There are so many moving parts in any business. It’s hard to track everything. So any efforts to consolidate how you manage information and track technologies used are worthwhile. Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) can help. Basically, these systems aim to contain your maintenance management in one place.
There are a lot of different ways a CMMS can help you build a business that thrives, from tracking the average lifespan of a particular asset to helping you run cost-benefit analysis on repair versus replacement. Here, we’re not going to focus on those benefits – instead, we’ll focus on the benefits a CMMS can bring to productivity:
In the past, maintenance management was tough for many companies, it still is. We’re talking about using pen and paper to track when repairs were done on assets, then using a different book to track how many spare parts you have. When assets move locations, you’d have to transfer the books along with them.
With the advent of spreadsheets, most maintenance management went into Excel and other pieces of software. Now that’s much better than paper management, but still not necessarily optimal. Which folder has which Excel sheet? What are they all named? Which computers are they on? How do you access them?
The primary goal of CMMS is to get rid of all of that fragmented documentation. When a change is made in your CMMS, that change can be seen by everyone authorized on the CMMS to see it. That means you don’t have to track a thousand different spreadsheets. What’s more, they’re designed to be easy to use – a couple of button presses is usually all you need to modify information about a particular asset.
Workflow Management and Work Orders
When you’re the one doing the maintenance, you know the feeling of being completely bogged down with work. You also know the feeling of needing specialists to get specific work done. Finding who will do the work, and when it’s going to be done is always a challenge.
Work order management helps with this. A workflow management system that allows you to send out orders for repairs, track who is doing those repairs, how far along in the process they are, and other valuable information.
A work order management to schedule preventive maintenance using a variety of triggers. Triggers might be time-based (e.g. every X days), usage-based (e.g. every X miles), or almost anything else you can imagine. CMMS are very customizable (they’re usually sold as SaaS).
You’ll find CMMS software built for teams, so you’ll be able to coordinate much more easily with team members, always knowing who is already overloaded with work and who is free to take on another job.
The more inventory you have, the more you will rely on a robust CMMS. Now, to be clear, CMMS aren’t made for handling every kind of inventory. They’re made to handle inventory that can be repaired, and the inventory used in repairs.
Think about how many spare parts it takes to manage your business. Consider the laundry list of items from light bulbs to filters for your HVAC system. Without surplus inventory of certain items, you need to buy them before repairs can be completed. This time-lag is inefficient. A CMMS can be used to alert you when you’re low on particular spare parts.
As for your repairable inventory and assets, there’s nothing worse than having a key piece of equipment break down on you right as you’re getting done with an important project. While a CMMS can’t tell the future, it can give you a good idea about when items should be repaired and their average lifespan, so you can decrease the chance of losing a day’s work to repairs.
Even in this age of working from home, no one should be working 24/7. But it can be really handy to access documents online. CMMS are virtual and cloud-based, which allow you to interact with them no matter where you are. That means you save time and hassle. Online ordering can help you be more productive as well.
In conclusion, CMMS keeps all of your maintenance tasks in one place, they allow you to delegate work more efficiently, they help you track the lifespan of your assets and keep enough spare parts around, and they can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Any one of these things could bring a major boost to productivity, but the biggest advantage of CMMS is that they do it all!