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Jul 30

Are You Using CMMS to its Full Potential?

As the benefits of a well-designed and implemented web based Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) become apparent, more businesses are making the move towards this type of technology.  And it makes good business sense; a modern system is proven to increase workflow, improve employee accountability and provide companies with a quick return on investment.  Some businesses are going a step further by having their software custom configured with their particular needs and issues in mind.  In this manner, the companies are using exactly what they need; no more and no less.

But no matter what system you have—or are considering for purchase—how do you know exactly what you need?  Or what you’re missing?  It’s generally agreed that all systems should have the “basics”.  Preventive maintenance software should automatically generate and track PM Work Orders.  It should provide a way to schedule repairs and manage request from building occupants while automatically tracking part and supply consumption.  But even with these basic features, some systems have been developed that have obvious advantages over others to keep equipment running longer and more efficiently.  For instance, by using a web-based system instead of desktop-based software, you have the advantage of accessibility and visibility to the system wherever you or your field technicians are.  Smart Phones and Tablets can be used to dispatch workers and track work performance as it happens.  And by using barcode technology, assets maintenance and repairs are systematically documented, along with additional information such as maintenance schedules, issues and warranty information.  Plus, if you have one of the more advanced systems, your supervisors can perform mobile quality inspections, cutting inspection time by up to 50% and cutting reporting time by up to 90%.

A lot of systems offer some form of employee management, but usually it’s very limited.  If you want to manage your employees more effectively in a way that increases their accountability, a basic system may not be enough.  A better solution will feature a complete human resources suite, providing you with the information necessary to build a better workforce.  Imagine being able to know exactly where your employees are, what tasks they’re performing, how they’re performing those tasks, and where they need improvement.  Some CMMS products assist you even more by having employees clock in and out of each task they perform right from their cell phone, making work management more efficient.

While most systems have some form of inventory control, some of the better developers have utilized barcode technologies in this area, making it easier than ever to get a handle on your inventory needs.  Using barcodes can be done with Smart Phones or Tablets, lowering costs, improving utilization, and providing part and supply consumption as it happens, helping you to manage inventory more effectively.

If you don’t have these features on your present system, you may be missing out on some potential time and money saving features.  And if you do have them—and aren’t using them—it’s time to get the most from your investment and use your CMMS to its fullest.