Where’s industry heading? We find out.

201 industrials responded to questions about their maintenance operations in research conducted on assignment from Coor. This demonstrated that half of the big companies need to hire staff. Few companies have the time to analyze how effectively this work is being done, and are most inclined to buy in specialist services.

The purpose of this research was to get a feel for how well business maintenance is working, and how closely companies are following their maintenance—to map out Swedish industry and its expectations for the future. Companies were divided into four sizes to enable subsequent comparison.

− “Big companies with high volumes generally keep a closer eye on maintenance and measure their maintenance more than their smaller counterparts. Moreover, we note that companies in competitive sectors have made more progress, such as automotive manufacturers, who keep a close check on their KPIs,” commented Martin Berntsson, Coor’s Contract Developer.

Large companies record over 70% of their maintenance, while the smaller ones have far lower figures, and thus measuring and evaluating their maintenance work is more difficult. One surprising conclusion of the research was at the food sector has higher average values for maintenance staff than comparable industries. However, sectors such as the steel industry having high values here was as expected.

There is a pressing need to hire among the large and medium-sized companies. This is partly due to the age profile being a little older in this type of business and staff retirements now starting to become apparent, but also because of difficulties in filling certain positions, such as electricians.

− “Medium-sized companies have few KPIs, seldom measure man-hours and have a pressing need to hire. Businesses often have difficulty retaining their own specialists, because they can’t keep them fully occupied,” adds Martin Berntsson.

In outsourcing services, industrials traditionally have lower outsourcing levels than other businesses. This is often because industrial services are often very close to production. There’s a difference between maintaining real estate and sophisticated machinery. Accordingly, industrials’ procurement of specialist services is also increasing.

− “Sometimes it can be hard to justify hiring someone. Let’s say a company has ten small forklift trucks. A skilled forklift truck technician can service 50 trucks a year. So capacity utilization would be at 20%. It’s fairly common for smaller companies to have trouble getting an overview of where their man-hours are actually consumed, and how resources can be used optimally.”

Those companies that use KPIs and measure their work will secure control over their business and services. Martin Berntsson thinks that this is when you can examine the type of action you should be taking.

− “When everything’s running at full speed it’s quite hard to see the wood for the trees. But most often the problem is not a shortage of time, but rather people not doing the right things in the right ways. It’s important to start working systematically on maintenance and measure what’s actually being done.”