Author: Sarah Beackley

6 Ways Maintenance Teams Benefit from Cloud-based CMMS

The popularity of cloud-hosted software has exploded since its adoption in the early 2000s, and for good reason. There are many benefits of cloud software, such as quick deployment, little-to-no IT involvement, and data security. Given the fast-paced and highly-mobile environment of maintenance professionals, along with the criticality of maintenance needs, maintenance teams reap additional benefits with cloud-based CMMS.

Read Blog Post: On-Premise vs. Cloud CMMS: Comparing CMMS Deployment Options?

6 Ways Maintenance Teams Benefit from Cloud-based CMMS

1. Faster Decision-Making

Cloud-based CMMS provides real-time access to actionable maintenance data, speeding up decision-making and enabling teams to take action faster. Let’s look at an example. An operator reports a problem by submitting a maintenance request from the field, which automatically notifies an administrator. After approving the request, the administrator creates a work order that defines the appropriate tasks, parts, and skills required to complete the work. Once the work order is created and assigned, a notification is automatically sent to the relevant maintenance technician. The technician views the work order on his mobile device. Based on the data provided on the work order, the technician can prioritize the job and make decisions about how and when to proceed.

2. Guaranteed System Availability

Maintenance operations can be significantly impaired when a CMMS is unavailable. Cloud CMMS vendors provide service that is “always on,” with certain exceptions for routine maintenance or server upgrades. Around the clock system availability means that the maintenance team will have access to maintenance data and functionality anytime of the day or night. This is particularly important for organizations with 24-hour production schedules or mission critical assets.

3. Anywhere Access

Effective maintenance technicians have always been highly mobile, but technology hasn’t always been able to accommodate freely-moving workers. Before cloud CMMS, technicians would have to access the CMMS from a single or limited number of computers, creating bottlenecks and hampering productivity. Cloud technology allows CMMS to be accessed from internet-connected devices like smartphones and tablets. Technicians can log in and use the CMMS from anywhere – whether in an office, on the plant floor, or in another geographic location.

4. Better Collaboration

Cloud maintenance software provides the ability to centralize maintenance data and better equip maintenance teams to share information between co-workers, supervisors, and customers. Leveraging technologies such as email, short message service (SMS), and push notifications, cloud CMMS automates communications about maintenance activities. These notifications enable maintenance teams to complete work faster at higher quality and satisfaction levels.

5. Improved Information Sharing

With the aid of a web services-based application programming interface (API), data can be shared between a cloud-hosted CMMS and an organization’s other existing software systems.  Since data is shared automatically, the maintenance team can stay focused on using CMMS without worrying about where else data might be used and how to report the information. An API also reduces the amount of duplicate data entry.

6. Real-Time Equipment Monitoring

An API allows organizations to share data from their existing internet-connected equipment sensors with cloud-based CMMS. Based on the information collected, the CMMS can automatically generate maintenance requests or work orders for the assets, whether those assets are mobile, onsite, or globally distributed. Using real-time data also allows the maintenance team to perform preventive maintenance based on an asset’s actual condition, thereby reducing the amount of unnecessary or unneeded maintenance.

Improve Your Maintenance Operations with FTMaintenance Cloud-based CMMS

If you are considering implementing maintenance management software, cloud CMMS offers distinct advantages over an on-premise solution. FTMaintenance is an easy-to-use, yet robust CMMS solution for managing, documenting, and tracking maintenance activities. Flexible CMMS pricing and deployment options make FTMaintenance the perfect fit for any maintenance team. Request a demo of FTMaintenance today

 

Scaling Your CMMS Software

Organizational growth can come in the form of new locations, new employees, and/or new products. This growth usually requires the purchase of additional assets and establishing new or modified asset and maintenance management processes.  It’s important to have a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) that can help adapt or scale your maintenance management to accommodate the expanded number of assets. Learn the definition of what scalability is in CMMS software, why scalability is important, the factors involved in scaling your CMMS software, and how to avoid common scalability pitfalls.

What is Scalability in CMMS Software?

Scalability in CMMS software is defined as the ability to accommodate and support an increasing amount of data or a growing number of users. The software “grows” as usage increases. The CMMS should have the capacity to handle an increasing amount of work, changes in size or volume, and an increase in users, workload, or transactions without strain on the system.

