6 Signs You Need A Computerized Maintenance Management System

Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) have come a long way. They were once exclusive to the manufacturing industry but are now widely accepted in many organizations that have little or even nothing to do with manufacturing. Sports centers, shopping malls, airports, educational institutions, research centers and almost any kind of business you can imagine uses them.  

As a maintenance manager, you have worked hard to keep the routine processes running smoothly in your maintenance department. But even if you’ve managed to get by all this while without using a maintenance software, can you confidently say that your company’s maintenance management is proceeding as well as it should?  

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While you may perceive that everything is under control, several telltale signs can indicate your maintenance strategy is lacking the advantages of using CMMS software.

Below I’ll discuss six of the most common signs that indicate it’s about time to implement a CMMS in your facility.

1. You have trouble creating an efficient maintenance schedule  

You notice that it’s difficult – or even impossible? – to plan facility repairs, service, and keep track of what to do in advance. This often means that all your assets are still on a reactive maintenance “plan.” Consequently, your business has no option but to wait for machines to fail before repairing or replacing them.  

The result is that your organization loses more money because of missed production targets than the money it would have spent maintaining the assets on a schedule in the first place.  

On the other hand, it’s possible you already have a planned maintenance schedule in place, but you spend countless hours manually plotting the resources needed to execute each job. The upshot? Activities clash, and important tasks are either forgotten or overlooked. Because maintenance tasks are not conducted proactively, you and your technicians play catch-up in an endless cycle of inefficiency.  

Implementing a CMMS solves these problems. With a few clicks, CMMS lets you plan every maintenance task well in advance. In fact, it’s ability to quickly create a sustainable planned maintenance schedule is one of the major reasons to use a computerized maintenance management system.

2. You fail to complete repairs on time because important spare parts are unavailable 

A poorly or inadequately managed spare parts and inventory system complicates already existing problems.  

For example, you observe that equipment downtime frequently lasts longer than necessary, since there are no parts available to carry out repairs. Additionally, you spend big chunks of your available budget by ordering items in emergencies and you continuously waste productive work hours, while the staff awaits ordered parts.  

Keeping spare parts at an optimum level is a challenge. It’s difficult to predict the perfect amount of spare parts on-hand at all times.  

But once again, a CMMS can help by enabling you to:  

  • Optimize stock levels for multiple items and identify a pattern of materials consumption
  • Adjust new materials orders based on stock level (set reorder levels on a trigger). Once stock falls below a set level, CMMS will send a reorder alert
  • Reduce the need for manual inventory checking

3. Your record keeping ichaotic  

According to SearchYourCloud, workers can search for a document up to eight times before finding what they seek. This wasted time extends even longer if you still rely heavily on paper records or outdated spreadsheets.   

If your team members spend more time searching for the right information than they spend on carrying out the actual repairs, you have a big problem and bigger chunk taken out of productivity. 

The best way to tackle this problem is to have your data securely stored in an organized and easy-to-extract format readily accessible by any team member from anywhere. In other words, have information stored within a modern CMMS software. 

With CMMS, you can extract information – from work orders to work history, safety records, machine health, and so much more – in seconds. This significantly speeds up the diagnostic process and improves overall work efficiency, boosting productivity and profit. 

4. You can’t track maintenance activitprogress 

No one on your team can tell for sure who is doing what, where and at any point in time. You find it difficult to track maintenance personnel and, therefore, spend a large chunk of your day contacting team members to confirm their location and their activity.

You also find it almost impossible to calculate your team’s productivity because you can’t track what works or doesn’t over time, which means you can’t standardize workforce activities and enforce quality control that dictates the expected outcome of each task.  

For example, how do you identify a pattern of customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction if you must evaluate thousands of past work orders manually? That would be a torturous time-waste – for anyone.  

But with a CMMS, you can monitor work progress from any location. On top of that, you can generate a wide range of different reports to easily get all the information you need to track the performance of your team.

5. You have internal and external communication issues with your team 

An inability to quickly and effectively communicate with your team of maintenance technicians, who are carrying out multiple jobs at multiple locations, can escalate into a big problem. As manager, you may find yourself wasting a disproportionate amount of the workday tracking job statuses, locating staff, providing feedback, then receiving and responding to queries from maintenance technicians, upper management, suppliers, etc.

What about dealing with unseen, unanticipated but unavoidable disruptions (a sick technician, emergencies, etc.)? Can you quickly reassign tasks and get new instructions across to your staff on time?

Using CMMS, instead of contacting team members individually, you just alert the entire team about the changes by re-assigning tasks (and changing their priority levels) with a few mouse clicks. Wherever they are, your team will get the message on their mobile devices in seconds.

6. It takes you eons to onboard new technicians 

If you don’t have a sound workflow backed up by a CMMS, it is inevitable that someone will have to suspend their duties and devote time to bring new technicians up to speed on processes and policies. This outdated training means is antiquated and impractical in today’s business climate.

With CMMS, educating new leadership or training new staff is a breeze. The CMMS will reduce the amount of time some designated team member has dedicated to answering newbies’ questions and instructing them what to do.  

CMMS gives a logical structure to your maintenance workflow, which is then more readily internalized by newly employed team members.

If you are currently facing one or more of the above problems, it’s obvious you need a CMMS — PDQ. Once implemented, a CMMS will give you fuller, quicker, more productive facilities’ oversight that will help you optimize your maintenance operations in the future.  

Productivity and profit climb. Headaches and waste shrink.

So, what are you waiting for?

Bryan Christiansen is the founder and CEO at Limble CMMS. Limble is a modern, easy to use mobile CMMS software that takes the stress and chaos out of maintenance by helping managers organize, automate, and streamline their maintenance operations.

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