Maintenance KPIs: A Simple Guide

How do maintenance teams know when they’re doing a good job? How do they pinpoint signs of trouble and take the right corrective action? With the help of key performance indicators and metrics

KPIs offer benchmarks and strategic guidance for improving asset management, inventory management, and other essential maintenance processes

How do maintenance teams use KPIs? 

All maintenance teams have effectively the same goal: promote a productive environment so their organization can deliver on its goals. Maintenance KPIs help them focus their efforts on specific objectives. 

A KPI is a quantifiable value that shows how effectively you’ve achieved your maintenance objectives. Common objectives revolve around increasing equipment uptime, decreasing overall maintenance costs, and optimizing maintenance performance. You might, for example, set a KPI to decrease unplanned downtime by 25% in a given quarter or improve compliance to your maintenance plan by 50% over a year. 

Maintenance KPIs combine benchmarks and metrics, pointing teams in the direction of operations improvement and ensure they’re focused on what matters most. 

They both ask and help you answer questions like these: 

  • Where are we now? 
  • Where do we want to go? 
  • How do we get there? 

What is the difference between maintenance KPIs and maintenance performance metrics

The terms metrics and KPIs are often used interchangeably. They are not the same. 

As noted above, maintenance KPIs are measurable values. They show how effective you’ve been at achieving your maintenance objectives. Maintenance metrics, on the other hand, track the status and effectiveness of specific processes.

Maintenance KPIs are strategic. Maintenance metrics are more tactical. Think of KPIs as a compass that shows you the way to go. Metrics are more like a list of directions offering small steps to get there. 

Your maintenance team’s actions are reflected in metrics. These metrics should inform your KPIs to ensure you reach your business goals. 

KPIs vs. metrics: an example

Imagine you’ve set a KPI to reduce your company’s deferred maintenance backlog by 30% over the next quarter. You dig into the data and determine that reactive maintenance work presents a recurring issue. Your maintenance team doesn’t have enough time for all the preventive maintenance tasks they’ve scheduled. Different factors could contribute to this situation, including staffing issues or an inefficient workflow for assigning tasks. 

To get to the root cause and start resolving the issue, you could take a closer look at maintenance metrics like maintenance overtime, on-time work order completion rate, first time fix rate (FTFR), and planned maintenance percentage (PMP)

Maintenance Acronym Guide

Confused by PMs, MTTR, and DFMEA? This maintenance acronym guide will have you talking the talk in no time.

Which maintenance KPIs are important? 

Maintenance managers play an important role in determining which maintenance KPIs are worth defining and tracking to serve their department’s goals. Consider the areas where your team could most afford to improve. Maybe certain pieces of equipment break down too often or reactive maintenance costs are getting too high. 

By focusing on the problems that stand in the way of your business goals, you can establish a useful baseline and a strategic plan to tailor your efforts. Here are some common maintenance metrics based on the type of maintenance KPI you’re working on: 

How to define KPIs for your maintenance team

To properly define KPIs for your maintenance activities, make sure you tie them to goals. Without goals in mind, your efforts will lack focus and strategic direction. To make progress, you’ll always want clearly defined steps specific to each KPI and goal. 

Once you’ve established each KPI, make sure to define it in a way that’s powerful, effective, and time sensitive. Consider following the SMART framework while introducing and refining your maintenance strategy, your maintenance department’s KPIs, and your definition of world-class maintenance operations

  • Specific: Maintenance goals and KPIs should be clearly defined. All stakeholders should understand the who, what, where, when, and why. 
  • Measurable: Each goal and KPI should have its own criteria for measuring progress.
  • Achievable: It’s important not to aim too high and set impossible KPIs. Your goals should offer enough challenges to keep your maintenance team motivated, but not so much that they cause upheaval to your maintenance program
  • Realistic: Your goals should be attainable within the available time frame and with the resources you have at your disposal. 
  • Timely: Your goals should have a clear timeline to create a sense of urgency. Remember, goals without due dates and clear milestones will inevitably wind up getting postponed. 

More examples of maintenance KPIs

Here are a few more examples of KPIs a maintenance manager professional might set: 

  • Reduce unexpected downtime by 30% over the next twelve months
  • Improve labor time for both scheduled maintenance tasks and unplanned maintenance by 10% in four months
  • Decrease energy consumption by 15% by the end of this year
  • Achieve 97% inventory accuracy levels in three months
  • Drive rework requests down 40% over the next six months

Defining your maintenance KPIs is just the first step on the path toward continuous improvement. You’ll next need to: 

  1. Find where and how you’re underperforming
  2. Define the actions you’ll take to make improvements
  3. Choose metrics to use for tracking your progress

You should break each of your KPIs down into a detailed plan of action complete with a timeline and maintenance metrics for measuring progress. For example, imagine you’ve set a KPI to reduce unexpected downtime by 30% over the next year. Depending on the causes of downtime you’ve identified, your detailed breakdown might look like this:

  • Plan of action: Incorporate a more proactive approach to maintenance and facility management
  • Metrics: Track Planned Maintenance Percentage and Preventive Maintenance Compliance among other metrics to assess performance and make improvements 
  • Milestones: Present a detailed overview of performance against these metrics every three months for a year

How can CMMS software help you track important KPIs?

Although KPIs are an essential component of an effective maintenance program, it’s important not to set too many. Too many KPIs and you could distract from your top priorities, lose focus, and spread your resources too thin. 

As central hubs for maintenance KPIs and metrics, Centralized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) platforms simplify and optimize tracking and reporting. They’re a far better option than spreadsheets for keeping track of performance data and KPI progress.

Parts and Inventory Management in Limble CMMS

Tracking metrics and KPI progress is simple in Limble. 

Learn more about how maintenance management software can empower and elevate your team in our detailed guide to CMMS tools.

The Essential Guide to CMMS

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