Home Health Case Studies in Maintenance and Reliability: A Wealth of Best Practices
Some Specific Aspects
We found that the breakdown of tenders into cost of man-hours, materials, and equipment gave us very powerful insights into the thinking of the contractors. Initially for the weaker contractors these numbers were mere guesses. However encouragement, pressure, and constant requests for clarification quite quickly brought a more professional approach to their tenders.
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The breakdown also brought insights into productivity issues. We wanted to encourage them to move to a high productivity regime by better organization and mechanization. We showed a preference for low manpower tenders. The company tender board accepted our justification for accepting tenders which were not necessarily the lowest cost. Of course we applied strict criteria in making these exceptions.
We established a concept of man-day recovery rates which we defined as the labor cost element of the tender divided by the actual man-days used in executing the work as defined in the tender. Input of labor data (i.e. manpower on site as captured by the gate access system and allocated to that specific job by the contractor) gave us the ability to monitor actual use of labor against those defined in the tender breakdown. As always with contractors, we found it necessary to do sufficient audits of manpower actually at the job site to verify that allocations were reasonably accurate. We could now see the $ per man-day that each contractor was recovering in our jobs. We did some research via a tame contractor and soon had a good handle on expected returns. This gave us a good view inside the head of a local contractor. With this information, we drove down the man-day recovery rate significantly by the use of our tender clarification process—see Figure 33.5.
Figure 33.5 Contractor Man-Day Recovery Rate
We had missed one important aspect—the impact of our company supervisor on the recovery rate. In an earlier review of the productivity of the maintenance workforce, we found that the average worker spent only about 25% of the possible time doing work at the job site. This seemed to be at the same level both in normal day-to-day maintenance work and during shutdowns. Almost all of this could be laid at the door of less than competent supervision. When we analyzed these results by supervisor, we found that these averaged results hid a lot; good supervisors got a productivity of about 40%, while the poorer supervisors achieved about 20%.
It was rather frightening to discover that similar differences appeared when our supervisors dealt with contractors. Depending on the supervisor in charge, contractor productivity also varied. We discovered that the contractors factored these variations into their tenders. Good supervisors who could facilitate the job well brought in lower prices than poor supervisors. The cost differential could be as much as 30%.
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