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Our Client manages and operates an international airport in Canada, including all of the facilities at the airport from the runways and lighting, to the terminal facilities such as plumbing, electrical and janitorial functions.

The scope of our involvement with this Client was the Facilities Maintenance areas which included the Planning/Scheduling function as well as the trade groups (plumbing, electrical, millwrights and carpentry). There were 90 maintenance employees making up the Facilities Maintenance group with each crew having plumbers, electricians, millwrights and carpenters, as well as trade helpers.


  • Increasing work activity throughput and work order attainment
  • Increasing overall service reliability
  • Anticipating and exceeding the customer needs (internal and external)
  • Ensuring competitive costs and value to the airlines

Assessment Findings

Overall, we found a lot of time was spent ineffectively.

Aerospace Work Time

  • Work Time

  • Non-effective Time

In addition, our assessment discovered the following:

  • There were no time estimates on work orders to set expectations when the work was assigned.
  • There was no scoping of jobs to determine resource utilization requirements (time, parts, working procedures, methods) prior to the actual execution of the work orders.
  • Lack of proper assignment of work caused employees to set their own activity pace.
  • There was no management of the work orders in the backlog (i.e. there were work orders that were due months ago that were still active in their system inflating the requirements for work to be completed).
  • There was no daily schedule or plan of work activities in any of the departments.
  • There was an overall lack of management follow-up as work done by two employees could be performed by one.
  • Parts were not available when needed, which was compounded by the lack of inventory control and compliance.
  • There were inadequate Management Operating Systems (MOS) and Key Maintenance Indicators (KMI’s) to effectively manage and control costs and performance levels (% estimate versus actual, % compliance to PM).
  • There was no rework/error tracking system to identify the reasons for non-productive time or for establishing timely corrective action plans.
  • The Supervisors did not focus on daily objectives with their employees or the time required to complete the various work activities.
  • The perception of the management team was that their people knew what to do.

PVA's Response

In order to address the inefficiencies discovered during the assessment, PVA crafted the following response for issues concerning the airport maintenance company:

  • Purged all backlog of the “live” work orders for all completed work orders, repetitive work orders and low priority work orders.
  • Ensured that all work orders in the preventive maintenance program and planned work were estimated and accounted for in the planning system.
  • Developed and implemented an enhanced methodology to properly scope jobs and determine resource requirements prior to the assignment of work.
  • Developed and implemented a correction factor methodology to review all “live” estimated work orders
  • Trained and provided on-the-floor performance coaching for all of the Supervisors in their work environments
  • Developed and installed Master Schedules for each trade and by crew to match the planning of resources with the volume of work requirements.
  • Ensured that the work orders released to the trade employees took into consideration the various non-controllable constraints inherent to the passenger traffic in the airport terminals.
  • Ensured that the crew Supervisors assigned and prioritized the work orders to include time estimates.
  • Ensured that the crew Supervisors conducted effective follow-up tours to understand the reasons for variances in the attainment and performance of the work orders.

The Results

Hover over graphs for more information

Some significant results obtained by our Client included:

  • Improved communication – both within and across departments.
  • Increased the level of proactive supervisory behaviors from 3% to 45% by focusing on structured follow-up tours, and effective and timely communication with all personnel by the Supervisors.
  • 30% improvement in the completion of work orders in planned work.
  • 100% compliance to the preventive maintenance program

Improvement in Supervisory Activities

Aerospace Supervisory Activities

3% 0% 52% 0% 45%
45% 5% 25% 0% 25%
  • Active Supervision
  • Training
  • Administration
  • Manual Work
  • Available

Improvement in Earned Hours Versus Worked Hours

Earned Hours / Worked Hours

Long Term Work Continuation

  • A Client Coordinator was trained and certified during the PVA engagement.
  • A quarterly audit program of the new Management Operating System was developed and implemented with the Coordinator.
  • PVA conducted audits over 18 months to ensure compliance to the continued utilization of the Management Operating Systems.
  • These Audits resulted in recommendations and action plans to further identify additional opportunities for improving operations.

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