Tag Archives: cmms software

Why Your Business Needs a CMMS Vendor

Do we need computerized maintenance management software (commonly known as CMMS)? It’s the question on the lips of many business managers seeking to improve the bottom line via improved tracking of business expenses and functions. Out on the proverbial shop floor, the question might be more along the lines of “what is CMMS anyway?”

But the question everyone should be asking is “Why haven’t we found a CMMS vendor yet?”

With CMMS, you can manage the schedule for everything from basic maintenance of equipment to calibrating of instruments, gauges and other delicate equipment.

The fine-tuning reaches beyond maintenance of equipment and into the business aspect of maintenance management: employee shift schedules, cost analysis, supply inventory and more. It even allows management to analyze overall maintenance performance.

All types of organizations will benefit from CMMS. It provides the ability to track tasks of all types. It organizes not only scheduled maintenance tasks, but also un-scheduled maintenance management tasks (those unexpected yet necessary repairs). It also and it creates documentation for both types of maintenance.

And we’re not just talking about software to use at the computer. Most CMMS is available as SaaS (Software As A Service). This online capability is also known as cloud computing. That means less of a need for hands-on IT work plus fewer equipment expenses. Wireless capabilities allows employees and managers can access the software from wherever they might be and with the PDA or smart phone device that is handiest.

Most CMMS vendors provide multiple versions of the software that allow each business to pick the plan that will fit most closely with the business needs. And as your needs change, you can typically add on new modules to fit the new demand.

CMMS offers more than ‘just’ the ability to track maintenance of equipment. The benefits are not solely in maintenance-CMMS can also track your business’ research, environmental, safety, regulatory compliance and quality. Now…what was that question again? That’s right. Why haven’t we found a CMMS vendor yet?

Ashcom Technologies provides knowledge-based business solutions to clients through a multitude of strategies and tools. In the process, clients receive a sustainable competitive advantage through the implementation of proactive strategies & technologies. CMMS plays a large role in this process.

3917 Research Park Drive
Ann Arbor MI 48108
Phone: 1800-366-0793

Author: Ashley Combs
Article Source: EzineArticles.com
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Can Maintenance People be "Happy"?

I’ve been working in the maintenance industry for the past 22 years.  My first foray into this mechanized world of grease, wrenches, and safety shutoffs happened immediately after graduating as a mechanical engineer in the late 1980’s.

Since then I have migrated into the world of maintenance management consulting.  This journey succeeded due to my learning maintenance software early on (DOS, remember that?), applying its power to my real world surroundings, and showing results to upper management with pretty pie charts and numbers that made them smile.

So when the creators of this CMMS blog asked me for advice on how it should look, I advised them to somehow show people that maintenance professionals can also smile, and be  happy, just like those upper management people who are easily dazzled by pie charts and excellent numbers.

So they took my advice and made the first blog branding logo a “dancing maintenance guy”.

You can watch this happy dude dancing all day long at the top right corner of this blog.  Sure, it can be puzzling to see him rockin’ that tool belt.  Does such a creature actually exist?  Is there anything besides the lunch buzzer or breaking away from work that really makes a maintenance technician happy?  And what about their supervisors and managers?  Ever see them smile (let alone dance)?

By our nature, maintenance people are motivated by a challenge to solve technical, mechanical, electrical issues.  Fix things.  And fix them well.

Motivation, of course, is to feel that rush of accomplishment (which can lead to a smile, and when it happens repeatedly, will certainly lead to a quick jig).

Here is how it can work:

The maintenance team will many times need to troubleshoot an issue to find the root cause.  Other times, the cause is pretty obvious.  In either case, the maintenance team will only need a few simple things to achieve  that goal to “fix it well”.

  • We need spare parts.
  • We need authority to make decisions that help speed the process.
  • We need efficient access to information to help define the problem clearly (equipment specifications, repair history, backup plans, safety plans, troubleshooting guides).

So, I hate to state the obvious, but knowing that all we need are these (and possibly a few other simple items) to help us stay on track and be motivated, wouldn’t you think that the answer is yes, happiness can be achieved, and maintained.  All we need is a simple process that is understood and followed by the whole team.

However, companies tend to under-support their maintenance staff, which is not only a problem with less dancing, but also lower productivity overall.

  1. Start with looking at managing all your maintenance data with a maintenance software system.
  2. Next, go through every single minute of a typical day and determine how you can reach the perfect world of all issues getting fixed, and less issues coming up (preventive maintenance).
  3. Then give the technicians the chance to take ownership of success and failure.

Next time you see a frowning maintenance person, realize that turning that frown upside down, and possibly even seeing them dance, is achievable and probably desirable.  Find out what’s missing.

