In any asset-intensive industry, assets must be kept in perfect working order and they must be ready to function whenever there’s a need. Unplanned maintenance is expensive and costs many times more than if it’s planned maintenance.
This is mainly on account of overtime-labor costs, emergency parts, collateral damage, and service call outs. Thus, maintenance must be planned proactively, and by doing so, issues may be identified in advance, prior to becoming a problem of a far more serious nature.
The key question is, how can you effectively plan and manage maintenance where critical infrastructure assets are concerned?
The answer is relatively straightforward – develop an asset management strategy which focuses on planned and preventative maintenance, put in place reliability and availability targets, and track everything using a CMMS.
What is a CMMS?
CMMS means Computerized Maintenance Management System. It’s a software tool that is used to help manage and track maintenance such as work orders, scheduled maintenance, purchasing, projects, and parts inventory.
The CMMS provides full visibility as well as control over maintenance operations and by doing so, everyone is able to see what has been achieved and what still needs to be achieved.
The CMMS also aids a maintenance manager in being more organized through a reduction on dependence on whiteboards, memory, and paper, by automating daily activities of a mundane nature.
It helps to identify those recurring tasks so that nothing is overlooked.
One of the largest benefits of CMMS is that it perpetuates labor productivity since the system can help to plan and also track work. This way, technicians can complete tasks with little to no interruption.
Through correct planning and tracking, any maintenance team will become far more organized. More importantly, a CMMS will facilitate health and safety compliancy in many ways.
Procedures of safety may be included on all job plans thereby ensuring technicians are far more aware of the risks. By using a CMMS, it’s much easier to schedule preventative maintenance work and to set up automated alerts when PMs are due.
It’s also far simpler to witness all the work that has been completed with respect to an asset and this way it’s easier to optimize maintenance schedules or perhaps troubleshoot any breakdown issues.
This form of software will also track the amount of time and money that’s being invested on any particular asset, thereby helping organizations to make repair versus replacement decisions more advantageously.
Instead of working through a mass of receipts at year end, the management can easily run through a coasting report using the CMMS to assess where the budget was invested and what might need to be improved.
A maintenance strategy can be analyzed and refined by implementing built-in business intelligence reports into the CMMS.
Modern CMMS applications are now cloud-based, and that means employees are able to access them via any internet connection irrespective its whereabouts.
With faster internet speeds, together with cheaper data storage, and smartphone and tablet technology, cloud-based CMMS software is certainly the much preferred option. The user now has access to CMMS on the shop floor or in the field, thus eliminating the need to print out work orders like meter readings and repair notes which would then have been entered into the system later on.
Technicians are now able to log data into the system in real time. This eliminates the double jobbing and redundancy associated with paper, and technicians are now free to move onto more productive tasks.
Many modernized CMMS applications such as those developed by Q Ware CMMS can be configured in order to communicate directly together with equipment assets. This in turn helps with the management of Condition Based Maintenance (CBM) programs.
A CMMS will serve to increase asset life, to reduce downtime, improve productivity, and to lower the total cost of ownership of many company assets.