Tag Archives: cmms

Asset Criticality and Risk Ranking – Recorded Webinar

Wouldn’t it be useful to know precisely how much time and resource should be applied to each of your assets?  With Asset Criticality, organizations are able to rate assets to determine how critical each piece of equipment is to areas such as safety, product quality, customer issues, environmental issues, and production.

During this 40 minute recorded session, guest speaker Terry Harris from Reliable Process Solutions LLC provides an overview of Asset Criticality and Risk Ranking and discusses how to:

  1. Derive the criticality rating for each piece of equipment
  2. Understand which equipment is important and critical to the process
  3. Assign resources and time based on equipment criticality value

4 Ways Mobile Improves Maintenance Management

Workers are on the move today. Literally.

Entrepreneur magazine reported on an updated forecast from International Data Corporation that “the global mobile workforce grew from one billion in 2010 to an estimated 1.3 billion in 2015.” Technology has played a role in that mobility, and continues to transform the way people work with availability across a wide range of devices.

The maintenance sector has been affected in particular. What once required paper logs or terminal access can now be managed on the shop floor, on the road, at an offsite location – or while on vacation. Today’s modern mobile CMMS is helping pave the way for maintenance professionals to operate even more efficiently and more effectively.

“Technology…continues to transform the way people work.”

Four of the most important ways mobile CMMS can improve maintenance management include:

  1. So Long, Paper

    You may be well aware of colleagues with large stacks of paper work orders (or you may have such a stack of your own!), despite the time-consuming and laborious effort associated with maintaining these documents. Mobile CMMS access can enable you to reduce or altogether remove your reliance on printing and filing paperwork, thereby eliminating the operational barriers it creates.

  2. MRO Inventory On-the-Go

    Check in/out your spare parts easily through bar code technology. Physical count quantities may be updated using your smartphone or tablet, as well as the addition of new parts or tracking availability on the fly. This data can then be used for CMMS parts inventory reports on usage, costs, valuation, and more.

  3. Asset Management Mobility

    As you’re well aware, being a stickler for asset and equipment updates as conditions change is imperative for well-organized maintenance operations. Whether you need to update locations, a criticality status or another field, getting the right data into your system at the right time is critical. With a smartphone or tablet,  you can get directly to the asset detail page and make the updates quickly when you’re nearby or when it’s simply top of mind. Scan your tagged machines, view related maintenance requests or open work orders, or even the asset’s entire work order history. Perhaps the job requires more labor or extra parts to complete – with mobile, you can append the work order to add these items and more at any point.

  4. Maintenance Requests When You Need Them

    The need for maintenance activity can strike at any moment. Now you don’t need to go back to a desk, terminal, or even call personnel to report a broken machine or leaky pipe. Make a request for maintenance activity whenever – and wherever – you are through the convenience of your mobile device. Any requestor user can log his/her request, attach an image or associated file, and follow up on the status of their request at any given time. This means less time fielding requests and more time spent working on maintenance priorities.

While these four points highlight the top benefits users can see with mobile maintenance, how else has your operations been impacted through the use of modern, mobile CMMS?

It Takes a Plan to Change a Habit

If your maintenance department has fallen into the habit of chasing down repairs and fighting fires, it’s unlikely that implementing even the most feature-rich CMMS will change the culture.  In a reactive environment, the team member who gets saddled with the implementation will be sweating bullets as he slogs through asset data entry, while repairs pile up and work gets put on hold.

shocked worker

Without taking the time upfront to look at the “big picture,” understand maintenance workflows and come up with goals and objectives for the CMMS, the maintenance team will end up with an abandoned system that no one uses and a gradual return to paper binders and Excel® spreadsheets.

Hope Isn’t a Strategy

One way to ensure that CMMS delivers a decent return on investment in terms of time, money and a thriving team that can catch its collective breath is to utilize implementation consulting services to bring your team together to lay out a solid CMMS implementation plan and follow it through.

CMMS strategy and planning, configuring and set up, follow up and training are capabilities that maintenance directors should expect from their implementation consultants. An effective consultant should ask pertinent questions as planning gets underway.  For example:

  • How do technicians handle their workload today in terms of repairs and maintenance tasks? What steps are involved in that process?
  • Is there a champion to move the implementation along and gather knowledge that he’ll share with the team?
  • Ideally, what are the measures of success for improving processes and making maintenance more efficient?
  • How do you want to use the CMMS?  Will it be used to schedule preventive maintenance (PMs)? Track inventory? Manage work orders?  What about PMs for non-assets like safety tasks, training re-certification, fleet registration renewals, etc.?
  • Can the CMMS data be integrated into the budget process to help with decisions about replacing equipment when it starts to wear out?
  • Which reports will the CMMS need to generate for audits and regulatory inspections?

