Reactive maintenance will always be necessary, because assets will fail sooner or later. It is also goes without saying that resolving issues by means of reactive maintenance is expensive: it is neither planned nor predicted and in most cases involves high urgency. Having the basics in place to ensure a fast and efficient processing of reactive maintenance will ultimately save costs and reduce the downtime of your assets. In addition, having the basics in place will help the users of those assets be more productive and prepared.
In a well performing reactive maintenance process, good communication with all stakeholders is key in order to ensure accurate, fast, and first-time execution of work. Therefore, it starts with defining the stakeholders and determining their connection points and communication workflow.
A basic reactive maintenance process has at least three categories of stakeholders:
- Reporter: This is the person or department that detects the asset failure and starts the process. This can be any building user or maintenance specialist.
- Classifier: This is the person or department that takes the call from the reporter, registers the call, validates priority, and passes the call to the right internal specialist or external supplier for resolving the asset failure.
- Field technician: This is the person or supplier that executes the maintenance work and feeds the status back to the classifier.
Different tools and needs
It is important to validate these stakeholders carefully and to equip them with the right instructions, information, tools, and systems to ensure fast and efficient processing. These tools and needs differ per stakeholder.
- How can reporters communicate asset failure as easily and quickly as possible? By paper, phone, email, using mobile apps or a self-service webpage, visiting a helpdesk or by any combination of these?
- What information is important for detecting a failure? Some examples include reporter name, location of failure, applicable asset, actual impact, priority.
- How can reporters track the status and progress of their call? Is it more efficient or convenient by phone, email, self-service, or in an automated process?
- How can classifiers register a reported call as easily as possible, validate the input from the reporter, and check on duplicate calls?
- How can classifiers analyze the impact of a call and determine the handling priority and the internal trades or external supplier needed for getting the work done?
- How can classifiers inform internal or external suppliers about a maintenance job and how can they monitor the progress of work being done?
For field technicians:
- How can internal and external suppliers easily access their work backlog, see priorities, location details, assets to maintain, and access information needed for fast execution?
- How can internal and external suppliers comply with health and safety regulations, register spent time and materials, and easily close completed jobs?
- How are job status updates communicated to the classifiers and how is information about spent time, cost and materials shared and processed?
Fast and efficient processing of reactive maintenance is only possible when the asset and contract repository is in place and combined with extensive process automation for all stakeholders in one integrated workflow.