Scalability Factors

It’s best to think about the how the system will help support your maintenance operations when choosing CMMS software, Rather than waiting until you need to scale your maintenance management, think about scalability upon purchasing a CMMS. Selecting a CMMS that gives you room to grow in the future is important to avoid the need to find, purchase, and implement a more capable CMMS. A good CMMS will be able to adapt to changes in:

  • Number of assets maintained
  • Number of inventory items
  • Size of the maintenance team(s)
  • Single or multi-site distribution of maintenance operations
  • Level of interdependency between maintenance operations and other departments (accounting, purchasing, production, etc.)
  • Desired maintenance service levels

Recognizing the Need to Scale

college campus-soccer field-facilities-football field-track

Organizations that expand their maintenance into multiple facilities may need to scale their CMMS to accommodate a larger number of assets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purchasing a CMMS requires a lot of research, planning, and preparation to ensure you choose the best product for your maintenance department. On the other hand, scaling your CMMS isn’t something you can really prepare for—it’s more like when your maintenance operations expand, you realize you need to scale your software. It’s important to recognize when it may be time to scale. You’ll know when you’re at that point when you can answer “yes” to questions such as: Do more people need access to the software? Are you running out of data storage? Are you expanding the software to another location? These are just a few of the questions you might ask. It’s important to have a CMMS system that can easily address these potential hurdles and overcome them without hassle.

Next, understand each of the costs involved in scaling the software itself. Some examples include:

  • CMMS software upgrades or additional applications
  • Additional CMMS licensing
  • Hardware (additional computers, drives, tablets, data storage, printers, and mobile phones)
  • IT staff expansion
  • User training
  • Data backup

You should focus on implementing the most risky components first, such as user training for those who might find adoption of the new system more difficult. The components that pose the most risk will differ for each organization.

Avoiding Common CMMS Scalability Pitfalls

Although many organizations are able to successfully scale their CMMS to accommodate growing maintenance operations, there are a number of things people tend to overlook during this process.

 Training

Many organizations delay training until the newly scaled system is implemented. When training is delayed, this often frustrates new users as they attempt to navigate the software “blind.” Ensuring those who are going to operate the system and carry out maintenance processes are ready is the key to successfully adding staff and/or locations.

Data Backup

When organizations go from using a CMMS at a single site to using the software at multiple sites, they tend to overlook how they’re going to back up their data. This includes how they will use the backups to recover information during the transition and how long it will take before they can resume operations after a disruption such as a hardware failure or virus.

Differences between Single and Multi-Site Implementation

Most people don’t realize the subtle differences that affect implementation at additional sites versus only one. For example, naming conventions for assets are crucial when accessing data from multiple locations, as is designating a system administrator and ensuring your preventive maintenance tracking, history, and scheduling data can be transferred to multiple sites so that it is readily available at the new location(s).

FTMaintenance CMMS is Scalable

FTMaintenance CMMS is designed to grow along with your maintenance needs. FTMaintenance offers concurrent user licensing, so the number of users can be increased without buying more licenses. Our cloud subscription options are low cost and easy to upgrade. When you are ready to add new users, we offer weekly webinar training and an extensive video library to get them up to speed. FTMaintenance’s multi-site capability gives you a bird-eye view of maintenance data at all of your locations. Take a tour to learn more about FTMaintenance.

Corrective vs. Preventive Maintenance

At home or in the workplace, there will always be unexpected repairs—like when a falling tree branch breaks a window. You have to install a new window, which is corrective maintenance. Other major repairs may be avoided if the correct preventive maintenance is performed ahead of failure. For example, you might decide to trim off a dead or overhanging branch before it falls during the next storm and breaks the window, which would be preventive maintenance. Due to budget constraints, miscommunication from management, or limited resources, in some production environments, it may not always be obvious when to use corrective vs. preventive maintenance. We’ll help you make informed decisions by discussing and comparing them both in detail.

About Corrective Maintenance

 

Maintenance technician performing corrective maintenance repair on an air conditioning unit

Corrective maintenance (CM) is maintenance performed to restore a non- or under-performing asset to an optimum or operational condition. Examples of corrective maintenance include:

  • Pulling weeds as part of facilities maintenance
  • Replacing the alternator in a fleet vehicle after it refused to start
  • Replacing an entire machine in a production line post-failure
  • Changing a belt on a machine that malfunctioned

Corrective maintenance can fall into two categories: scheduled and unscheduled. Scheduled corrective maintenance is a repair that needs to be made, but doesn’t have to be performed immediately. Unscheduled corrective maintenance occurs when a repair is required immediately due to the failure of an asset critical to production. As you may have guessed, unscheduled corrective maintenance usually takes priority over scheduled corrective maintenance.