Matching the CMMS to Your Work Flows

For a successful set-up, managers need to configure the CMMS to match the work flows of their facilities and add unique information for the facility’s assets as necessary. And they ought to be able to eliminate redundancies. For instance, it shouldn’t require entering 20 separate PMs for 20 air conditioning units in different locations.

JumpstartConsulting

Smartware Group’s Jumpstart Consulting typically follows a sequence of eight steps, including four meetings, to assist clients in the setup, configuration, and implementation of its Bigfoot CMMS solution.

Once the team agrees on objectives and understands the benefits, and the CMMS is implemented, a competent consultant should structure the testing and follow-up phase to measure the success or failure of the implementation and make the proper adjustments by configuring the features that best match the needs of the individual facility or groups of facilities.

The consultant’s job is to also encourage team members to participate in training webinars and videos to learn about the CMMS early on in the implementation process.  Doing so can reduce the process down to a few weeks, if not days.

Championing the User

cmms_userFor technicians who lack computer skills, there’s an easy fix. First, it’s important that a solution is selected based on its simplicity of design, preferably with the maintenance user in mind. Second, technicians do not need to interact with the system at the same level as the administrator.

 

Initially, they only need to learn the basics: how to access work order (WO) assignments and what to do to complete them. As the CMMS becomes integrated into the maintenance functions of a facility, technicians can learn to use other features of the system when the need arises. Recap sessions to review CMMS procedures can also help build confidence and competency among staff members who do the hands-on work of equipment repair.

Once implementation is underway and the team is cranking out PMs and work orders, a CMMS consultant can move onto more advanced features, like generating reports that show which machinery is breaking down frequently, and which can be used to bolster requests for new purchases. He or she can show the team how to call up an archive of work orders and repairs in the CMMS and create an audit trail to make it far easier to comply with government or other third-party reporting requirements. In short, when all of the advantages of a CMMS become apparent to maintenance professionals, it tends to be a driver for follow-through to make the system more efficient and effective.

Maintenance Resolutions for the New Year

As 2015 quickly approaches, you may have to peddle faster to squeeze out your maintenance goals in time for the new year. Perhaps 2015 is the year you finally change the perception that maintenance does more than change a light bulb – that maintenance keeps up production and cuts down costs.

2014direction

Use your remaining time wisely to take stock. Make 2015 the year you widen back and look at the big picture. Do you oversee a maintenance culture that thrives? Are your employees well trained and happily on track with PMs and repairs? Does upper management know that your department helps keep capital costs under control?

If you hesitated on the answers, it may be time to review your plan, fine-tune your maintenance team, and exploit the powers of your CMMS. Start the new year with a consultant to help you fulfill your maintenance dreams and configure your CMMS to support them.

Plans already in place? Get outside help to identify and implement critical 2015 tasks:

  • Prioritize assets by risk associated with production and revenue loss
  • Lower asset maintenance costs — add up maintenance expenditures for each asset in 2014, i.e., frequency of repairs, labor costs, replacement parts costs, downtime, vendor maintenance costs; improve repair efficiencies
  • Increase conversion of asset maintenance tasks into PMs
  • Convert soft tasks into PMs, too: upload all machine schematics and procedures; lease payments, vendor contracts, vehicle drivers’ licenses and registration renewals, etc.
  • PM all safety compliance tasks
  • Cut spare parts inventory costs; use CMMS for inventory control; set up safe levels; reduce order overages

Or take the advice of your maintenance peers who weighed in on our LinkedIn discussion of 2015 goals:

We are taking a look at our 2014 performance and our ‘bad actors,’ making necessary corrections and prioritizing efforts. Our main goal is to lower costs and improve performance.

——————–

The goal of maintenance should be reliable asset operation without downtime… which includes optimal spare parts inventory, optimal use of manpower to achieve maintenance safety targets and [here’s one you don’t hear every day, but not one to overlook either] ensure all employees enjoy their work life as well as their personal family life.

——————–

Minimize equipment downtime, compared to last year…  Comply with all maintenance plans and schedules.

——————–

2015 will be an easier year to resource work, having spent time fixing up maintenance plans and tasks lists to truly reflect the work. This will provide better budgeting and resource understanding going forward. It should also help to increase reliability of our plant due to carrying out the best possible maintenance outcomes. This is our ongoing improvement plan for the next few years.

But most of all, lead your team by example and “play in the mud;” encourage new ideas and have fun. If you hear rumblings of techs wanting to start up an employee baseball team, spring for the bats and mitts. Make 2015 the best year for your department yet!

