Maintenance as a strategic function

Asset owners are facing a lot of challenges due to the continual evolving world of technologies, global competitiveness, environmental and safety requirements. With increasing automation, assets are becoming highly sensitive to failure. It is evident that the maintenance function has gained high recognition. Further, the role of asset management in reducing overall costs is more evident and important than ever.

The cost associated with maintenance has increased constantly over the decades. Therefore, the selection of an apt maintenance strategy is important as well as complex while the output of maintenance is hard to measure and quantify (Chris and Wang, 2001).

Over the years the focus of maintenance has shifted from ensuring healthiness of assets to a crucial role in achieving organization’s goals and objectives. Traditionally, maintenance dealt with short-term issues like resources, cost, manpower etc. Today, maintenance has changed its concerns towards long-term goals (Duffuaa et al., 2002).

Based on the above background, maintenance function needs to be viewed as a strategic function in an organization. Therefore, selection of particular maintenance strategy of the specific equipment or process and effective implementation of maintenance strategies selected are of utmost importance. All the necessary activities must clearly integrated and to be monitored holistically. By doing so the maintenance strategy will close the gap between the common maintenance strategies studied and proposed in the literatures and maintenance strategies being actually adopted and practiced by maintenance managers in the industry.

With increasing automation assets are becoming highly sensitive to failure of equipment and people. Further, the role of asset management in controlling quality, quantity and reducing costs is more evident and important than ever.