The purpose of maintaining a facility/asset is to minimize unexpected failures (due to lack of maintenance) that may cause outages. Outages may affect an entire region thus require high attention and the involvement of many resources (to overcome the problem ASAP). Outages degrade the service level and costs (penalties, reputation, loss of work, etc.).
Every facility/asset has a unique maintenance plan known in advance, e.g.: a year ahead and time to complete, e.g.: once every 3 months. Since normally there is no end customer and the work is not an immediate one, planned maintenance work is considered to be low priority though it is crucial that eventually all planned maintenance work is scheduled on time.
There are different ways to manage maintenance work depending on the nature of the organization’s workforce:
Designated workforce for planned maintenance and reactive work – the scheduling process will consists the following:
Fill out technicians with planned maintenance -> fully utilize technicians with planned maintenance work whenever possible (since reactive work is unknown until it actually occurs)
When reactive work occurs (failure that requires am immediate response), push it into the existing schedule on the expense of scheduled maintenance. The dropped planned maintenance will be rescheduled to a later day.
Increase the priority of planned maintenance work as getting closer to the due date and ensure that reactive work scheduling pushes out planned maintenance based on priority (push out lowest priority first)
Mixed workforce that also serves customers (B2C)
Book customer appointments while reserving capacity for planned maintenance, e.g.: utilize up to 80% of the capacity in favor of customer appointments. Without reserving capacity it could be that the entire day is fully booked with appointments thus preventing any maintenance work to be scheduled. Again, capacity reservation is optional and depends on the expected demand of customer appointments.
At the end of the day, fill out the remaining capacity with planned maintenance work in the most efficient way, i.e.: since technicians are already routed to appointments, fit the planned maintenance into existing routes without increasing significantly the travel (inefficient routes may lead to late arrivals and missed appointments). In “Servara” we take care of that by filling out technicians with maintenance work within their “primary” (or preferred) service area and optionally if required also within their “secondary” area (primary’s adjacent service areas).