All posts by Micromain

How Preventive Maintenance Saves Money

How Preventive Maintenance Saves Money

Preventive maintenance is often still viewed by many companies as an unnecessary expenditure that is a waste of time and resources. In most cases, this is far from the truth and can prove to be a very costly mistake to make. Many companies tend to focus solely on the immediate issues that come up – repairing or replacing parts when something goes wrong in operations and reacting to other urgent matters. While this form of reactive maintenance is necessary in certain situations, transitioning to preventive maintenance is a strategy that will save both time and money, as well as help operations to run more smoothly. The transition from reactive to preventive maintenance can be a smooth transition to make with the help of the right preventive maintenance software. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at preventive maintenance with a spotlight on how it can save a company or other organization a lot of money over the long term. 

What Is Preventive Maintenance?

Preventive maintenance is not about fixing problems. Its focus is on preventing those problems from ever happening in the first place. It includes activities such as cleaning, lubrication, adjustments, repairs, and parts replacement. Each of these activities is performed in order to keep the equipment running in top condition and to prevent downtime and reactive fixes.

Preventive maintenance software is available to help you facilitate a good preventive maintenance plan. Instead of having to keep track of things with paper files, all data can be input into a preventive maintenance software program which then regularly schedules all preventive maintenance tasks and work orders. With preventive maintenance software, you can organize duties, record maintenance information and have everything together in one convenient location. 

How Preventive Maintenance Saves You Money

Now that you understand how preventive maintenance is different from reactive maintenance, it’s time to talk about the benefits in terms of how this new system and way of thinking can save your company money.

1. Reduced Downtime

When it comes to production, the phrase ‘time is money’ rings true. Every time machinery goes down for maintenance, you’re losing money both from employee wages (since employees have to wait for the equipment to be fixed) and from products (which cannot be produced when the equipment goes down). Preventive maintenance drastically reduces downtime because the entire purpose is to prevent downtime.

2. Increase Operational Efficiency

When preventive maintenance is properly implemented, equipment is routinely maintained so it can run in optimal condition at all times. When machines run more efficiently, they don’t have to use as much energy and resources. This means cost savings as well as improving your environmental footprint. 

3. Reduce the Risk of Expensive Reactive Maintenance

Reactive maintenance is incredibly expensive. When something breaks unexpectedly, you have the costs of your maintenance crew (which can include overtime pay), the cost of the extra time it takes to diagnose the problem, and the cost of the parts (which can include expedited shipping charges). Preventive maintenance can dramatically reduce the risk of these costs. Using preventive maintenance software, your crew will perform routine checks and planned maintenance at convenient times, steps that help you avoid large and expensive fixes down the road. 

4. Increase the Life of Equipment

In addition to reducing downtime and expensive fixes, preventive maintenance will also increase the life of your equipment. When everything is up to date and working properly, you will maximize the lifespan of your machinery, helping you get the most out of your investment. 

5. Improved Customer Service

Your customers are putting their trust and confidence in the goods or services you provide. They expect that these things will be delivered on time, and no one wants to hear that the products will be delayed because of machinery failures. When you can consistently provide quality, on-time service to your customers, you’ll end up with happier customers, better reviews, more referrals, and ultimately more sales. 

Implementing a Preventive Maintenance Program

If you’ve been relying on reactive maintenance but want a solution that will save you money, time and stress, it’s time to turn to preventive maintenance. While there are some initial costs to get started, you will end up saving a lot in the long term.

The best way to get started with a preventive maintenance plan is to first research your preventive maintenance software options. When you choose the right preventive maintenance software for your business, the transition will be a smooth and easy one to make.

You also don’t have to worry about fully transitioning to preventive maintenance right away. After you get your preventive maintenance software, you can work on setting up your equipment one by one on a preventive maintenance schedule. This way you won’t be overwhelmed, and you can work at your own pace.

As you can see, preventive maintenance offers many important benefits, but the most important of which is that it can improve your bottom line. Make the switch today, and you’ll see the cost savings start to add up quickly for your business or organization.

Recorded Webinar: Facility Management

Webinar: Facility Management

Missed our webinar on Facility Management? No worries, we have a recording here for you.
Learn how easy it is to manage space allocation, plan and execute moves, generate in-depth reports, satisfy emergency preparation requirements, and analyze costs associated with renovations, department charge backs and personnel changes.

How CMMS Supports Maintenance Management

In this month’s webinar, How a CMMS Supports Manufacturing: Marty De Los Santos discussed how CMMS helps manufacturing users. He showed the importance of using preventive maintenance to keep equipment working, how work orders are made when equipment is down, and the ways in which inventory prepares you to minimize downtime.

The webinar was recorded and is available for you to view below. The recording is also available full screen.

Webinar Transcription

My name is Marty De Los Santos. I’m an account manager here at MicroMain. In today’s presentation, we’re going to be talking about how a CMMS supports manufacturing and particularly how MicroMain maintenance applications support manufacturing. A little bit about who we are. We are headquartered in Austin, Texas which is where I’m located as well. We have been providing manufacturers with award-winning enterprise asset management and facility management software for 22 years. We do also preventive maintenance and facility management software and services.

We do have over 3,700 customers worldwide. Here are just some logos for some names of whom a lot of you may recognize.

CMMS helps manufacturing several specific items: meeting production goals, plant-specific needs, maximizing equipment availability and extend equipment life which is a very key item that we do here from time to time for our clients about how do we make sure equipment lasts longer, be able to project budgets accurately, organize data and operations, and reporting. Reporting is a very key feature as well. One thing in MicroMain we do have over 600 reports that do come standard with the application. It also has a very powerful reporting tool. Of course, with all that information, it gives you and the decision-makers the ability to make well-informed decisions.

