Smart Maintenance: a research agenda for industrial maintenance management
Journal article, 2019
How do modernized maintenance operations, often referred to as “Smart Maintenance”, impact the performance of manufacturing plants? This question is a pressing challenge for practitioners and scholars in industrial maintenance management, in direct response to the transition to an industrial environment with pervasive digital technologies. This paper is the second part of a two-paper series. We present an empirically grounded research agenda that reflects the heterogeneity in industrial adoption and performance of Smart Maintenance. Focus groups and interviews with more than 110 experts from over 20 different firms were used to identify contingencies, responses, and performance implications of Smart Maintenance. The findings were transformed into a contingency model, providing the basis for a research agenda consisting of five principal areas: (1) environmental contingencies; (2) institutional isomorphism; (3) implementation issues related to change, investments and interfaces; (4) the four dimensions of Smart Maintenance; and (5) performance implications at the plant and firm level. The agenda can guide the field of industrial maintenance management to move from exploratory work to confirmatory work, studying the validity of the proposed concepts as well as the magnitude and direction of their relationships. This will ultimately help scholars and practitioners answer how Smart Maintenance can impact industrial performance.