While corrective maintenance can get a bad rap, it is a valid maintenance strategy and in some cases, the best type of maintenance to perform. It has advantages such as less planning required, a simplified need-based process, and saving money when maintenance involves  a simple process (minimal labor) replacing inexpensive parts.

Read Blog Post: What is Corrective Maintenance?

About Preventive Maintenance

 

Maintenance technician performing preventive maintenance by inspecting machine with a checklist

Preventive maintenance (PM) is maintenance that is proactively performed on an asset with the goal of lessening the likelihood of failure, reducing unexpected downtime, and prolonging its useful life. Examples of preventive maintenance include:

  • Changing the oil on a riding lawn mower
  • Cleaning an air duct
  • Replacing rusted bolts on a machine
  • Inspecting a production line asset

Just like with corrective maintenance, there are two types of preventive maintenance: calendar-based and runtime-based. Calendar-based PM is done on a planned, periodic basis, anywhere from once per week to once per year. Runtime-based PM is done based on how long a machine has been operating since the last preventive maintenance task was performed on the asset. For example, you might lubrication of a machine after every 3000 hours of runtime.

Preventive maintenance has a number of advantages, including improved scheduling, lower, more controlled maintenance costs, and less stressful preparation since parts, supplies, and labor are scheduled to be available ahead of time.

Read Blog Post: What is Preventive Maintenance?

Corrective and Preventive Maintenance Comparison

If you’ve been getting by without a preventive maintenance plan in place, is shifting the focus to preventing machine failure really worth the effort? See the chart below for a comparison of corrective and preventive maintenance.

Corrective Maintenance Preventive Maintenance
When Task is Assigned At time of asset failure Scheduled prior to asset failure
Cost Medium to High Low
Savings None, often adds to expenses 20% or more per year
Resource Deployment At time of asset failure ·         Prior to asset failure

·         Orderly, cost effective

·         Fits into schedule

Pros ·         Requires less initial investment

·         Requires less planning

·         Decreases long-term costs

·         Extends asset life

·         Keeps maintenance teams productive

·         Maximizes asset uptime

·         Reduces stress

Cons ·         Increases long-term costs

·         Interrupts production schedule

·         Schedules maintenance staff inefficiently

·         Increases maintenance staff stress

·         Requires higher initial investment

·         Requires more planning

Example Repairing a large-scale printer after the motor burned out Cleaning ink off the parts and lubricating the printer motor before failure

The recommended balance for maintenance is 80% preventive to 20% corrective. While you want to lean toward preventive maintenance whenever possible, corrective maintenance is still important and will never be eliminated completely. A cost-benefits analysis on all of your assets may help to support the case for scheduled corrective maintenance. As we mentioned earlier, some corrective maintenance is unexpected and unavoidable, but you should still approach these sudden repair jobs in an organized, systematic way. Ideally, you want to use PM to extend the lifespan of all your assets, but you need to prioritize when you’re just starting out. Begin with the assets that are essential to production.

Ultimately, making decisions about when to use preventive or corrective maintenance depends on your industry, organizational goals, and types of equipment you maintain. However, a CMMS can help to make those decisions easier.

FTMaintenance Helps with Corrective and Preventive Maintenance

FTMaintenance supports both corrective and preventive maintenance tasks. It stores information about all maintenance activities and automatically builds historical data. This data can be analyzed to identify recurring patterns in your maintenance needs which can be used to develop preventive maintenance plans that help you avoid asset failure.

FTMaintenance is a CMMS with features such as preventive maintenance task lists and automated work order notifications and distribution. FTMaintenance helps organizations take control of their maintenance operations, fostering a shift from an emphasis on reactionary corrective maintenance to more planned preventive maintenance. As a result, more breakdowns are prevented, major repairs and unplanned shutdowns are reduced, and asset life expectancy is increased. Take a tour to learn more about FTMaintenance.

CMMS Cost Justification: Making a Case for CMMS

As a maintenance manager on the front lines every day, the need for a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is obvious to you. Maintenance management software enables your team to become more organized, decreases asset downtime, increases productivity, and more, all while lowering maintenance costs. But even if you’re confident that a CMMS will have a positive impact on maintenance operations, there is still a big challenge to overcome – convincing your upper management to pay for it. This conversation can be intimidating, and understandably so.

Before approaching upper management about purchasing a CMMS, it is important to first understand things from their point of view so that you can present them with a well-thought-out argument that the benefits of CMMS will justify their investment.

Maintenance: A Necessary Evil?

Upper management often views maintenance operations as a “necessary evil” whose costs must be minimized, so they are hesitant to invest additional funds into the department. Reinforcing this view is the reality that maintenance expenditures can often be cut or delayed without any immediate negative effects.