I have a question. Take a moment please. Fill in your response, click submit and skip to results. We’ll show the results here shortly. If you weren’t able to get your results in, I apologize, but we do have a time constraint. It looks like work order management is a primary concern for folks within the audience. Some respond to corrective maintenance, reporting on maintenance activities. Preventive maintenance is a fairly close second. Those are the two key items. We’ll be sure to touch on those today.

How do you keep your equipment up and running basically with preventive maintenance? Preventive maintenance: be able to determine priorities and track your goals, view a timeline to assess operations by day/week, track key performance indicators through our reporting tool. Of course, you can save time by reducing downtime or even drive time as well. As you can see up on the header, the MicroMain application, we do have mobile capabilities with it as well.

Preventive maintenance: scheduling out your PMs provides an easy way for you to set up and track all your PMs that you’re scheduling. PMs can be set up based on time like daily, weekly or monthly or even by meter such as every hundred miles or hours or use or even a combination like every so many miles or every three months, for example, you can set those trigger points up as well.

Of course the idea with preventive maintenance, you want to plan it and schedule it. You want to execute your PMs, report against it and with that be able to learn from past experience as to how that may affect future activities that you may be performing on those assets.

Let’s get into the application itself. We’re looking at the MicroMain maintenance application. We want to talk about work orders… is one that came up, and the PMs. We’re looking at the work orders list page on MicroMain which is housed under actions, work orders. Task is where we manage our PMs. Just to quickly touch on both of these items. Work orders from a corrective standpoint for your assets can be generated in different fashions. One, we have a web request module which allows non-maintenance folks to be able to submit corrective items to the maintenance departments and those will appear in this listing in requested status.

I can also come here and create a new item start a brand new work order. In MicroMain the service, the property and the asset or really all we need to do the work. Pick your service. You’ll define your own service items. Pick your assets whatever that might be. Based on the asset and its profile, it would automatically populate the building and the property. I can issue this work order. Depending on your workflow, some of you guys may be issuing this to and the technicians just grab it and go. Some of you guys may pre-assign labor to your assets. Whatever your workflow may be, the system will work for you. But just to kind of show how this goes in order, we have an assignment page. I have the ability to assign it to a department, account, shops, sub-shop and so on. Again these are optional fields you can utilize. I can tag this as a logout/tagout, safety or shutdown related item. Do I have any attachments? Am I doing any inspections? Description: what I want done. Description will pull off of the service that you defined, but you can also add to it whatever this may be. It’s a very lengthy field where you can be very descriptive about what you want to have occur on this work order and this will print on the work order as well as be visible via mobile. Summary is going to keep track of your cost data. You can add your labor for tracking purposes. You can pick and choose whom you want to add whether it would be your own technicians or even third-party technicians. You can grab even multiple folks at a time. You have some filtering tools down below. Labor contacts assigned to asset. Maybe this asset is an item under warranty. The part of your warranty requires that a certified technician or technician from the supplier does the work and you want to associate that person or that third-party entity with this particular asset. If you have multiple properties, only assign labor assigned to that property. You can add your labor. You can add parts. There’s a parts inventory piece as well. Pick and choose the appropriate parts. If you want to add whether it would be a single part or a multiple part, you do have some filtering options down below. Once you’ve added those parts you can then define your quantities that you’re utilizing. There’s a place for other cost tools and other items as well.

Here very easily I can issue this work order. I can now send this to the printer. I can email this. If your technicians are utilizing mobile, they can capture this on mobile devices. When it comes time to completing the work order, I can complete it on mobile. I can complete it here as well. From a labor, maybe your technicians told you that each of them took a couple of hours to do the work. Maybe it took a couple of parts as well. You can make your edits to the work order. If completed, it opens up this window. I can assign it to an account category. I have another opportunity to update my time, update my downtime if you’re tracking downtime or parts. If you utilize failures, what caused this equipment to fail and which is why it needed to be fixed. Hit OK. My work order is now done. I can reopen if necessary.

Tasks will ultimately end up where we just were on the work orders page. For task, the idea here is you’re trying to prolong your asset life and so you do want to create or schedule your preventive maintenance items so that this regular maintenance does occur. Real easy. Just click new, give your task a name, whatever you want to call it, define the frequency. I already got a test. Just do a new one here. Define a frequency for it and how frequently you want it to occur. You have the different options here, as I mentioned, with meters whatever the meter may be or timeframe. I’m just going to call those on a monthly. Add some scheduling dates which allows me to define if this is a year round PM or does this only occur during certain times of the year like maybe only during winter, during swimmer. You can define your date range. Describe what you want done. You can get very detailed about what will be done during this PM. Summary is keeping track of your cost. Now you can add your assets—single assets or multiple assets. Maybe you want to pick a few here. Hit OK. Now these assets are all on this PM. If you wish, you can predefine who’s going to do the work, what parts you need to add, any other costs, any tools that are utilized. You can add inspection points. We’re talking about prolonging the life of your equipment. There may be specific items that while your technicians are doing the work that, “While you’re there, these are some observational things that we want you to check on as well.” Maybe you want to check the fan blade or check a belt or make sure the fluid levels are correct within that piece of machinery” or things along those lines. If any of those items fail, you can create corrective work orders off of a failed inspection point and define your corrective action as well. There’s also place to add activities. The nice thing here is that there may be other activities that do not necessarily follow the frequency that you’ve defined. Pick and choose activities that you may deem necessary for that piece of machinery. Go and add those. You can be very specific of what this activity may be and then also give it a timeframe. This is monthly but every two months this activity will be done, every three months maybe this activity, four months and six months, whatever the case may be. The system will know based on this timeframe to add these items to the work orders every two months, every three months and so forth. It allows you to create one single PM without having to create separate PMs for the same piece of equipment.

