More uptime, lower cost: Boosting organizational health in maintenance

Business leaders can see maintenance as a necessary evil: expensive, time-consuming, and often value destroying. They have a point. Maintenance represents between 20 percent and 40 percent of operating cost in heavy industries and drives between 30 percent and 50 percent of overall equipment effectiveness losses. Some maintenance organizations do far better than the average, however, achieving high levels of availability at low cost. Their secret? A relentless focus on their culture.

In research conducted in 2018, we found a strong correlation between the health of heavy-industry maintenance organizations and the reliability and availability of their assets. Five years on, new analysis suggests that organizational health metrics at most maintenance organizations still lag their counterparts in operations. Our latest research did find a select group of sites that defy that trend, however, achieving high levels of organizational health despite the inherent challenges of maintenance work. These findings reinforce the message that culture matters in maintenance, and they identify some key areas of focus for maintenance leaders seeking to improve productivity, reliability, and retention in their organizations.

In our latest study, we analyzed new data from McKinsey’s Organizational Health Index (OHI). Specifically, we looked at the organizational health scores for 27 maintenance organizations in underground mining, surface mining, and materials processing facilities. We compared these numbers with the equivalent scores achieved by the sites’ operations functions.

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