Maintenance staff, however, realizes that delaying or avoiding maintenance work will likely result in greater and more costly asset failures in the future. Likewise, a lack of investment in technology, like a good CMMS, will prevent the organization from achieving long-term efficiencies and cost savings.

As you can see, the goals of upper management and maintenance department staff can be quite different. Cost savings like the ones listed are more visible to upper management, but you know that there is more going on than meets the eye. In order to get the funding you need, your goal as the person asking for funding is to help change the perception of maintenance from a cost center to a value creator. This is no easy task, but it can certainly be achieved.

Appealing to Upper Management

Justifying CMMS software costs requires a proposal that aligns with the broader goals of the organization. Upper management will naturally view a proposal for CMMS from a financial perspective. Therefore, you will want to show upper management that an investment in CMMS software will have a measureable, positive impact on your organization’s profit. This is typically achieved by either increasing revenues with improved production uptime or by minimizing costs with reduced maintenance inventory and labor costs.

Making a Case for CMMS

In order to make the strongest case for the purchase of a CMMS to upper management, a proposal will need to quantify (put into numbers) the benefits of the CMMS. To do so, you must make estimations about your current maintenance operations and identify how the CMMS will help you make improvements. For example:

  • How long does it take to find equipment documentation?
  • Do you know when assets are due for maintenance?
  • How much time is spent trying to locate parts in the stockroom?
  • How many hours of overtime do employees currently work?
  • What is the cost of lost production when important assets break down?

After answering these questions, determine how the software might help improve the numbers. CMMS software vendors can provide you with information about how their features address these key areas. For example, a CMMS can store documents electronically for quick access, reducing the time it takes to locate manuals and troubleshooting guides. Automatic notifications alert the maintenance team when preventive maintenance is upcoming or due. Maintenance reports allow maintenance managers to monitor asset health. Make a list of the areas of cost savings with estimates of savings for each.

The CMMS cost justification discussion shouldn’t just focus on the present – upper management will want to see the bigger picture as well. Therefore, consider how the savings achieved by the CMMS will impact the maintenance team or other areas of the business. Perhaps the newly available funds will allow for additional personnel or justify other purchases. Upper management may also decide to reallocate funds into research and development, purchase new equipment, update facilities, or schedule much needed training.

Ultimately, upper management is most interested in the return on their investment (ROI) in a CMMS and the amount of time before the investment is paid back (payback). An estimate of CMMS ROI and of payback time is most easily consumed by upper management, and if well-supported by your proposal, would most effectively lead to a purchase approval. With today’s low-cost Software as a Service (SaaS) subscriptions, the payback period can be as short as a few months.

Justifying the purchase of a CMMS has its challenges, but is definitely worthwhile. According to industry sources, a CMMS can help organizations save 10-15% on maintenance costs annually. While following the advice provided in this article doesn’t guarantee a “yes” from upper management, it should give you a starting point from which to build your case.

FTMaintenance

Justifying an investment in FTMaintenance is easy. FTMaintenance is a feature-rich, easy-to-use solution that is designed to help your organization increase profits and lower maintenance costs. With a full suite of features for managing preventive maintenance, spare parts inventory, and labor, FTMaintenance makes maintenance management more efficient and effective. Complimentary CMMS implementation services and ongoing customer support empowers maintenance professionals to start improving their operations from day one. Request a demo to see how FTMaintenance can improve your maintenance operations.

What is Asset Management?

Your assets are the centerpiece of your organization. In today’s economic environment, there is no room for downtime, losses in production, or poor quality. Though maintenance teams are recognized for their ability to keep assets running, businesses try to squeeze as much value out of their assets as possible. Therefore, organizations must practice asset management.

What is Asset Management?

asset-lifecycle-process-ftmaintenance

Asset Lifecycle Process

 

In the finance industry, asset management is related to managing investments. In an industrial setting, asset management is the process of maximizing the value an asset provides to an organization throughout its entire lifecycle, in the most cost-effective manner. In this asset management definition, “assets” includes any physical items such as equipment, buildings, vehicles, tools, and property.

Asset Management vs. Maintenance Management

Based on the asset management definition provided, you may have noticed that asset management sounds very similar to maintenance management. You’re not alone in this observation. Many people use the two terms interchangeably, though they are indeed different.

Since there are many parts of an asset’s lifecycle, asset management involves contribution from multiple departments, such as asset planning, engineering, production, maintenance, and accounting. These groups work together to assess and manage an asset’s cost, value, risk, and performance. Depending on the organization, a single department may be responsible for many of these functions.