Once you get these created, you’ll then utilize the task scheduler to get those on to schedule and to generate your PMs, and ultimately they will reside on your work order’s page which is where we started. Let me get there again and close this out. They’ll ultimately reside here in requested status and whatever type you’ve called them whether they’re preventive PMs, routine. You’ll define what your type is. Here now you can either individually issue these PMs or utilizing the batch work order status. You can grab several at a time to say, “I want to go and issue all these PMs, take them from requested status to open status.” You can even assign them to a technician. If utilizing paperwork orders, send them to a printer as well. Click OK. Those documents, those PMs plus any inspection documents, any other attachment documents that you may want to include like pictures of the asset or certain instructional items will all flow to the printer and be available for that technician to grab as well.

I got another question for you guys. Are you currently performing preventive maintenance? I’ll give you a few moments to answer this. It looks like the majority of the folks are which is great. You guys fully understand the benefits of doing PMs on your equipment.

What happens when equipment is down? Work orders. We do have a web request module which allows your non-maintenance folks to submit request 24/7. It reduces your incoming calls. It will also create the tracking mechanism. If there’s an email notification that’s also submitted when these requests are sent in. The web requesters can check the status of their requests at any time as well. As I mentioned before, work orders can be picked up via mobile. I can inform a technician out in the field. I can see what work orders are assigned to me or I can even see what work orders are not assigned that I can pick up and assign myself to go do the work. I can update my meter readings, perform inspection points, add parts to work orders, create, modify and close work orders, record time worked for one or more technicians. There are numerous other tools that are available via the mobile device as well. With work orders, being able to define your labor, add inspection points, look at documents, keep track of your assets and parts.

Now we’re going to take a look at the web request piece for one moment. I talked about it earlier to be able to submit this. Again, something that you can allow your non-maintenance personnel to utilize and even allow for guests to login. So for folks outside your organization depending on what kind of structure you guys have. This request is for George Strait. I know who he is. I’ve got his email address and phone number. I’ve set up some certain parameters for him as well. I’m not allowing him to change his property, asset or service. You don’t have to do that. This happens to be on my sample database as created, but you can control who has access to this. Is it everybody in your organization? Is it only management level folks? You have that ability to control who can do this. They’re going to come in and give you description on what’s going on as well as defining what assets or property if you’ve opened up these fields for them. It could be something as simple as it is hot or maybe a certain piece of machinery on the production line is down. It could be numerous items that come in. When they click submit they get a green confirmation bar, email notification to send to whomever you determine should get that notice, be it a single person or multiple folks. The things you’ll be able to see is this information right here. A request where I can see the status right now it is still in the requested status. This will flow into the application as their requested work order. Of course that will flow into here which is this work order. Here’s our description. It is hot. I can also grab this via mobile device. I’m logged in as one of my technicians. Here’s the submission we just had. It’s a work request. It’s currently in requested status. Any details, who the requester was, description, here’s the note that we added, “It is hot.” If I’m going to run with this work order, I want to go and open this work order. I want to add labor. Maybe I want to add myself to this work order. I’m logged in as Paul. I can add additional folks if necessary. I can define how long it took me to complete this work order whether I’m defining an in and out time or maybe just total hours. Hit save. I can also add parts to this work order. Maybe I’m driving it from the main storeroom. Grab a part. I only need one part here. If I needed to grab multiple parts, I can do so. It’s saved. If there were any inspection points to find, I can manage those here. If I’m updating meters, here as well, or I can even add other costs. I go back to the work order itself. If I want to add any comments, I can add comments. I can update the description as well. Do I need to define anything else? Am I tracking failure codes? Why am I doing the work? Am I managing the downtime? Once I’m done here from my mobile device, I can mark this as completed. Once I’ve done, it can no longer be edited from my mobile device. It’s now closed. If I go back to here and look at my completed all, here’s the work order that we just completed via my mobile device.

Another question for you folks. Would hand-held mobile devices would be beneficial and helpful to help you manage your workflow? As you saw, I can grab those items and you can even put user rights associated with your mobile users. Do they only see their own work orders or do they see all work orders basically? How to prepare to minimize downtime of your inventory? Basically utilizing inventory parts: being able to streamline your account process whether utilizing mobile devices, pocket PCs to download part lists, generate part inventory control reports, reduce inventory carrying cost by analyzing your parts, stay on track with transaction logs and other reports like inventory reports, create your own numerical rating systems. It allows you to assess and record the condition of one or more of an asset’s physical properties. There are several different ways to help in this area as far as minimizing downtime. Along there, let me just get back into the application again. Within MicroMain, under resources, we do have our parts inventory that you can manage and control. There are some filtering options across the top. So I’m just looking at a single part. I’ve got the part, whether you call it by name or some kind of code, this is an alpha numeric field, give it your details and manufacturer model, your class that it may fall under, where is this part located, on-hand reserves and available. I can add a picture of the part, keep track of my suppliers, cross-reference. The order page allows me also to do a few things as far as keeping track of my order units, unit cost and my minimum inventory level. This is a key item here to make sure that if any of your production equipment goes down that you’re not short of the parts needed or that may be needed to maintain that piece of equipment. You can define your minimum inventory levels. You can even set up an alert within the application that will alert you if that inventory level falls below your defined minimum. Here you can also keep track of your cost information whether you utilize Fifo, Lifo or Average Cost methodology. One thing you’ll notice on the part, I did have this part in three different locations. You can even define your minimum inventory levels per location as well. If you notice on the very bottom, I showed total work on hand, reserved and available—reserved as to how many of these parts are reserved for open or requested work orders. And as work orders are completed and parts are used, the numbers will update automatically.

