It is assumed that the PM lifelines in the Foundation Phase are already in place. This document details the elements of the Fundamental Phase.

There are seven very distinct elements or clusters to put in place in the Fundamental Phase. The elements are in a natural “make sense” order; some can be completed simultaneously if resources are available. The last one, “Basic Maintenance Management,” can and should be inserted at the right time to aid the other clusters’ success. We will detail the elements and begin to form a natural transition from where each site is today to where it should be. Every site is considered to be unique and has special conditions. Some sites may be more advanced than others; others are already performing to different degrees at levels higher than the fundamental phase. However, the elements listed below must first be established securely and be fully supported before a site can move to the next stage.

  • Parts and Materials Organization
  • Computerized Maintenance Management System
  • Asset Classification
  • Planning and Scheduling
  • Work Order Process
  • Preventive Maintenance Program
  • Basic Maintenance Management in Place

If the resources are available, you can begin setting up the elements by working on multiple ones simultaneously. You will not be able to complete some of them until others are in place. Without duplicating efforts and watering down resources, the best path depends on how soon you can begin to achieve or show documented improvements in asset reliability in your particular case. It have to be the primary driver of the initiative.

Parts and Material Organization – “The Storeroom Approach”

Spare parts and materials management is essential to performing effective maintenance. Although not the only approach, the path detailed below has proven to yield World Class results and will preset the stage for work orders, planned and scheduled maintenance, and a sustainable Preventive Maintenance Program, all part of the fundamental phase.

Action Plan

  1. Consolidate, and select the location, size and quantity of the spare parts centers or stockrooms needed:

Before you begin to prepare existing stockrooms, each plant needs to analyze and determine the best location and size of the stockrooms. Keep in mind that a single store is easier to manage for best performance than multiple ones. Sometimes satellite stores, cabinets, tool cribs, etc., add value and can be managed successfully from a central store location. The degree and quantity of information now required will probably be more significant than before you organized, and all has to be entered in the CMMS in a timely fashion, if not daily.

  1. Place all stock items under complete control (spare parts and material):

Parts storerooms must be under complete control, preferably manned whenever maintenance personnel work. If the plant decides not to man the stockroom, there must still be controlled access to the parts with complete inventories twice per year and frequent cycle counts of at least the critical parts. Only place parts in stock that are “new” or in “as new” conditions.

Identify locations throughout the plant where material or parts are gathered, including toolboxes belonging to the trades. At this time, do not collect or recall this type until you are ready to manage them properly. As your stockroom becomes organized, you can begin identifying these parts then. You must eventually identify these parts because you do not want them to end up on equipment without a work order; otherwise, you will lose valuable history.

  1. Set up CMMS Stockroom Module:

The stockroom must have a fully functional CMMS with trained individuals capable of performing and running all transactions in the Stockroom Module of such system, including but not limited to issuing, receiving, stocking, purchasing, inventories, parts returns, and reservations. Parts not classified as “free issue” must be given to a work order. During transition only, the parts can be issued to a cost account at the time of issue until the work order system is in place and working.

  1. Verify every line item in the storeroom has, without exception, all the information listed below. This information will be loaded in the CMMS Stores Module and used to track and build a comprehensive history of what part has been used where and how often.
  • The unique site part number.
  • Manufacturer number
  • Bin location
  • Average price
  • Supplier name and address (primary) and Purchasing details
  • Safe lead time
  • Actual quantity in stock
  • Reorder levels or Min./ Max.
  • Reorder quantities
  • Unit of measure (UOM)
  • Unit cost per vendor
  1. Stockroom must have procedures in place to handle the following:
  • Who has the authority to purchase parts, and how much can they spend?
  • A plan in place to handle returned items from the production floor and back to the vendor/supplier or stock
  • Identification of what things are considered “free” issues (no work order is required)
  • Accountability for issuing, receiving, restocking, and placing orders
  • Low stock items must be reordered within 24 hours of reaching reorder points.
  • Procedures/forms to request new items to be stocked/or to be removed from inventory
  • Document available to users to track stockroom service level or customer service
  • A formal method to inform users of parts requested in a timely fashion
  • Area cleaning procedures, frequency, and persons responsible
  • The process established with maintenance for replacing or substituting parts
  • A method to flag overdue deliveries before they are needed
  • Parts reservations for jobs in the future without having to increase the stock
  1. There must be designated, outlined, and labelled areas within the stockroom for:
  • Receiving parts, including a method of inspecting shipments
  • Parts to be sent out for repairs
  • Parts kited and reserved for a work order in the future
  • Parts belonging to a project or reserved for one
  • Terminal/screen and printers for users to query parts in the CMMS
  • The area was assigned for heavy items and provided with lifting equipment as needed
  • The place where parts documentation/drawing details /Manufactures information can be obtained by the user and reviewed.
  • Parts that are used frequently – are usually located near the counter
  • Storing PLC and circuit boards in static-free cabinets in sealed envelopes
  • Racks with shelves for deliveries not yet picked up by requester
  1. Assigned performance indicators are to be monitored by the stockroom – listed in the strategy manual

