A maintenance report is a document that holds specific data about inspections and tasks as well as their effects on overall maintenance operations. You use them to gain visibility on your operations, which you can then leverage into better decision-making. 

Why are maintenance reports important? In the last six months, how many PMs did the team complete on time and on budget? Last week, how much did you spend on inventory? And for the work this week, how sure are you that you’ve got the right tasks planned for the right assets and equipment? 

Struggling to find answers or feel like you can’t trust the ones you have? You need better maintenance reporting. 

As always, it pays to start with a solid definition. 

What is a maintenance report? 

On a more basic level, maintenance reports are just like the report cards you got at school. There’s information about what you did and how well you did it, organized in different ways so it all makes sense. So, there’s a grade for each class, plus maybe some comments from your different teachers. The goal of the report is to tell you what you did, how well you did it, and based on that, where you could improve. Math score is high? Keep up the good work. Failing history class? Time to crack open those textbooks 

Here’s another important similarity: Somewhere in the teachers’ records, there are the scores for all your individual assignments and tests. But on the report, you likely just get one letter grade for each class. The teachers did the math for you, weighting and then combining the data into one final grade that makes everything make sense. 

Here’s one important difference: with maintenance reports, it’s not letter grades; you’re looking at maintenance metrics and key performance indicators that show you where you’re doing well and where you need to improve. 

What are the benefits of maintenance reports? 

Leverage. Maintenance reports are how you take all that data you’ve collected and leverage it into actionable insights into your operations, helping you fine-tune everything from suppliers and deliver schedules to the type and timing of your preventive maintenance inspections and tasks. Maintenance reports give you the business intelligence you need to make data-back, intelligent decisions. 

Part of it is how they help you combine a lot of data into maintenance metrics and KPIs. You can think of the data as letters and the metrics and KPIs as the words and then sentences you’re creating out of the letters that allow you to effectively “read” and understand your operations. 

Another part of the benefit of maintenance reports is how they show you where you need to dig down and look closely at the raw data. For example, this month’s report might show a jump in missed PMs. You know that if you let the trend continue, long term, you’re going to see more reactive work orders as the team can’t find and fix small issues before they grow into big problems. Now that you can see the problem, you can dive into the data to find the cause. It might be the case that you scheduled too many PMs for the team, waited too long to order the required parts and materials, or switched suppliers when you should have stayed with one that was slightly more expensive but much more reliable. 

Until you know the causes, you can’t fix the problems. Maintenance reports help you find where things are going wrong and then answer that critical question, “Why?”   

What are the best maintenance metrics and KPIs for maintenance reports? 

You should include in your reports everything you want to track. If there’s a part of your operations you need visibility on, include it. That said, it’s not the simple case of more being better. So, in addition to including everything you need, make sure you’re taking out everything you don’t need. But how do you know the difference? 

Start by looking at the most common KPIs and metrics for maintenance, including:   

  • Planned maintenance percentage (PPC) 
  • Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) 
  • Mean time to repair (MTTR) 
  • Mean time between failure (MTBF) 
  • Preventive maintenance compliance (PMC) 

Depending on your specific industry, there will be some that are more important than others. For example, because fleet is such a compliance-heavy industry, there are a lot of metrics and KPIs related to completing preventive maintenance inspections and tasks on time. 

Once you have a nice long list, you can go through and pick the ones that make sense for you. It’s just like going to a restaurant and looking at the menu. You don’t have to get everything, just what you want. 

How can you improve your maintenance reports? 

Now that we know what they are and how they help you, we have a solid sense of what we want and why we want it. The question becomes “How do we get it?” 

Remember, reports are all about taking data and turning it into actionable intelligence you can use to improve overall operations. That means, you need to start with finding ways to get and keep good data. Back to our food analogies. Getting good maintenance reports is like cooking a delicious dish. First, you need quality ingredients.   

Effortless, standardized data capture 

But the problem for a lot of maintenance departments is that getting good data isn’t easy. If you’re working from pen and paper, there are too many times where things can go wrong, from a tech writing in the wrong number in the wrong place to them losing the paperwork altogether. And because it’s all manual, people tend to finish the work before going back and trying to fill in the data from memory. 

Single, accessible source of truth 

Even if you managed to get good data, holding onto it is another challenge. If everything is one paper or spreadsheets, it’s tough to keep it all up to date. Remember, any changes you make in one place don’t carry over. As soon as someone on the team updates a file, everyone else’s copies are now out of date. 

Straightforward, automated number-crunching 

But we can imagine we’re living in a nearly perfect world, where you can get and keep reliable data using manual methods or some weakly glued together combination of different pieces of software. Even if we have and can hold onto perfect data, does it do us any good? 

It might, but without effective ways to crunch that data, you’re looking at a lot of extra work. So much, in fact, that you’re now destroying any possible return on investment you had collecting and keeping all that data. 

maintenance reporting software

What’s the best EAM for maintenance reports?

You need an enterprise asset management solution that solves all three problems, making it easy to capture, keep, and leverage data. You need one with an easy-to-implement app packed with a robust feature set. It must live in the cloud, making your data accessible from anywhere, all the time. And it needs comprehensive reporting features that are also comprehensible thanks to easy-to-understand and easy-to-read layout and design. Why?

Because techs can punch in data from any mobile device, you get clean, accurate data. From there, the system pools all your data into one spot, a central database, where everything is up to date and safe.

And when you want to run reports, the software makes everything easy. You have all the data you need, and the software does all the heavy lifting for you, delivering the maintenance metrics and KPIs that matter to you and your department.

Next steps

Ready to get true visibility on your operations so you can finally fine-tune inspections and tasks and enforce accountability? Schedule a demo.

Summary

Maintenance reports are documents that hold specific data about inspections and tasks as well as how they affect your maintenance operation. With reports, you gain visibility on your operations, which you can then leverage into better decision-making. Once you know what’s really going on, you can take the right steps to get you closer to your maintenance goals. The types of maintenance metrics and KPIs you should include depend on your industry, but generally it’s important to look at the ratio of reactive to proactive work, completion rates on scheduled work, and the amount of time between failures. Because they depend on capturing, keeping, and crunching data, it can be hard for organizations to produce good reports. Modern EAM solutions help because they streamline data capture, ensure data safety, and do all the heavy listing when it comes to turning raw data into valuable business intelligence.

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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