses and organizations that have multiple locations or divisions benefit from hiring a maintenance director. In these cases, multiple levels of management are required in order to keep operations running smoothly and establish reasonable accountability.
Maintenance directors may have an office in the c-suite so that communication with the executive team is convenient. However, on a day-to-day basis, maintenance directors should visit each of the different facilities or locations to touch base with maintenance supervisors and communicate new policies and procedures, monitor health and safety standard compliance, help troubleshoot and problem solve, and provide overall leadership.
What are the different types of maintenance directors?
The different types of maintenance directors can vary greatly depending on specific business needs and areas of industry.
- Plant Maintenance Director: Sets the tone for the plant maintenance department including vision and mission creation and establishing the processes and procedures for the operations of plant systems and equipment.
- Building Maintenance Director: Oversees supervisors who are assigned to specific buildings within a complex. Creates processes and procedures regarding how repair and replacement decisions are made, workflow and reporting of completed tasks, and budget and purchasing decisions.
- Facilities Maintenance Director: Creates overall vision and strategy for implementing the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing repair and maintenance objectives for a large facility or group of facilities.
- City Works Maintenance Director: Oversees multiple city maintenance divisions including public works, government building upkeep, and outdoor maintenance and landscaping. Directs and guides maintenance supervisors to ensure that all city maintenance tasks are completed in a timely manner.
What certifications are available for maintenance directors?
Maintenance directors should have technical certifications already in hand. However, here are management certifications that can be considered.
- Certified Facilities Manager: This certification is offered through the International Facilities Management Association. This internationally recognized designation involves a competency-based evaluation as well as ongoing professional development.
- Certified Director of Maintenance/Equipment — This is a joint certification from the North American Transportation Management Institute and the American Trucking Associations’ Technology & Maintenance Council. This certification relates to maintenance in fleet management and helps further careers of those who are establishing programs, policies, and standards within this industry.
- NAHRO Certified Manager of Property Operations — The National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials offers this certification to individuals in management and supervisory positions in the property management arena.