Within the part, you can associate with an asset. Let me actually get to an asset as well. I’m just going to pick one that I know I’ve got parts association here. We’re talking about maintaining the life of your assets and being able to define that within each asset, we do have a details page which allows you to define when you purchased it or started leasing this piece of equipment, what is the useful life, when should you replace it by, when did you install it and all reports you can generate in the application to determine depreciation of this piece of equipment, replacement projections so if you don’t want to be blindsided by upcoming costs down the road, maybe in a couple of years you’ll have some equipment too that needs replacing, you can generate a report out of MicroMain utilizing the cost information and you can define your own inflationary percentages to see what is this going to cost us to replace again. If you’ve done the work and you’re regularly maintaining your piece of equipment, it may help you to say, “This was a 10-year useful life, but we’ve been able to get 2 more years out of it because we are regularly maintaining our piece of equipment.”

Over 3,700 clients that do utilize MicroMain—many in manufacturing, both heavy and light manufacturing customer examples that we did have one in HVAC. They’re missing necessary information to make informed decisions. The history associated with the equipment and the parts, that information that was lacking, and by installing MicroMain, they were able to reduce their maintenance cost by 52% and overtime was down by 48%. You’re keeping track of your cost, keeping track of asset history, keeping track of labor. You’re able to generate reports. How long does it really take for us to complete this work? Is it taking some technicians longer than others? If need-be, maybe that’s a training opportunity to help certain technicians get their time down for working on that piece of equipment. You can maintain asset history and information. It can empower you to sustain an efficient maintenance process which then ultimately provides more equipment uptime which is really what you’re shooting for especially in your production area and saves you money by reducing maintenance expense and downtime by increasing your labor efficiency.

If you have any questions, please do feel free to submit via chat.

The application is an access frontend sequel backend application. With that in mind with our premium level solution which is what we’re looking at today, one thing that we also provide to all of our clients is the source code for the application and what that means if you have the appropriate technical resources on your end, you can do your own customizations to the application itself including adding any additional reporting… reports, I should say, that you may not find within the application. There are over 600 reports that do come standard, several of which even offer results in graphical representation.

The MicroMain application, we do have several customers for which integration or interfacing with other solutions has come into play. Out of the box, it does not integrate with any particular application that would require a customization to create for that integration. Very often we see folks that want to integrate it with their accounting applications. Working with them will determine what kind of integration this will be. Is this an export/import type of integration? Is this web services integration where data is moving between web services back and forth between the MicroMain system and another application?

Todays’ webinar with how CMMS really supports manufacturing, of course we are MicroMain. We’re specifically talking about how our solution specifically helps manufacturing with defining your preventative maintenance, your work orders, mobile capabilities. Of course, some feedback we hear from existing customers as to why they ultimately decided to choose MicroMain and why they continue to stay with MicroMain is that it is a very easy to use system. The flow of it is very straightforward, having the ability to even grab work orders via mobile device. Again it is the mobile solution, it’s not device-specific so whether it would be iPhone, iPad, Android or some other tablet or smartphone you can utilize our mobile capabilities. It’s not restricted to Apple products or Android.

We have a question about being able to make edits specific to assets in the applications. Yes, they’re very easy to edit whether you’re editing just the name of the information or specific information within the profile of that asset. One thing we hear from time to time as well though… Let’s say we have an asset. It’s time to replace it. We’re now adding a new asset in its place. What do we do with the old one? You just inactivate that asset. You don’t delete it because you still need the ability to report against what you may have done to that previous asset.

Barcoding is an item that some of our clients utilize for both for parts as well as even maybe for assets whether they’re utilizing a smart device to capture the barcode or even pocket PC.

I think we’re about come to the end of today’s webinar. I do want to thank each of you for taking time from your busy schedules to join us. As Madeline mentioned at the start, this webinar on how a CMMS supports manufacturing is recorded, and we will have it posted on our blog by tomorrow. Of course, if you have any additional questions for us about CMMS, preventative maintenance, facility management, etc, do feel free to give us a call. Our toll-free number 888-888-1600 and you can get it to sales line to get to the appropriate account manager for your region. Thank you very much and enjoy the rest of your day.

CMMS Software ROI Calculator

In this helpful webinar: CMMS Software ROI Estimator, Mark Stellfox discusses areas that can be affected by using powerful, effective CMMS software. You’ll also be able to estimate how to reduce maintenance costs and what the Return on Investment can be with CMMS.

 The webinar was recorded and is available for you to view full screen here.

Did you find this webinar helpful? Stay up-to-date with our scheduled webinars and be sure to join us for the next one!

Webinar Transcription

For today’s webinar, I’m going to be discussing the ROI Estimator. We’re going to identify the five areas affected by CMMS software. First, we’ll review the CMMS software functionality. Maintenance software gives you the ability to document, monitor, and report on critical areas. The data CMMS software provides you and gives you an opportunity to improve processes and performance while reducing cost. Next, we’ll walk through the ROI Estimator to provide you with an example of its use. Finally, you will have access to the ROI Estimator so that you can apply your company’s specific information. You’ll be able to get one of those from your customer account manager so contact them directly.