Our article, What is Maintenance Management? provides a definition of maintenance management, stating that maintenance management focuses on the performance of maintenance activities and the coordination of maintenance resources including parts, labor, and budget. As you can see in the graphic (above), maintenance – and therefore maintenance management – is only one piece of the asset management “puzzle.” The following section breaks down asset management into its basic components.

Components of Asset Management

The six main components of asset management are: identification, location, condition, specification, maintenance, and cost.

Identification

The purpose of asset identification is to know exactly what assets an organization is responsible for managing. While this sounds like common sense, in practice it can be more difficult than one might assume. Organizations may operate multiple buildings in a single location or worldwide, containing hundreds or even thousands of individual assets. A production line functions as a single integrated system, but is typically composed of multiple assets working together. Each of these assets is made up of several subassemblies, which can be further broken down into individual parts.

Given its complexity, companies must find an effective way to organize and store this information. Commonly, an asset registry (listing of assets), an asset hierarchy (nested listing of assets), and/or bills of materials are used.

asset-hierarchy-subassembly-chart-ftmaintenance

Asset Hierarchy Example

Location

It’s not enough to know what assets you have – you must also know where your assets are located. Organizations that work with mobile assets like vehicles, onsite assets, or assets spread across multiple geographic regions should know where their assets are at all times. Graphic information system (GIS) mapping and global positioning system (GPS) technology help maintenance teams easily locate assets and plan future work with location in mind.

Condition

Knowing the condition of an asset is necessary for maintenance and decommission planning. Condition information is obtained through inspection-based preventive maintenance, or through direct monitoring with dedicated sensors. Additionally, SCADA systems or similar monitoring systems can help you track asset performance. Asset failure can be reported to the maintenance team via maintenance requests submitted by non-maintenance staff.

Specification

An important component of asset management is understanding an asset’s design and specification. The specification provides the boundaries for operating assets at maximum efficiency. Asset specification also drives maintenance procedures and ensures proper part replacement and repair. When unexpected breakdowns occur, knowing how assets should perform helps maintenance personnel better identify the cause of failures and return assets to service within its acceptable range for operation.

Maintenance

Once assets are identified and their locations, conditions, and specifications are known, a basic maintenance care plan can be created. Depending on an asset’s current condition, importance, and risk of failure, different maintenance strategies may be employed. For example, corrective maintenance may be used on production assets that run infrequently and will be relatively inexpensive to fix in case of failure. On the other hand, highly critical assets – such as those that run constantly and whose failure would result in thousands of dollars in lost production – will benefit from comprehensive preventive maintenance.

Given the complexity of managing maintenance plans on hundreds to thousands of assets, organizations invest in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). As part of a complete asset management strategy, a CMMS is used to plan, schedule, and execute maintenance activities that keep assets running. Additionally, CMMS tracks asset service history, including the labor resources, materials, and budget used to complete maintenance activities.

Cost

As stated in our asset management definition, the goal of asset management is to maximize an asset’s useful life at minimal cost. As they age, assets become more costly to operate and maintain. Therefore, organizations must be able to monitor actual asset performance and identify areas of cost savings. Generally speaking, regular maintenance is cheaper than replacement. Maintenance costs include how much maintenance is done, what tasks are performed, and what resources (i.e., labor and parts) are utilized. However, all assets will inevitably reach a point where they become more costly to maintain than to replace outright. In this case, it may be better to replace an expensive asset with a more efficient solution.

A CMMS helps management monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) through maintenance reports. Asset management staff can track performance metrics such as downtime, mean time to repair (MTTR), and mean time between failures (MTBF). Maintenance management can track job completion, determine the percentage of corrective maintenance versus preventive maintenance, keep an eye on the backlog, and much more.

Manage Your Assets with FTMaintenance

Maintenance management is necessary for effective asset management, especially in asset-intensive industries such as oil and gas, power and energy, and water and wastewater. Because of its impact on the organization, there must be a system in place for tracking and managing vital asset information. FTMaintenance computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) stores all of your asset information in one place, allowing you quickly find what you need. Combined with other maintenance management features, you’ll be able to create detailed maintenance plans and make data-driven decisions about the management of your assets. Learn more about the capabilities of FTMaintenance asset management software.

What is MRO?

