Tag Archives: cmms

Reducing Wasted Energy

You and I feel it at the gas pump and in our heating bills. The skyrocketing costs of fuel and energy have all of us looking for ways to cut back on these expenses. And it’s hitting industry just as hard as it is our families.

Many organizations are starting to take measures to reduce their energy consumption, but in many cases these attempts are often limited in what they can achieve. Most companies start by looking at a utility bill and setting objectives to reduce the total figure at the bottom. While this “energy-bill-down” approach might sound like a logical place to start, that figure represents only a crude measure. It doesn’t include the detailed energy consumption patterns of individual plant assets that can identify when and where most waste occurs. Without this detail, there’s no way of knowing how much of the energy consumed is being wasted, and therefore what can be eliminated without impacting the running of day-to-day operations.

So where do you start? You can’t achieve any objective to reduce energy waste by just measuring the energy usage by a commodity; you must focus on how that commodity is consuming energy.

To find ways to reduce energy bills, you can start by answering the following questions:

  1. How committed are we to improving energy consumption?
  2. Where is most of our energy being consumed?
  3. How much energy should we be consuming?
  4. How much waste is involved?

The level of information provided by asset management systems can facilitate the action required to remove inefficient processes, parts, and machines that are disproportionately energy-hungry, and the life cycle of an asset can often be extended through evaluation of its running costs against efficiency levels.

With the exception of (1), can you answer the other three questions?

I’d be interested in your feedback. Please leave a comment to this post with your thoughts.


Posted by Rod Ellsworth, Vice President of Global Asset Sustainability, Infor

Six Ways to Educate Your CFO on Energy Management Benefits

What person is responsible for managing the costs and communications associated with your company’s energy consumption? Most likely it’s a number of departments: purchasing, responsible for securing energy and initiating tax rebates; HR, which manages internal communications to current and new employees; and investor relations, involved in CO2 emissions disclosers to investors and other external organizations.

It’s also very likely that all of these departments report to your company’s CFO. But a current survey conducted by Groom Energy is finding that most CFOs don’t consider energy management a priority in controlling costs or setting budget. If you’re involved in energy management, this could be a prime opportunity for you to pitch the cost savings and strategic benefits of efficient energy management and sustainability. But where do you start?

Read this article, “Energy Management Not a Priority for Many CFOs” (Paul Baier, Energy Groom on GreenBiz.com, December 22, 2010) to learn six ways to educate your CFO and bring him/her into the sustainability camp through realizing cost benefits, improved competitiveness, and environmental accountability.

What steps are you taking to justify an energy management program? I’d like to hear your thoughts and ideas. Please leave a comment to this post.

Posted by
Rod Ellsworth, Vice President of Global Asset Sustainability, Infor 

NFMT Day 1

Great turnout for the first day at the National Facility Management and Technology Expo (NFMT) Conference. I reunited with colleagues and saw a lot of familiar faces. If you’ve ever attended maintenance shows or joined maintenance organizations, you’ll recognize one person from SkillTV.net: Joel Leonard. I always enjoy hearing him share his interesting maintenance stories. Being a maintenance professional myself and sharing best practices and some of my own experiences, I find it exciting as well as educational to see and hear what others are doing in this space.

Infor booth at NFMT 2011
We did something unusual this year at our booth. We set up a real-time, live demo of a meter (Shark 100S from Electro Industries) connected to an i.LON SmartServer (by Echelon Corporation) that’s uploading all the energy data from our booth lights, PCs, and monitors to Infor EAM Asset Sustainability Edition (ASE). As people walk by our booth, not only do they get a glimpse of ASE, but they also see how much energy our booth is consuming.

As usual, green technologies are a hit at conferences like this. Organizations are eager to see what advancements have been made to help them understand, maintain, and lower energy costs in their facilities and operations.

If you’re at the NFMT conference, please come by and see us at booth #1465. We’ll be happy to give you a tour of what Infor has to offer, and you can network with the Infor EAM team.

Share your experiences at NFMT by leaving a comment to this post.

Posted by Johnny Bofilios, Director, Global Asset Sustainability, Infor

NMFT Day 2

Day two at National Facility Management and Technology Expo (NFMT) Conference features the Solutions Exchange. It’s composed of many tables representing different discussion topics. Each discussion lasts for about 20 minutes. Once the time is up at one table, participants move to a new table and discussion topic.