Evaluate your potential savings in these areas below: increasing asset life, maintaining proper inventory levels, increasing productivity, reducing overtime, reducing utility usage and also equipment downtime. Results are going to vary from company to company in the industry. Plug in your data to get accuracy out of the ROI Estimator.

Increasing Asset Life
Here is a basic example: All assets have a predicted life span. If a piece of equipment costs $50,000 and is expected to be in service for 10 years, the asset cost per year is $5,000. Asset failure even 6 months before predicted life end results in a loss of $2,500. Effective routine scheduled preventive maintenance helps ensure the predicted lifespan of assets is maximized. Review your company’s assets and measure the actual versus predicted lifespan. Focus on critical assets. How many assets will there be? What is the asset value? This information gives you the data you need to estimate improved asset life and savings achieved when effective preventive maintenance is scheduled and executed.

Maintaining Proper Inventory Levels
Effectively monitor and report on parts usage. Use collected data to maintain parts inventory at appropriate levels. Overstocking parts commits budget dollars before they are genuinely needed. Overstocking parts also opens the door to revenue loss should parts become obsolete. Depleted inventory slows maintenance performance so don’t run out of parts. Review your company’s parts usage, inventory levels and parts obsolescence to identify opportunities for improvement.

Increase Productivity and Reduce Overtime
Track and report on actual labor usage. Improve processes to best utilize labor assets and reduce overtime and contract labor costs. Automate the creation of work orders and scheduling of tasks using work order management software. Assign labor efficiency based on location, skills, or availability. How many maintenance people do you have on your staff? How much time is spent waiting on work orders or parts? How much time is dedicated to paperwork? You want to analyze your company’s labor usage. What savings would be created by 5% improvement in labor usage?

Reduce Utilities Usage
The HVAC system in commercial facilities accounts for a significant portion of energy use. Proper maintenance, inspection, and servicing can reduce utility cost. Review your company’s utilities usage and repair/replacement costs to identify opportunities for maintenance improvements and cost savings.

Equipment Downtime
Equipment downtime affects all companies. What are your key factors affecting your company? Loss of deliverable product, labor waste, scrap and rework costs for manufacturing. You want to increase property availability for hotel, apartment, office space. Decrease interruptions for facility users for tenants and students. Increase comfort of visitors and guests/reduce complaints. Increase facility access (hospitality like hotels and whatnot, schools, recreation areas). Improve compliance/fewer incidents (healthcare, other regulated industries).

The CMMS software provides the ability to improve your asset lifespan, manage parts and inventory, manage your labor, improve utility consumption and reduce downtime. Data gathered in CMMS software provides reports that measure current status, track maintenance activities and costs, and document information that helps you improve performance and reduce costs.

I’m going to go ahead and pull up the ROI Estimator. This is something you can contact your account manager for. They can get you a copy of it so you can plug in some calculations. You guys could see the direct savings from the CMMS implemented. The key points I covered before: labor, plug in the number of full-time employees, average hours, number of part-time employees, average hours worked. It will give you your labor cost per year and then give you an annual labor savings down here. You could just plug in the factors and you can plug in the different percentages. We have a little guideline, a little legend over here on the right you can follow.

Inventory – the value of your maintenance related inventory and inventory purchased last year. You estimate your percentage savings based on the current inventory system. We plugged in 5 percent as if it was just a manual system. If there’s no system, you could plug in 10 percent on the computer systems. Zero percent is going to give you your annual inventory savings. Next section is going to be the preventive maintenance. You’re going to plug in your capital equipment—your largest, most critical equipment first. We have the estimated average lifespan. I have 10 years in here. It’s going to increase the average life savings per year. I assume the 10 percent increase in life calculation plus your utility cost so your annual PM savings.

We have another section down here for other savings. Only fill in what is known. Some of it you might not have. It could be hours. Some costs so you could plug in some additional information to see what other savings you might get. It will give you a total at the bottom for the total estimated savings per year and also total estimating savings in year one including your inventory. We have it broken down here at the bottom by hosted versus purchased or hosted by MicroMain or purchased and installed locally on permit at your location. You can see the annual ROI down here at the bottom for hosted is 367 percent and purchased is 589 percent. Like I said, you’ll be able to get a copy from your account manager. They’d get you a copy of this so you can plug in your own factors. I’m going to go back up here to the work order list—a quick preview of our CMMS work order software where you can basically keep track of all your assets. Your parts inventory basically manages everything and streamlines the maintenance operation over here.

I’ll just close this screen here and give you a quick little tour on the facility where you’re going to basically build your database, put your equipment in here. I’ll open up this example here. Here’s an air handler. You can capture all the details related to that air handler—where it’s located, description of it, manufacturer, model number, serial number, grouping for reporting purposes, account codes for budgeting. You can add the asset’s pictures in here to keep up with other details—replaced by, replacement costs, salvage values, useful life. This is all that pertinent information. These will pull into reports. Also, we have over 500 standard reports within our system with the cost information, your purchase date, your install date, if you’re leasing it with a start date and end date.

Associate your parts inventory that we talked about. I linked that part right to that asset. I’ll just double click and drill it down and go right into the part records so you can keep up with all your parts that you keep in stock—manufacturer, model number, class, account code, category code. You can have one or multiple stock rooms, closet or another store room location. At the bottom, it will tell you what you have on hand, what’s reserved for work orders. There’s a built-in purchase order piece. If you have any order through the purchase order piece, it’s going to show up here as your calculation on what you have available—part pictures to keep up with your suppliers.

