If you want to reach and then exceed global standards for maintenance management, you need to find KPIs that show both your current position and general trajectory, where you are and where you’re heading. The right KPIs show if you’re lined up or set to miss your target.

But before you get started, remember that there’s no one perfect set that works for everyone. Different industries and organizations measure their performance differently.

To find the right ones for you, you’ll need to look at the types of assets you manage and your specific short- and long-term goals. And it’s not a case of the more, the merrier.

It’s important to be choosy and focus on only the ones that help you line up and really aim at your target.

Now that we know the whys, let’s look at the whats. We’ll go over the maintenance metrics that you can track as key performance indicators (KPIs) to improve your maintenance management software (also known as facility management software).

What is a maintenance KPI?

Let’s start with a quick, working definition. A maintenance KPI is a quantifiable value that shows how well you’re moving toward a maintenance goal. It answers the following questions:

  • Where are we now?
  • How far is that from the goal?
  • What needs to get done to get closer to the goal?

The trick is to start with a goal. Next, figure out where you are in relation to the goal. Then you find a way of tracking your progress toward it. Your goal is going to depend a lot on your industry, but generally any asset management focuses on some variation of increasing uptime, cutting costs, and improving maintenance.

Why are tracking maintenance KPIs important?

It’s simple. The only way you’re going to get better is by setting goals and consistently working toward them, and maintenance KPIs are a great way to make sure your goals are clear.

It’s nice to say you want to increase up-time and cut costs, but when you say you want to increase up-time by 10% and cut costs by 20%, now you have objective standards to measure progress.

But the advantages start even before you start moving toward your goals. Throughout the process of establishing goals, you have the opportunity to take a close look at how you’re currently running the department, your current workflows and processes.

What are the differences between maintenance KPIs and maintenance performance metrics

A lot of people use the phrases interchangeably, so it’s generally not a problem to talk about them like they’re the same thing.

But strictly speaking, they actually have different meanings. The easiest way to think about it is in terms of a timeline. Starting off you have your maintenance actions, the things the team is doing.

These actions can be measured using maintenance performance metrics. So, techs are repairing assets when they fail.

That’s the action. How quickly they are able to take a failed asset and get it up and running again is the performance metric. Another example: techs perform scheduled maintenance on assets.

The percentage of scheduled PMs still left open at the end of the week is a maintenance metric.

These metrics eventually add up to KPIs. You have a KPI related to downtime, for example, and you want to cut downtime by 10%. In order to get there, you need to look at the metrics that together affect downtime — things like how quickly techs overcome failures and how many maintenance work orders are not done each week.

And again, a lot of people use the phrases to mean the same thing.  

Now that we know what they are and why we need them, let’s look at some examples. 

KPIs are like cars: even though they share the same basic features, we need to find the ones that work best for us. A minivan is perfect for getting the kids to school, but a Ford Mustang is much more likely to win a race.  

preventive maintenance software

What is the best KPI for building maintenance? 

The hands-down, all-time best maintenance indicator? There’s likely no single answer to that question. Instead, there’s a list of them that includes: 

  • User satisfaction scores 
  • Ratio of scheduled to unscheduled maintenance 
  • Number of complaints (against the total number of users) 
  • Overall operational costs per square meter or foot 
  • Average time between work order generation and close-out 

Looking at the list, we can see that we’d need to collect different data from different places. For some of them, for example scheduled vs unscheduled and work order completion times, the data is with the maintenance department. For others, like satisfaction scores, require an organized survey. 

What is the best KPI for plant maintenance? 

Again, it’s likely impossible to pick one because there are so many good ones. How many are there? One way to get a feel for the numbers is to look at the different categories, including: 

  • Maintenance planning KPI 
  • Problem identification KPI 
  • Scheduling KPI 
  • Work order completion KPI 
  • Root cause KPI 

And then assume there are between two and five per category. 

Let’s look in more detail at some of the most common ones. 

Which maintenance KPIs to track with maintenance management software

  • Planned maintenance percentage (PMP)
  • Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)
  • Mean time to repair (MTTR)
  • Mean time between failure (MTBF)

Planned maintenance percentage (PMP)

Compares the time spent on planned and unplanned maintenance. Basically, you’re comparing all the time spent on scheduled work orders to all the time spent on reactive, on-demand ones.

PMP also helps identify how often an asset is available. Ideally, 90% of your maintenance activities should be scheduled ahead of time.

Planned maintenance percentage is a vital indicator for tracking the health of a PM program and identifying avenues to decrease reactive maintenance.

PMP can also be used to figure out the reason of equipment downtime, poor efficiency, and lack of proper implementation so that these issues can be handled.

To calculate PMP,

PMP = (scheduled maintenance time/total maintenance hours) x 100

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)

OEE helps track an asset’s productivity, providing valuable insights into a maintenance plan’s effectiveness. It focuses on three key factors: quality, performance, and availability.

An OEE of 100% means every process is running at maximum efficiency, with zero breakdowns and good quality outcomes.

Wikipedia defines it as, “Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) is a measure of how well a manufacturing operation is utilized (facilities, time and material) compared to its full potential, during the periods when it is scheduled to run.