CMMS Training – Not Just for Implementations

Whether an organization is putting a new CMMS system into place or has been utilizing a tool for years, training should be a considered a critical component to successful usage. Training is necessary to keep up with new features in the software, enhance the skillsets of employees, and improve efficiency. Training sessions should be held for each person in an organization who will be using a CMMS on a day-to-day basis including technicians, maintenance supervisors, and administrators.

A recent article in Reliable Plant Magazine reinforces this concept by adding the following advice “Keep in mind that training is an ongoing process throughout the lifetime of the CMMS. Send your maintenance team to refresher webinars and knowledge-transfer workshops to help reinforce best practices. During training workshops, attendees may become aware of certain modules and features that could be deployed in their organizations to make their workflow more efficient.”

Keeping the ‘Green’ in Greenhouse

Let’s face it. Changing a light bulb is not exactly a major technical challenge for maintenance professionals.

lightbulbBut what if your staff had to keep 20,000 light bulbs glowing every day of the week? And what if the success of your business depended on adjusting each of those 1,000-watt bulbs for maximum efficiency?

To deal with those questions, the maintenance team at a giant commercial greenhouse employs Bigfoot CMMS to manage grow lights and a host of other systems needed to run the climate-controlled facility. The greenhouse – which covers acreage larger than two dozen football fields – is used to grow produce year-round for major grocery chains and other markets.

To maintain proper growing conditions, literally thousands of components have to be kept in tip-top shape. Blowers, dampers, and sensors, as well as irrigation, heating and natural gas systems must all work together smoothly. In this indoor agricultural environment, if something as simple as an air vent fails to open or close properly, part of the crop could be ruined. And if the gears of an ordinary scissor lift get stuck, workers cannot reach the produce and harvest it for market. Staying ahead of breakdowns, then, is crucial; so the maintenance team depends on Bigfoot CMMS to schedule preventive maintenance items (PMs).

greenhouse_112013

A proper CMMS is necessary for facilities like greenhouses, in order to generate reports for government agencies like the EPA and the USDA, and to create maintenance records on PMs such as safety policy reviews, emergency action procedures, and spill control plans.

Then there is the issue of what to do with the waste produced by growing and harvesting plants. To address this problem, Bigfoot CMMS is monitoring CO2 emissions. Rather than dump leaves, branches, and other detritus into a landfill, the greenhouse managers decided to partner with another company to compost its waste. When that waste is blended into a slurry stream, it gives off methane gas that creates electricity. But methane also emits CO2. Instead of allowing that CO2 to escape into the atmosphere, the facility pumps it into the greenhouse where the plants absorb it and release oxygen.

And just because produce is grown indoors at the greenhouse, does not mean insects and other pests can’t get to it. Consequently, the maintenance team also has to keep careful records on pesticide use to comply with governmental regulations. Again, Bigfoot CMMS proves its worth on a regular basis through its ability to generate reports for government agencies like the EPA and the USDA, and to create maintenance records on PMs such as safety policy reviews, emergency action procedures, and spill control plans.

Given the complexity of the greenhouse operation, the maintenance team naturally fields complaints when things go wrong.  But since installing Bigfoot CMMS, the hundreds of daily phone calls from other departments have dwindled to a handful. Now, greenhouse employees can view updates on the status of repairs via Bigfoot, and unnecessary duplication of repair requests has been eliminated.

Read other success stories like this one at www.bigfootcmms.com.

How Much Could You Save by Using a Mobile CMMS?

SalaryFeature

If you haven’t upgraded to a mobile CMMS yet, what are you waiting for?

These days mobile technology is more stable and cost effective than ever before. Organizations that had been reluctant to equip their maintenance technicians with mobile devices are now moving forward and deploying them due to their low cost and ease of use in the field.

The reasons to use a mobile CMMS tool outweigh the small upfront costs of purchasing the technology needed to use one.

The benefits of a CMMS tool as outlined in a recent article by FMandBeyond are as follows:

Asset management and QR codes: Having an asset’s entire maintenance history available instantly helps with assigning jobs, or assessing potential issues. Quick Response or QR codes provide a tool to scan an asset’s code, bringing up its entire history–including preventive maintenance, malfunctions, reactive maintenance, etc.
In a recent article by Facility Maintenance Decisions one organization calculated the cost savings of going mobilesavingswith a mobile CMMS to equal as much as $125,000/year due the their minimized paperwork processing and lessened travel related costs. How much could your organization save? Contact our sales team today about Maintenance Connection’s mobile CMMS tool,  MC Express.

by hframe

Data Center Maintenance: Acing an Audit

When it comes to passing a government audit, three things matter most: documentation, documentation, documentation.

documentation_auditing

At data centers, maintenance professionals are not only tasked with keeping power sources and equipment running 100% of the time, they must also keep records of every interaction with the company’s information systems and networks. A CMMS, like Bigfoot, plays an essential role in meeting that challenge, because auditors today demand a detailed picture of everything an enterprise does to maintain data security.

