The world can be divided into two points in time: pre-pandemic and post-pandemic. Many changes have been made and are still being made in today’s post-pandemic environment which causes great disruption in maintenance departments. From labor shortages to part delays, a maintenance manager’s day-to-day operations are a force to be reckoned with.

Impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on maintenance departments

  1. Labor shortages

Employees leave or are pirated by organizations that pay better. There were 10.4 million job openings in August in the US and ‘quit rates’ have risen to 4.3 million. Training entities can’t train prospective maintenance employees quickly enough to supply organizations with skilled employees, which causes organizations with maintenance departments to lose productivity due to a lack of skilled workers.

  1. Growing backlog

There is a tremendous shortage of spare parts and materials in the world currently. These delays in spare parts cause organizations to halt production. A stop in production has unimaginable consequences on a business’s success, as customer orders can’t be fulfilled.

  1. Financial implications

Hand-in-hand with a shortage of spare parts goes a price increase. The small number of spare parts available are thus much more expensive than they used to be. Organizations pay lots of money for a few spare parts that cannot even fulfill their customer demand.

4. Operational changes

The world has shifted from in-person work to online working, but unfortunately, maintenance workers can’t perform their duties online. This physicality means safety precautions have to be in place to prevent the spread of the virus. Face masks, face shields, and social distance are all aspects that make maintenance workers’ responsibilities difficult.



Shifting from response to recovery

At some point, an organization will have to make a shift from their efforts in hiring employees, new budgets, and getting supplies to trying to recover. To achieve recovery, one should continue to think outside the box. For example, is there perhaps another product that can replace a broken piece of equipment? Is there new technology that can help with the streamlining of operations?

The goal is to get to normal production levels as soon as possible through any means possible. Try to avoid frustration by allowing time for recovery and by following safety regulations.

Source: Gartner Inc. 2020. All right reserved. CTMKT_960023


If data management and reporting were not done before the pandemic, there’d be no way to show what ‘normal activities’ look like. This is why a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is crucial for an accurate projection of future operations. An ideal situation would be to compare current operational data to past data to see what the difference is and how normal levels can be achieved again.


Importance and Relevance of Maintenance Data

If an organization hasn’t yet implemented a CMMS, they might have to now, to get a baseline on what’s going on in the organization. Not only does it gather data and optimize maintenance management, but it also allows users to document legal tasks – which is crucial in today’s environment where the government requires strict adherence to Covid-19 safety measures.


Using Critical data and analytics to manage core maintenance operations

The key to sustainable recovery is through unlocking the benefits of data analytics. Organizations should collaborate on data for three main goals:

  • Increase productivity
  • Improve customer experience
  • Reduce the societal and environmental impact

Since the pandemic initiated so many changes in everyday life, a piece of equipment you might not have replaced pre-covid might be very necessary to replace now. Even though replacement of machinery is expensive, remember that the goal is to return to normal production levels asap. New machines are often just more conducive to optimizing productivity than older machines. Through increased productivity, customer experience is also automatically enhanced.

Organizations need to rethink their operations and reinvent a system suitable to the current global situation. For example, just in time theory can’t work in the current economic climate because one won’t know if one can order all the parts needed in time. This means leaders in organizations need to be flexible, innovative, and willing to adapt. Unfortunately for the end-user, a solution to many organizations’ problems currently is to increase the price of their product or service.


How do you decide on your budget?

If you don’t have data, if you can’t show that you are doing the best you possibly can with keeping costs down, getting parts at the best price, and using cost-effective delivery, how can your budget be judged?

What can a manager do to improve operations? What can be automated? What can you change from calendar-based schedules to runtime scheduling?

You need to build data through a CMMS to be able to answer these questions and move forward. To learn more about Proteus MMX, give us a call at +1 (262) 241-3845, send an email, or schedule a demo.

This article was written from “Data-Driven Maintenance Insights for the Post-Pandemic World” presented by Harry Kohal VP of Business Development.