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K-12 Workflow Management Blog

8 Key Performance Indicators for School Maintenance Success

Illustration of KPI report showing charts and graphs.

School leaders and facilities managers have a lot on their plates when it comes to maintenance, including monitoring the performance of all equipment, assets, and systems within the building. With so much information to process and track, it’s easy for critical tasks and repairs to escape notice. Unfortunately, this can result in equipment failures and breakdowns that take students out of the classroom and create a less productive and comfortable learning environment.

Tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) allows facilities managers to avoid these failures long before they occur, and:

Equipment breakdowns can create uncomfortable and unhealthy conditions that, according to a study by the 21st Century School Fund, affect student outcomes, enrollment, and retention. To prevent a failed maintenance plan from resulting in these negative consequences, school administrators must ensure that their maintenance team and service providers are meeting all of the necessary benchmarks for cost, performance, timeliness, and upkeep. In this article, we’ll explore KPIs that can help keep your school running smoothly, efficiently, and safely every day of the academic year.

Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)

Overall equipment effectiveness (OEE) indicates a facility’s productivity. When school equipment has defects or flaws, it may not operate at its full capacity. As a result, schools may lose money on resource management and unexpected downtime. For example, if an HVAC system is failing or sluggish, it can drain energy and increase utility costs. If the problem goes unchecked, the equipment is likely to fail, which will ultimately cause unnecessary maintenance and repair expenses.

When calculating OEE, you will need to consider equipment availability and performance efficiency. A system with a high OEE score is working well and does not need immediate intervention or maintenance. A system with a low score, however, requires a thorough inspection and may need to be repaired or replaced to achieve better effectiveness.

Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF)

Unreliable equipment creates a burden on school maintenance teams, increases maintenance costs, and causes disruptions for students and staff. School leaders that want to track equipment reliability can use the Mean Time Between Failures (MTBF) metric. This KPI identifies the average amount of time that passes between system breakdowns.

MTBF is especially helpful when developing a preventive maintenance schedule, which in turn reduces the likelihood of unplanned downtime and unexpected equipment failures. It also makes it easier to identify equipment that is in need of replacement. You can calculate MTBF by dividing the total operational time by the total number of failures.

Mean Time to Repair (MTTR)

The time it takes to repair an asset can have a significant influence on your school’s budget and ability to operate. Lengthy repairs are disruptive to the classroom and expensive to complete, and a pattern of long repair periods may indicate a deeper problem with staffing or resources. The Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) is a KPI that measures the average amount of time it takes to repair a piece of equipment, beginning when the maintenance team detects a problem and ending when the full recovery is complete.

MTTR allows you to determine whether your maintenance processes are efficient or if they need to be reevaluated and improved. Calculating MTTR is relatively straightforward. Select a date range and add the total amount of time spent on repairs during that period, then divide that sum by the number of completed repairs.

Work Order Completion Times

Effective maintenance planning relies on a high level of productivity and efficiency. Monitoring how long it takes the maintenance team to complete work orders allows you to make a number of important determinations. First, if some tasks take much longer to complete each time, there may be a bottleneck, inventory, or staff training issue that you should address. Members of the maintenance department may be unprepared or unable to quickly complete repairs because they don’t have adequate tools, support, or knowledge in that particular area of maintenance.

In addition, tracking work order completion times allows to you better allocate staff to tackle tasks that you have proven are more time-consuming. It also makes it easier to estimate the amount of downtime that is needed, if any, so that you can plan school activities and other maintenance tasks accordingly. Calculating average work order completion times requires adding the completion times for all work orders within a certain time period and dividing the total by the number of work orders completed.

Percent of Maintenance Backlog Tasks

Tracking the percentage of maintenance backlog tasks allows you to determine whether your team is understaffed or undertrained, both of which can cause failed schedule compliance. If too many of your maintenance tasks end up on a backlog, it can have a ripple effect throughout your facility. You may suffer unnecessary equipment failures because your staff is unable to keep your systems up to date. This then creates bigger problems for maintenance staff to repair, leading to burnout. And, of course, the whole situation creates a potential for overspending on reactive maintenance for equipment that hasn’t received necessary routine upkeep.

Even if your school has no history or recurring backlog problems, it’s still worth it to review your maintenance backlog at times. While it’s inefficient and unsafe to have a high number of delayed maintenance items, an empty backlog may indicate that your team has gotten unnecessarily large. While your maintenance tasks may be up to date, you might be wasting funds on an overstaffed maintenance department. To calculate your maintenance backlog percentage, simply divide the number of overall tasks by those that have been backlogged.

Planned vs. Unplanned Maintenance

Measuring the number and frequency of unplanned and planned maintenance tasks is another essential performance metric for any maintenance program. Unplanned maintenance is generally much more expensive than routine maintenance activities, and excessive equipment failures requiring reactive maintenance strategies may be putting a burden on your school’s budget.

Using computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), such as Incident IQ, allows you to track both unexpected and routine maintenance so that you can identify and resolve reoccurring problems and allocate staff properly for maintenance tasks. Your CMMS will likely generate automatic reports for you, however the manual method of reviewing planned maintenance activities vs unplanned maintenance activities would be to total the number of tasks in each area for a particular time range and divide each number by the total maintenance tasks.

Overall Maintenance Costs

Schools in the United States face continuing budget cuts and spending shortfalls. As a result, school stakeholders are often highly focused on budgetary concerns and ways to minimize unnecessary spending. Tracking the cost of maintenance and asset management is a vital component of cutting costs and ensuring that schools don’t have to reduce spending in other vital areas. Rather than cutting back on student programs, teacher pay, or proper schools facility safety checks, it makes more sense to monitor your overall maintenance costs and strategize maintenance tasks alongside overall budgeting, making logical and reasonable cuts in places where you can truly afford them.

To calculate this maintenance metric, take into consideration the cost of parts, labor, and downtime. In addition, flag any staff hours spent on pieces of equipment with recurring problems, as this time was taken away from other important tasks. CMMS software simplifies this process by tracking work orders and labor costs. When you evaluate your overall maintenance costs, you may find spending has gotten out of hand. In that case, it may be time to consider alternative approaches and processes.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is an essential metric for any kind of service provider because it allows organizational leaders to see outside of their own silos. While school administrators and facility managers may believe that the maintenance department is performing well, others in the school may have different perceptions.

Supporting students, faculty, and staff should be a goal of every school leader, and ensuring that everyone enjoys their interactions with the members of the maintenance team is central to creating a positive environment. Conducting periodic surveys and tracking complaints can help determine where you might make improvements to maintenance processes, performance, and behavior. Asking relevant parties, like students and teachers, to rank their satisfaction with the maintenance team on a scale is an easy way to track performance, as is comparing the number of complaints over time.

How Incident IQ Can Keep Maintenance KPIs From Falling

Tracking KPIs is crucial to ensuring the success of your school maintenance management program. These metrics allow your school to optimize its processes and meet maintenance goals, particularly in terms of scheduling and pricing.

Unfortunately, maintenance and operations processes can quickly become overwhelming if you don’t make use of world-class tools. Incident IQ’s school facilities management software, however, automatically generates reports for these and other essential KPIs. With Incident IQ, facilities managers can:

  • Track maintenance work orders of all types
  • Monitor ongoing, backlogged, and scheduled maintenance activities
  • Establish effective inventory management and avoid over or under-stocking parts and supplies
  • Assess on-site employee performance
  • Cut total maintenance costs

Contact the experts at Incident IQ to learn more about how school facility management software works and how it can improve your school’s maintenance KPIs. To see the full scope of how Incident IQ can improve your facilities management processes, request a free demo.