Benchmarks for Demonstrating Improvement

July 21, 2009
Welcome to MRO Q&A, a Food Processing series addressing maintenance, repair and operational issues in food plants. We’ve assembled a panel of plant operations experts to answer any question you have on plant-floor issues. To pose a question, check out our Plant Maintenance Resoure Center

The success of any maintenance operation depends heavily on the organization and efficient operation of the maintenance storeroom.  Since the storeroom can be seen as driving the movement of parts out to the production area, your primary customers in production would expect to see improvement in equipment availability and reliability.  These indicators in turn could be very helpful in getting the storeroom staff focused on how they relate to overall plant operations. From a more internal maintenance perspective, the accuracy of inventory counts and the number of stock outs versus the number of total parts issued would be seen as good key performance indicators.

A well-run storeroom should be able to demonstrate the growth rate in the overall number of parts and suppliers, as well as the percentage of inactive inventory over a given time period.  These benchmarks could be used to drive further cost savings within your total maintenance budget.  Senior Operations Management could look at the parts to labor ratio to get a better understanding of your total inventory value versus your total maintenance labor cost and develop a better insight into your ongoing maintenance spending and needs.  Regardless of which key performance indicators you choose you should use this opportunity to lay out your maintenance strategy to all members of the operational team, allowing each “customer” to better understand how maintenance relates to their part of the operation and hopefully improving the dialogue.