If you feel that seeing your people dance is unachievable, here is another place to learn about resources available to you: EAM University

CMMS Evaluation, Selection and Cost Justification Webinar

Evaluation, Selection and Justification of CMMS

Recently, eMaint Enterprises invited Ralph “Pete” Peters, President of Maintenance Excellence Institute, to deliver a Free Best Practices Webinar on evaluating and cost justifying a CMMS. Ralph drew from a real life case study that featured Argentina’s largest steel maker, SIDERAR, to document the CMMS evaluation/selection process as well as projected benefits and ROI.

Ralph began by outlining the overall strategy for gaining maximum value from a CMMS:

  1. Determine the true need for CMMS
  2. Determine maintenance best practices
  3. The CMMS evaluation and selection process
  4. Clearly defining CMMS functional requirements
  5. Commitment to maintenance Best Practice implementation
  6. Use the CMMS implementation process to measure your progress.

To evaluate and compare CMMS systems, each organization must consider 5 factors:

  • Functional Requirements
  • Technical Requirements
  • Software Costs
  • Implemenation/Support
  • Qualitative Factors

After the selection and evaluation process, it is vital to cost justify the implementation of a CMMS with four important measures:

  • Craft Productivity Improvement
  • MRO Inventory Reduction
  • Value of increased Uptime/Capactiy
  • Major Projects completed sooner

However, it is always important to remember that one can not simply install a CMMS and expect resuslts, best practices must also be implemented and followed company-wide.

To dig deeper into the evaluation, selection and justification of CMMS, click here to watch the recording of the above webinar.

To view other best practice webinars click here.

CMMS = Could Mean My Salary

I recently spent some time helping a well-known yogurt manufacturer improve their visibility into their daily maintenance process.  Their CMMS product is 10 years old, not updated with the correct patches, and the reporting software is equally as ancient.

The manager in charge of maintenance performance seemed less stressed this time as compared to last.  During my first visit he was newly appointed as the person who would take their CMMS and revamp the plant maintenance performance within a few months.  I’ve seen that type of pressure placed on people before.  So many times, in fact, that I have a name for it….CMMS (could mean my salary).  Because if this guy fails, he is probably out of a job.

So of course their is a wonderful transference of that same pressure onto the consultant who the plant was so kind as to bring in and help the guy with a CMMS on his forehead.  “Could Mean My Salary”, in case you forgot.

Well this yogurt man had actually taken that old CMMS and incorporated the changes we had identified during the first visit.  So needless to say he was much more relaxed, knowing that his upper management team believed in him (and me…through transference).

To make a long story short, and then sum up my point, this latest visit proved to be successful as we took old reporting software and used it to improve maintenance processes weaved throughout an equally rickety CMMS product.  More specifically, we eliminated 8 labor hours per week that were previously “empty” labor hours spent transferring data from the CMMS to Excel then comparing to a production schedule, etc.

We took a single report and with prompts made it variable enough to manage all scenarios.  So the 8 hours transferring data was replaced with a single report that could be launched at any time to pull the required information LIVE.

The Point?  CMMS either “could” mean your salary, or it can also “justify” your salary and make it grow.  And having the latest, greatest CMMS system is not a guarantee or precursor to success.  It’s more about the basic concepts of “minimal touch” information gathering and maintenance process efficiency.  If you want to learn more, email me directly: publish@eamuniversity.com

Web Based CMMS Systems: Efficient, Mobile, and Environmentally Friendly

     “My facilities personnel are busy people.  They need to be out in the field getting work done … not sitting in front of a computer.”

    This familiar complaint has been repeated by my many facilities managers for quite sometime.  Their plea for help usually goes unanswered like someone yelling into a canyon and hearing the echo of their own voice.  

    But, thanks to advances in Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) technology, maintenance professionals are able access their work database from anywhere, using their BlackBerry®, cell phone, laptop or other mobile device.

     Web based CMMS systems can be installed on either the client’s internal server or it can be hosted by the CMMS provider.  The second option is known as an ASP (Application Service Provider).  For an ASP system, the customer doesn’t require any servers to run the application or the associated license costs for databases, network and security software.  Also, with an ASP system, no IT staff or resources are required.  The customer is only responsible for their internet connection. All other IT requirements are managed by the CMMS provider that is hosting the system.

     The inherent web programming in web based systems enables remote devices such as laptop computers, BlackBerry®, or cell phones to connect via the internet in real-time to the CMMS central database.  So, maintenance professionals working out in the field can have immediate access to the following features:

  • Receive, review and modifying work orders
  • Record asset data from anywhere around the globe
  • Recall critical asset information in real-time
  • Review, order & monitor inventory and spare parts data
  • Monitor project status and material or labor assignments
  • Update field personnel in real-time
  • Automatically record time and materials utilized
  • Collect data and create reports

     This technology also enhances a company’s ability to manage assets in multiple locations with one fully integrated CMMS solution that ensures maximum efficiency of labor, equipment and asset management.