Things weren’t always this way.

Back in the early days of computing, maintenance teams protected data by securing the physical plant, making sure gigantic mainframes stayed cool and unauthorized intruders stayed out – so a paper trail of their work was often sufficient. But now – between e-commerce on the Internet and data storage on clouds – securing data requires a symbiotic relationship between maintenance and the IT department. Computer technicians may build powerful networks to make life easier for consumers and erect firewalls to make it harder for hackers. But those techs need the maintenance team to keep the electricity on and fire systems in working order to prevent sensitive data center equipment from going up in smoke. And every time IT crosses paths with maintenance, it must be documented.

Compliance Challenges

To understand how preparing for audits has become a mandatory task for maintenance professionals at data centers, it is helpful to recognize how big an impact federal legislation has had on information technology. Perhaps the best example is the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), legislation passed by Congress in 2002 in the wake of corporate scandals involving companies such as Enron, WorldCom, and Tyco.sarbanes-oxley

SOX requires all publicly-held companies to verify the effectiveness of their internal financial controls on a yearly basis, and to submit to an audit of those controls. On top of that, any changes to source data have to be documented, down to the day, time, and reason for the change plus information on who made any additions or deletions.

SOX rules to rein in Wall Street have trickled down to the maintenance team functions in a variety of ways. Documentation is required every time low-voltage maintenance professionals move, add, or change anything connected to a system or network that holds a company’s financial data. Facility managers must also adhere to SOX guidelines when engaged in bidding, contracting, and capital spending. And SOX auditors also ask maintenance teams to complete an extensive checklist of items affecting data center physical security.

Down to the Generators

For a large financial services company with data centers in two separate states, Bigfoot CMMS has made SOX compliance vastly simpler than when the maintenance team relied on spreadsheets.

A case in point: because data security must be maintained with an uninterrupted power supply (UPS), auditors wanted to know exactly what type of preventive maintenance (PMs) had been performed on the company’s power system in previous years and what was planned for the future. Using Bigfoot, the chief facilities engineer was able to call up quarterly reports showing all PMs performed during a certain time period as well as upcoming PMs on the horizon.

WeeklyPM-BigfootCMMSEnterprise

For auditing or general management purposes, PMs may be pulled up by year, quarter, month, day – or like this example, week – in a proper CMMS.

And those PMs could pinpoint work on specific equipment in specific buildings – an important capability because one SOX auditor drilled into the maintenance team’s data all the way down to the generators.

Sometimes, however, auditors may only require a snapshot of the maintenance team’s overall work. For instance, of 600 PM tasks, they may only want to see a sample of 20, or a checklist of PMs performed in a particular month.

Of course, the ability to use an ideal CMMS for tracking PMs and the maintenance history of enterprise assets helps maintenance teams to be more effective in their day-to-day work. And it also makes it easier for them to pass any audits with flying colors.

 

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.

Giving Back in 2014 – A Preview

MC Gives Back

At  Maintenance Connection we care about our impact on the world as much as we do about our products and services. That’s why our MC Gives Back initiative is so important to everyone here at Maintenance Connection. Our staff are committed to making a positive impact on the community and have donated hundreds of volunteer hours over the years either in their local communities or on a global scale.

We’ve tackled quite a lot on our international annual MC Gives Back trips in the last few years. In 2011 we travelled to Cambodia and built computer labs in classrooms, in 2012 we went to Costa Rica and helped rebuild portions of the homes of needy local families, and in 2013 we travelled to Mexico to make structural improvements at a school in need of significant repair. This year our preparations are underway for our 2014 MC Gives Back overseas trip to Estonia in August.

While in Estonia, our staff will spend a portion of their time renovating a Youth Center. Our team will be installing new drywall and building a kitchen and an office. We will also be cleaning and painting a few facilities in Tallinn and South Estonia and then setting them up as new computer labs for use throughout the year. We’re assembling our team of MC staff for this trip and are eagerly anticipating these many ways that we can make a positive impact in the community in Estonia. For those of you who are not familiar with Estonia, it is Post-communist country that borders Russia. The country has been rebuilding since 1991 when they declared their independence.  While their strong economy has made recent headline news around the world, there is a lack of vision for caring for their homeless and orphan populations. To read more about one MC staffer’s ongoing dedication to give back in Estonia click here.

In addition to our annual trips abroad, we also participate in our local communities to give back. May is our MC Gives Back local month so stay tuned to see where our staff in various parts of the U.S. are going to be contributing their time next month.