If you want to reach and then exceed global standards for maintenance and facility management, you need to find key performance indicators (KPIs) that show both your current position and general trajectory, where you are and where you’re heading. But before you look at common examples, formulas, and the overall benefits of maintenance metrics and KPIs, remember that there’s no one perfect set that works for everyone. Different industries and organizations measure success in different ways. 

So, the real question becomes “Which maintenance metrics and KPIs should my maintenance department track?” 

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, from the departmental to the organizational level.  The last thing you want is a shotgun approach. When it comes to KPIs, it’s not a case of the more, the merrier. In fact, it’s important to be choosy and focus on only the ones that help you aim for and hit your targets. 

But first, some basic definitions. 

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 goal. It answers the following questions: 

  • Where are we now? 
  • How far are we from our goal? 
  • What do we need to do to get closer? 

Your goal is going to depend a lot on your industry, but generally the ones in asset management focus on some variation on or combination of increasing uptime and cutting costs. And you are also likely going to be looking for ones that align with your organization’s overall business goals. 

What are the benefits of maintenance metrics and KPIs? 

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

It’s nice to say you want to increase uptime and cut costs, but when you say you want to increase uptime by 10% and cut costs by 20% over the next year, now you have objective standards to help you measure progress. 

In the end, it’s only once you have solid goals that you can start taking concrete steps toward them. 

But the benefits start even earlier. Throughout the process of establishing goals, you can take a close look at how you’re currently running the department, including your current workflows and processes. 

What are the differences between maintenance performance metrics and maintenance KPIs? 

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

But strictly speaking, they do have different meanings. The easiest way to think about it is in terms of a timeline. Let’s say you start with maintenance actions, the things the maintenance team does, which you can measure using maintenance performance metrics. For example, your techs repair assets when they fail. That’s the action. How quickly they can take a failed asset and get it back up and running is the performance metric. Here’s another example. Your techs perform scheduled maintenance on assets. The percentage of scheduled PMs still left open at the end of the week is a maintenance metric. 

And now that you have these metrics, you can get your maintenance 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 fix failures and how many work orders the team leaves open at the end of the week. 

What are examples of maintenance metrics? 

There are many, but some of the more important ones include:  

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

Let’s look at each one in more detail. 

Planned maintenance percentage (PMP) 

Planned maintenance percentage compares the time spent on planned and unplanned maintenance. Basically, you compare all the time spent on scheduled work orders to all the time spent on reactive, on-demand work orders. 

You can also use PMP to 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. And you can use it to figure out the reason behind equipment downtime, including issues with efficiency implementation. 

How do you measure planned maintenance productivity? 

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

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) 

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

  • Quality 
  • Performance 
  • Availability 

An OEE of 100% means every process is running at maximum efficiency, producing quality pieces, with zero breakdowns. 

Basically, you use it to measure how well an asset is running compared to its full potential, during the periods when it is scheduled to run. It shows you the percentage of manufacturing time that is truly productive. If you have an OEE of 100%, that means all your parts are coming out perfectly, at the highest possible speed, and without any interruptions. 

How do you calculate overall equipment effectiveness? 

OEE = availability x performance x quality 

Mean time to repair (MTTR) 

MTTR is the average time it takes the team to diagnose, repair, and rehabilitate an asset after a breakdown or failure. The idea is to reduce MTTR as much as possible by speeding up the overall repair process. 

By tracking this KPI, you can improve asset availability. 

How do you calculate MTTR?  

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

Mean time between failures (MTBF) 

With this KPI, you measure 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. 

MTBF helps you 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. 

How do you calculate MTBF? 

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

Preventive maintenance compliance (PMC) 

Here, you can measure the percentage of maintenance work orders scheduled and completed during a set time, which helps your organization 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, giving you a PMC of 85%. 

But be careful with this KPI. It doesn’t tell you how many of those PMs your team 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 is still going to be 100%. Something is wrong with your PM program if the team is closing out all the PMs late, but you can’t see it using this KPI. 

How do you calculate PMP? 

Preventive Maintenance Compliance = (completed work orders / scheduled work orders) x 100 

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 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 once we have the categories, you can assume there are between two and five for each one.  

Which KPIs should you implement?  

But just because the KPIs listed above are the “classics,” it doesn’t mean you have to focus on just them. In fact, it makes 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 challenges. The KPIs you want to track have to do with where you are and where you want to be, so the answers are different for everyone.  

What does that look like? 

What are examples of maintenance KPIs?  

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 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 in three months? How far along should you be at five? These mini goals help you stay focused and adjust. If you’ve made zero progress at the three-month mark, it’s time to reassess your plans. 

How does EAM software help track maintenance metrics and 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 maintenance 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 EAM software. The software helps you by collecting the data automatically as you generate work orders and technicians close them out. Thanks to cloud computing, everything is safe and in one central database, ensuring all your data is always up to date. 

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

Next steps 

Ready to implement maintenance metrics and KPIs?   

We’re here to help you get the solution that works best for you, including answering your questions about maintenance management software, helping you book a live software demo. 

Summary 

Tracking maintenance metrics and setting maintenance key performance indicators are an important part of reaching both departmental and overall organizational goals. They help you both set goals and track your progress. But it’s important to only use the ones that are right for you.

Although there is a lot of overlap, every company has its own definition of success. A maintenance metric is a measure of how well the maintenance team does specific tasks. So, for example how quickly they can get an asset back up and running after a failure.

With a KPI, you’re looking more at targets with specific numbers and timeframes that you tie directly to overall business goals. So, you might have a KPI related to cutting downtime by 10% in the next six months.

Metrics differ according to industry, but there are a few classics that everyone tends to look at, including: planned maintenance percentage, overall equipment effectiveness, mean time to repair, and mean time between failures. Because tracking maintenance metrics and KPIs can involve a lot of data capture and crunching, it’s basically impossible to do it right if you’re using paper and pen or spreadsheets. But with a modern EAM solution, where you can guarantee workflows with automated data capture and a database that keeps everything safe and accessible, you can quickly see the benefits, including improved transparency, accountability, goal setting, and progress reporting.

Finally, you can see the maintenance big picture clearly, empowering you to take solid steps toward overall improvement. 

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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