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Aug 08

A Day in the Life of CMMS

Thirty years ago, the first CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems) were introduced to the maintenance management world with some basic features; generating work order schedules, managing requests, and documenting preventive maintenance work made up a large part of the early software’s function.

Systems have come a long way since those early days, and with the introduction of personal computers, the Internet and mobile technology, there seems to be no limit to what can be done with a modern CMMS.  But surprisingly, there are organizations that continue to use their system in the same manner as it was used thirty years ago—even if that system has hundreds of features.

How can a company use their CMMS software to its fullest capacity?

Let’s look at a day in the life of an average CMMS user:  The maintenance supervisor begins his day by assessing work performed in the system, and looking over the day’s scheduled events.  He knows that a certain machine is due for preventive maintenance, as the preventive maintenance software within the system has alerted him and his staff automatically.

A Service Request has been entered due to the HVAC system being down.  Since this work is a priority, the supervisor needs to assign someone quickly.  He knows exactly who to call; a senior technician with the proper certification to work on this particular piece of equipment.  But a quick check in the employee management feature shows the tech is on vacation all week.  So the supervisor searches through the staff information to see if anyone else is certified and bingo—a relatively new hire was certified through his last job.

The supervisor notifies the tech of the work order, and the tech is dispatched to the site.  With a quick barcode scan, the tech has all the pertinent information to make the repair.  Unfortunately, the part needed isn’t on the tech’s truck, but no worries.  A quick check in the CMMS inventory management control shows a vendor in the area.  The necessary part retrieved, the repair is made quickly and to specifications and guidelines.  And because the software is web-based, the tech doesn’t need to find an available computer—he accesses the information through his smart phone or tablet.

Once finished with the repair, the tech enters a report on the work done; time, costs, parts needed, etc.  But in looking over the report, the supervisor discovers that the machinery has broken down about the same time every year.  And while going over the preventive maintenance for the equipment, he discovers a power surge when the main furnace is fired up each year, causing the equipment failure.  The supervisor then adjusts the maintenance to take into account the surge, ensuring the breakdowns of this particular piece of equipment to be at a minimum.

As you can see, there are many paths of improvement when using a system to the fullest extent.  But are you?  Are you losing valuable time and money due to slow response or other problems?  Are you sending out employees that aren’t up to the particular task?  Are you paying overtime to employees while they wait for parts to come in?  By using your CMMS to its full potential, you’ll be able to avoid these issues, and your entire organization benefits from your results.