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 Maintenance Nuts & Bolts - June 2015

Michael Cowley

 Well, how is your summer thus far? In a word, "Hot"!  These are the days when finding things to do inside is far more desirable than outside which most certainly extends to your maintenance crews.


 Last month I talked about the supply room process and how to optimize it and make it more successful in supporting the maintenance process. As you move down the road to improving your supply and parts process, along with the work planning and scheduling process, you will automatically move toward the kitting of parts which will support the work completion process in unbelievable ways. This month I am building on that.  


See you Next Month!


Why Your Kitting Process May Not be Working

Moving from being a 100% reactive organization (with break downs and emergencies being the norm) to an organization which now is beginning to plan and schedule a portion of its work load, the availability of parts to support that function becomes much more important. After last month's tip I am sure you have begun to optimize your supply room and are now ready to begin the process of kitting of parts.


The process of kitting parts for upcoming scheduled work sounds difficult to master especially when you are in the full reactive firefighting mode but as you progress down the "Mikes World Chaos to World Class" chart you will find it is pretty easy to accomplish.


So some of you may be asking, what is kitting of parts? The easiest way for me to explain the kitting process is to recount a personal situation of my own. I was home one week from traveling, woke up, went into the kitchen to get my first cup of coffee, and sit down and catch up on the national news. When I entered the kitchen I noticed the island counter top was loaded with stuff. There was a cookbook laid open with a post-it marking a page. The rest of the island had the following on it: baking dish (with a note on how to properly grease it), all kinds of ingredients, utensils, spices, plus a couple other post-it notes telling me special instructions and one note that said the casserole must be at church by 5:00pm. What my wife did was develop the perfect plan, work schedule and, she kitted all of my parts I would need to successfully complete the assigned job. I wish I had taken a picture but didn't so maybe I can talk her into it next week since I will be in my home office for at least 5 days.


Now let's talk about why your kitting process may not be working properly. Before any kitting can take place you must have a good work plan. A good work plan in my kitchen example is the cooking recipe since the average recipe has all of the components of a great work plan. All the parts, tools, and procedures are listed and the final expectations are what it should look like or taste like, - Hopefully!


The second thing you need to make the kitting of parts work is to have parts, (gee that's a novel idea!). The key here is to have all of the parts identified in the maintenance plan on hand and secured in a locked area prior to work being placed on a daily or weekly work schedule. If you are using stocked parts to complete requested work then the parts should be checked out from the supply room and secured in a work order parts bin area so they are always ready for the upcoming work. If the parts have to be purchased through the purchasing process then when they arrived at your facility they should be placed in the same secure work order bin area. Having a work order parts location which is secure is critical to always having the parts when the work is scheduled to be completed.


The last thing to assist with the kitting process is to have a weekly work schedule. The reason this is important is to bring some structure to the work order process which includes the following:

  1. Always having a detailed work plan
  2. Always having parts in hand prior to scheduling the work
  3. Having a weekly work schedule to establish some rules and guidelines to when the work will be completed

The bottom-line for a kitting process to work well is you need a good plan, parts, and a schedule for when the work is scheduled to be completed.


Good luck, and remember if you get stumped on the work order kitting process ask your significant other (or maybe your mother) to show you how to prepare for that next big holiday meal!


See You Next Month! 


July Tip of the Month
Consolidating Maintenance Services:
Will it Save You Money or Destroy the Entire Process? 
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