Best Practices for Improving Maintenance Effectiveness Ratios


Having a preventive or predictive maintenance plan in place is only the first step towards efficient facility operations. Measuring the effectiveness is critical to determine whether or not things are running smoothing and which areas can be improved. That’s why you need a thorough understanding of the maintenance effectiveness metric, how it’s calculated, and methods for improvement.


Maintenance effectiveness as a key performance indicator (KPI) is measured as a ratio between various categories of maintenance activities. Knowing how these ratios are calculated inside and out can help you accurately measure and gauge your results against industry benchmarks and standards. The goal is to take your operations effectiveness from reactive to proactive and ideally predictive.


Once you know the percentage of your maintenance activities that are optimal and effective, you can then begin mapping out the right technology solutions and business processes to optimize cost and resource efficiency.

The Basics of Maintenance Effectiveness

Maintenance effectiveness is expressed as a ratio percentage between the following three categories of technician activities: Planned, Corrective, and Breakdown. Put simply, 100 percent of all maintenance activities can be placed into one of these three buckets. If 20 percent of your maintenance is planned, 30 corrective and 50 percent breakdown, then you’re clearly not taking a proactive approach.


In SAP, maintenance notifications used to calculate effectiveness have specific definitions. Planned maintenance is fairly straightforward; it is maintenance tasks that are regularly scheduled in advance. Corrective maintenance occurs when a piece of equipment isn’t working properly, although it’s still functional. Rising temperatures or other such preliminary indications of problems fall under the umbrella of corrective in SAP.


Breakdown maintenance is when machinery has, well, broken down and stopped functioning and requires work to get back up and running. The best way to gather raw data for measuring maintenance effectiveness is by categorizing work orders into one of the three buckets, then calculating the percentage using the total number of work orders completed over a given time period. For instance, you may want to see trends of planned versus breakdown maintenance by weeks, months, or years.

Benchmarking for Maintenance Effectiveness

What percentages you aim for in each category will depend on the nature and complexity of your equipment. The important thing to recognize is that there are differing levels of costs associated with each type of maintenance activity. The higher proportion of planned maintenance within your organization, the more cost-efficient you’ll be.


In a presentation entitled “The New Approach to Plant Maintenance,” ABB Reliability Services suggested that one hour of properly performed planned maintenance avoids three hours of repair work. Other industry experts estimate that unplanned maintenance can cost 3X to 9X more than planned maintenance. Unplanned maintenance requires technicians to spend more time due to travel, diagnosing the problem, obtaining parts and repair instructions. It can also lead to more overtime costs. Indirect impacts include unplanned production downtime, late orders, and customer satisfaction issues.


“As a rule of thumb, an 80% planned-maintenance-work to 20% breakdown ratio is highly desirable and makes for a nice long-term goal. One hour of properly performed planned maintenance avoids three hours of repair work.” writes Mike Shekhtman, Regional Reliability and Maintenance Manager of Goodyear Tires.

Implementing Maintenance Effectiveness Improvement

Boosting your maintenance effective metrics is all about recognizing the financial impact of shifting your ratios from breakdown and reactive to planned activities. You can then start looking at the return on investment in programs and processes that you can implement that will shift your technician activities towards planned maintenance.


“When you start to quantify the size of the opportunity in terms of dollars, you get the attention from upper management in terms of shifting away from a reactive mindset,” observed Rafael Padilha, Director of Reliability and Continuous Improvement at Ingredion a food manufacturing company.


Padilha was recently featured on a Sigga customer webinar about improving maintenance operations and metrics. When taking concrete steps towards improving your maintenance effectiveness ratios and metrics, Padilla concedes that facilities managers are often dealing with work order backlogs and other projects that might get in the way of maintenance efficiency initiatives.


“It’s a process, because when you’re implementing a reliability program it’s a bit of madness at the beginning,” said Padilha. “You’re investing money in infrastructure and improvement to bring things to another level and reduce breakdown maintenance. It can be hard to commit yourself but it’s a journey well worth taking.”

How Sigga Can Improve Maintenance Effectiveness

To successfully complete the journey that Padilha speaks of, you’ll need the right technologies that enable more effective planned maintenance that will directly correlate with a reduction in reactive and breakdown activities. This not only saves money, but it also increases asset efficiency in terms of performing their designated function.


Sigga’s Planning and Scheduling solution helps companies increase execution of preventive maintenance activities through assigning the right technician, to the right tasks with a more efficient route. In addition, Sigga’s integrated Mobile EAM solution, adds to the technician’s efficiency to be able to complete more planned, preventive work within normal work shifts.


While maintenance effectiveness might sound like an ambiguous KPI, it’s a concrete metric that can be easily monitored and improved over time. There are crystal clear financial benefits to minimizing breakdown maintenance and optimizing for planned activities. And with the right automation solutions, you’ll be able to get the most out of your investment in plant and facilities equipment.


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Learn more about how Sigga Solutions can help you improve maintenance effectiveness.