Why do I need to plan my maintenance?

Did you know that in many cases an unplanned action takes twice the time compared to a planned? It’s common to lose time due to searching for items, drawings, tools, information, etc. It’s an expensive loss of time and if your equipment has a breakdown, it’s an even bigger cost.

To specify how much time it takes, you can divide the time in 3 different parts.


  1. External response time – time for when the equipment can still be used but with reduced speed or capacity
    • Everything that you can do during this time:
      • Analysis of problem
      • Plan resources
      • Plan actions
      • Prepare the needed spare parts and tools. Make sure you have the right work order, drawings and instructions.
      • Order spare parts that’s missing. Consider different ways of delivery depending on how critical the part is.
      • Make sure you got the right competence available and well informed.
  2. Internal response time – time for when the machine must be down
    • All actions that requires the machine to be stopped
      • Gates and shelters who needs to be disassembled and assembled
      • Actual restoration of the machine
      • Test to ensure function before everything is assembled. It’s common for operators to be a part of this to assess the correct function.
  3. External response time – reset original condition, or improved
    • Actions made when the machine is up and running again
      • Cleaning up
      • Return tools and update documentation
      • Report what you’ve done, consumption of items and cause of problem


So next time you have an unplanned job on a machine, have this in mind, and if possible, try to measure. How much time is internal response vs. external? And if you had the chance to plan the job?
It’s important to remember that actions for an unplanned stop doesn’t only concerns the maintenance department, even if it often starts there. Production and technical departments also needs to be a part of the planning since you have a common interest and goal.


What to gain by planning my jobs?
Control, efficiency and quality. You get time to ensure your production and deliveries, planning for resources (do you need external?), competence, material, documentation, etc. If you are well prepared you will save time and energy, for both your staff and equipment. In the end, that will save you money.
In MaintMaster you can keep track of your planned activities by using selections. By using a timeline, you get a visual maintenance planner directly in your system.



Would you like to get more tips, or advice on how to create an understanding for planning?
Get in touch!

/ Staffan Bergström, project manager