Job Description Overview for Maintenance Planner and Maintenance Supervisor


The Maintenance Planner and the Maintenance Supervisor are focused on completing vital activities at different time periods of the maintenance work cycle. Their duty statements need to very clear about what they are responsible to deliver so that the maintenance work is successfully completed.



 
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Good morning Mike,

I wonder if you could assist me with some information or possible direct me to where I can find information.

  • Job description for a maintenance planner
  • Job description for a maintenance supervisor both mech and elect
  • In your opinion of who should order day to day parts for maintenance?
  • Also who in your opinion should capture the data into the CMMS. My Planner manages the CMMS and also inputs the data. I'm not so sure he should be doing this. We have paper work orders and breakdown slips.

I hope you don't mind me asking you these questions. You may well tell me to take a hike.




Dear Friend,

Thanks for the enquiry.

My thoughts regarding job descriptions for Maintenance Planners and Supervisors go back to basics and ask - "What are we trying to achieve with the roles these people fill?"

My take on the aim of maintenance is to -

  1. keep operating equipment in the condition to deliver full design duty (reliability),

  2. ensure plant and equipment run properly when it is required for operation (availability),

  3. correct our equipment and machines when the design duty cannot be achieved and then return them to design specification (capability), and

  4. maintain assets most profitably for the life of the organisation. (life cycle profit).

The maintenance crew, Maintenance Planner and Maintenance Supervisor need to work with Operations (their customer) to meet those aims simultaneously.

A Maintenance Department's primary duty then becomes is to - "Provide equipment capability, reliability and availability to Operations through application of the maintenance service for the greatest operating profit." You might think it is okay use 'for the least operating cost' instead of 'for the greatest operating profit'. But if you ask for cost minimisation, people will reduce every single cost they can, instead of looking for the opportunity of doing things smarter and make more profit.

The Maintenance Planner role is to support these aims through doing their duties. A Maintenance Planner's responsibilities would include the associated work necessary to do their primary duties of:

  • Maximising operating profit through using planned maintenance where it is more effective than alternatives. (A possible measure of success might be ‘number of planned jobs verses the total number of jobs’ in a week or month)

  • Maximising equipment reliability through using planned maintenance most effectively. (A possible measure of success might be ‘how long each piece of equipment ran at full design capability after planned maintenance was done’.)

  • Quickly returning equipment to design capability through using planned maintenance most effectively. (A possible measure of success might be 'time to repair from the second the equipment stopped to the second after it was recommissioned, tested and proven stable in-service’.)

  • Maximising equipment availability through most effectively using planned maintenance. (A possible measure of success might be ‘lost production time due to planned maintenance per week or month’.)

You can now list the secondary duties needed to support each of the primary duties.

From the above primary duties, one of the Planner's secondary duties would include managing maintenance data collection and information gathering to more effectively provide the planned maintenance service in future. This does not mean the act of typing it into the CMMS. It means the analysis of data in the CMMS to learn how to improve the service delivery. They do not need to enter it if they don't have the skills or time, but they are responsible to get it entered so they can then analysis it as appropriate.

One important item of management with regards Maintenance Planners is to make sure they report to the Maintenance Manager and not the Maintenance Supervisor. If they report to the Supervisor they will end up 'fighting the daily fires' and not planning for the future. Delivering a successful, trouble-free future is where they need to focus to produce the most benefits for the organisation. The maintenance planner focuses on making next week and next month a success. The maintenance supervisor focuses on making today and this week a success. Clearly those two people need to work together closely if maintenance is to be run efficiently, for least cost.

For the Maintenance Supervisor role the same logic applies as it does for the Planner. Their main duties are to ensure the crew works most effectively (least truly necessary cost) and efficiently (least truly necessary manning levels) to meet the aims of the maintenance department.

Their primary duties would become -

  • Maximising operating profit through using the maintenance crew where it is more profitable than using alternatives. By implication, if alternatives to the crew were used then they would need to be supervised to maximise the profit for the organisation. (A possible measure of success might be to trend each week or month the 'cost of maintenance / number of men in the crew'.)

  • Maximising equipment reliability through using the maintenance crew most effectively. (A possible measure of success might be to trend each week or month 'number of breakdowns / number of men in the crew'.)

  • Quickly returning equipment to design capability through using the maintenance crew most effectively. (A possible measure of success might be 'total time to repair all equipment / number of men in the crew'.)

  • Maximising equipment availability through most effectively using the maintenance crew. (A possible measure of success might be ‘operating cost due to repair, including knock-on costs and lost opportunity costs’.)

The secondary duties flow from the primary duties and this is where you would include things such as coaching/mentoring people; specialist technical support/guidance they need to provide; determining training needs of persons in the crew; and so on.

The other query you mentioned was ‘who should buy the day-to-day maintenance parts?’ By 'day-to-day parts' I assume you mean materials for unplanned jobs and breakdowns.

I would recommend that materials for unplanned/breakdown jobs are not ordered by the Maintenance Planner. The Maintenance Planner is focused on making the future successful. They need to be working on planning and preparing jobs that are to be done in a couple of weeks and more ahead. That precludes maintenance planners getting involved in daily issues.

The people who are responsible for managing and supervising the day-to-day issues should buy the parts needed to address day-to-day issues. That will be the Supervisor, the Team Leading Hand and even the Maintenance Scheduler. Leave the Maintenance Planner alone when it comes to sorting our daily problems—that is not part of their duty statement!

Hope the above helps you.


My best regards to you,

Mike Sondalini
Managing Director
Lifetime Reliability Solutions HQ


NOTE: Find out how you can do our certificated online 10 module Maintenance Planning and Scheduling training course by distance education. Read more at Online Maintenance Planning and Scheduling Training Course.

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