Your order page is going to set your min-max levels. You definitely want to keep that and set this up in the system while you don’t have a big inventory sitting on your shelf cost your money. And then you always have parts in stock so you don’t have that unnecessary downtime or that unnecessary time spending creating a PO or going over and not having to buy those parts. Get back at it here. You can also track warranty information within the system with expiration dates, and it will notify the technicians on the work orders so they know it is covered under warranty.

Any time the work order is created whether it’s scheduled work or unscheduled work, each asset has its own history file cabinet. It will get recorded back to there with a quick asset history report. Whatever date range you select, it will give you a total for the selected date range at the bottom. That cost information total would be on the work orders that did the work labor, any parts used out of your inventory or any other costs incurred to do that job.

The next thing you want to do is you set up your assets within the system and skip to those preventive maintenance task or any other task that you’re going to do to properly maintain and get a longer asset life out of the system. I have several tasks listed at the bottom. This is where you’re going to set these up. Once you set them up over here, they’re going to show up in your work orders list. I’m going to jump into actions and work orders. Here is a list of all the work orders whether it’s scheduled or unscheduled. In the top left up here, I’m looking at status of worked as requested open and on hold that I can check basically filter any way you can think of with the checkboxes, with the fields over here on the right or just within the different columns down here. Here is that annual air handler PM. A quick preview of what the paperwork looks like. This can also be sent over to our mobile interface. You can do paperless work orders on a smartphone, tablet or just basically browser-based device using MicroMain’s mobile CMMS. You could have a laptop or a desktop and just open up Google Chrome or Internet Explorer and access the mobile interface. The checklist will show up on that also. This one is an inspection checklist for work order 716.

It will list out whatever checkpoints you had set up within the system. If you do not have any checkpoints, it will just see the actual work order. Work order 716, air handler PM, it’s going to identify what the work order is, the property location. Here is your description: what work needs to be done, all the procedures, the asset information, description located for one mechanical room building three. It will notify it is under warranty. It does have the inspection checklist. Todd Bell’s assigned to that ticket. Here is the parts inventory he should take with them and then other costs incurred to do that job such as materials or you have to rent something. This is the paperwork order. It can also be updated on our mobile interface. I’ll just slide that on to the screen real quick.

Here is the mobile interface with the ability to update or create work orders out into the field and real-time right back to the database when you’re doing any updates. You can see the work order list. It’s going to tell the technician the service instead of the paper. Everything is going to be basically on this interface here—what the service is, description of the work that needs to be done. The technician can write any comments in over here.

Under the labor section, they can time in and time out or update their time spent on that job, add or update any parts that they used on that job. If you have inspection points, a checklist will show up here. You can collect meter readings and also track other costs if you bought some materials or rented something to do that job. You have to wait to do mobile-based work orders. I’m just going to pull up—now that we’re running short on time here—my report section.

We have over 500 standard reports. I’m just going to pull up a quick batch. I have one called key performance indicators. I selected several reports, put them into my batch. As you can see, I have a couple of batches here. I’m just going to do the preview and pull up some few example reports and then just wrap the webinar up. This just gets into the field that you’re using within the system and then be able to take care of your assets, get that longer asset life, make sure you have all your parts in stock and then to maybe analyze the whole business of what you’re doing.

TREVORIS: Thanks everyone for joining us today. Currently the only questions I have are related to access to the ROI calculator. That will be coming out to you later today in an email with a link to get that information. If anybody else has any questions, please chat to us now, and we’ll answer them. In addition to a link to the ROI calculator, we’ll also include in the email a link to the recording of this webinar if you wanted to go back and view anything or if you wanted to share it with others on your team.

MARK: Another question if it’s SAS. We can do it SAS, or we’ll sell it as a hosted solution hosted by MicroMain or you can purchase the software outright and install it at your location.

TREVORIS: We do have a question regarding hospitals that we work with in the Southeast. Danielle, we’ve got a list of references for you. We will get with you offline with that information.

MARK: And then the web-based interface, does it work on all platforms? I believe you’re referring to the mobile solution and basically it works with most browsers, web-enabled devices—smartphones, tablets, Android, iOS and Windows 7. Like I said, you can open up a web browser on your computer and access it also.

5 Ways Maintenance Management Software Can Help Schools

Schools around the country are nearly out for Summer. It’s no vacation for those in charge of maintaining the schools and facilities though. The planners out there need to keep a watchful eye on their school’s budget, the state of their facility and the personnel tasked with keeping everything in order. There are countless ways a maintenance management system can help schools and the people responsible for their buildings and equipment.

1. Keep Assets Running

Increase Asset Reliability

A recent study estimated that the ROI from using proper preventive maintenance procedures versus purely reaction maintenance is 545%. Taking the time to sit down and map out exactly when you need to service your equipment and what inspections need to happen are critical. Tracking all that with a pen and paper or even a few Excel docs can be a nightmare.

A computerized maintenance management system or CMMS can keep track of that data for you. So after scheduling and inputting the information, your work orders for the chiller or the generator will pop up automatically.

2. Manage Supplies

Manage Supplies

Tons of items flow into a school every year, from air filters to overhead projector light bulbs. There are several benefits of tracking supplies and parts with a CMMS.

First, tracking usage with a CMMS makes it easy to see when you are coming close to running out of parts. Alerts can even be setup to notify you. Second, reports can be run based on part data. This information might be helpful in determining if there is a specific building that is using more parts than others. Knowing that will let you investigate the issue and solve. Furthermore, a maintenance management system can be used to generate purchase orders for parts, saving time.

3. Track Labor

Track Labor

The old proverb goes “it takes a village to raise a child.” Well, it takes near a village of labor to manage a large school or facility. There is not only the full time maintenance and custodial staff, but also outside vendors who assist with projects.

