Managing Maintenance from a Business Viewpoint

by Rodney A. Pletan, Minnesota Dep of Transportation, St. Paul, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Pacific Rim TransTech Conference—Volume II: International Ties, Management Systems, Propulsion Technology, Strategic Highway Research Program


Today's sophisticated maintenance management systems allow supervisors to plan, schedule, monitor and evaluate the maintenance function at a level and speed our predecessors heretofore could not imagine possible. Work plans can be compared with actual. Outputs like acres, tons and miles can be related to inputs like hours and dollars. Accomplishment data can generate productivity reports and efficiency can be measured and monitored. But what if highway maintenance were a business? Businesses require information relative to `value added' and `customer satisfaction'. Results need to be measured from a customer point of view. To truly determine success in meeting the customer's need, the business would need to know how often the roads were not smooth, the percentage of signs that are not bright and whether or not the roadsides are neat. The goal of this paper is to explain how the Minnesota Department of Transportation has used business planning techniques to rewrite its maintenance mission, redefine its products and services, and begin to redesign its management system to measure outcomes and results using indicators similar to what customers commonly use to measure performance of its highway maintenance operation.

Subject Headings: Maintenance and operation | Business management | Highway and road management | Systems management | Client relationships | Highway and road design | Highways and roads | Highway transportation

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