Computerized Maintenance Management System

The CMMS must act as a framework supporting all the Maintenance Department’s tasks. By support, I mean the CMMS serves as the primary tool to track the history of any event or transaction related to maintaining or improving equipment of all types and duties.

The CMMS must be “comprehensive” and, at the same time, “user-friendly.” The real power of a CMMS is not unleashed until the system is utilized for a while. Often, users tend to abandon the CMMS during the early stages and never get to see the real benefits. Based on my own experience, once you get over the initial challenge of putting time aside and learning the system, it quickly becomes an invaluable tool.

The CMMS is simultaneously used as a guide to maintenance excellence, mainly because it forces the maintenance organization to plan and become organized. It is one of the subtlest tools designed to instill organization into fire fighting modes of operation.

Before a CMMS is installed, or when a CMMS is not supported correctly, it is common to find equipment and parts information scattered, obsolete, incomplete, or simply not dependable. Therefore, the installation data should be scrubbed and cleaned up before entering the CMMS. It is accomplished by entering clean data directly into the CMMS in preparation for use. After the CMMS is introduced on the site and personnel have been trained as to what to gather in what form, the task of gathering, scrubbing, and entering the basic required information can begin. As long as this is done directly in the CMMS, the chances of errors are significantly reduced.

There are over a few hundred different types of CMMS in the market today, and all of them claim to have all the features you need to run your maintenance for every size of organization available.

Early installation of the CMMS of choice as part of the EM initiative will reduce errors, work duplication, and data preparation. The format in which data is collected, organized, and understood by the user should match the style and structure of the CMMS of choice.

Primary Resources required:

Since this CMMS will become a central library used by many, resources will be needed to sustain the initiative during and after implementation. Below you will find the primary resources required:

  • Project Manager to coordinate installation and guide the process plant by plant
  • IT Support during initial installation to install hardware and required software at the plants. At present, no resources are available to support the CMMS. The EM Pillar Team is working to find an interim CMMS that can be used effectively to satisfy the CMMS element of the EM Strategy triangle.
  • CMMS Training program capable of training the USERS at the plants as part of the implementation and for “as needed” training for the plants during the first 12 months of each implementation AND BEYOND.
  • Plant data entry personnel (must be closely supervised by the plant). Best if done internally by each plant, by the people who will be accountable for the data required during the first three months of preparation for CMMS implementation.
  • Complete involvement and participation by the Maintenance Manager and other key individuals in the plant during installation. Mindset changes to move away from breakdown thinking.
  • CMMS Support help desk. (7/24) and part of the yearly maintenance contract administered via phone support.
  • Customized report writing CAPABILITY. Because of the flexibility of the software, you can pull the same or different information in many ways to adapt to the particular need of the moment. As maintenance data is analyzed, it would help if you drilled down for the root cause (similar to the 5 WHY analysis). By having this critical FEATURE available, finding the valid reason for a particular failure is greatly enhanced.

