“Work Execution Management – Time to Move Forward” by Terry Wireman

“Work Execution Management – Time to Move Forward” by Terry Wireman

Work Execution Management – Time to Move Forward

Published on https://reliabilityweb.com December 9th, 2015.


Work execution management (WEM) is the domain where the work activities on assets identified in other domains, such as reliability engineering for maintenance (REM) or asset condition management (ACM), are actually performed. For example, when reliability engineering (RE) or root cause analysis (RCA) identifies activities that need to be performed on an asset to allow it to meet design performance specifications, those activities are planned and scheduled in the WEM domain. Similarly, if out of tolerance conditions are detected through the ACM domain, the work is properly identified and then planned and scheduled in the WEM domain. The interdependencies between the WEM domain and the other domains have a dramatic impact on the overall lifecycle costs of an asset, which ties into asset management.

What has been the progress over the years in WEM? Unfortunately, progress has not been as positive in the WEM domain as it has in the REM, ACM and leadership for reliability (LER) domains. Let’s take a look at each of the elements in the WEM domain and evaluate the extent of progress over the past 30 years.


The most effective preventive maintenance (PM) programs concentrate on the basics of maintaining the equipment, such as good visual inspections, good lubrication practices and good fastening procedures. While these seem basic, a survey in the book, “Maintenance Management for Quality Production,” published in 1984 by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers, states that only 22 percent of the 2,500 organizations surveyed were satisfied with their PM program. That survey was conducted over 30 years ago, but PM activities are still producing substandard results. Organizations still have equipment failures, sometimes just days after basic PM inspections were performed. When a root cause analysis is performed on the failure, it is determined that the cause is due to a problem that should have been found during the PM inspection that was just performed.

While the technology-driven inspections from the ACM domain can assist in proactively finding degrading equipment conditions, a good PM program focused on basic care is key to a cost-effective solution for premature equipment failures.


The maintenance, repair and operations spares management element (MRO) deals with the cost-effective procurement and utilization of spare parts. Since MRO can comprise 40 percent to 60 percent of an organization’s maintenance budget, this is an important area to consider.

How has the overall MRO function matured in the past few decades? Similar to the PM element, not much progress has been made. In organizations today, there are still an incorrect number of spare parts being stocked, whether too many, which results in excessive costs, or too few, which results in excessive equipment downtime. Organizations simply do not know how to correctly value their MRO.


Planning and scheduling (PS) comprises activities that allow maintenance to be completed efficiently and economically. PS confirms that all logistics for the particular job are completely controlled before the job is executed. This ensures little or no waste as the work is performed. By eliminating waste, the work is now executed at the lowest possible cost.

Planning and scheduling has improved over the years, due to the increased utilization of planners.  Companies have progressed from not even having planners to developing a good job/role description and allowing the planners to contribute to increase labor efficiencies and effectiveness.  While there is still work needed in the area of the proper ratio of planners to maintenance technicians, as an organization continues to mature its planning and scheduling program, we should continue to see improvements in this area.


The computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a specially designed database for tracking all equipment maintenance information (see Figure 1). The CMMS has been used by maintenance organizations since the mid-1970s. So what has been the result of CMMS utilization? According to the “CMMS Best Practices Study” published by Reliabilityweb.com in 2011, “work order management was cited by 91 percent of respondents as the most important feature of a CMMS.” Yet, upon close scrutiny, the accuracy of the data in most CMMS databases is severely lacking. In informal surveys, the vast majority of maintenance reliability managers feel the data in their CMMS is too inaccurate to use for financial decision-making.


Operator driven reliability (ODR) is the element where operators are utilized to increase the capacity of the equipment they operate or to free up maintenance resources to be utilized on higher level maintenance reliability activities. The goal is to have the operators take ownership for 10 percent to 40 percent of the organization’s PM program. What has been the result of ODR initiatives? Overall, they have proven to be successful in a small number of organizations.


