You might have already read our guide on the essential facility maintenance KPIs you should be tracking to ensure your facility is running in tip-top shape. Depending on the KPIs you choose to track, the picture you paint of how well you’re performing can change. Some KPIs might even give you a skewed picture of what’s really going on inside your facility, so it’s important to understand why you could be fooling yourself with “good” results.
In this blog, we cover three vanity metrics that we think facility managers ought to either take with a grain of salt or contrast with other KPIs to make sense of the results.
Hitting your targets for what you schedule for the week, month, or year is never a bad thing, but it’s also not a KPI to hang your hat on by itself. That’s because what you schedule is not nearly as important as why you schedule it. For instance, you might be scheduling maintenance tasks and completing them, but if 35% of them are reactionary maintenance tasks, are you really achieving your goals? If you know 50% of the previous year’s work was reactionary, then you might be hitting a goal and see that as a positive development. If 20% of the previous year’s work was reactionary, then maybe you regressed.
How you comply with scheduled tasks doesn’t give you the full picture. By bringing other KPIs into the fold, such as the percentage of reactionary work or percentage of planned work, you’ll have a better understanding of what your maintenance scheduled compliance actually means.
Having fewer equipment failures overall is always a good thing, but this is another KPI that needs much more context to be truly useful. Certainly in some cases this can give you a general sense of how you’re improving or regressing, but this won’t tell you as much as you need to know to get an accurate assessment. What this doesn’t measure is what equipment failed and, as importantly, the time between failures. If failures are concentrated on one or two pieces of equipment, the metric might be throwing off your perception of success.
This KPI also doesn’t take into account the estimated timelines on your equipment. If estimated replacement times run close together, a spike in failures might happen, but it might not be as poor of a reflection of your performance as you think.
Overall equipment downtime provides a general picture of your maintenance program’s efficiency, but it’s more important to divide downtime into distinct categories. The ultimate metric will be the reduction of unplanned equipment downtime, or downtime you didn’t account for because you weren’t anticipating an equipment failure or maintenance emergency.
As unplanned equipment downtime drops, you have a much better sense of whether or not your overall maintenance strategy performance is improving. For an even better picture, you should account for how much unplanned downtime is a result of failure, and how much is a result of maintenance going over schedule.
Planned downtime, by contrast, can mean stopping the equipment for scheduled maintenance or shutting down for other predetermined purposes (perhaps energy conservation). This can muddy the waters if combined with unplanned downtime.
KPIs are necessary to measure, but interpreting the results correctly is another challenge entirely. How you cross-reference results, but also how you compare KPIs to your overall maintenance strategy, is what ultimately determines how accurately you’re measuring your performance.
If you’re interested in learning more about the essential KPIs you need to ensure you’re performing at the highest maintenance standards, we’ve created an e-guide to walk you through effective metrics and goals. Click the link below to learn more.