Operations Maintenance Coordinator: A Beneficial Role

Why do we need an Operations Maintenance Coordinator?

Maintaining a good Reliability and Maintenance program requires sharpening existing skills and reminding ourselves of what we already know: that improving production reliability largely depends on the commitment and involvement of operations. To achieve this, assigning the role of an Operations Maintenance Coordinator (OMC) is critical. It is true that some reliability improvement depends on maintenance, but most of it is about a solid partnership between the operations and maintenance departments.

A skilled OMC plays a large role in jointly achieving efficient maintenance. OMCs filter and coordinate all maintenance work orders together with maintenance, which enables planning and scheduling compliance. The OMC role must operate within a functioning work system to be efficient. Best practice is to work toward a lead time of about 2-4 weeks (daily/weekly work) for job completion to execute jobs efficiently, safely, and with high quality. The lead time for each job depends on the size and type of job.

Jobs should be prioritized, planned, and scheduled before they are executed. If operations is accustomed to treating all jobs as the highest priority, it can lead to unsafe and inefficient maintenance. Resources are poorly utilized; results include, for example, lack of time for basic preventive maintenance, training, or documentation. In turn, this leads to craftspeople not having the right tools, information, or spare parts when it is time to do the job.

If we compare a reactive organization with one that has decent planning and scheduling, we will find that the latter uses its maintenance resources about three times more effectively than a reactive organization. Also, jobs will be done more safely and with higher quality if they are planned and scheduled. In most industries, the additional stop time for poorly planned jobs is the largest cost.


Take a look at the checklists here to help define the role of an OMC. An effective OMC:

Filters and Prioritizes

All work order requests end up with an OMC. An OMC is responsible for many important tasks, including but not limited to:

  • Removes all duplicate work order requests.
  • Rejects work that doesn’t need to be done.
  • Assigns preliminary priority to all work order requests (usually most efficient if the maintenance supervisor and OMC do this and the first two tasks on this list together every morning).
  • Returns unclear requests to the sender.
  • Decides whether equipment needs to be stopped or not for each job.
if we compare a reactive
Coordinates and Communicates
  • Informs all involved about why requested jobs have been rejected or delayed.
  • Gets input from the maintenance supervisor about priorities and then decides the final priority (in the meeting).
  • Decides with planners which jobs to plan four weeks ahead (in the meeting).
  • Decides if requests should become a work order with input from maintenance.
  • Is responsible for producing Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and ensuring that they are acted upon.
Helps with the Work Order Backlog
  • Works with maintenance to ensure that all work orders receive timely rough cost estimates.
  • Makes sure the work order backlog is “clean”—there are no unnecessary jobs in the work order backlog.
Oversees Operations
  • Makes sure that operations has effective lock-out/tag-out procedures.
  • Coordinates which maintenance jobs operations can do during shutdowns.

The Operations Maintenance Coordinator role isn’t necessarily a full-time position, but it is crucial for improved maintenance, because shutdowns need to be coordinated with operations for good organization of the processes in your plant or mill. I know you’ve heard all this before, but we can all benefit from reminders. Don’t forget to focus on your OMCs.

For more information about the role of Operations Maintenance Coordinator, visit www.idcon.com and our YouTube channel.

Torbjörn Idhammar is president and CEO of IDCON, Inc. and section editor of Reliability & Maintenance for Paper360° magazine. Contact him at . For more articles, please visit: www.idcon.com and www.maintenanceworld.com.