Optimizing Maintenance: The Power of Metrics and KPIs

Jeff Roscher, Co-Founder and President of eWorkOrders

Posted 4/9/2024


Maintenance metrics stand as the cornerstone for organizations, offering a crucial means to evaluate the effectiveness of their maintenance processes and attain operational targets. Through systematic monitoring and analysis of these key metrics, companies can enhance equipment reliability, diminish downtime, and foster an environment of continuous improvement.

This article embarks on a thorough exploration, highlighting the profound significance of maintenance metrics and their pervasive influence on maintenance management. Unveiling the top 10 maintenance metrics as guiding principles, organizations can strategically prioritize to optimize their maintenance operations. By adapting these metrics, organizations gain valuable insights, pinpoint areas for enhancement, and make well-informed decisions concerning their maintenance strategies and resource allocation.

maintenance metrics

The Importance of Maintenance Metrics

Maintenance metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) emerge as indispensable instruments, providing unique insights into the effectiveness of maintenance processes. Their crucial role in upholding the excellence of organizational maintenance sets them apart as essential guides toward operational goals. Through meticulous tracking, these metrics reveal distinctive insights that drive continual improvement, strengthen equipment reliability, and elevate the overall performance of maintenance operations.

Encompassing dimensions such as machine failures, repair times, and costs, these metrics align seamlessly with company objectives, offering a nuanced and thorough evaluation. Organizations leverage them to scrutinize management performance, identify specific areas for enhancement, and guide decisions related to resource allocation and maintenance strategies. 

Adopting a structured approach to tracking maintenance performance empowers organizations uniquely, leading to reduced downtime, heightened efficiency, and judicious decision-making. This unique perspective is vital for optimizing maintenance operations, ensuring the lasting reliability of assets, and achieving sustained peak performance.

Essential Maintenance Metrics and KPIs for Optimal Performance

1. Mean Time Between Failures

  • MTBF, a cornerstone metric, gauges the average time between consecutive failures of a system or component. 
  • MTBF is calculated by dividing the total operating time by the number of failures that occurred during that time
  • MTBF is commonly used in the maintenance and reliability industries to predict and improve the reliability of systems and components. 
2. Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

  • A pivotal metric, MTTR measures the average time required to restore a failed system or component. 
  • To calculate MTTR, the total time it takes to resolve a maintenance issue is divided by the number of reported issues during a specific period. The resulting figure gives the average time taken to resolve each issue. 
  • A lower MTTR indicates that maintenance teams are responding to and resolving issues more efficiently, which helps to minimize equipment downtime and improve overall maintenance performance.
3. Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

  • Providing a holistic view, OEE measures equipment utilization by assessing availability, performance, and quality. 
  • The Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE) metric is calculated by multiplying the availability, performance, and quality factors.
  • Availability is assessed by determining the percentage of time the equipment is accessible for production.
  • Performance is measured by evaluating the speed at which the equipment operates in comparison to its maximum capacity.
  • Quality is determined by examining the percentage of products that meet established quality standards.
  • OEE measurement helps manufacturers identify specific areas within the production process that requires some enhancement, fostering increased efficiency, reduced downtime, and heightened product quality.
4. Planned Maintenance Percentage

  • Evaluating proactive measures, this metric signifies the percentage of planned maintenance activities. 
  • Planned Maintenance is determined by comparing the number of scheduled maintenance activities completed to the overall number of maintenance activities.
  • It provides insights into the effectiveness of planned maintenance activities and helps in optimizing maintenance strategies to improve overall equipment reliability and reduce downtime. 
5. Emergency Maintenance Percentage

  • Assessing the urgency factor, this metric reveals the proportion of maintenance activities conducted on an emergency basis. High emergency maintenance percentages may indicate issues with maintenance planning and asset reliability.
  • This metric is calculated by dividing the number of emergency maintenance activities by the total number of maintenance activities.
  • By measuring this metric, organizations can identify potential issues with maintenance planning and asset reliability, allowing them to optimize maintenance strategies and reduce the need for emergency maintenance, ultimately leading to improved operational efficiency and reduced downtime.
6. Asset Utilization

  • Measuring equipment usage to its full potential, this metric identifies underutilized assets and optimizes resource allocation, contributing to improved efficiency.
  • Asset utilization is determined by dividing the actual asset usage time by the total available asset time, offering valuable insights into the efficiency of a machine, line, process, cell, or factory.
  • This metric plays a crucial role in pinpointing underutilized assets and optimizing resource allocation, thereby contributing significantly to improved overall efficiency.
7. Inventory Turnover