Action Plan

  • Prepare the script and establish how we will run, utilize and operate Maintenance Company-wide.
  • Kick off the installation in the plant by training the plant on what and how to prepare the initial primary data required
  • Establish the disciplines in the site for maintenance excellence, which will now include “ways of working” techniques in the CMMS
  • Load, test, and verify data collected from the plant
  • Select and prepare plant terminals and work stations to receive the software
  • Install the software in the workstations at the plants
  • Train the trainers on how to use the system
  • Perform full stock inventory
  • Support the users as required

Asset Classification

Asset classification will be a pull-down menu in the CMMS. Each plant will assign and enter a code for each asset stored in the CMMS. A standard document and terminology will be developed and given to each plant as a document. It can be executed at any time after CMMS installation. Asset classification and criticality must be assigned with the full support of upper management in the plant. Not just by anyone area or department.

Action Plan

  • Coordination and support by Engineering Manager, entry by Maintenance Planner into CMMS.

Maintenance Planning & Scheduling

Each plant is to assign Maintenance Planners at a rate of 1 to every 15 to 20 trades personnel. See related documents, EM Manual, for the planner’s job description and the Planners do’s and don’ts.

The Planners must be in place as early as possible in the CMMS implementation process. They will guide, along with the Engineering Manager, in the preparation of Preventive Maintenance procedures and schedules, help construct and train the trades on the work order process, help estimate time and materials required for jobs, and help prepare the stockroom to begin Maintenance planning activities.

Action Plan:

  • Planner basic training in planning techniques and CMMS

Work Order Process

Work orders are the primary medium used by the plant to record, track and analyze the history of all assets maintained. The work order should include but not be limited to information about Parts used & Labor consumed on the job. For best operation, the following should be in place before starting. All items below must interact in the same CMMS pre-selected.

  1. A trained Maintenance Planner for every 15 to 20 trades individuals
  2. A reliable parts stockroom and parts/materials replenishment system in place
  3. A commitment from the plant to incorporate planned and scheduled maintenance with Production Planning
  4. Systematic training of the trades, with disciplines in place to begin recording relevant asset information in the CMMS, which includes Parts & Labor consumed.

Action Plan:

  • Supply training to Planners in the duties of a Planner and the CMMS
  • Verification that the stockroom is prepared to sustain the process
  • Verification that Production Planning will plan together with maintenance
  • Maintenance Planner to begin coaching the trades to enter the correct data

Preventive Maintenance Program

This program is one of the most misunderstood programs in the plant. To establish a working action plan, we will first define it.

Preventive maintenance, regardless of who will be doing it, will include any task, observation, inspection or act that:

  1. Prolongs or improves the life of an asset
  2. Inspection and/or detects abnormalities in any asset before they lead the asset to failure, breakdown, or reduction in capacity or set reliability.

It does not include Predictive Maintenance; this will be covered later in the Building Phase of the PM strategy.

We can establish the action plan and the related elements based on this definition.

A sustainable Preventive Maintenance program should include the following related elements:

  1. Analysis and review of any existing PM procedures and schedules proven to add value still
  2. Consultation and review of OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) documents
  3. Participation of line technicians (experts) to approve final PM procedure/inspection for the equipment they maintain before initial scheduling.
  4. Linking the procedure to the assets in the CMMS
  5. On-going analysis of history and confirmation of the continued value of the procedure (usually done by the Maintenance Planner)


PM procedures and inspections should first cover the most critical assets (see definition of critical assets in PM Manual). Procedures should be implemented one by one and immediately monitored for a while before making any additions or changes. Where a PM or inspection is not already available, ask the local expert to give you a list of the top 5 tasks to perform or check and how often they should be done. Allow the history to tell you how to increase, decrease or remove the procedure altogether. It is more effective to start the process with an incomplete method than spend many hours designing the perfect one if there is such a thing. Do not forget to include essential safety precautions or warnings and electrically disconnect or connect contact dangers.

Link the procedure or inspection to the asset, establish the frequency and allow the CMMS to tell you when it is due. Above all, continuously monitor and ask:

  • If this procedure or inspection is not done, what will happen”?
  • Would the equipment fail prematurely?
  • Could someone get hurt? Would the equipment lose efficiency?
  • Would the customer be affected at all? 

