Set Up Maintenance Codes to Optimize Processes

Read the article in Construction Executive magazine

By: Jennifer Angrisano - B2W Business Analyst


Data, along with efficiency and proactive preventive maintenance, is a vital benefit of using specialized software to manage equipment maintenance. Establishing effective maintenance codes is fundamental to making it easy for managers to use that data to track performance and drive decisions.


Two maintenance codes that are essential for measuring reliability and effectiveness are the Type of work being performed and the Problem or reason the work needs to be done.


The software system for fleet maintenance management should capture the Type and Problem codes at the time that every maintenance request is created, with the requestor responsible for accurately recording them. Ideally, a maintenance manager should monitor these codes for accuracy and make changes, as necessary. Getting these codes right is important to ensure that resulting reports, dashboards and metrics will be accurate and consistent.


Type is a code to identify the ‘what’ or the nature of the work that is expected to be performed. The Problem code identifies the reason ‘why’ the work is to be performed.  Both should be customizable by the contractor and established during implementation. This sample maintenance request in a software system requires the person filling it out to enter the Type (#1) and the Problem Code (#2).



During implementation of the software for maintenance management, it is important to carefully consider how to successfully setup codes that will support valuable reporting and metrics but still be easy enough to use on a day-to-day basis. The challenge is to get the right level of detail in the code structure, and the balance between too much detail and too little will vary from company to company.


The example below shows a structure with a moderate level of detail for Type and Problem codes.


Additionally, it is important to set up and select correct Request Classification Types associated with the Type, as this will drive certain metrics. The following example shows the Types of work along with the associated Request Classification Type.



Type and Problem Codes can drive consistent reporting by the maintenance software. Filterable reports make it easy to look at this information for a specific piece of equipment, for a range of assets of a certain type, or for a category of equipment. These codes also help the maintenance manager set goals to improve reliability and maintenance effectiveness. 


Maintenance software typically contains key performance indicators on the home page and dashboard pages that relate directly to the Types and measure the reliability and maintenance effectiveness of the maintenance organization. These key performance indicators (KPIs) are a direct result of the Type selected on the maintenance request.


These are examples of metrics produced by the Request Classification Type associated with the Type.  The top two are calculated by the number of work order items, while the bottom two are the number of labor hours reported for a work order item. The metric is displayed for the prior month. Maintenance managers could also change the date ranges and even filter the metric to obtain different results. For example, setting a filter by a certain Equipment Category or Equipment Type.


In another example, maintenance codes entered consistently on maintenance requests can also drive a KPI that shows the percentage of labor hours by Type. This could be filtered for any specific period of time.



Additionally, there are reports that can be filtered to show different data based on the Type and/or Problem Code.  A few examples of reports containing this information are the Work Order Listing, Work Order Item Cost Report, Repair Request Listing and a Maintenance Metric Report. These are just a few examples. With an effective, consistent structure for maintenance codes, the options are almost unlimited, and maintenance managers can produce this reporting without prohibitive manual effort.

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