Have you ever seen a piece of furniture in a store with a big price tag and thought to yourself “I can make that”?  You’d rather pay for the supplies and put in the time to recreate it than pay what seems to be a high price for the item in-store. Besides, a DIY project can be fun. More often than not, however, there are more supplies involved in making that item than you realize. By the time you’ve purchased everything you need, set up your workspace, and spent hours on the project, you realize that simply purchasing that item you had your eye on would have been less expensive after all.

When it comes to maintaining assets, many people don’t realize just how much they’re spending on essential supplies. Gloves, batteries, drill bits, and printer ink aren’t really top of mind when calculating the budget.  Additionally, employees may be used to carrying out everyday business processes a certain way, so they may never think about how to do them more efficiently. What is MRO exactly, and how can you effectively manage it?

What is MRO?

MRO stands for Maintenance, Repair, and Operations, which is inventory and processes that include all of the spare parts, tools, supplies, and activities needed to create an end product or service.  It includes all goods and procedures required to keep a company running. Examples of MRO include production and safety equipment, janitorial and office supplies, computers, hand tools, and formal processes within all departments.

MRO spare parts inventory-black cords on shelves in boxes

It’s important to learn how to manage your MRO closely and effectively. MRO varies by company and industry, but every business has items and activities that are considered MRO. While many MRO inventory items have a low individual cost, the volume of parts and variety of MRO processes required to run an organization often contributes significantly to the overall budget. MRO includes both inventory and business processes, but here we’re going to focus on MRO inventory.

Why MRO Inventory Management is Important

Managing your MRO inventory is important for many reasons. In summary, MRO inventory management helps you centralize and visualize all spending across multiple locations. Using CMMS software, every location can assess vendors and confirm that factors such as shipment lead times and accuracy meet company-wide needs. Managers can spend more time completing work and less time waiting for parts, or figuring out how to mediate other issues with inventory. Because everything can be tracked in a CMMS system, your organization can also avoid losing inventory. Technicians won’t feel the need to create stashes of parts in toolboxes that aren’t tracked for fear of running out of them.

MRO inventory management is used to support predictive, preventive, and corrective maintenance jobs. In many organizations, MRO spare parts aren’t tracked as closely as the materials and parts directly related to production. For example, data logged about MRO purchase orders may describe the purpose for ordering the parts (“air conditioning unit repair”), list the total order cost, and include the vendor information. Part names, quantities, and individual costs are oftentimes not broken down when recording data about or reporting on MRO purchase orders. When it comes to tracking purchase orders for parts directly related to production, every detail is specified in digital and written notes. Despite how common it is for MRO purchasing data to lack detail, strategically managing MRO inventory as closely as production-related parts is important.

MRO Inventory Management Strategies

The reason MRO inventory management is important is because it involves tracking multiple factors, including:

  • Usage history (when and where parts were used)
  • Cost and stock levels
  • Automatic MRO inventory purchasing
  • Purchase history
  • Vendor history and contact information

Historically, MRO inventory was tracked through pen and paper, spreadsheets, or email. Currently, using a CMMS to manage MRO inventory has proven to be the best solution.

CMMS software can facilitate another way to simplify MRO inventory management: through Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI). Used most commonly in manufacturing environments, the vendor takes responsibility for maintaining an agreed upon inventory level at the buyer’s consumption location*.  VMI is used for production and maintenance purposes. Most organizations use VMI for a portion, but not all, of their inventory. Here’s how it works. Upon consultation with the customer, the vendor creates a stock of commonly used tools, parts, and supplies in a convenient storage area at the customer’s location. The maintenance team takes the items they need out of a designated tool crib, area of a stockroom, or other secure container. The vendor regularly audits the VMI stock at the customer’s location and bills the customer for the items removed from the VMI stock. When it comes to managing your MRO inventory, this strategy can save you time and money.

Read Blog Post: What is Inventory Management?

Managing MRO Inventory with a CMMS

Using a CMMS to manage MRO inventory makes the maintenance team’s job easier. Within a CMMS, you reap many benefits:

  • Save time locating parts by viewing the item descriptions and stock room bin numbers in your CMMS system.
  • Avoid ordering surplus parts by viewing the on-hand counts and checking inventory levels at your other locations, if applicable. If they have the item or supply in stock, it can be transferred to your location.
  • See where all your parts are being used by generating reports that list parts and tools used for work orders or special projects.
  • Allocate parts more accurately by using an asset hierarchy and listing parts and supplies on preventive maintenance work orders.
  • Know the frequency, cost, and quantity of parts ordered by tracking purchase orders.
  • Improve workflow efficiency with barcode scanning.
  • Relate tools to work orders and assets through tools tracking.

