Maintenance and Quality are closely related. Their main link resides in the fact that Maintenance procedures feed into the Quality Process.
Simply put, what is a Quality Process?
- Establish the relevant procedures: the way things should be done, in which sequence, etc.
- Set up relevant tools: standard documents (templates), adequate equipment, software, etc.
- It is also and mainly to ensure (through audits) that the whole of these procedures and tools is well used, it remains consistent and especially to ensure it remains appropriate to the business and its needs (from cost point of view, company’s image and philosophy, etc.). The goal is to improve the overall performance of the company.
Well it is the same when developing a Maintenance Strategy.
Indeed, it is in defining the Maintenance Strategy that we will identify actions to be implemented, which tools to use and how to use them, etc.
In fact, when you put in place a Maintenance Strategy it is a Quality Process that is adopted as it is to consider all the areas: Environment, Health and Safety, Human and Financial aspects, etc.
The same way as for the Quality Process, the establishment of a Maintenance Strategy incorporates the concept of continuous improvement and especially feedback (through audits and key performance indicators).
My approach to the Quality Process is that it applies globally in the company (this is a cross-discipline). It really lets not forget anything, in particular at the interfaces between each service and department of the company.
Based on this principle, I think it is more interesting, especially for a small business, to establish first a Maintenance Strategy which will avoid starting a heavy, time-consuming and costly process.
This approach will allow a quicker return and when the time comes the company may choose to embark on a global Quality Process. The advantage is that a structure will already exist for Maintenance allowing the company to move faster and thus to be certified quickly.
The Quality Process is then the finishing phase – the icing on the cake – making the business a global organization that is consistent.
I think that common sense is really the key to good Maintenance Strategy and by extension to good Quality Process.