Improve Long-Term Planning and Scheduling for IBM Maximo with AKWIRE

Maintenance Planners and Schedulers in Oil and Gas, Utilities, Facilities Management and everywhere in between, listen up!

Are you able to forecast your preventive maintenance (PM) needs? Or are you constantly in the dark about what’s upcoming and scrambling when you don’t have the resources to cover the work orders?

Are you in the dark? Ask yourself:

  • Do I have a forecast tool – or is my only option a time-consuming, manual process?
  • Can I see when PMs are due to generate, without generating work orders?
  • Does my forecast generate quickly?
  • Does my forecast have a layout that is easy to read at a glance?
  • Can my forecast recalculate based on different timeframes or do I have to do it manually?
  • Does my forecast have a color-coded heat map, so I can quickly see trouble spots?

If you answered “no” to any of these, you’re limited by an inability to forecast effectively.

For some Planners and Schedulers working without a scheduling toolset, the only way they can forecast from IBM Maximo is to write a query and pull one together themselves on a PM by PM basis. Many don’t bother because it’s a ton of effort for very little reward.

For others, their scheduling software does have some forecasting abilities, but they’re limited, clunky, and hard to read. If you can’t quickly generate a forecast that enables you to spot problems and resolve them, what’s the point? You’re still in the dark.

Well, let there be light.

Preventive maintenance forecasting without generating IBM Maximo work orders

Effective PM forecasting allows you to see when your PMs are due to generate and how they will affect your resource availability… without having to generate work orders weeks or months in advance in IBM Maximo.

Ideally, Planners and Schedulers want to view these “virtual work orders” in the Gantt. With colors to identify if those tasks recur weekly, monthly, every 90 days, etc. and a color-coded heat map, this makes it easy to see if you have any timeframes where too many PMs are being generated when you won’t have enough resources to perform the work.

So… you’ve got your forecast and you see that your schedule is over-allocated. Now what?

Visibility opens up a world of workforce scheduling options

Forewarned is forearmed, as they say. With an accurate, detailed and comprehensive PM forecast, you have the knowledge you need to change course. With the click of the mouse, you can move an individual occurrence or an entire series. This is a great way to adjust when these PMs are due to generate to help level your PMs before they ever get to your Daily/Weekly schedules.

Effective workforce forecasting should also help you gather the data you need to strategize and optimize. As a Maintenance Planner or Scheduler, you need the ability create reports on estimated costs of your labor, materials, service, tools, etc. for your PM forecast.

Another useful report is the Bill of Materials report, which is a great tool to pass along to an inventory lead or storeroom manager, because it includes outlines all the necessary materials to complete the PMs, allowing the storeroom manager to take advantage of discounts for ordering in bulk, or to get ahead of long lead time items.

As a Planner or Scheduler, you’ll want to ensure that the Planning and Scheduling toolset you select supports sustainable, continuous improvement for your Planning and Scheduling processes.


Other ways to use PM forecasts with AKWIRE

Of course, you mostly use PM forecasting to foresee potential timeframes when you may be over-allocated. But in speaking with AKWIRE clients, we found that they have used PM forecasting in other ways as well:

  1. Determining staffing needs: One team felt strongly that they did not have enough resources to do the PM work and all the corrective and emergency work they faced on a weekly basis. But couldn’t prove it. Even after creating a one-year PM forecast and changing the timeline unit to monthly, it still appeared that they had sufficient resources. But once they added in estimates of resource exceptions (such as vacation or training) based on historical values from the previous year, it was easy to see that they were in fact over-allocated on four separate months for the PM work alone – not including the reactive work. Being able to forecast helped them to determine how much staff they really needed with evidence, not just gut feeling.
  2. Forecasting almost two decades: Most scheduling tools aren’t able to accommodate a PM forecast that spans, say 10 or 20 years. Thankfully, AKWIRE can. One client used it to create a 16-year PM forecast because they had major overhauls that occurred every eight and 16 years – overhauls that could swing their resources by 1,500-2,000 hours year to year. Using the PM forecast, they were able to reduce the number of contractors and level the workloads among their internal resources more effectively.
  3. Bringing in tasks conditionally: Based on their needs, some of our clients do not need to put in craft requirements against each task – but others do. AKWIRE’s PM forecast tool has a flexible configuration that allows users to bring in job plans tasks for all PMs or conditionally based on specific requirements, as needed.

The ability to forecast Preventive Maintenance is a make or break ability for Enterprise Maintenance Planners and Schedulers. It can mean the difference between having enough resources to complete the work, or being completely over-allocated. Don’t be stuck in the dark. Get the right PM forecast tool that sheds light on your upcoming PMs.