Manage contracted maintenance work as if it's your own

Use software to create a seamless integration of outside MRO services.

By Mike Bacidore, chief editor

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On the first of every month, work orders are generated for all periodic preventive maintenance (PM) tasks that are due before the first of the following month at the Toyota Industrial Equipment Manufacturing (TIEM) plant in Columbus, Indiana. “By using this monthly bucket approach, we can easily, on the first of every month, plan out the required man-hour assets, including overtime and weekends if required, in order to be able to complete all tasks within the given month,” explains Wendell Crouch, senior manager of production engineering, maintenance, and facilities at TIEM ( “This also makes it easy to adjust the plan if unscheduled repairs come up during the month which requires man-hours that were originally scheduled to perform PM tasks. A report is generated at the end of every week and graphed every month to track PM completion to ensure that each monthly bucket of tasks is completed.”

The PM tasks that print out every month at the plant are all required scheduled tasks for all departments or groups, including maintenance, facilities, manufacturing autonomous maintenance, fleet, robot group, and contractors. “The outside contractor PM tasks that are on manufacturing equipment are assigned to the TIEM maintenance supervisor, and the outside contractor PM tasks that are on the facilities are assigned to the senior facilities engineer,” explains Crouch, whose plant uses asset management software from Infor. “These are all assigned electronically and not printed out. The maintenance supervisor and the facilities engineer then coordinate with the contractors to complete the work.”

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The actual PM task sheet is only printed out if it’s determined there are specific instructions on the task that the contractor needs. “The senior engineer and maintenance supervisor then take the completed work orders from each contractor, usually on that company’s unique form, enter any required information or data into the system, and then close out the PM task all electronically,” says Crouch. “There are about 50 contractor PM tasks of varying periods from monthly to every five years.”

When maintenance functions are performed by contractors, instead of internal employees, software’s role can morph a bit. Whether it’s helping with the management of assets, operations, maintenance, finances, or people, software’s use and effectiveness can change in light of contracted employees. But the integration of data and systems can create a seamless affiliation with contracted workers that appears transparent.

If you have inspection results that dictate the levels of spare parts that you have, you need a knowledge of the types of problems in your plant that will drive a feedback loop.

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