When MRO inventory is well managed, an optimum level of needed parts, tools, and supplies are available so that maintenance work is done efficiently and downtime is minimized. Production is thus maximized and costs controlled, resulting in better profitability for an organization.

FTMaintenance CMMS and MRO

FTMaintenance CMMS is an MRO inventory management system that makes it easy to keep track of spare parts and vendors while ensuring the items you need are always available. You can track parts usage, up-to-date part counts, activities by type, and costs. Multiple stockroom support is available for large facilities.

When it comes to reordering, it will be automated and simplified with FTMaintenance. Automatic notifications can be set up to alert you of the need to reorder parts in advance of preventive maintenance task deadlines to ensure you have the parts in time. You can create requisitions in one click, track vendors and blanket purchase orders, and easily view past and pending purchases. Request a demo today to learn more about FTMaintenance MRO inventory capabilities and other CMMS features.

*Source, VMI definition: https://www.thebalancesmb.com/vendor-managed-inventory-vmi-2221270

What is a Bill of Materials? | Bill of Materials Definition

Have you ever gone out to eat at a restaurant and had a meal that made you think, “That was the best food I’ve ever eaten”? Maybe the dish was so delicious that you even tried to recreate it at home, only to find that it didn’t come out quite right. Without a recipe to rely on, you could only guess what ingredients to use and in what amounts. If you think about it, your assets also have a “recipe” of sorts, commonly known as a bill of materials (BOM).

What is a Bill of Materials?

There are many bills of materials definitions that are specific to the process in which they are used. For example, an engineering BOM is developed during the design phase, often in a computer-aided design (CAD) program. A manufacturing BOM shows all the parts required to build a finished product. A sales BOM defines the product as it would be ordered.

The bill of materials definition in this article applies to the maintenance of assets and equipment. In maintenance, a bill of materials (BOM) refers to a detailed list of parts and their respective quantities that make up a specific component or asset. It is used to assist with the planning and execution of maintenance activities. A bill of materials typically includes the following about each part:

  • Part name
  • Part number
  • Description of the part
  • Quantity
  • Unit price
  • Vendor name
  • Vendor part number

A bill of materials is usually formatted in a hierarchy, showing the parent-child relationships between an asset, its subassemblies, and its related parts. Maintenance teams will commonly use what is known as a “pseudo-bill of materials”, which lists an asset’s subassemblies, critical spares, and common replacement parts.

bill of materials diagram-ftmaintenance

Who uses a Bill of Materials?

An equipment bill of materials may have many end users. Maintenance planners use a BOM to help determine what parts to buy or what parts may be needed in the future. A BOM helps stockroom employees know which parts belong to a particular asset. Maintenance technicians utilize a bill of materials to identify the parts to retrieve from a stockroom, or if parts are unavailable, who to call to order replacements. Because many different stakeholders will use the bill of materials, it is important to keep it up to date and periodically review it to ensure its accuracy.

Benefits of a Bill of Materials

The benefits of using a bill of materials for maintenance are widespread. In general, it helps you better visualize how your assets and parts are related. Here are some benefits a bill of materials provides:

  • Reduced downtime: Technicians can refer to the BOM to quickly identify parts needed to complete repairs.
  • Simplified procurement and purchasing: Less research is required to identify what parts need to be reordered. Part numbers are readily available when creating requisitions and purchase orders.
  • Optimized maintenance scheduling: A bill of materials ensures that all of the correct parts are available for upcoming maintenance work.
  • Fewer incorrect inventory purchases: Since there is less opportunity for guesswork, fewer mistakes are made when reordering parts.
  • Streamlined inventory holdings: If not being used elsewhere, parts belonging to decommissioned assets can be removed from the stockroom, reducing the carrying cost of storing unneeded spare parts.

Effectively Manage Bill of Materials with FTMaintenance CMMS

Every industry can benefit from using a bill of materials. When properly created and maintained, a bill of materials makes maintenance jobs more efficient. A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), like FTMaintenance, is an ideal platform for managing your assets and inventory with bills of materials. With automated features for tracking information about your spare parts, FTMaintenance makes it easy to manage MRO inventory from start to finish. Learn more about the FTMaintenance inventory management system.

What is Inventory Management?

Inventory management-stockroom shelves labeled with bin number signs

Do you remember hearing the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears as a kid? In the fairytale, Goldilocks samples the bears’ three bowls of porridge. One is too hot, one is too cold, and one is just the right temperature. The Goldilocks analogy can be applied to inventory management—you don’t want to have too much or too little inventory, but you need to find the amount of parts that is just right. We’re going to discuss what inventory management is, challenges organizations face, and how a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help you find just the right inventory balance.

