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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.

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.

Maintenance and PM Optimization

Optimizing preventive maintenance tasks performed is an effective way to streamline maintenance and help reduce the likelihood of failures. Simple changes in process and a little more planning are all that is needed.

Marshall Institute

Marshall Institute is an asset management consulting and training company dedicated to helping companies improve the maintenance contribution to their organizational performance. Their president, Greg Folts spoke at our Users Conference this past year and gave some helpful tips for optimizing PMs.

  1. Compare failure to current maintenance strategy
  2. Consider the effectiveness and efficiency of the current strategy
  3. Use the experience of the shop floor
  4. Consider the consequence of the failure
  5. Consider what type of PM can be utilized

Knowing the different failure modes of assets is also vital to planning PMs. The graphic below illustrates the types of failure and how to best plan for them.

Maintenance Options for Evident Failure Modes

To read the full list of PM Optimization tips and other information, visit the Marshall Institute to get the presentation (name and email required).  Also, look forward to guest blog posts from the industry experts at Marshall Institute in the coming year.

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.

Does Weather Affect Your Assets?

Energy Star logo Watching the news about the recent storms in the Midwest and Northeast got me thinking about the impact weather has on our lives and our surroundings. We all know that preparing for weather events is critical, but many times you just want to get through the event, not optimally sustain your environment. Yet sometimes you take overkill measures to avoid the most extreme dangers, such as stocking up food for a month as a blizzard approaches or building a bomb shelter to protect you against a hurricane. Seems a little excessive, right?

Do you use that same approach to your operations? Do you truly understand the impact of weather on your operations and the efficiency of your equipment? What maintenance practices can you employ to better sustain your equipment and its efficient operation through changing weather conditions and ensure that it gives you optimal availability, capacity, and quality? 

There are ways you can make it through tough seasons—and even thrive during these times. You can monitor how changes in weather affect your assets and incorporate those attribute measurements into your asset management strategy. Did you know with Infor EAM Asset Sustainability, you get embedded integration with the EPA’s Energy Star portal? It incorporates degree days into asset performance analysis to give you the insight and knowledge into how to maximize your operational efficiency, even when environmental conditions are not perfect.

How do you factor weather into your energy and asset management strategy? Leave a comment to this post with your thoughts and ideas.

Posted by Jay Ratliff, Manager, NA Business Solutions Consulting, Infor EAM and Public Sector

Organizing for Change | Part 5 of 5

The MicroMain Blog is pleased to present another entry in our guest blogger series. We are reaching out to third-party industry experts for their take on maintenance management, especially as it relates to a successful CMMS solution.

Dale R. Blann is the Principal/CEO of Marshall Institute, a leading asset management consulting and training company. In this blog, the fifth and final in Dale’s five-part “world class maintenance” series, he describes the process by which a maintenance department can accomplish real change.

View his first four blog posts in the “world class maintenance” series: Three Steps to World Class Maintenance (Intro), Maintenance Excellence, Getting Beyond the Boundaries, and Fixing the Process, Not Just the Problems.

World Class Maintenance Series Part 5 of 5

Guest Blogger: Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO, Marshall Institute Inc.
dblann@marshallinstitute.com  |  www.marshallinstitute.com  |  919-834-3722

Organizing for Change

By Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO, Marshall Institute Inc.

Presumably, if you have followed this series of articles (“A Framework for Achieving World Class Maintenance”), and if you have some desire to move your organization to world class, or “best-in-class” status, then you probably have some changes to make.

Changing the way an organization does business is not easy. It’s not a technical process, really–it’s what Organizational Development consultants call a “socio-technical” process. It’s about changing the culture of an organization–the way people see the world, the way they do work–changing hearts and minds, as it were.

So you know change needs to happen, but you don’t know where to start. Let me suggest a way to think about what has to be done.

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

The simplest way to think about what you have to do to produce change is based on a model called “Driving Force for Change” (Beckhard Harris, 1987), or sometimes simply the “DVF Formula” for change:

Cdf = D x V x Fs R


Cdf    = Driving force for change

D     = Dissatisfaction with status quo (current state)

V     = Vision of what could/should be

Fs    = Practical First Steps in the direction of the Vision

R     = Resistance to change (or “Risk to me”)

It’s so simple, it’s elegant! If I am trying to shift my organization to a new way of doing things, this formula helps me remember the fundamentals of what I must do to be successful: show them why they should be unhappy with what is (D), give them a vision of what could/should be (V), and plan some practical first steps on how to get there (Fs)! Make sure none of these factors are zero, and all them together will be sufficiently great enough to overcome whatever resistance or risk (R) there may be.

Dissatisfaction with Status Quo (D)

All change begins with dissatisfaction with the status quo (current state). For maintenance, it is often sufficient to conduct a formal assessment of current maintenance practices against world class or “best-in-class” standards to convince people that things could/should be better. If we are happy with things as they are now, we are not going anywhere. Why would we?