A maintenance management system can make sure that their time is accounted for. Knowing where the hours are spent in a work day can make employees accountable and keep your priorities in-line. With maintenance software, you can also associate hours with work orders and inspections and know who fixed what.

4. Keep Everyone Happy

Work Requests

A school can be thought of a symphony of teachers, parents, students and paraprofessionals. A broken A/C unit or dirty bathroom can turn that symphony’s sweet music sour.

Preventive maintenance can stop some of those problems from occurring, but on-demand or emergency work orders are bound to occur. In this case, responding to issues in a timely manner is key to keeping everyone happy. Setting up an online work order request system allows anyone in the school to submit a work request, monitor the request and even rate how the request was resolved.

5. Save Maintenance Time

Save Time

The largest campus by size in the world is Berry College in Georgia. The campus at Berry measure 27,000 acres! Imagine how long it would take to drive your Polaris across, much less walk.

Accessing your CMMS from the field with a smartphone or tablet can save time and increase accuracy of data. With mobile maintenance software, your maintenance tech will no longer have to go back to the office to either pick up hard copy work orders or update their desktop-based system.

Take Action Today

To get your school or campus on the path towards better operations, request a free consultation. Our experts will listen to your needs and develop a plan of action.

How to Run a Tight Knit Ship in Your Warehouse

Warehouse Interior

When it comes to running a warehouse effectively, organization is the key. Everything from employee procedures to inventory listings must be up-to-date and closely followed by everyone involved. However, there are different organizational elements that are important to the productivity of a warehouse such as building layout, paying attention to details, and having suitable computer software. Together these all make a world of difference.

Building Layout

In order to be extremely efficient, you need to utilize every inch of your space. You can start by developing a basic map of your warehouse and list where all the important functions are being carried out as well as storage spaces that are available. The spaces where you handle receiving, shipping, packing, and returns need to work well together, which means that you should be storing goods according to priority or frequency of use.

Building and facility management software can help plan the layouts to increase efficiency. You need to find new ways to increase the activity flow and accuracy on any orders. This can be difficult to do if your warehouse has been laid out the same way for a few years. People hesitate to change things that have been around long enough to be considered status quo. However, when you want to tighten things up in the warehouse, you need to be willing to change and reorganize.

Pay Attention to Detail

Any errors or unsafe practices that happen inside the warehouse, no matter how small, can really hurt productivity because you will need to go back and correct the issue. The best way to limit these errors is to have a process that pays attention to details and holds someone accountable for the task. Ideally, this should lead to the kind of preventative maintenance that improves, rather than limits, overall efficiency.

For instance, when a shipment is received, a specific person should be counting pallets and doing an inventory check to ensure everything is there before signing it off. Mistakes can be made anywhere, including shipping the wrong amount of an item to someone or sending to the wrong location. Inventory mistakes can be extremely problematic, and overworked employees can easily miss those important details.  You need to have the tools and process to manage all your accounting, purchasing, and filing claims with suppliers as efficiently as possible.

The Right Software for the Right Job

Technology is something that is often both under-utilized and over-utilized in a warehouse environment. The key to effectively implementing management software is to make sure everyone is using it. If someone takes inventory out of the warehouse without marking it down in the program, any number of problems can crop up because there are a lot of people who depend on having accurate numbers.

Warehouses can use dedicated programs for fleet management to monitor all the vehicles that are responsible for shipping, and maintenance procedures can be tracked by managers to make sure that everything from oil changes, tire rotations, and other important work is being done.

In order to keep a warehouse running smoothly, a lot of elements have to work together. You should include your employees in your decisions, take a look at all the collected data before making workflow decisions, and make sure everyone is using the available tools. In the end, you’ll be able to maximize efficiency and improve organization.

For more information on how MicroMain can assist your warehouse to help make it run more efficiently, contact us today.

Maintaining Positive Relationships with Suppliers and Vendors

Vendors and suppliers are a critical component for any business. They provide the materials and services required to manufacture your own products or add value to your services, and maintaining these relationships should be every bit as important as those between the company and customer. It’s not always easy to do, though, because business relationships can be a real balancing act to maintain the mutually beneficial aspects of a long-term partnership.

The best foundation for any relationship must be built on respect, trust, and mutual benefit. Without one of those three legs, the table will quickly fall over. There are, however, some simple things you can do to maintain this balance and make sure your relationships remain positive.

Pay On Time – If you continue to delay or miss payments, vendors will look for new relationships that are more reliable. Pay your bills promptly and you’ll be their favorite client.

Be Reasonable – You need to be reasonable in your negotiations. Remember that a supplier or vendor should get a fair profit, too. While you’re  asking what’s in this deal for you, be aware of what’s in it for them. If you’re not offering enough of a return, this relationship will end.

Be Honest and Transparent – Negotiate in good faith. If you’ve had something change on your end, be direct and clear so the supplier knows why your requirements have evolved. Don’t inflate your requirements either, hoping to get some extra negotiating power. Be transparent about your situation, costs, and goals.

Be Fair – Don’t try to take advantage of the relationship. This is short-sighted behavior and will always lead to problems. Long term relationships will prove to be much more beneficial, yet many partnerships have been destroyed when one side of the equation saw an opportunity they believed they couldn’t pass up. This type of behavior only causes issues and destroys relationships.

Have Expectations – Just because you’re being as considerate and thoughtful as possible, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have expectations for your vendors and suppliers. However – in line with being fair – you should always be clear about what you expect. Spell it out for them. Never assume that they know what you want, even if they’ve been working with you for years.

