Maintenance

3 Essential Functions of a Maintenance Management System

By Mark Hungerford
26 Jul 19

As the manufacturing sector becomes more and more globalized, the need for a robust maintenance management system has never been more critical. At the core, a maintenance management system is a strategic process that allows you to manage the reliability of a manufacturing facility.  This includes the following critical elements:

  • Skilled Labor Management 
  • Asset Management
  • Predictive and Preventative Maintenance 
  • Spare Part Management
  • Abnormality Management

In this blog, we're going to explore the goal of a maintenance management system, as well as three functions that it should be capable of, but probably isn't.


The Goal of a Maintenance Management System

A company's ability to manage these key elements by effectively utilizing tools such as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) has revolutionized plants' ability to operate more efficiently than ever with fewer resources.

CMMS is not a new solution.

It has been around for decades, but often small or growing companies fail to implement a system early in their growth journey. This leads them to over-invest in capital and labor to meet their growth needs. Those that are able to implement traditional CMMS systems have seen huge benefits in their ability to plan maintenance more effectively and manage critical information about assets and spares.

However, traditional CMMS systems have many limitations that prevent a plant from operating at the next level. 

 

A Maintenance Management System Should Provide Real-Time Visibility

One of the biggest limitations of traditional maintenance management systems is a lack of real-time visibility.

We live in a smartphone world. The power to do more than we ever imagined is in the palm of our hands. I am always amazed at how archaically many manufacturing companies still operate in this highly technical and competitive world we live in.

How can a plant thrive if it's tracking their operations on whiteboards and spreadsheets?

Imagine watching a game with no scoreboard. How would you know if you are winning or losing?  Real-time visibility is as critical to manufacturing as it is to any sport or game.  By implementing a system that is real-time, companies are seeing significant improvements in: 

  • Employee Accountability
  • Decision Making at Lower Levels
  • Reduced Downtime
  • Engaged and Empowered Workforce
  • Increased Output and Profits

 

The primary reason for such huge success is achieved by providing tools and systems that help people do their job more efficiently vs. creating a burden on them.

Traditional CMMS software is more like a "black hole", as often the preventative, predictive, and reactive data entered by the technicians is all entered after events have actually occurred. This dilutes accuracy. 

Furthermore, they often aren't able to recall the information later for troubleshooting or training purposes. This doesn't engage the users: it actually pushes them away.  As equipment and technicians become more and more connected through API integrations, the days of printing paper work orders are rapidly disappearing.

 

A Maintenance Management System Should Bring Value To The End User

"I'm not sure our people are ready for this."

I hear this often when working with new customers (from managers, in particular).  They underestimate their workforce's eagerness to learn new solutions and be more engaged in the business.  

A maintenance management system should be a tool, not a task

Time and time again I see companies—usually corporate—forcing maintenance management systems down the throats of the plants without realizing the massive shortcomings of the systems they're trying to implement.

Traditional maintenance management systems often require highly skilled administrators to access data and are very cumbersome to input and access at the shop floor level. Workers tend to resist technology if it doesn't bring immediate value to them. 

On the other hand, if you give an employee a tool and it makes their job easier, you usually cannot pry it out of their hands. That's the sign of real value; they see it as their own and not something that they are forced to use.  

I am continually amazed to see how quickly users of all tech savvy levels can learn and leverage maintenance management systems to improve their jobs and deliver business results at all levels. When you make it as easy to use as any other social media app or site, it's no wonder the adoption rate is so rapid.

 

A Maintenance Management System Should Make Your Life Easier (Not Harder)

I worked as a maintenance manager for five years in a major consumer electronics company and was faced with the challenges of a traditional CMMS. It took me way too much time to get data out of the system and I often had to rely on others to do so.

 

I always had a note taped to my desk with all of the special system codes. Had I ever lost that sheet, pulling reports or querying data would have been nearly impossible. After implementing L2L, I felt like I owned the data. I could pull reliability data in seconds compared to hours or even days. Since I was looking at the data so much more, the quality and quantity also increased exponentially.

The old adage is true: What gets measured gets worked on, and I felt like I finally had a system I could use and leverage to manage the maintenance team more effectively for not only their benefit but for the business too.

Other benefits of a cutting-edge maintenance management system include:

  • Reduction in administrative time
  • Increased Productivity/Time for Hourly and Salary
  • Easier Budget Planning Tools
  • Simple Reporting and Trending
  • Real Time Cost Tracking

 

Hopefully, you can see how the maintenance management system in your facility can be more than just a cost center.  Cloud-based tools and systems like L2L are changing the way maintenance is done all over the world, revolutionizing plant floors, and ultimately adding value to the bottom line more than ever before.

Interested in a maintenance management system that does it all? Request a demo with L2L to see how CloudDISPATCH can help you achieve operational excellence.

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