Action plan:

·      Single day training of PM coordinator (usually the Planner, Engineering Manager, or Maintenance Supervisor) on how to start a PM program in the plant

Basic Maintenance Management in place  

Action Plan for four key areas

For the Engineering Manager or person in charge of all maintenance activities:

  • Assign others in the department to baby-sit breakdown work to allow himself to expand the clusters in the fundamental phase
  • Must create time to dedicate to the installation of the fundamentals above daily
  • Eliminate obstacles in the way of Planned Maintenance; this must be a priority (MDIST)
  • Initiate development of the workforce under his supervision to steer them away from breakdown mentality (MDIST)
  • Prepare early the baseline for tracking the top three KPIs (# of breakdowns, MTBF, MTTR)
  • Assign a PM team, start small, and continually grow and prioritize support for this group
  • Initiate documented formal training for the workforce
  • Initiate lubricator and lubrication standards and routines involve the operators
  • Support the stockroom, especially in the beginning, establish and maintain disciplines, manage stockroom by maintenance results obtained not by parts or inventory cost control (MDIST)
  • Initiate and guide maintenance training for operators (MDIST)
  • Allow, promote and encourage direct interaction between trades and outside parts suppliers and vendors (MDIST)
  • Fully support the Maintenance Planners, especially during initial setup
  • Promote direct work order entry by the trades with monitoring by Maintenance Planners
  • Expandability to obtain live CMMS reports by trades on the floor for the equipment they maintain (MDIST)
  • Set up a library for drawings, equipment documentation, and details, training manuals, assign a keeper, make the library available to all
  • Promote planned and scheduled maintenance, and say goodbye to breakdown maintenance – you are not going back that way again!!

Must Document Incidents that Show This (MDIST)

For Maintenance Planners: (Initial phase)

  • Become the keeper of the CMMS
  • Obtain Planner training
  • Set up a close relationship and weekly meetings with Production Planners
  • Monitor parts usage and where they are being used
  • Help in the training of trades on the CMMS
  • Monitor work order flow and what trades report back
  • Maintain a work order backlog
  • Do not become involved with breakdown maintenance. Just monitor in CMMS
  • Promote and encourage planned and scheduled work
  • Monitor quality of new parts added to the stockroom
  • Help Engineering Manager identify where, when, and type of training required based on work order results
  • Establish reports with key vendors, know the technical abilities you can tap, use them for more than just buying parts, and encourage them to go to the production floor to talk to trades
  • Do not underestimate jobs during the initial phase; focus on developing trust with Production Planning – this is essential.
  • Monitor and always question the value of preventive maintenance work orders and their frequency. Be aware that multiple maintenance initiatives affect each other. (Ex.: starting parts lubrication and parts replacements on the same equipment at the same time)

For Stockroom (Supervisors, attendants, parts buyers): 

  • Maintain disciplines backed by Engineering Manager
  • Do not give parts without first collecting documentation, work order number, cost code, equipment number, etc.
  • Establish a procedure to constantly check to see if the part is reserved before giving it away
  • Perform all required transactions in the CMMS live
  • Maintain all procedures and required forms listed above in the “Parts and Material Organization” cluster
  • Identify all items on the floor. Nothing should be out of place; remove parts immediately, and maintain 5s.
  • Analyze your inventory; always know the total inventory dollar, the total number of line items, the top 10 parts used the most, parts with no use for more than six months, one year, etc., and report values to all
  • Familiarize yourself with the equipment on the floor; monthly tours should be encouraged; make a note of new equipment, new parts installed, and parts under observation or test
  • Treat the stockroom as a Bank, not Grand Central Station

For Trades (mechanics, electricians, other technical personnel):

  • Obtain basic training on the CMMS
  • Leave the baling wire and the band-aids at home, and begin using a “fix it so that it does not break again” approach.
  • Document details of jobs performed on a work order (wait for a signal from the planner), enter relevant data only and use established codes to ease entry.
  • Query reports for the equipment you maintain before starting the job or for troubleshooting
  • Return to stock parts you do not use, keep them clean, and save the package
  • Identify special tools, observations, and safety precautions you find in performing a job, and notify the planner for incorporation in future employment.
  • Identify where you need additional training.
  • Work with outside vendors and suppliers to test new part designs or improvements.
  • Help prepare operators to perform essential inspections and basic preventive tasks.
  • Participate in the creation of Preventive Maintenance procedures and inspections, allow the history to tell you if and when its time to modify them
  • Begin to know the value of parts, query the CMMS
  • Report failure trends

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *