Most everyone understands the value of capturing hours and costs associated with Maintenance jobs. But there is some gray area when we talk about expectations for how many hours each employee should enter each week into a work order system. A common question we hear is, “How many hours should my techs be entering each week on their work orders?"
The answer of course depends on each institution’s unique resources, processes, and needs. However, we are able to provide some general guidelines by coming up with theories from our experience of working with thousands of Maintenance Directors one on one, and then testing those theories against what the data says.
From experience we thought that our best clients (at tracking labor) would still see about a 20% attrition from a 40 hour work week on average. So that would equate to around 32 hours/week being tracked. The attrition we attributed to travel time, waiting for parts, or purchasing materials, etc…anything that isn’t “wrench turning” time.
When we look at data set of clients that track labor transactions successfully, we actually saw there is more like a 35% attrition rate per 40 hour work week. And it’s interesting because when we look at the average hours per week over a one year span, the average dips during times with school activities slow down (Week 47, 51, and 52- Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years), and peaks during the busiest months (Week 28-34 Mid July-August).
M&O leaders should not look at their work order system like a time card system. Rather, it should be viewed as a reporting tool you that captures the true costs for performing work on a certain tasks. And while it doesn’t totally settle the debate on how many hours should be captured per 40 hour work week, the bottom line is the data suggests that if you’re capturing ~ 23 hours/employee/year, then you should be proud because you’re on par with the best educational M&O departments in the country!