Vision of a Future State (V)

We must create a shared vision (World Class Maintenance) of what we want to achieve together going forward. What could/should the future look like? Why would that future be better than the present? The Vision must be clear, attractive, and achievable. If it’s none of these things, or we don’t want to go there, we are not going anywhere. Why should we?

First Steps (Fs)

Vision without action produces a vacuum. People must be able to participate in concrete, practical first steps for making the desired future state (Vision) a reality. If there are no practical (and safe) “next steps,” if there is no plan for action, or if we do not know how or what to do next, we are going nowhere. How can we?

Resistance/Risk (R)

Change, no matter how small, can be inconvenient at best and dangerous at worst to those experiencing it. People resist change when they:

  • Are happy with the way things are
  • Don’t understand (or agree with) where we’re going
  • Lose something of value (respect, status, or competence) in the process

Generally, the most effective way to deal with resistance or risk is to make sure the people involved in the change are engaged in shaping the left side of the equation. People tend not to resist their own ideas.

The Algebra of Change

Note the factors (DVF) are multiplied together; that means none of them can be zero, or the result (the driving force for change) will be zero. They can’t be near zero, either; working together, they must be sufficient to exceed the ever present resistance to change or risk to the people involved. R is never zero.

So remember your “change agent” job!

1) Show them why they should be unhappy with what is (D)

2) Give them a vision of what could/should be (V),

and 3) Identify some practical first steps on how to get there (Fs)!

Finally, make sure none of these factors are zero, and that all them working together is sufficiently great to overcome whatever ever-present resistance or natural risk (R) there may be (real or perceived).


Getting Beyond the Boundaries—Operator Excellence | Part 3 of 5

The MicroMain Blog is pleased to present another entry in our guest blogger series. We are reaching out to third party industry experts for their take on maintenance management and how it can complement a quality CMMS system

Dale R. Blann is the Principal/CEO of Marshall Institute, a leading asset management consulting and training company. In this blog, the third in his five-part “world class maintenance” series, he describes how operators can support World Class Maintenance.

View his first two blog on Three Steps to World Class Maintenance (Intro) and Maintenance Excellence (Step One).

World Class Maintenance Series Part 3 of 5

Guest Blogger: Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO, Marshall Institute Inc.
dblann@marshallinstitute.com  |  www.marshallinstitute.com  |  919-834-3722

The Second Step — Getting Beyond the Boundaries

By Dale R. Blann, Principal/CEO, Marshall Institute Inc.

The ability of a company to achieve ‘world class’ status depends on how well it can get the various functions to work together to accomplish its business objectives. This is nowhere more true than between production and maintenance. Maintenance must be recognized as an integral part of the plant production strategy by which the product is delivered to the customer at the quality they want, at the price they are willing to pay. But, remember, maintenance can’t do it alone!

For maintenance to do its job properly, to accomplish the maintenance mission, requires the cooperation of, and association with, virtually every department: production, procurement, engineering, accounting, human resources, etc.) in the plant — but especially with production! Not only must we in maintenance know what our objectives (roles and missions) are, but know how they are related to (and are in fact a derivative of) the larger sets of roles, missions, and strategic objectives of the overall organization.

It’s relatively easy to encourage maintenance improvement within maintenance organizational lines; that is what Step 1 is all about. It is much more difficult is to get “beyond the boundaries”; to get other departments to adjust, to work out new, more productive arrangements that sometime cross traditional boundaries, or shift ‘territories’ or responsibilities, and get different departments or functional groups to even accept each other’s ideas–but these things are absolutely crucial for “world-class” organizations. That is what Step 2 is about.

The Heart of Maintenance and Reliability

Operators are at the heart of maintenance and reliability. Maintenance does not exist as service to production; production and Maintenance are partners in equipment care! Operators should have an active, participative role in maintenance and reliability efforts. This can include:

  • Tracking PM schedule compliance (their measure);
  • Participating in joint improvement efforts (equipment improvement teams);
  • Working together with maintainers to solve problems
  • Taking direct responsibility for the condition of their equipment, and the total costs of maintenance and operations on critical assets;
  • Doing minor maintenance and basic care of equipment
  • Participating in daily and weekly planning sessions to schedule maintenance activities
  • Etc.

Consider implementing Basic Equipment Care (Autonomous Maintenance) practices and CLAIR activities for operators:

  • Clean equipment routinely
  • Lubricate routinely
  • Adjust and Tighten routinely (Check/tighten belts, parts)
  • Inspect for deterioration routinely
  • Replacements and minor repair

Furthermore, operations should work with maintenance to develop performance measures which reflect the maintenance contribution in terms of the overall production objectives, not as ‘cost’ but as necessary ‘value-added’ resource to best meet production objectives; ‘ally’ not ‘necessary evil’. Maintenance and production should be working to common goals!

Some people think it is heresy to say so, but ultimate responsibility for continual good condition of production facilities and equipment rests with production. This means that decisions on the nature, scope and volume of work should be made by Production Management. 

In the end, an asset’s performance, costs, and overall utilization is a production responsibility; the maintenance responsibility is to assist production to reach the right decisions by applying technically qualified advice and knowledge.