Maintenance Management Software: Features and Why You Need One
This is a guest post by tech writer Kevin White
Computerized maintenance management systems are software tools for monitoring and managing the technical condition of equipment, buildings, and facilities used in the daily activities of an enterprise.
Maintenance and repair tasks are relevant to companies that operate equipment, buildings, and facilities. These physical assets represent an essential investment for any business, so maintenance and repair processes are necessary for the optimal use of these fixed assets. High-level maintenance and repair processes ensure high technical availability of equipment, optimum productivity of production assets, minimum downtime of fixed assets, and optimal turnover of assets.
The business processes of maintenance and repair cover several stages of the life cycle of assets — from acquisition to disposal. Maintenance and repair work is performed directly by technicians (mechanics and technicians). The managers (chief mechanics, repair managers) ensure the management and planning of such work.
Often enterprises distinguish the following types of repairs and maintenance:
Preventive maintenance. It is stipulated in the operational documentation and performed according to the schedule established by the manufacturer.
Predictive maintenance. It is performed following the analysis of information received from the equipment’s sensors in real time.
Service maintenance. This is supervision and repair performed by service centers.
Routine repair. It is performed to keep the asset operational.
Medium repair. It is performed to keep the asset in good working order and partially restore its service life.
Overhaul. It is performed to ensure serviceability and complete restoration of the asset’s service life.
Because equipment can be expensive, optimizing its use is critical to achieving a positive return on investment. Maintenance management software
- keeps detailed and accurate records of all assets;
- schedules maintenance tasks and activities, maintains historical documents, and keeps track of work completed;
- stores all data, such as work orders, history, manuals, etc., in one centralized location. Personnel can access the information from any location via computer, smartphone, or mobile device;
- generates desired reports;
- protects against cybersecurity threats, for example, using HTTP.
As a company’s maintenance management software needs to be modified or expanded, the company often consults with experts in their particular field to determine if there are additional programs that can be added to the existing software. These upgrades can be industry-specific or simply expand inventory, asset management, and other categories to add value to the database. A number of startup companies all over the world share their consultation documents or audits on StuDocu file-sharing platform in order to proceed with data exchange.
Why do you need maintenance management software?
Maintenance management systems are designed to manage and maintain a database of operating equipment, technical condition, and work related to these assets. Maintenance management software is usually supplied as a combination of functional modules for:
- Managing data about the equipment
- Planning of maintenance and repair
- Work order management
- Performance and results tracking
- Control of spare parts, tools, and accessories
- Logistics management
- Providing reference information and storage of maintenance procedures
- Tracking technical data and information about the condition of the equipment.
Thus, maintenance management software can be an effective tool for the optimal management of various physical plant assets. To help realize essential functions, maintenance management software can also provide several additional technical capabilities such as QR or barcode scanning, voice recognition, and integration with intelligent equipment sensors (following the Industrial Internet of Things concept).
In addition to maintenance management solutions, there are also many point solutions that focus exclusively on one or more of the functions mentioned above. These software tools are sold as stand-alone software products, and although they integrate with maintenance management systems, they are not considered such.
The main advantages of maintenance management systems:
- Optimization of asset utilization is critical for business efficiency since equipment downtime can lead to significant production or logistics activities disruptions.
- Employee productivity can be increased by scheduling activities based on resource availability.
- Since field maintenance often requires travel, maintenance management systems also help reduce the time technicians spend on the road to the facility and equipment downtime.
- Tracking assets and equipment in multiple locations allows companies to locate assets and track where and how those assets are used.
- Reducing maintenance costs through preventive maintenance helps companies to avoid unnecessary repairs or replacement of fixed assets, which can be very expensive.
- It enables increased uptime, optimized use of fixed assets, and reduced equipment downtime.
Overall, maintenance management software will reduce equipment failures, labor costs, production errors, and even production injuries. It will use a wide range of tools, including data management, work order system, schedule and scheduling management, inventory management, asset tracking, and analytics to achieve key performance indicators.
What is the best maintenance management solution?
There are many maintenance management solutions developed for different-sized businesses. Some of the software products available in this market are designed for specific industries, such as transportation, hospitals, manufacturing, or academia. Since each industry has its own unique service needs and reporting style, it is recommended that you prioritize a solution that explicitly fits your industry vertical rather than focusing entirely on generic CMMS solutions. This will make it easier for you and your team to become familiar with the application and comply using industry-approved templates and workflows.
Some popular CMMSs include FMX, UpKeep, MaintainX, eMaint, Fiix, and more. UpKeep, for example, aims to simplify the maintenance management process with a cloud-based mobile platform. Work requests come with images of problems that can easily be turned into work orders, and QR codes are provided to make it easy to scan any asset for the maintenance history and inventory counts.
Inventory counts can also be provided for parts and spares as part of inventory management. Maintenance checklists are easy to create, apply and attach to work orders. Details, costs, and maintenance times can also be easily tracked, and a calendar can be used to schedule. A mobile platform allows maintenance personnel to carry and use smartphones for all tasks and take pictures of problems and finished work.
An analytics dashboard allows managers to easily track maintenance time and costs and check equipment history to make efficiency estimates and modify workflows accordingly.
How does CMMS manage tasks?
Having built-in mobile accessibility in a CMMS becomes more of a must-have functionality than a nice-to-have. Mobile accessibility significantly improves staff productivity by allowing maintenance teams to exchange, receive and update work assignments on the go. Remote workers can quickly enter maintenance data into a centralized maintenance database from their smartphones, saving time, effort, and paper.
The work orders functions allow you to create jobs/tasks/work orders, distribute them among the responsible personnel, and control job execution. It also allows you to use the system to handle inspections and verifications, both internal and external.
Preventive maintenance (also called diagnostic or proactive) features allow for predictive maintenance strategy based on real-time data from intelligent equipment. Preventive maintenance functions also allow you to use the system to plan maintenance and repairs (including short-term, long-term, and periodic).
Spare Parts Inventory Management
The spare parts inventory management functions provide inventory control of spare parts, tools, and accessories, as well as warehouse management. It also allows you to order spare parts, tools, and accessories from the system interface.
Asset management functions allow using equipment structure models in the system, ordered by function or by location. It also represents the serviced equipment in the form of a 3D model with the possibility of examining the tasks and relationships between the components.
Geographic Information System
A geographic information system allows you to see where your assets are located. This helps better contact them in an emergency.
Storage of technical documentation provides centralized storage of operational and repair (technical) documentation and convenient organization of reference information. It also stores the history of maintenance work performed on equipment units.
Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMSs) help companies control and manage the production facilities, tools, and equipment used in the company’s daily activities. To qualify for inclusion in the category of maintenance management systems, a software product must:
- Manage different types of assets across multiple locations
- Keep track of the inventory of spare parts, tools, materials, and supplies required for maintenance
- Plan maintenance activities such as inspections, repairs, and upgrades
- Manage and allocate resources (personnel and spares) to maintenance operations
- Provide reports and analytical information on asset utilization, maintenance costs, and mechanics productivity
- Ensure asset compliance with safety and environmental regulations
- Provide mobile-friendly interface or mobile applications for field service technicians
Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMSs) help organizations plan and control their assets and the associated costs of maintenance activities to extend the life of an asset at minimal cost. This can include tasks to maintain the technical condition of assets at a single site or several sites or maintain a high level of technical availability for an equipment group, such as a fleet of vehicles or other types of equipment.
Kevin White is a freelance blogger. He’s got experience in writing quality pieces on various topics. You may feel free to reach out to him at GuestpostingNinja@gmail.com for collaboration suggestions.
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