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The Maintenance Management Blog

October 02, 2014

What Makes a Good Maintenance Manager?

What Makes a Good Maintenance Manager?

In this quick blog post, we are going to look at some of the key traits that define a good maintenance manager and how you can implement them - if you have not already! Or, if you are looking to hire a head of maintenance, this list can help you identify great potentials and sift out lesser-qualified applicants.

While each person"s definition of a "good" maintenance or facility manager may differ, there are some standard practices that, when employed, will make a manager more effective. Key among those and perhaps one of the most important is the ability to communicate effectively. This "tool" is essential for anyone in a leadership role. After all, if you cannot explain your ideas and thoughts in a clear manner, how can you expect your staff to follow through with your plan? Further, how can you expect the powers-that-be (also known as "the boss") to understand how your department is essential, and saving them money?

Another ability that, in my view, a great maintenance manager must possess is a forward-thinking mentality. This includes a willingness to think outside of the box and not confine oneself to old methodologies. For instance, right now there is a big push towards "proactive maintenance" - a practice that combines traditional preventative maintenance alongside predictive technologies to stop problems with equipment before they even arrive. Early adopters of this maintenance "style" tend to have more of an upfront cost, but reap the rewards of better uptime and uptick in revenue than their less forward-thinking maintenance managers.

The best reliability managers know that, when it comes to maintenance, you never stop learning. Keeping on top of current and future trends, and ensuring that you and your staff are always up-to-date in your training, should be a goal of every maintenance head. With the rapid changes in maintenance technology and innovations, it can be far too easy to fall behind. Treat your brain and knowledge like you would your equipment: schedule routine braintenance!

One tool that can help a maintenance manager achieve the above goals (and a plethora of others) is a computerized maintenance manager system (CMMS). A sure-fire way to spot a maintenance manager who is "in the know" is to take a look at their maintenance system. If they are not employing some form of maintenance software, you can bet they do not fit our three traits listed above.

Characteristics of a Good Maintenance Manager

So if you are looking to become a better leader in the reliability industry, or if you are looking to hire a solid facility or maintenance manager, remember to strive for these four characteristics:

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Forward-thinking mentality when it comes to maintenance management methodologies and a willingness to always seek ways to improve upon old processes
  • An understanding of the importance of continuing education and training for both managers and staff
  • Employs the aid of essential organizational and communication tools, such as computerized maintenance management software.


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: braintenance, maintenance manager — Lisa Richards on October 02, 2014