It identifies the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. An OEE of 100% means that only good parts are produced (100% quality), at the maximum speed (100% performance), and without interruption (100% availability).”

By using OEE as a key metric, organizations gain valuable insights into roadblocks and bottlenecks and how to get rid of them. The first step to eliminating a problem is finding it.

To calculate OEE,

OEE = availability x performance x quality

Mean time to repair (MTTR)

MTTR is the average time taken for an asset to be diagnosed, repaired, and rehabilitated after a breakdown or failure. The idea is to reduce MTTR as much as possible by speeding up the recovery process.

By tracking this KPI, organizations improve asset availability.

To calculate MTTR,

MTTR = (total downtime periods/ total number of repairs)

Mean time between failure (MTBF)

Measures the average time an asset is up and healthy between bouts of unplanned downtime. Basically, it tells you the average time an asset runs between failures.

The KPI helps identify how long a specific asset or its parts generally last, allowing you to set your preventive maintenance schedule. If an asset usually runs about three weeks between failures, think about setting your PMs for every two and a half weeks.

To calculate the MTBF,

MTBF= (sum of operational time/total number of failures)

Preventive maintenance compliance (PMC)

Measures the percentage of maintenance work orders scheduled and completed during a set time, and helps organizations measure the effectiveness of their preventive maintenance plans. For example, you might have 80 work orders scheduled but only  68 complete at the end of the month.

To calculate PMC,

Preventive Maintenance Compliance = (68/80) x 100 = 85%

But you have to be careful with this KPI. It doesn’t tell you how many of those PMs were completed on time. So, you might have four PMs scheduled over the course of the next week, all of them due by Thursday.

If you close all of them out late, let’s say you do all of them on Friday, your PMC( Preventive Maintenance Compliance) is still going to be 100%. Something is wrong with your PM program, and this KPI is not showing it.

Now that we have explored some of the maintenance KPIs that we can track, we need to dig deeper and see how to track them. You’ll need the right tools, process, and people.

What is the KPI for maintenance process? 

But just because the KPIs listed above are the “classics,” you don’t have to focus on them alone. In fact, it makes just as much sense to create an effective KPI specific to your current operational goals. If the team is already doing well with OEE, for example, you can expand, look for new challenges, and set yourself new goals. The KPIs you want to track have to do with where you are and where you want to be; the answers are different from everyone. 

What does that look like? 

What are some maintenance KPI examples? 

Here are some quick maintenance KPI examples. 

  • Reduce unscheduled maintenance by 20% over the next six months. 
  • Reduce electrical consumption by 10% in six months. 
  • Reduce labor costs by 15% over the next 12 months. 
  • Reduce the percentage of overdue PMs by 20% in the next three months. 

Notice how they all have numbers and dates. You need to be specific about what you want to do and how long it’s going to take you to get there. There’s a whole science behind how to make good goals and how to improve your chances of reaching them. Ever wonder why almost everyone fails at their New Year’s resolutions? It’s because they aren’t specific enough and lack thought-out timelines. 

So, these are all great starts, but without a solid action plan for each goal, it’s really just a lot of wishful thinking. Now that you have the goals, you need to start thinking about how you’re going to achieve them. 

One possible way is to start by going backward. When you want to reduce unscheduled maintenance, you need first to ask yourself, “What causes unscheduled maintenance?” 

It helps to be a bit more specific. If you want a solution that works for your operation, you need to know what the problem is at your facility. Unscheduled maintenance could be the result of many different factors, from planning to MRO inventory. If you don’t schedule the work ahead of time, you end up with a lot of unscheduled maintenance. But you could be planning everything down to the minute and still be dealing with a lot of problems because you’re using the wrong vendors. No matter when you use bad MRO inventory, it’s always going to let you down. 

Once you know the “how” of your KPI, you need to focus on the “when.” And that’s more than just having an end date. If you want to reduce something by 10% in six months, you need to set mini goals for along the way. Where do you want to be at three months? How far along should you be at five? These mini goals help you stay focused and make adjustments. If you’ve made zero progress at the three-month mark, it’s time to reassess your plans. 

How does CMMS software help track maintenance KPIs?

In order to make all this happen, you need an efficient way to collect, store, and leverage data. It’s possible to do it all by hand, but it ends up being a nightmare.

There’s a lot of data to collect, and you’re relying on techs to always be careful and make sure they’re writing everything down properly.

Then you need to somehow keep all those slips of paper or spreadsheet files safe and organized. Here’s the worst part: your work has only just begun because now you have to take all that data and start crunching it. 

It makes a lot more sense to invest in good CMMS software. Data is collected automatically as you generate work orders and techs close them out. Thanks to cloud computing, the CMMS solution keeps everything safe in one central database, ensuring all your data is always up to date.

When it comes time to calculate your maintenance KPIs, the software auto-generates reports packed with KPIs and graphs. 

If you’re interested in maintenance KPIs (and you have to be if you’re interested in setting and hitting maintenance goals), now’s the time to reach out and start talking with providers to learn about CMMS options

About The Author

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan has been covering asset management, maintenance software, and SaaS solutions since joining Hippo CMMS. Prior to that, he wrote for textbooks and video games.
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