Operations + Maintenance = Production – Part 1

by Christer Idhammar

In this and following columns, I will elaborate concerning the vital relationship between operations, maintenance, and engineering. In this first column, I will focus on the relationship between operations and maintenance. I have written about this before, but the question has come up very frequently in the last year, so it is worth repeating some of the information.

From my experience, it is more common than not to find that the working relationship between operations and maintenance is one of adversity instead of a relationship of close and productive cooperation. Operations often sees itself as the customer of maintenance, and, consequently, maintenance is viewed as a service provider. In such a relationship, it should be obvious that operations is responsible for the cost of the maintenance work it requests and gets delivered. However, in a bad relationship, this is not the case. As long as maintenance work requests are performed, operations views maintenance as the good guys. But, if at the end of the year it shows that the maintenance budget is exceeded, it is not unusual to find the maintenance manager in the hot seat having to explain why more money than budgeted was spent.    Continue reading →