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Best key performance indicators for every industrial maintenance team

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Here’s a question I routinely get asked by maintenance managers:

“What are the best KPIs to measure how well my maintenance team is performing?”

That question inspired me to write this post. I’ve done some research and assembled what I believe are the most meaningful KPIs, divided into categories. I’ve also included the expected performance on each KPI according to accepted world-class maintenance (WCM) standards, so you can see where your own efforts fall.

Personally, I think it’s important for every maintenance team to adopt its own limited set of KPIs, to use in monitoring performance relative to the targets it’s defined. Without KPIs, it’s hard to know how your company’s doing, and you run the risk of making decisions based on “gut feeling,” personal preferences or opinions, or other unproven hypotheses. Plus, as they say: “What gets measured gets done.”

One tip: don’t touch up your KPIs to make them look better to the outside world—the real dupe there is you. A KPI is merely a tool, not a goal in itself. I recently spoke with someone who beautifully described this tinkering with KPIs as the “watermelon effect”: green on the outside, deep red on the inside.

Key performance indicators


  1. OEE (overall equipment effectiveness): > 85% in a WCM team
  2. Total maintenance cost as a percentage of the asset’s estimated replacement value (ERV): 2–2.5%

Equipment reliability

  1. Mechanics per reliability professional: 12–18
  2. MTBF (mean time between failures): grows by > 10% per year
  3. Percentage of emergency work (must be resolved within 24 hours) < 10%
  4. Professional development days (training, refresh) per mechanic: 5–10 per year

Maintenance performance

  1. Overall backlog (preventive and corrective): < 4 weeks
  2. Planned maintenance percentage: > 80%
  3. Number of mechanics per planner: 20–27
  4. Schedule compliance: > 90%
  5. Effective wrench time: > 65%

Maintenance costs

  1. Spare parts safety stock as a percentage of the asset’s ERV: < 0.25%
  2. Overtime as a percentage of all maintenance hours: < 10%
  3. Labor costs for maintenance staff as percentage of total cost of maintenance (TCM): 20–25%
  4. Contractor cost as percentage of TCM: 10–40%

Predictive maintenance

  1. Predictive maintenance as percentage of all types of maintenance: > 20%
  2. Predictive maintenance performed timely: > 95%

In closing

What do you think of these maintenance KPIs? Do they ring a bell, and if so, how does your team stack up to the world-class standard? I’d love to hear your thoughts at

About the author

Justien Kint has over a decade of experience in maintenance engineering and industrial asset management. As an expert consultant, he helps companies plan and implement maintenance strategies tailored to their critical assets. His clients span a wide range of industries including food and chemical processing, steel manufacturing, infrastructure, offshore and public transport. Read more at

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