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The Next-Generation Maintenance Manager (NGMM)

The NGMM understands the importance of accurate data and how the right processes and procedures facilitate better decisions. The NGMM relies on these core systems to help improve response time for when unexpected events do occur. In addition, this individual understands the importance of EAM advanced processes, which are critical to efficiency, performance, and cost optimization. Advanced processes, for example, include failure analysis, resource-leveled weekly scheduling, and project cost tracking. For some industries there is also a strong focus on shutdown/outage/turnaround management.

The NGMM wants to have significant design input relating to work processes and asset management during the EAM implementation. Implementation of an EAM system requires a strong maintenance/engineering background, plus plant and system knowledge. The NGMM is an active participant in core team training as well as developmental workshops. Key setup areas include location/asset hierarchy, preventive maintenance strategies, materials management, and key performance indicators. Other key decisions include work order priority, work type values, and job status synonyms. The NGMM wants to create a comprehensive model that supports all corporate goals.

The Next Generation Maintenance Manager pays particular attention to organizational roles supporting the EAM system. The database is only as good as the data, which means there must be clear roles and responsibilities.

The NGMM pays particular attention to organizational roles supporting the EAM system. The database is only as good as the data, which means there must be clear roles and responsibilities. To support these objectives, the NGMM:

  • Helps build relationships with all stakeholders as well as with customers, encouraging close interaction between operations, warehouse, and engineering.
  • Gains strong "buy-in" from working-level personnel. The NGMM may conduct periodic surveys with end-users to ascertain process or procedure problems. This proactive dialog helps create solid lines of communication.
  • Welcomes change. The NGMM encourages staff to accept change as part of the global market place in which every maintenance organization must be prepared to make decisions quickly. Causes of change may include: aging plant, new technology, organizational change, business change, evolving best practices, or retiring staff.
  • Recommends establishment of a reliability team to regularly review data to identify worst-offenders, suggest corrective action, and build improvement strategies. The reliability team is also involved with root cause analysis, as well as work order feedback, plus business rule creation. The NGMM provides guidance to the maintenance/reliability team as needed.
  • Hires staff having similar qualities and desires for excellence (i.e. keyboard-friendly as well as able to turn a wrench).

The NGMM wants to create a true knowledge base within the EAM system. If the data is not accurate, advanced processes will not be possible. The following list demonstrates the NGMM's involvement and oversight:

  • Understanding EAM technology, its benefits, and power of configuration, as well as advanced EAM processes where the largest ROI exists. Further, the NGMM designs the end game and then "connects the dots," linking input to output.
  • Finding ways to store knowledge so information is retained. Seasoned workers have a lot of knowledge. The NGMM looks to institutionalize undocumented procedures, tribal knowledge, and isolated instructions. It is important to capture this knowledge and not let it "walk out the door" at retirement.
  • Knowing "ease of use" considerations. This might include setting up mobile solutions, or it may involve single point of entry (as achieved through integration or database consolidation).
  • Requiring an accurate maintenance backlog to automate a weekly schedule process. This update includes accurate job statusing and timely actual labor reporting. The NGMM tracks workforce delays by using delay codes at time of labor reporting. The use of this information will help the NGMM manage by exception by identifying bottlenecks and communication problems.
  • Promoting a work order feedback process that includes asset condition rating, PM task and frequency validity, safety considerations, design change suggestions, and maintainability issues. This type of feedback is instrumental to reliability-centered maintenance.

The NGMM strongly believes in standardized procedures (which help support normalized comparisons) and appreciates the value of software, process, and organization, as all three are needed to make the complete system. The NGMM:

  • Creates a failure analysis process that leverages drill-down techniques. Next, the NGMM looks for problem areas and creates strategies for improving the worst systems. The NGMM can also track recurring problems, Pareto-style.
  • Creates standardized EAM procedures, starting with the business rules. Thesedocuments help clarify the input/output actions and responsibilities associated with staff who are required to interact with the EAM system.
  • Knows that clear business rules also help promote accurate KPIs. The NGMM recognizes that KPI measurements are only as good as the data in the EAM system and therein applies a regimen of EAM database error checks.

The NGMM engages in several methods of cost management. These include:

  • Utilizing the EAM system to track outage scope and cost data, making use of a scope freeze date.
  • Tracking maintenance budgets.
  • Managing large project costs.
  • Enhancing capital project management.
  • Tracking "cost of lost opportunities" (e.g., rework, delay codes, warranty work, injuries, poor planning, and lack of schedule).
  • Requiring staff to document pre-built repair/replace criteria based on asset classification to help expedite the decision-making process by management.

The NGMM has a long-range management plan that leverages continuous improvement and encourages business process re-engineering every 5 years. This individual understands that most sites underutilize their EAM system. (There are several reasons for this, but normally the implementation project did not allow time for adequate process review and re-engineering. Quite often the implementation team will delay these actions until post go-live, at which point it is even more difficult to implement.) The NGMM's long-range management plan includes:

  • Identifying strategic goals and hierarchical KPIs. The NGMM defines the end game and then builds a roadmap to reach each of these goals, conducting periodic refresher training on this end game.
  • Frequently seeking advice where needed, performing occasional benchmarking.
  • Challenging the staff to do more with less and finding clever solutions, as well as creating stretch goals.
  • Being cautious to prevent the IT department from getting caught up in software add-ons that do not support the long-range goals or advanced processes.

Advanced Processes - In Detail

The NGMM applies advanced processes to support the ideal model for asset performance management. Advanced processes are complex due to the large number of pre-requisites, but once understood, provide the largest potential return on investment. Unfortunately, 90 percent of all sites never achieve these results (as shown below).

Figure 1

Maintenance Management Program - Ideal Model

The graphic below shows inputs from failure analysis and work order feedback (on the left) and BPI/BPR reviews (on the right). The combination of these inputs helps reduce reactive maintenance. By creating a true knowledge base, management can make better financial decisions.

Figure 2

Amount of Worker Time to Update the EAM System

If the working level complains about the time it takes to update the EAM system, the NGMM will explain the importance of this feedback and demonstrate the usefulness of this data. The NGMM also needs to be sure the staff is not putting up false barriers. Figure 3 shows where work status and labor actuals are typically captured. Real ROI occurs with proper work order feedback that can be reviewed, evaluated, and trended.

Figure 3

Manage Assets, Not Workers

The NGMM does not need an EAM system to assess employee performance, but he or she does need it to identify asset performance. A proactive organization encourages input from all levels by letting workers see and understand the roadmap. The NGMM listens to concerns, as well as ideas for improvement, and then links problems to solutions. Workers expect their feedback and recommendations to be closely reviewed and acted upon. Disengagement, once it occurs, is hard to recover from. In the end, it is the overall philosophy, not the technology, that will define the long-term success of an asset performance system.


This is a new way of thinking about EAM system implementation. All aspects of the maintenance program should be working in concert to help achieve operational excellence. An effective maintenance management program should improve equipment performance, improve reliability/availability, increase worker productivity, and reduce costs. The Next-Generation Maintenance Manager is that strong leader, who by being involved and welcoming technology, helps provide a sound vision and roadmap for the future.

John Reeve

For the past 25 years John Reeve has travelled the world supporting CMMS/EAM clients in a wide variety of industries. Over that period, Mr. Reeve's primary focus has been asset, work and supply chain business transformation, and advanced process implementations. As a Manager and Senior Consultant for Cohesive Information Solutions, Inc., John serves as the practice leader for maintenance & reliability solutions.

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