Why do companies need to get over their previous CMMS to evolve towards a model that meets their needs in a better way?
In this economically growing world, companies are looking forward to get bigger, to always hire more people and to increase their production to grab on to a bigger piece of the market. These companies have to face massive challenges as the market demand is constantly growing. Therefore, they decide to extend their infrastructures and to modernize their equipment when needed.
These various developments, including industry 4.0, lead to major changes within companies, forcing them to shift culture. It is necessary to work with efficient tools that are easy to implement in order to be able to manage all the equipment. Indeed, all technologies are evolving (mechanically, electrically,...) and therefore challenging industrial maintenance services’ traditional practices. They should react and adapt quickly thanks to tools that look like the ones they are using in their daily lives. If not, consequences on the production rate as well as on the quality of the manufactured goods can be dramatic. We should ultimately think a whole structure and its organization over.
These deep changes are taking place in a context where consumers and customers want to better understand why each maintenance task is undertaken: it is crucial to keep an updated record of every task. This strict traceability is also essential because of controls, audits or certification. Mobility Work’s mobile app is perfect for that because it enhances the technicians’ work coordination and allows managers to follow up the due tasks.
What is a CMMS anyway?
A computerized maintenance management system is a computer tool that helps a company manage its maintenance activities. The first application, born in the 1980s, was aiming to meet industrial and experts needs regarding industrial maintenance management. This method allowed them to drastically reduce their costs and to enhance the equipment’s availability and reliability.
Companies came to the conclusion that they had no means at their disposal to follow up the good working conditions of their equipment, the interventions undertaken, spare parts orders, etc. Once implemented, CMMS tools proved that they were useful and even essential to the proper functioning of a plant, so other fields decided to go for this method, like hospitals, transportation or the army, to name just a few.
A lackluster first assessment
This whole next generation CMMS creation project was born after many companies asked themselves the following question: How to modify the maintenance processes to best face major challenges (financial, managerial, organisational and industrial) and therefore remain competitive?
Facing all these challenges, the new CMMS has to adapt to the different issues a company has to cope with on a daily basis. If changing the whole working process of the maintenance service can at first seem problematic, managing interventions and using a user-friendly tool that adapts to technicians can be a real turning point for production plants.
Recurrent issues with your current CMMS
Once again, the issues you face with your current tool can have disastrous consequences on the production cycle and users’ productivity can be slowed down. It is crucial to start with an initial appraisal and to analyze a given environment to be able to propose solutions that fit your needs and the context in which you are working.
Classic CMMS don’t allow you to opt for an effective preventive maintenance routine. You cannot manage industrial maintenance task lists, you don’t know anything about your equipment criticality nor do any follow up of your equipment stock information. It is therefore complicated to assess the equipment status and to manage the guarantees and industrial maintenance contracts, calendars, qualifications, subcontractors… When a technician is working on a device, he doesn’t have the possibility to write comments in the report, no one ever takes a look at the equipment registration, work permits are not managed as they should be and projects are generally managed apart from the tool.
Given all these inconvenients, we perfectly understand how dubious this model is. This carelessness can lead to damaging consequences: frequent production shutdowns, technician or production accidents, losses, lack of visibility… To sum up, it is essential to review all working methods of a specific service in order to be able to enhance interventions efficiency.
Improvement areas of the maintenance department
In order to tackle and to face these difficulties, some measures need to be taken so that certain objectives can be met, such as: set a codification to visually distinguish equipment, follow up costs for each load centre and piece of equipment, check the operating and down time and therefore get a failure rate and define the criticality (read our article “Towards an evolution of the Pareto analysis”), enclose a technical specification document to each piece of equipment, identify warranty periods in order to be alerted when a corrective work order is created...
It is moreover essential to implement an equipment status management module to identify and to plan preventive actions as well as projects, to implement very detailed preventive maintenance sheets, to identify resources and the required stock on maintenance interventions ranges or to generate automatic registration phases according to the type of intervention. Beyond these very technical and logistical aspects, we should adopt a more human point of view in order to understand why modern tools are interesting: they allow maintenance professionals to update the ongoing qualifications of their employees, to easily identify leave periods, etc. It is then way easier to plan interventions and to assign technicians. All aspects are linked and interconnected: a good industrial maintenance needs a good staff management.
What are the consequences for the maintenance department?
There are many positive consequences for this department as it enhances its coordination and its planning. It can predict potential difficulties more easily, last minute repair times are drastically reduced and, as a result, productivity increases while planning work decreases. Companies are therefore able to implement preventive and even predictive maintenance routines over the long-term.
For this department to enhance the quality of its work, all its functioning as well as its working methods have to be reviewed. Implementing a maintenance management tool should meet these needs. It would indeed allow you to manage:
periods and responsiveness (completing corrective interventions within the time limits set by the production, respecting preventive intervention plannings);
the different intervention costs (internal and external staff costs, industrial goods costs);
infrastructure reliability (identify the equipment that are the most damaging for the reliability, modernize preventive maintenance programs’ content and frequency);
costs due to unreliability;
the process of equipment’s status management (managing the beginning and the end of the equipments’ life cycle by examining the different production losses costs, maintenance costs, equipment amortization).
Choosing your CMMS according to your needs
Companies have to take a certain number of criteria into account in order to be able to choose the CMMS software that would best suit them. They have to consider one-time and recurring costs as well as their reputation, analyze the technical environment in which the employees work and ask themselves the right questions: do you want to have the possibility to talk to the technical support as soon as you need it? Do you want to be able to access a very precise documentation? According to you, what features are essential? Do you have screens that are good enough to benefit from optimal ergonomics? These are as many questions that you should ask yourself before choosing a new maintenance management system.
Nothing should be left to chance as future users don’t always have the same computer skills. You should always put yourself in the place of these users to create a very intuitive, accessible and simple software. Going through the whole process aims to facilitate the work of an entire company in order for the technicians to be perfectly coordinated and to avoid mistakes.
In line with these principles, the next-gen CMMS platform Mobility Work was created, merging simple and intuitive features. Thanks to this application, you can have access to the whole company’s activities, manage your different tasks in the best way possible, network with external persons or the ones working in your company, check the industrial maintenance interventions previously undertaken and therefore ensure that everything goes smoothly. With such a quite easy-to-learn CMMS tool, processes are easier and the company’s future is assured.
Mobility Work helps you to shift towards maintenance 4.0 thanks to a mobile, intuitive and affordable next-gen tool. If you want to discover our application, you can watch our presentation video.