  • This metric evaluates the speed at which maintenance parts and supplies are used and replenished. Essential for inventory optimization, it aids in reducing carrying costs.
  • Inventory turnover is computed by dividing the total maintenance parts and supplies used by the total inventory value.
  • It is essential for inventory optimization and aids in reducing carrying costs by providing insights into the efficiency of inventory management.
8. Work Order Backlog

  • Work Order Backlog is a metric that is valuable for indicating pending maintenance tasks and is critical for workload assessment, resource planning, and prioritization in the maintenance department.
  • The work order backlog is determined by subtracting the number of completed work orders from the total number of work orders.
  • This metric provides valuable insights into the current workload and helps in identifying areas that require attention and resource allocation. 
9. Scheduled Compliance

  • Highlighting the adherence to planned maintenance tasks, this metric measures the percentage of tasks completed on time, offering insights into maintenance planning and execution effectiveness.
  • Scheduled compliance is calculated by dividing the number of scheduled maintenance tasks completed on time by the total number of scheduled maintenance tasks.
  • It offers insights into the effectiveness of scheduled maintenance tasks and the overall productivity of the maintenance processes.
  • Low schedule compliance can indicate missed tasks, delayed maintenance, or a reactive maintenance approach, while high schedule compliance reflects an optimized and proactive maintenance program.
10. Maintenance Cost per Unit of Production

  • Assessing cost-effectiveness, this metric measures total maintenance costs incurred per unit of production. It identifies opportunities for cost reduction, contributing to efficient maintenance operations.
  • This metric is determined by dividing the total maintenance costs incurred by the total units of production.
  • The Maintenance Cost per Unit of Production metric adds value by assessing cost-effectiveness and identifying opportunities for cost reduction, ultimately contributing to efficient maintenance operations.

Efficient Maintenance Metrics

Managing maintenance metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can pose a challenge, but having Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) software makes the job a whole lot easier and more efficient. This software offers organizations a range of tools and features to not only measure but also analyze and optimize their maintenance processes effectively. It’s a powerful tool that simplifies the task of tracking and monitoring, making the entire process more efficient. CMMS provides the ability for users to set measurable baselines and also reveals opportunities for enhancement, leading to decreased downtime, increased efficiency, and informed decision-making.

CMMS optimizes the tracking of key performance indicators (KPIs), addressing critical factors like machine failures, repair times, maintenance backlogs, and costs. Offering a comprehensive perspective on maintenance performance, CMMS empowers maintenance and facilities managers to make informed decisions and meticulously fine-tune organizational maintenance planning with precision.

Leveraging a CMMS unleashes the complete potential of a facility, offering invaluable insights into maintenance operations that fuel ongoing enhancement, fortify equipment reliability, and uplift the overall performance of maintenance activities. Through the implementation of a systematic approach to monitoring maintenance performance via a CMMS, organizations gain the ability to discern trends, identify areas of inefficiency, and make informed decisions rooted in data.

Investing in a CMMS is essential for optimizing maintenance operations, ensuring the lasting reliability of assets, and achieving sustained peak performance. It equips organizations with a comprehensive toolkit for refining maintenance efficiency, contributing significantly to the overall success of their facilities.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the landscape of operational excellence, maintenance metrics stand as an important guide for organizations dedicated to optimizing performance. Through a meticulous exploration, companies can elevate their maintenance processes, fostering increased equipment reliability, minimized downtime, and a culture of perpetual improvement. The top 10 maintenance metrics serve as indispensable principles, strategically prioritizing and enhancing operations.

The undeniable significance of maintenance metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) unfolds as a compass, providing unparalleled insights into process effectiveness. These metrics become essential allies on the journey toward operational goals, enabling organizations to scrutinize management performance, identify areas for enhancement, and make informed decisions about resource allocation and maintenance strategies.

Adopting a well-organized strategy for overseeing maintenance performance becomes a catalyst for organizational empowerment. This structured approach contributes to the tangible advantages of reduced downtime, elevated efficiency, and strategic decision-making—an indispensable combination for refining operations, upholding asset reliability, and attaining a sustained pinnacle of performance.


Jeff Roscher

Jeff Roscher is the Co-Founder and President of eWorkOrders, a leading provider of Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software. With his extensive technological expertise and sharp insights, Jeff has established himself as an innovator in the field, creating customized and cost-effective solutions for companies of all sizes. Under his leadership, eWorkOrders has become an industry leader in CMMS and EAM software.

To learn more about eWorkOrders and their software solutions, visit their website at https://www.eWorkOrders.com  

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