The technical database is all the information needed to plan and schedule efficiently and effectively. Having the eight components of the technical database in place will allow quick determination of the what, how, how long, who, and when of a maintenance job. Application of three simple best practices will generate the most value from the technical database. Focus on developing a technical database that is accurate, accessible, and applied.
Planning & Scheduling
Standard Job Plans (SJPs) are the product of the planning process. Work crews that have access to well documented SJPs perform higher quality and more consistent work. Using SJPs, effort isn’t wasted on searching for needed information while in the field. SJPs streamline the planning process by allowing planners to refine past plans instead of starting from scratch for each job. SJPs also support a positive plant culture by providing a mechanism for continuous improvement.
No other element of the technical database provides as much value to planning as an accurate bill of materials. Bills of material are a list of parts that are used on the equipment. When developing BOMs, focus on parts used for routine maintenance, repair, and operation of the equipment. Individual parts should contain a minimum amount of information including: a consistent and organized name, manufacturer and their item number, price, lead time, and quantity needed for the equipment.
The consistent use of accurate engineering standards represents a huge opportunity to simplify the planning process. Engineering standards cover a wide range of topics from design to operation and maintenance activities. Many already exist and are commonly used across industries. Plant-specific standards take an initial time investment to create, but once written can be reliably used to speed up the planning effort, provide clear instructions to work crews, and help standardize critical and frequent activities.
There are three best practices that will allow equipment drawings, manuals, and pictures to enable high quality planning and scheduling. Focus on keeping the documents accurate, accessible, and applied.
Equipment hierarchy is the foundation on which the technical database is built. Since the technical database is a key element in allowing efficient planning and scheduling, the equipment hierarchy is a building block of the entire work management system. Nearly every business unit from accounting to purchasing and from operations to maintenance will benefit from a well-organized and complete equipment hierarchy.
The technical database plays a critical role as an enabler to the planning and scheduling process. The results of a poor technical database are often hidden but can be substantial. To function well, all eight components of the technical database need to be accurate, accessible, and applied during the planning and scheduling process. Benefits of complete bills of material, well labeled equipment in the field, and easy access to original equipment manufacturer procedures will lead to high quality standard job plans that are produced quickly and reliably.
Planners are oftentimes very talented and great at multitasking; the danger is that they get pulled into duties that take them away from their primary function! This video featuring Terry Taylor, Senior Consultant, discusses what a planner’s role should not be.
Having the part available in the network has a huge impact on service performance. This also means choosing which parts not to hold is equally crucial, because remember, you can’t have them all. Life is about making choices. If anything, good tools will allow parts planners to present the executive team with several scenarios from which to choose. They can then make a choice based on solid calculations and foresight into cost versus service performance.