Avoiding and Resolving Problems

No relationship is perfect, and eventually you will have disagreements or concerns cause problems. Any time two companies begin working together, they will have to deal with the fact that sometimes their goals, motives, and plans will clash. While you can carefully avoid many of the resulting conflicts, others you will have to face down and resolve. This may mean going back and re-establishing your expectations, being more transparent about your specifications, or explaining your need for consistent delivery times. Whatever the problems, address them quickly and directly, and, above all, keep the lines of communication open.

Long-term relationships can be extremely profitable for both sides of a partnership, but only if you’re willing to put in the effort to make sure it remains positive for everyone involved. Be direct and keep the long-term goals in mind because there may come a time when you have to rely on all the trust and respect you’ve built up over the years.

To learn more about using our CMMS Software and our building and facility management software to manage supplier and vendor information, contact us today.

Building Efficiency and Your CMMS

Building Efficiency and Your CMMS  | Blog                  

Energy efficiency saves money and helps reduce greenhouse gases. IFMA partnered with Johnson Controls to look at how companies feel about energy efficiency, how they are achieving energy efficiency and what methods are the most promising. It all came together in the 2011 Energy Efficiency Indicator.

IFMA is the world’s largest and most widely recognized international association for professional facility managers, supporting more than 20,000 members in 78 countries. Johnson Controls is a multinational company providing everything from climate control systems to car seats. They also utilize MicroMain CMMS software at some facilities they support.

Building Efficiency and Your CMMS

The study has been conducted over five years. Some key findings gleaned from the report include:

  • Managers and leaders want energy efficiency. 66% reported that energy was “extremely important” or “very important” to their organization.
  • Lighting is the best way to start saving on energy consumption. 81% of IFMA respondees implemented lighting improvements in the past year.
  • Lack of funding and uncertain ROI is the main deterrent to energy savings initiatives. Combined, those represent over 50% of the culprit for lack of action.
  • Smart buildings are the future. Incorporating reporting and sensing technologies into buildings show massive amounts of promise in the years and decades to come.

Building Efficiency and Your CMMS

MicroMain can help lead companies into a sustainable and money-saving future with our suite of CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System), CAFM (Computer-Aided Facility Management System) and CPAM (Capital Planning Asset Management System) products and add-ons.

  • Preventive Maintenance on energy saving devices and systems can be set up and managed easily, keeping equipment and assets up and running.
  • Work Orders are the core functionality of any good CMMS software. Having work orders completed, tracked and reported on allows informed decisions to be made about areas where energy savings can take place.
  • Asset Tracking gives you the ability to asses and record the condition of your solar devices, lighting units or any other asset.
  • MicroMain Facility Management helps companies manage buildings, assets, and occupants. This information in conjunction with sensing technology can play a key part in reducing energy.

If you want to know more about MicroMain products, contact a MicroMain expert.

Maintenance New Year’s Resolutions

As the New Year rolls around there are thoughts of improvements and goals for the year ahead. Similar to personal resolutions, business resolutions involve a look at the past year: what worked and what didn’t work? Maintenance and Facility managers are realizing that fine-tuning last year’s operations are vital for the New Year’s success. We recommend these resolutions as a way to improve procedures, increase savings, and gauge success.

1. PlanPlan

A successful year is near impossible without some sort of plan. Monthly, quarterly, and yearly goals will help keep a maintenance department on track. Maybe you want to reduce your equipment downtime or re-organize all your assets; take these improvements and make them attainable goals.

Planning goals for the year go hand in hand with the yearly budget. Things such as new equipment, staff training, or department initiatives need to be factored in for the upcoming year in order to prioritize the plan ahead. Prove to the company’s upper management that maintenance and facility departments can be a profit center.

2. UpdateUpdate

If your company is still relying on spreadsheets or the even more painful pen and paper to track assets and work orders, this resolution is especially important. The time has come for an updated maintenance strategy and process. Let 2013 be the Year of CMMS.

There are many advantages to upgrading to a comprehensive computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), not to mention it’s paperless. These advantages include: preventive maintenance scheduling, analysis and reporting, accessible database, real-time information, and much more.

3. MaintainMaintain

All assets have a certain amount of upkeep. In order to preserve an asset, specific procedures must be in place. For maintenance and facility managers, these procedures can be achieved and scheduled with preventive maintenance.

Preventive maintenance is designed to extend equipment life and avoid any unplanned failure activity. By maintaining all assets, you will reduce downtime, conserve assets, and decrease repair costs. If any equipment was prematurely replaced last year or if there were an increase in breakdowns, a preventive maintenance strategy will guarantee operations improvements.

4. MeasureMeasure

Don’t wait until the end of the year to figure out if something is working. Start by setting certain benchmarks in order to measure maintenance performance and determine results. Key Performance Indicators (KPI) allow for operations analysis so goals can be set and monitored.

Track and measure the things that are most important to your department, such as, time between failure, pm schedule compliance, or unplanned maintenance. Set benchmarks, resume operations, get results. It is important to analyze these KPIs throughout the year in order to make improvements.

5. LearnLearn

Learning from the past year is essential to growth within 2013. But, the learning doesn’t stop once January ends. The study of your operations, those around you, and other industry professionals is key. Instead of trying to figure out the wins and losses of the past year on your own, get with your entire maintenance or facility department for new opinions.

Similarly, it can be extremely useful to get new perspectives from industry peers. This can be accomplished by picking up a copy of the latest maintenance magazine, joining a professional group, or even attending a conference. And, as always, staying up-to-date on industry blogs.

Does anyone have any other business or maintenance goals for 2013? Let us know below or on our Facebook page.