Defect elimination (DE) is a powerful element that builds on the five other WEM elements. The DE element uses cross functional teams to eliminate equipment-related defects, thereby increasing the capacity of the equipment. How successful has DE been for most organizations? Since DE focuses initially on the basics of maintenance and reliability, some organizations have had initial success. However, when the organization is ready to realize the true power of DE and it is applied by trained, cross functional teams, most fall well short of the goal. There are several reasons for this, including lines of jurisdiction between the various departments and proper training for all employees involved.


What is the future of the WEM domain? After briefly reviewing the six elements of WEM, it is clear that if they are utilized correctly, they add great value to an organization’s maintenance reliability functions. But why do the WEM elements fail to achieve their true potential? There are two main reasons:

  1. Lack of understanding the financial impact of the elements.
  2. Lack of proper skills to implement and execute the elements.

When equipment/assets are out of service longer than required for repairs, it is a loss to the company. It impacts the capacity of the equipment/asset. If the organization is in a sold-out market, the lost capacity is a lost sale and, ultimately, lost revenue. Even if the organization has a capped market, the inefficiency in wasting maintenance and operational resources is still an unnecessary expense. It is necessary for all organizations to have a clear understanding of the losses in this area to ensure losses are minimized or avoided completely.

If organizations lack the skills necessary to implement and manage the elements of this domain, they will fail to execute the elements in the most efficient and economical manner. Not only does this lead to labor and material losses, but also prolonged downtime and repetitive delays. These unnecessary losses will impact the profitability of organizations, again from an expense and lost revenue perspective.

If organizations are going to make improvements in the WEM domain in the future, they will need to overcome the two reasons previously noted. If they can resolve these issues, their respective companies will see increased profitability and value delivery from their assets/equipment.

Terry Wireman


To see the Original Source of this article please click HERE 

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“Work Execution Management – Time to Move Forward” by Terry Wireman2017-01-25T13:29:40+00:00

How to calculate the ROI on your next Maintenance Project.

How to calculate the ROI on your next Maintenance Project.

“In an effort to become more competitive, companies have found that maintenance represents from 15 to 40% of the total product cost and dollars saved in maintenance are a cost avoidance. In larger companies, reducing maintenance expenditures by $1 million contributes as much to profits as increasing sales by $3 million. Improving maintenance and decreasing unnecessary maintenance expenditures by $1 million is considerably easier and more likely to occur than obtaining $3 calculator-imagemillion in new sales.

In this article, guidelines are presented for calculating possible savings that may be achieved by investing in improved maintenance policies and practices, including a computerized maintenance management system. (Click HERE to download the free ROI Calculator) 

The objective is to present a different method for examining the effect of maintenance on a company’s costs. The material is divided into sections to allow various parts to be used where applicable and omitted where not.


Standard cost justification is composed of four main parts:

  • Maintenance labor costs.
  • Maintenance materials costs.
  • Project cost savings.
  • Downtime/availability costs.

Maintenance labor costs – Maintenance productivity in most American companies averages between 25 and 35%, which is equivalent to less than 3-hr/8-hr shift of hands-on activities. Most lost productivity can be attributed to:

  • Waiting on parts.
  • Waiting on information, drawings, instructions, etc.
  • Waiting for equipment to be shut down.
  • Waiting on rental equipment to arrive.
  • Waiting on other crafts to finish their part of the job.
  • Running from emergency to emergency.

While 100% productivity is an unrealistic goal for any maintenance organization, a more realistic percentage of 60% is achievable.

The productivity of maintenance technicians can be improved by concentrating on basic management techniques, such as:

  • Planning jobs in advance.
  • Scheduling jobs and coordinating schedules with operations.
  • Arranging for parts to be ready.
  • Coordinating availability of tools, rental equipment, etc.
  • Reducing emergency work below the 50% level by preventative maintenance.

With computer assistance, planning time per job is reduced, resulting in more jobs planned and coordinated. This results in more time for preventative maintenance activities which, in turn, helps to reduce the amount of emergency and breakdown activities. This results in fewer schedule changes and increases productivity by reducing travel and waiting times. Successful users of  computerized maintenance management systems have indicated an increase in productivity of 28%…”

Written by,  Terry Wireman

To read the full guideline, DOWNLOAD the free ROI Calculator HERE.

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How to calculate the ROI on your next Maintenance Project.2017-01-25T13:29:48+00:00