Infor sponsored the topic “Energy Reduction at Your Facility.” The discussion centered on how organizations can address the single biggest cost element when managing their assets. The attendees learned about best practices to incorporate energy use into their asset and maintenance management strategy and how to reduce their energy spending. Many attendees went away with insight into how to change their operations.

After the Solutions Exchange, I moved on to NFMT’s educational courses. These sessions are always informative, and the speakers have different perspectives on managing and maintaining facilities. The session about optimizing power reliability had three points that stood out:

  • Understand the importance of regular maintenance and testing.
  • Learn about equipment life extension solutions through modifications and upgrades.
  • Understand effectiveness of equipment communications and monitoring.

By having a better picture of your facility’s power quality, you can extend the lifecycle of your assets and have fewer power issues. Also, you can go back to the power company and show faults that were due to issues on its end.

We saw a huge turnout for both vendors and attendees during the expo hours. Such great attendance proves that companies are willing to invest in improving their facilities to be more efficient. Infor’s booth is located in the “green-tech” area, which is dedicated to solutions that improve sustainability initiatives and leadership in energy and environmental design (LEED).

Stop by and visit if you’re in Baltimore! And look out for my video blog for the last day of NFMT.

Share your experiences at NFMT by leaving a comment to this post.


Posted by Johnny Bofilios, Director, Global Asset Sustainability, Infor

How to Reduce Your Inventory Wisely

Please join us as Dan and Julie Floen, President and CEO of Professional Materials Management, Inc, discuss and demonstrate how your CMMS can provide you with information to help answer these questions about reducing your inventory.

The BIG question they will address is how to make the most of your inventory investment while preserving service levels to your user community and customers.

Inventory represents a major financial investment. But, cutting inventory can open us up to costly risks if not done correctly.

So, what is a wise maintenance manager to do??

Dan and Julie will demonstrate how your CMMS can provide you with information to help you answer these questions.

Green CMMS – the engine of sustainability

These days, when someone says the word “green”, they probably aren’t just talking about the color of your sweater. “Green” and “Going Green” have become the buzzwords du jour for organizations looking to maximize sustainability within their operation. The move to be green is more than just a fad or buzzword, but rather a key component of an effective maintenance operation. A crucial stop on the path to sustainability and becoming “green” is in the implementation of an Enterprise Asset Management / Computerized Maintenance Management System (EAM/CMMS). When used and implemented to high standards, maintenance software can be the most powerful tool in your belt on the path to sustainability.

The proof is in the numbers: U.S. companies spend over $100 billion annually on capital equipment and related services. In terms of energy spending, that number quadruples to $400 billion annually, and that number continues to rise. In a typical manufacturing operation, the highest cost next to personnel is energy. Clearly, it is critical to effectively track and manage energy consumption to remain competitive, and this is where EAM/CMMS comes in.

Energy Utilization

EAM/CMMS provide several quality tools that, when used effectively, allow for more granular tracking of energy consumption. With countless levels of criteria available, and the ability to correlate those criteria to how much energy is being consumed, energy utilization monitoring is simple and detailed. For example, the ability to determine how much energy is being consumed for an individual asset, manufacturer, or Preventive Maintenance (PM) history is available through a CMMS.

The level of detail produced allows for better decision making, such as determining whether it is cost effective to replace an older asset that is consuming a lot of energy with one that is newer and more energy efficient. Imagine being able to determine that an asset from Manufacturer A is consuming more energy than the same type of asset from Manufacturer B. Replacing those energy-hogging assets from Manufacturer A can result in less energy consumption and greater cost savings.

Energy consumption can be logged and detailed using Building Monitoring Systems, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) applications and other specialized monitoring equipment that interfaces with the CMMS to create a tightly wound monitoring and corrective action system.

Condition-based monitoring is another important piece to utilizing a CMMS to reaching high levels of sustainability in asset management. Triggering corrective work orders, notifications, and even preventive maintenance schedules based on the level of energy being consumed is something that can greatly reduce energy utilization of given assets. These conditions are user-definable, meaning the level of flexibility is high. Minimum and maximum values are set, and based on those conditions, corrective actions are triggered. Condition-based monitoring is particularly notable in preventive maintenance. Triggering a preventive maintenance action based on a level of usage, like run-time hours, can greatly increase the overall efficiency of a PM program.

