Maintenance Backlog Management

What is Maintenance Backlog?

Maintenance Backlog is all of the maintenance tasks that are ready to be worked on today. In COGZ, all of your open work orders make up your maintenance backlog. Work Orders that are past due and current Work Orders are both counted in your maintenance backlog. Maintenance Backlog and Maintenance Workload may be measured in total hours or weeks based on the capacity of the entire maintenance department.  Maintenance Backlog management is an important KPI for analyzing the health of your maintenance department.



taxis lined up for maintenance backlog management

Why is Maintenance Backlog Important?

Too much maintenance backlog means that your department is behind schedule. In this situation, preventive maintenance is not being performed on time and breakdowns will occur, halting production and further backing up scheduled work. However, some maintenance backlog is a good thing. One to two weeks of maintenance backlog is necessary to run your maintenance department at peak efficiency. This you to schedule your technician effectively, not having to wait for new work orders to be prepared. Maintenance departments in all industries from Manufacturing to Hospitality struggle with maintenance backlog management.


What Causes Maintenance Backlog?

Maintenance departments face many challenges common throughout the industry that cause excessive maintenance backlog.

  • Insufficient Staff Levels: A shortage of employees is currently common in the maintenance industry. The result is that many maintenance departments do not have enough employees to finish all necessary work. Alternatively, employees may not have the necessary skills to complete complex tasks. This means a heavy workload is placed on the employees with the highest skill levels.
  • Parts: The parts needed to complete open work orders may not be in stock at your location. Parts may be challenging to locate or they may be on backorder. Difficult to source parts may take hours to locate, spending hours on the phone with vendors.
  • Unfinished Work Orders: Work orders get lost or are overlooked.
  • Excessive Breakdowns: Breakdowns occur when preventive maintenance is not performed in a timely manner. Breakdowns take more time to repair and are given a higher priority so preventive work is pushed back further causing maintenance backlog to grow.
  • Productions Demands: The equipment that needs to be worked on is not available due to production/usage demands.
  • Lack of Data: Maintenance Departments without a good system for tracking data on equipment repair history struggle to eliminate breakdowns.

Maintenance Backlog KPI

Maintenance Backlog is a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) which can help you evaluate the health of your maintenance department. This is an extremely important KPI because it signals that work will back up further and cause costly breakdowns the longer work sits open. Knowing your backlog allows you to take measures to improve the metric.


How does COGZ Help You Manage Backlog?

COGZ CMMS will enable you to create efficiencies across your entire maintenance department. These efficiencies will help you to bring your maintenance backlog down to a reasonable level. This allows you to focus on preventive maintenance, keeping breakdowns and costs in check.

1. Know Your Staff Requirements Based on Actual Maintenance Backlog

COGZ allows you to easily view your backlog. Available reports will quickly reveal proper staffing requirements. Most maintenance Departments are understaffed. Use current COGZ Data to justify staff requirements. Open the Work Order List to view all of your open work orders. Open Work Orders are your maintenance backlog. Alternatively, you may print the Open Work Orders Report.

2. Improve Scheduling Efficiency

Maintenance generally requires equipment to be shut down. This is a time consuming processes which can have a cause your maintenance backlog to pile up. One way to maximize efficiency is to eliminate unnecessary shutdowns by doing all of the work required when the machine is already down. COGZ can help to improve scheduling efficiency by allowing you to sort the work order list by Equipment Number. This allows you to easily see all of the open work orders for a specific piece of equipment. Alternatively, you can run the Open Work Orders Report for just the equipment in question, or by viewing the Open Work Orders in the Equipment List.

3. Focus on Preventive Maintenance

COGZ allows you to become focused on preventive maintenance. Being precise with preventive maintenance schedules improves your productivity.  While getting behind on preventive maintenance runs the risk of costly breakdowns. COGZ keeps detailed history of all maintenance activity. This data contains the information you need to fine tune your preventive maintenance schedules. Doing too much preventive maintenance is a waste of resources.

COGZ contains a Work Order Reminder feature which will show you when work orders become overdue. COGZ Reports show open work orders sorted in a variety of ways make it easy to analyze pending work. These powerful functions keep your preventive maintenance on track, maximizing your productivity and minimizing your maintenance backlog.

4. Track Maintenance Data

Industrial machinery is unique and there are a lot of unknowns when preparing to do maintenance. The result is technicians spending a lot of time finding information. Maintenance Planning can be optimized by keeping all of the information previously gathered on a piece of equipment in COGZ for future reference. The Equipment List stores information on warranties and spare parts, while the Inventory List shows available part cross references and associated vendors. Proper planning will increase wrench time because technicians will have access to all of the necessary information before the work starts. Less time spent searching for information means more tasks completed every day.

5. Assign the Right Employee to the Job

Assigning a complex work order to an employee who doesn’t have the skills to finish it independently is an inefficient use of resources. The work will take more time than necessary, or may even need to be redone by another technician. Both scenarios cost your department valuable time and money. COGZ allows you to add a skill to each employee for the scheduler’s reference. Assigning a technician who has the skills to complete the required task will help you to maximize your maintenance department’s time.

6. Have the Parts You Need When You Need Them

Supply chain issues have made locating parts difficult and backorders common. Out of stock parts can cause long delays and prolong downtime. Effectively managing your spare parts with COGZ results in a larger time savings today than ever before. Automatically keep track of parts you use as you close work orders, keeping your inventory count accurate. Track inventory location so that your technicians can easily find the parts they need to get the job done. COGZ also stores all of the information on your spare parts inventory, including cross reference numbers and detailed vendor information which will help you source difficult to find parts. COGZ can also streamline reordering of commonly used parts when inventory levels fall below a designated level. Keeping the parts you need on hand keeps you from wasting time that could otherwise be spent completing open work orders. Control maintenance backlog by having the parts you need when you need them.

7. Go Mobile

COGZWeb Cloud Hosting allows you to take your system with you to the job site on a tablet or laptop. When you can bring your system to the machine you are working on travel time is minimized. Additionally, maintenance team members may update the data while performing the work. The result is work completed reported in real time, paperless operations and improved productivity for the entire maintenance department.

  1. Work Order Requests

COGZ Work Order Request system is another feature that helps you control maintenance backlog. This allows employees outside of the maintenance department to request work orders. Work Order Requests from the equipment floor results in better information regarding what work is needed because the person who is requesting the work order is directly familiar with the problem. Having all of the information needed avoids sending technicians out without the parts and information they need to get the job done. COGZ Work Order Request system will also eliminate people running you down in the hallway or calling and asking for work to be done. It will even send emails to update the requester on the status of their request. Properly used, Work order requests limit redundancy, is self documenting and saves time.



Proper maintenance planning is the answer to reducing maintenance backlog. The key to proper maintenance planning is using COGZ to its fullest potential. The data stored in COGZ will give you the information needed to plan effectively. Maintenance backlog is nearly impossible to manage without the help of CMMS. COGZ provides the tools you need to properly prioritize your work and create efficiencies across the entire maintenance department. The time saved can be used to complete additional work each day, bringing your maintenance backlog down to a manageable level.