Companies today realize the benefits of implementing a computerized maintenance management system. In the past, maintenance management systems were only found in manufacturing plants, but we’re now seeing maintenance software being used in educational institutions, healthcare facilities, municipalities, sports and recreational facilities, shopping malls, pretty much any type of facility. If you are a maintenance or facility manager, you may be asking yourself, “How do I know if a CMMS solution is right for my organization?” The following are 5 tell-tale signs that your organization needs a maintenance management system.
1. Your company does not have a preventive maintenance program in place
Many companies do not have a formal preventive maintenance program in place. By formal, I am referring to having standardized processes and set procedures in place involving automation, and holds people accountable for completing tasks. Preventive maintenance serves to reduce equipment downtime. On the surface, this reduces the amount of time and money spent on repairing equipment. In addition, regular preventive maintenance increases productivity, reduces production standstills, and increases the life expectancy of equipment. Organizations often have a preventive maintenance programs in place, but it’s lacking. If your maintenance department is working from a manual or book, a clip board or spreadsheets, you should be considering preventive maintenance software. Going with preventive maintenance system will afford many benefits;
- Advance notifications when PM’s are coming due
- Alert notifications when preventive maintenance work orders are overdue
- Updates on needed parts and current inventory levels
- Ordering of parts when inventory levels fall below threshold
- Track time and costs to complete work
- Real-time reporting on preventative maintenance performance
- Instill a culture that views preventive maintenance as a priority
2. Repairs and unplanned maintenance are not documented
If you are considering CMMS for your company, you are probably asking yourself, “How many times has Equipment ‘X’ broke down over the past year?” “How much money have we invested in repairing Machine ‘Y’?” “How frequently are we repairing the shower in unit 101?” With a computerized maintenance management system, facility and maintenance managers easily find answers to questions like these, and more. CMMS solutions come equipped with on-demand work order management tools which allow users to document unplanned maintenance events when they occur and track them from submission to completion. Through this process important data is being recorded that can be used by managers to make informed decisions. This includes;
- Date and time the work order was submitted
- Requester information
- Response time from assigned technician or contractor
- Time required to complete
- Costs and materials involved in the work order
- Frequency of this type of work order
In addition to all the above metrics, having a computerized work order system improves response time to critical work orders. When an elevator breaks down or a pipe bursts, minutes can equate to BIG DOLLARS. If improving response time to unplanned maintenance is an objective, implementing computerized maintenance software will help you achieve this.
3. Waiting for parts is a common setback
Do you find that your maintenance team is often waiting on parts to arrive? Are work orders regularly delayed due to not having what you need in inventory and parts on order? If these are common problems, it’s time to start doing some research on CMMS software. Almost all computerized maintenance software comes with inventory management tools that allow maintenance managers to make sure that critical parts are available when needed. Inventory management software can;
- Set min and max quantity thresholds
- Provide detailed info on suppliers and parts costs
- Link parts to equipment and preventive maintenance work orders
- Send alerts when inventory levels are low
- Be scanned with bar code readers and mobile devices
- Generate purchase orders
- Track parts usage and costs over time
- Reduce inventory gone missing by theft or other
- Reduce depreciation costs through JIT
Having a CMMS solution in place gives maintenance and facility managers more control over their inventory and ensures that critical parts are available when needed.
4. Tracking and scheduling labor needs to be improved
If your maintenance department involves 1 or 2 people, tracking labor and scheduling events may be simple enough and can likely be managed using Outlook or a similar calendar application. As the maintenance department grows and more people are involved, tracking labor hours and scheduling tasks become more complicated. Many companies operate without formal tracking systems for their maintenance teams, and feel that they are running smoothly without any issues. CMMS software should be considered not only when problems are obvious, but when operations can be improved. Maintenance software systems are instrumental in identifying and resolving bottlenecks with labor utilization, monitoring staff responsiveness, labor costs, scheduling preventive and planned maintenance and forecasting. These systems afford managers the opportunity to improve response time and labor utilization and reduce labor costs.
5. There are no formal performance measures in place
In order for companies to remain competitive, there needs to be a culture of cost reduction company-wide. Costs don’t exist to be accrued; they’re there to be reduced. CMMS and facility management software equip managers with powerful reporting tools that deliver real-time data on maintenance operational performance and help them make informed decisions and more accurate forecasts. If you are new to CMMS, you will benefit from reports on labor, inventory and repair costs, and as you get more involved, you will progress to more granular metrics like mean-time-to-respond, mean-time-to-repair, equipment downtime, labor utilization rates and trend analysis. Ultimately, CMMS software can be configured to report on any data that is being recorded and will be a necessary tool in optimizing maintenance efficiency.
According to websites like Software Advice and Capterra, there are well over 100 CMMS and facility maintenance software systems, all offering work order management, preventive maintenance, and inventory and equipment management modules. Take some time to do your research. Investing in maintenance management software does not need to cost thousands of dollars up front. There are many opportunities for free trials, and there are options suitable for organizations small and large.