This paper aims to give a picture of maintenance management in Italian manufacturing firms supported by empirical evidence. The purpose is also to highlight how far maintenance performance and strategies are influenced by context and which measures and goals are within reach of small‐sized firms.
Frameworks for describing maintenance management and strategies derived from literature were reviewed and used to develop a questionnaire. A survey‐based empirical research involving a sample of 100 manufacturing firms was performed. Non‐parametric statistics are applied to highlight correlations and dependencies between contextual variables, maintenance strategies and performance.
Maintenance performance hardly seems a matter of size, while many elements of strategy certainly are. Some elements of strategy, in particular planning and control elements, seem to have little impact on performance. By contrast, an enhanced use of preventive maintenance and, above all, of condition‐based maintenance is demonstrated to be a highly effective action for maintenance improvement applicable to firms of all size.
The research may help managers to decide on maintenance strategic variables by deducing from the experience of many different firms whether, and how, strategies affect maintenance performance.
Besides giving a country's portrait, the empirical research addresses the links between strategies, context and performance, thereby understanding strategy in a broad sense and not just in terms of maintenance policies and concepts. In particular, the maintenance practices of small enterprises with fewer than 50 employees are studied, which has rarely been done in the literature.
Chinese, D. and Ghirardo, G. (2010), "Maintenance management in Italian manufacturing firms: Matters of size and matters of strategy", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 16 No. 2, pp. 156-180. https://doi.org/10.1108/13552511011048904Download as .RIS
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