Companies who recognize the value of a cost-effective approach to maintenance usually start with a maintenance strategy that involves inputting maintenance management data into a homemade maintenance spreadsheet. Spreadsheets let you log work orders, document upcoming maintenance cycles and use filters to manipulate the data and produce nice lists of work completed, however, maintenance managers and technicians must rely on other systems like email, phone, pagers, documents, calendars, offline trackers, schematics, manuals, or even post-it notes. Whilst adding more value than a paper-based solution, this approach has obvious limitations.
On the other hand, Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), sometimes called Preventive Maintenance Software, enables the facility manager, subordinates and customers to track the status of maintenance work on their assets and the associated costs of that work in one comprehensive system. You can digitize and streamline your maintenance operations by consolidating personnel, documents, assets, data, work logs and inventory in one location. Feeding all maintenance information directly into a CMMS solution facilitates the automatic manipulation of data to enable operational, technical, and economical analysis such as repair V replace. It also generates graphical reporting to provide evidence of effective maintenance.
Advantages of a CMMS over Spreadsheets
- Automated PM triggers – Preventive maintenance software helps reduce human error by ensuring PM’s are triggered when they are due in compliance with regulatory or manufacturer’s requirements. A good CMMS system can also activate PM’s based on a number of triggers including time, meter and event.
- Auditing & Compliance – A CMMS system digitizes your paper trail. Work Orders are documented electronically as you go, which makes auditing a breeze.
- Analysis & Reporting – Typically, a CMMS system will report key performance indicators (KPI’s) such as MTBF, MTTR and availability with little effort. KPI’s are used in evaluating the effectiveness of the current operations, for making organizational and personnel decisions and for determining the repair or replace of assets. Built in reports enable you to refine maintenance processes and improve asset availability; improving your bottom line.
- Access anywhere – Typically, the spreadsheet will reside on a personal drive with limited access behind a corporate firewall. In a cloud based CMMS system, the data is stored on a remote server and can be accessed from anywhere over the Internet. Modern-day CMMS systems come with mobile versions so you can access your CMMS on your smart device in the field.
- Centralize your efforts – MA assists the facilities maintenance manager with work reception, planning, control, forecasting, performance, evaluation, and reporting in one system.
- Real time information - The CMMS keeps you apprised of your organization’s maintenance activities in real time. Managers can see which assets are offline, who is working on what and what still needs to be done.
- Communication – Work requests submitted into the system can be routed to the correct people instantly. Technicians receive notifications automatically so they know what work is due.
- Centralized Database – The CMMS system offers a one-stop database of all equipment information, documents, manuals, schematics and images and materials. No need for your technicians to carry around bulky schematics or manuals.
- Supply Chain Management– A CMMS system will automatically track parts inventory, manage suppliers and vendors effortlessly and help you keep inventory costs optimized. When parts are consumed during work orders, the CMMS depletes stock levels in real time. No need to go back to the desk and update those stock cards. If stock falls below minimum levels, the system will notify the required users or suppliers to start the re-ordering process. Stock outs can be a thing of the past!
The purpose of implementing a maintenance strategy is to minimize costs associated with downtime, stocking parts, and management reporting time. The choice is simple – spend months building a cumbersome yet inadequate spreadsheet that takes a week to open with its complex macros and triggers or select a simple to use, cloud based CMMS system. Why reinvent the wheel? Many CMMS systems can be customized to suit your maintenance processes, no matter what size your organization. A CMMS can be effectively deployed by any business in any market sector for efficient asset management.
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