Achieving a successful stock management is a critical factor for the proper functioning of a whole company as it ensures productivity’s continuous improvement. If stocks are badly managed, it can cause production stops and therefore lead to financial losses. Plants have no other choice but to meticulously keep the spare parts inventory up to date in order to meet their objectives.

Technicians’ teams very often have to keep track of these data directly in their ERP but at the same time they face some difficulties as ERP are rather archaic and non-intuitive. Furthermore, as stock management is considered to come under cost accounting, data are not easily accessible.

It is still very important that the different teams working in the plant know about the inventory levels, and in particular the ones composed of external providers or maintenance technicians. As they work on equipment on a daily basis, they have to be informed in order to request accurate interventions, to report breakdowns or dysfunctions...

Why are CMMS vital assets for industrial maintenance’s teams

In order to guarantee maintenance technicians’ efficiency, teams must be provided with a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System). Each employee can therefore fill out this tool with information he thinks is relevant and can report breakdowns, communicate about a specific intervention, keep his colleagues informed whenever needed, create equipment sheets in order to access interventions’ history, upload pictures, technical documents or other files, use a calendar that will allow him to plan his daily tasks as well as to meet deadlines...

In these times of transition towards industry 4.0, where plants have everything to gain in adopting innovative digital tools, next gen CMMS are directly accessible on technicians’ smartphones. Technology is now at the core of the industrial world in order to simplify work processes and to bring new concrete solutions.

Thanks to such next gen tools, like CMMS, teams communicate more freely and completely annihilate information losses. Each maintenance technician becomes a real contributor and uses the CMMS software at his disposal to keep his colleagues informed of the various ongoing fixing work, dysfunctions and breakdowns.

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Furthermore, these software sometimes integrate instant messaging tools so that teams can communicate whenever needed. When a maintenance manager thereby needs to pass clear instructions, he doesn’t have to walk throughout the entire plant to find him, to lose time looking for his phone number nor to go back to the office to give his instructions: he just has to use the CMMS to talk to him or to add comments and to tag users directly in the application so that they can be informed thanks to a notification system.

Why connect ERP and CMMS?

Despite being very complete tools, ERPs are quite archaic and dense so they are not easily accessible for the teams in the field. Stocks are being managed in the ERP in order to monitor spare parts. These data are especially relevant for industrial maintenance teams who notice equipment dysfunctions and order pieces to replace the defective ones.

If technicians are aware of the stock value, they know if they need to order spare parts or not. It is crucial that industrial maintenance teams are provided with all the necessary information to avoid useless expenses.

Next gen CMMS are mobile tools that you can access all the time, no matter where you are in the plant, and that have user-friendly interfaces meeting actual digital needs. Connecting your ERP to your CMMS software allows all the teams involved to get a quick access to all the information they need.

Simultaneously, connecting the two tools drastically increases their power to ensure a smooth communication between the various company’s departments. Indeed, technicians exchange with the purchasing department more easily as they can find the information they need themselves and, using the example of stocks again, won’t formulate useless requests. As a consequence, they become way more autonomous.

Connecting a company’s ERP to its CMMS also helps avoiding double entries as the technician just needs to check his smartphone to see if a piece of information already exists and doesn’t lose time filling in the application’s fields anymore: everything becomes more accessible.

An example of a successful ERP and CMMS connection

Companies progressively acknowledge the fact that it is of major importance to keep the various on-field teams informed about what is going on in their own plant in order to facilitate their daily tasks and to provide them with innovative tools. Next gen CMMS Mobility Work belongs to these 4.0 tools that offer groundbreaking solutions to meet technicians’ needs.

Mobility Work goes beyond all the possibilities presented above as this SaaS (Software as a Service) gathers a maintenance management software, a marketplace and a community at the same time. It has been built on the same model as the applications we use on a daily basis. In a word, this software is way more than just a CMMS: it is a real maintenance social network in which users have the possibility to share good practices and all the information they want. Many clients already decided to connect their ERP to the solution.

How does it work?

In your ERP, each part has its own article number that will be copied during the files extraction, in order to allow you to identify it very quickly. Simply extract all the information contained in your ERP thanks to the .csv file Mobility Work will provide you with. Then just carefully fill out the several fields corresponding to the stock value, the unit price or the spare part’s description box.

Thanks to this file, parts are being connected to the CMMS and users can choose the information update frequency: every ten minutes, every hour, every day… Regarding the information contained in the ERP, it is updated every hour: spare parts’ location, quantity, price, etc.

This feature allows technicians to get all the information they need thanks to their smartphones and to benefit from a simplified access through the user-friendly interface of their CMMS. Usability is optimized in order for the general use of the tool to be simplified.

Nomenclatures are often very tedious and difficult to build. Thanks to next gen CMMS software like Mobility Work, the process is entirely automated. Concretely, each spare part used to complete a task gets automatically linked to the associated equipment sheet. As a consequence, the more technicians use spare parts, the more nomenclatures are progressively built.

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Maintain or invest?

Beyond the optimized stock management, the consequences of connecting your ERP to your CMMS are multiple. For example, it allows a company to decide whether it should maintain a piece of equipment or buy a new one. The aim is to gather all the costs that are associated with the industrial maintenance operations (workforce, orders, spare parts…) in order to draw conclusions.

To illustrate this idea with the example of Mobility Work CMMS, once the ERP has been connected, all the data are copied and presented in tables and graphs in the application’s analytics tool. Thanks to this feature, users can visualize reports of their spare parts’ consumption as well as of other industrial maintenance data in just a few clicks.

This tool has a lot of advantages as it shows maintenance managers the breakdowns’ and unplanned productions stops’ frequency, which helps them decide which industrial maintenance strategy to adopt. New technologies and digital innovations are everywhere: thanks to such easy-to-use tools, companies can think about their industrial maintenance in a new way and make field technicians real contributors to their plants’ productivity. They are provided with next gen solution that put them at the core of the activity so that they can have an even greater impact.