     Aside from allowing maintenance professionals to work more efficiently in the field, there is also an environmental benefit to using remote CMMS technology as it creates a paperless work environment.  It is no longer necessary to print all assigned work orders.  All daily work requirements can be stored and managed through the user’s mobile device. There is also a significant reduction in travel time between the job site and the central office or remote spare parts location.

     With the advancement of web based CMMS technology, maintenance professionals everywhere are now able to leave the confines of their stationary computer and work in an efficient, mobile and paperless real-time work environment.

Web Work by Tero was one of the first true web based CMMS systems.   The advantage of a web based CMMS system is that it can be accessed anywhere.  No software installation is needed.  All that is required is an internet connection and the user can login to their database from the office, home, or another city.

Web Work by Tero
www.tero.ca
Toll Free:  1-866-818-8376
Main Phone:  604-468-1401
General Email: sales@tero.ca

2 Huge Reasons to Invest in CMMS Software during a Recession

These days many companies are scaling back on expenditures of any kind. And, why not? It just makes sense. Obviously, the severe economic downturn has impacted organizations across the United States and the Globe. Capital conservation has become the rule and cutbacks are inevitable. Yet, this is the just the kind of environment that completely justifies investment in Computerized Maintenance Management Software for organizations seeking to lower costs and protect vital plant and equipment assets. That’s your responsibility, right? 

1 – Immediately Lower Operational Costs – Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) Software provides an essential tool for managers working aggressively working to decrease downtime, inventory, material and contractor costs. Here’s how: 

Less DowntimeSimple: Decreased downtime means increased production.  A 1% improvement in productivity has 10 times the positive impact than a 1% reduction in costs. Imagine the gain in a production facility running 24 hours per day:  A conservative estimated gain of 24 hours of production per year pours thousands of dollars to the bottom line.  Savings estimate: Downtime cost of $2,500/Hour x 24 Hours = $60,000 annual profit increase. 

Reduced Inventory Elementary: Asset maintenance management allows you purchase inventory and parts when you need them instead of relying on guesswork. Without CMMS Software, managers might not know what is in their stockroom, can’t find what they need and, frequently end up buying parts they already have. Of course, CMMS Software allows you to lookup parts, check stock and order only as needed. Savings estimate: Reducing an $800,000 inventory just 10% with a 10% interest rate results in an annual savings of over $8,000 in an annual profit increase. 

Eliminate Contractor CostsSmart: Managed maintenance keeps repairs in-house using a more efficient work crew. CMMS Software focuses crew time on work orders designed to keep the plant moving. Result? No maintenance logjams requiring expensive contractor time. This outcome creates not only a savings on labor but also a savings on parts! Savings estimate: Using a realistic 10% annual reduction in labor and material costs on a budget of $680,000 you return another $68,000 to the bottom line.

2 – Increase Maintenance Productivity Right Now – Better work planning and scheduling maximizes crew efficiency while focusing crew time on work orders designed to keep the plant moving.  Productivity increases of 10% to 20% using modern CMMS Software are standard. Maintenance managers know that saving just 60 minutes (12.5%) per day for each worker in a six-person crew at a $30/hr labor rate for 250 days/year can preserve $45,000 annually for the organization. 

When implemented properly, a Computerized Maintenance Management System using CMMS Software can be a huge cost and time saving addition to your organization’s bottom line. Isn’t that what your objective is?  

Sure, CMMS Software costs money.

Our company, MAPCON Technologies, Inc. can get you started for $495. In fact, you can download and evaluate MAPCON’s CMMS Software free for 30 days.

Realistically, though most sizable organizations invest several thousand dollars to get properly setup and have authorized personnel trained up.

But, with a prudently estimated return-on-investment (ROI) of over 1000% (yes, one thousand percent!), your CMMS Software investment is intelligent, wise and – urgent!

   Author: 

Mapcon Technologies, Inc.
8665 Harbach Blvd., Suite B
Clive, Iowa 50325
Tel  1.800.922.4336
Email sales@mapcon.com
Website: http://www.mapcon.com/US-EN/CMMS-Software-Products

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CMMS Advice is a blog dedicated to centralizing information for folks interested in learning more about CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Software), or on a larger scale EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) Software. The format of this blog will be a free-form mixture of opinions, articles and whitepapers with CMMS or EAM as the central common thread. This blog is being powered and funded by Software Net ( www.software-directory.net ) and specifically the CMMS category, also represented on the web by the CMMS Resource Center ( www.cmms-directory.com ), the original CMMS internet directory (www.cmmsglobal.com) and the latest CMMS informational portal for “All Things EAM / CMMS” ( www.eamuniversity.com ).  Please send suggestions for future expansion areas. We are cooking up some ideas of our own !