Going Green = Going Paperless

Becoming a more green and sustainable maintenance operation is not solely dependent on monitoring energy consumption. Moving away from paper and into an electronic platform greatly enhances efficiency and decreases costs. The cost of paper, storage of paper, creating an efficient filing method, and time spent filing are all greatly reduced with an electronic platform for the creation, distribution and completion of maintenance work assignments.

To be truly paperless, implementing a mobile platform is essential. With a mobile application of the CMMS attached to the tool belt of technicians and supervisors alike, the CMMS becomes easy to access and even easier to use. Work flow becomes timelier, as all parties involved have faster access to more timely data, which in turn decreases average response time to repair requests. Critical documents can be attached to work requests and accessed from anywhere, which saves the time and hassle of finding a document stored in endless file cabinets and binders of information.

Distribution of forms turns into the click of a button, and can appear instantly on the designated recipient’s handheld device. The recipient can perform a number of tasks, including further distribution, adjustments, associating inventory, and even completing and closing the assignment with time spent, parts used, and a detailed labor report, all without ever touching a sheet of paper or picking up a pen. The completed work is stored as history instantly, and any data entered can be queried using the CMMS reporting mechanism. Time is of the essence to ensure assignments are being completed and any enhancement to productivity, while also decreasing on the number of trees required to do so, are all benefits of a paperless work flow through a CMMS mobile tool. This allows for machines to stay running and sustainability to increase.

Reporting is another area of a maintenance operation that can greatly benefit from going green and paperless. There are an array of features and functions in any quality CMMS that help satisfy the needs of regulatory bodies from every industry. As regulatory bodies increase the need for compliance via more frequent audits and required reports, the importance of having a centralized, organized, and paperless storage system for work history becomes increasingly important. JCAHO in healthcare, ISO in manufacturing, and Sarbanes Oxley for accounting in many industries all allow for the submission of electronic reports detailing the necessary compliance to standards set by the respective regulatory body.

Having the ability to query electronically stored data into an electronic report becomes a few key strokes, rather than a painful and exhaustive process of collecting and filtering data on endless paper into a comprehensive history report. This increases productivity and, because it is paperless, saves on printing costs while implementing sustainable practices. With flexibility a CMMS reporting tool provides, users can create reports from a myriad of data sets easily and efficiently, all while maintaining a level of detail suitable to relevant regulatory requirements.

For more information about implementing this type of solution using CMMS, visit www.maintenanceconnection.com.  Or contact Scott Lasher at Maintenance Connection via sales@maintenanceconnection.com or (888) 567-3434 x1.

Take Small CMMS Bites

As our training staff combs through North America teaching folks how to use MP2 CMMS Software I can’t help but notice a pattern of success we are teaching that I feel will benefit folks using any type of CMMS Software.

The advice I have to share is succinctly stated in the title of this post:  Take Small CMMS Bites.  And that means don’t try to pull off a CMMS project where everything is included at the outset.

In fact, make a small manageable plan, such as scoping out the entry of all PM’s into the CMMS system using your equipment manuals.  Identify the equipment, locate the manuals, identify your resources for data entry, THEN cut all that way down again.  Instead of entering PM’s for ALL your equipment, just choose 5 pieces of equipment for your first go-round.  Take all your air compressors, for example, plus two HVAC units, and enter the PM details as recommended by the manufacturer of each.

The result will be a manageable scope of work whereby you will identify all the hurdles on a smaller scale, find solutions to get past those hurdles, and find your team succeeding at this first…small…bite, before taking the next.

Managing IT Assets with CMMS

I’ve talked with more than one client recently who had this idea, which prompted me to ask around and see if there is a trend going recently that might warrant some exposure:  The burden of tracking IT assets (computers, servers, hardware and related serial numbers, peripherals, components, etc) is being handled at some companies using CMMS.  Sure, there are specific products designed for this IT asset management process, yet CMMS was not originally intended for that use.  My questions are where do systems fall down when compared to say, the IBM version specifically made for IT Asset Management?  If the fallbacks are few, it seems the dollar savings might be large if one can utilize an existing CMMS compared to obtaining a new, separate ITAM system.

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
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!


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