What Is MTTR? (Importance and How to Calculate It)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published May 31, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

The mean time to repair (MTTR) metric indicates how long it takes on average for employees to execute maintenance or repairs. This is a critical key performance indicator for many manufacturing organizations, and also for measuring the effectiveness of various procedures that might affect operations. Learning what this metric is can help you reduce it and optimize workflow processes. In this article, we define MTTR, discuss its importance, explain how to calculate it, provide tips for reducing it, list maintenance skills, and provide an example of its calculation.

What is MTTR?

MTTR is a critical performance statistic that's useful for evaluating maintenance and repair operations to identify how quickly teams can react to and resolve an issue with equipment, machinery, or other systems. You can use the mean time to repair to determine the average amount of time required for an employee to identify, fix, and finish maintenance tasks. Manufacturing, maintenance, and construction companies often assess the mean time to repair metrics to determine the efficiency of existing projects and to enhance operations. To calculate the mean time to repair, you can use this formula:

Mean time to repair = total repair time / total repairs

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Why is mean time to repair important?

Measuring the mean time to repair is critical for organizations that undertake major maintenance or repair initiatives that might impact production. The greater the mean time to repair, the longer it takes employees to detect and repair a problem. While certain operations may be difficult and need longer repair times, it's crucial the mean time to repair maintains a lower average for regular and periodic maintenance. Tracking mean time to repair continually is also critical for numerous operations, including:

  • Making decisions: Evaluating the mean time to repair is important for making decisions regarding the production process, as this metric provides insight into whether to initiate full repairs or periodic maintenance.

  • Implementing strategies: The mean time to repair can also be essential for understanding which areas of operations to implement preventative measures for and which processes require alternative strategies to improve efficiency.

  • Planning inventory: You can also evaluate the efficiency of inventory processes with the mean time to repair, as understocked supplies, defective materials, or unused parts can cause delays in project completion.

  • Scheduling purchases: Evaluating your inventory processes in relation to the mean time to repair can also help you schedule inventory purchasing cycles more effectively, as your analysis can tell you which materials are necessary to reduce production time.

How to calculate mean time to repair

You can use the following steps to calculate mean time to repair:

1. Determine the total repair time

You may monitor maintenance and repair time by task or by a single piece of equipment or system. As an example, consider a manufacturing organization that records the repair time for a single essential piece of equipment throughout the year. If four repairs take three hours each, the business may spend a total of 12 hours on repairs over the course of the year.

2. Find the total number of repairs

Calculate the number of repairs that employees perform on a certain project or on a particular component. In certain circumstances, businesses keep records of production equipment, software systems, and other operational components. This allows them to measure mean time to repair individually for each of these areas.

3. Divide repair time by the number of repairs and evaluate the result

Divide the entire repair time by the total number of repairs to get the mean time to repair. After that, you may examine your findings to see whether any changes are necessary. To comprehend performance, productivity, and efficiency, it's critical to examine the mean time to repair. Depending on the job or project for which you're measuring, you may apply tactics to shorten the time required for employees to identify, isolate, fix, and test repairs.

It's also critical to remember that the mean time to repair varies according to the component's kind, age, and manufacturing needs. Many businesses aim to reduce their mean time to repair.

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Tips for reducing mean time to repair

If you notice the mean time to repair increasing, there are several approaches you can take to decrease this average:

  • Improve identification: Consider implementing tools like failure alarms or sensors that alert employees when a repair is necessary. This can reduce the time it takes for personnel to locate and begin maintenance.

  • Speed up diagnosis: Decrease the time it takes for personnel to diagnose issues by ensuring teams have adequate training and knowledge in operational maintenance and repair.

  • Decrease repair time: Establish operational procedures or protocol sequence for personnel to follow each time they make repairs to optimize maintenance time and increase efficiency.

  • Test and validate: Consider integrating tracking systems that help monitor repairs so you can analyze the performance of the system in real-time.

Essential maintenance skills

There are different maintenance skills that can lead to your success within the workplace as a maintenance professional, including:

Interpersonal and communication skills

These abilities enable you to communicate and cooperate with customers, supervisors, and coworkers. Interpersonal and communication abilities necessary for a maintenance employee include effective verbal, non-verbal, and written communication, customer service, the ability to follow orders precisely, and great collaboration skills. Having effective communication and relationships with colleagues, superiors, and customers may result in increased prospects for promotion and leadership.

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Attention to detail

Your ability to pay attention to detail enables you to enhance your workplace productivity, effectiveness, and performance. Attending to details is critical to becoming a professional maintenance employee, as technical labour is often quite specific, leaving little space for error. Additionally, maintenance work is often fast-paced, requiring someone who's quick enough to analyze an issue and restore normal operation.

Problem-solving skills

Problem-solving skills enable you to discover the cause of a problem and devise a workable solution. Maintenance personnel make timely choices and resolve issues effectively and efficiently. Certain fixes may be more complicated or difficult than others. It's critical to work on improving your diagnostic abilities and preparing yourself to provide more unique solutions when necessary.

Organizational skills

Maintenance personnel are sometimes required to assist with administrative activities, such as billing customers, completing repair paperwork, purchasing goods, obtaining permits, and scheduling. You may be in charge of creating strategies for regular maintenance. Organizational skills may assist you in staying on schedule and organizing your documents. Maintenance professionals may utilize their organizational abilities to keep client information current, to ensure they're on schedule for appointments, and have easy access to the necessary equipment or supplies.

Physical ability

It's typically good for maintenance employees to be physically healthy to execute their jobs effectively. As a maintenance employee, you may be required to enter restricted locations, walk on high platforms, operate in hazardous environments, move heavy objects, and work long or irregular shifts. If you want to work in the maintenance sector, it's a good idea to increase your endurance and stay healthy.

Example of calculating mean time to repair

Here's an example of how to calculate mean time to repair to help you learn more about the topic:

A manufacturing organization records mean time to repair for both hardware and software maintenance to determine how ongoing software upgrades support equipment performance. The plant supervisor uses the method to determine the mean time to complete each job. They assume that software changes to industrial equipment may increase productivity and minimize technical and operational concerns. The supervisor decides that the overall repair time for the equipment is 26.7 hours. If employees perform six maintenance tasks on the equipment, the mean time to repair is as follows:

Mean time to repair = 26.7 hours / 6 repairs = 4.45 hours

Tracking the software updates, the supervisor finds that the IT department applies modifications and bug repairs a total of 10 times during the same year. If the total repair time for yearly updates is 41.5 hours, the supervisor determines the mean time to repair for this task:

Mean time to repair = 41.5 hours / 10 updates = 4.15 hours

The plant supervisor determines that the mean time to repair the machinery is approximately 4.45 hours each time personnel performs maintenance. This shows that personnel are completing repairs in a timely manner. The mean time to repair of software updates takes the IT department about 4.15 hours, which can include identifying, isolating, applying bug fixes, and testing the software updates for performance issues.

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