Maintenance during economic downturns

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We are living in difficult economic times. However, this is no time to cut down on Maintenance. In a recent article in the Harvard Business Review, author Rosabeth Moss Kanter made the statement: "When the going gets tough, the tough should do maintenance."

It is surely true that businesses should cut back on non-essential spending during such times as the present. But, the question is whether maintenance is non-essential spending.

Maintenance Improvement: is it driven purposefully?

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Most maintenance businesses feel the need to improve. Now, in improving there are at least two things that need attention, namely the strategy that will lead to improvement, and the tactics that will form part of the improved way of doing maintenance.

The strategy plays the role of determining the borders of the maintenance ‘game’ - the objective of the game, how the game board and its pieces look and behave, and its rules.  The strategy makes the success of the game possible. In contrast with this, tactics determine the approach of individual players to play the game, such that they win.  

Bad Maintenance Situation: where does one start?

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In any challenging management situation, the fight is halfway won if one knows where to start.  The same is obviously true in maintenance.  The problem is that most maintenance managers do not know where to start. 

In the previous Maintenance Scrap (11 April 2011), the accent was on driving Maintenance Improvement through strategic improvement.  Now, that is one of the ways to rectify a bad maintenance situation; in actual fact it is the best way, as everything that you do are driven from well thought through strategies.