Maintenance management practices and operational Performance in electricity producing stations in Kenya
The study was entitled ‘Maintenance Management Practices and Operational Performance in Electricity Producing Stations in Kenya’. The overall objective of the study was to determine how the extent of application of maintenance management practices and management support impact on the operational performance on the stations which generate electricity in Kenya. The specific objectives of the study were: To establish the extent of application of the various maintenance management practices and to establish the level of top management support in maintenance management, Further, it sought to determine the impact of the adopted maintenance management practices on operational performance and to establish the challenges faced in maintenance management in the electricity producing stations in Kenya. The statement of the problem has explained why the study was necessary. This was because there was a maintenance management jungle which had not been solved hence the need of this study. The jungle relates to lack of universally accepted maintenance management practice (s), contradicting theories and lack of clear cut information relating to costs of maintenance, challenges and impact of human factor on operational performance. The various maintenance management practices have been outlined and discussed. Further, theories that are applicable to maintenance management have been discussed and linked to maintenance management practices. A summary of the literature review and maintenance management conceptual framework have been provided. The research methodology used was descriptive cross sectional survey design. The data, collected by mean of a questionnaire was analyzed by measures of central tendency and simple regression analysis through graphs drawn using Microsoft excel. The extent of application of maintenance management practices, level of top management support and challenges encountered in maintenance management were ranked in percentages and displayed by means of bar graphs. To determine the relationship between operational performance and maintenance management practices and management support, regression analysis using SPSS (Statistical package for social sciences) was used. The developed model was found to be insignificant since the p value obtained was above 0.05 at the adopted 95% confidence level. The findings of the study were that; maintenance costs were high in relation to the organization total running costs at 15 to 33 % and at an average of 27%. The study further found that there was no one particular practice which was largely applied in relation to the others. However broadly, preventive maintenance practices were largely been applied than reactive maintenance. The study found out that the level of top management support for maintenance management was low. This was causing a decline effect on operational performance. Further, it was observed that the extent of application of maintenance management practices had a positive impact on operational performance. Inadequate training of maintenance personnel, spares acquisition procedures and delay in delivery of spares were the greatest challenges encountered in the stations producing electricity in Kenya. The study concluded that, maintenance costs are higher in stations producing electricity. Further, there seems to be other factors which affect operational performance which need to be determined. The study limitations were time, below 60% response level and scope of the study. The value of the study was that it generated both theoretical and practical maintenance knowledge. This knowledge can be used by maintenance professionals and those charged with maintenance activities to improve maintenance management practices hence productivity of their stations.