What is Inventory Management?

Inventory management is a systematic approach to procuring, storing, and controlling the costs of MRO (maintenance, repair, and operations) parts and supplies by maintaining the correct levels at the correct time in the correct locations for the lowest possible cost. Managing inventory is more complex than just having the parts you need in stock. It’s about having a system to find the right balance between overstocked, and not enough, inventory.  It’s also important to keep the stockroom organized so you can quickly find what you need.

Read Blog Post: What is MRO?

Inventory Management Challenges

The main challenges with inventory management are having a surplus or overstock of spare parts inventory, not having enough parts in stock, and being unable to locate the parts you need quickly. There are also additional challenges some organizations face.

Overstock, also called inventory surplus, is a common problem. Even though it can sometimes be difficult to keep spare parts inventory in stock, according to Plant Services,  only 8-10% of spare parts inventory gets used each year. Additionally, the cost of storing parts adds on to the purchase cost over the course of a year, in some cases up to 20% of the purchase price. The reason for this cost increase is due to what’s called carrying costs—expenses resulting from monthly rent, shrinkage, insurance, and other inevitable costs of holding inventory. To use a simplified example, if you purchase a $1 screw but never use it, at the end of the year, you will have spent $1.20 of your budget on that screw. Of course, the more the part costs, the greater the impact this 20% increase has on your budget. Having significant inventory overstock is like paying interest on your own purchases, a cost that compounds with time.

Not having enough inventory parts in stock (sometimes called under stock) causes more immediate problems. When a machine goes down and a part needed to repair it is not in stock, production can be down for days or even weeks while waiting for the part shipment to come in, or you might pay expedited shipping fees to receive it as soon as possible. This major increase in the length of machine downtime can skyrocket the total repair cost. In some cases, maintenance teams do what they can to reduce expenses while waiting, using risky stopgap measures to keep production moving, which can lead to safety hazards and sub-par product quality.

Difficulty locating a needed part wastes valuable time. Up to 25% of maintenance technicians’ time per day is spent searching for spare parts. This can add up to thousands of dollars in wasted labor costs. Having repair parts stored across multiple onsite stockrooms can make finding the needed part even more difficult.

Despite these challenges, managing inventory effectively is feasible for every organization with the use of an inventory management tool such as CMMS software.

How a CMMS Helps You Better Manage Inventory

The overall goal of inventory management is optimizing inventory (having just the right levels of parts in inventory while minimizing the purchasing and carrying costs) for maintenance operations. CMMS inventory management software offers capabilities to make achieving your inventory goals easier.

  • Automatic Reorder Notifications: Set reorder points so that you’re notified automatically when a predefined stock level is reached. You’ll know immediately when it’s time to purchase additional parts. It takes out the guesswork so that you don’t order too many parts when you don’t need them.
  • Inventory Cycle Counts: Keep track of the number of times specific parts are reordered, with the option to classify them according to importance. Critical part inventory cycle counts can be set to occur more often than counts for less important parts.
  • Timely Shipment Scheduling: Schedule parts shipments close to when repairs or preventive maintenance tasks need to be completed.
  • Detailed Location Data: Maintain a detailed record of every part’s location down to the bin number, and whether or not it’s been checked in or out recently. No more frantically searching a stockroom hoping the part you need is there.
  • Detailed Vendor Records: Store your vendors’ contact information, along with pricing for each part and suppliers’ shipment lead times for each part in your CMMS database.
  • Purchase Orders: Quickly create purchase orders from within CMMS software to order all the parts you need at once in a concise manner. This capability makes it easier to keep track of inventory numbers and costs.

Discover how Ranger Boats improved their inventory management in this case study.

FTMaintenance CMMS Facilitates Inventory Management

FTMaintenance is an industry-leading CMMS designed to help your organization better manage your MRO inventory. It’s a tool to help you maintain that just right balance of inventory levels. With FTMaintenance, you’ll be able to set automatic inventory re-order points and adjust them for multiple stockrooms. Tools for inventory auditing will ensure that your physical and recorded inventory counts match. You’ll be able to quickly find the parts you need. FTMaintenance CMMS makes it easy to check parts in and out of inventory, automatically debiting parts from counts when you close work orders. Detailed information on all MRO parts maintained in your inventory such as replacement parts (valves, compressors, pumps), safety equipment, cleaning consumables, and plant upkeep supplies (lubricants, filters), will be freely available. Find out more about the FTMaintenance inventory management system.

What is a Maintenance Request System?

Imagine this—you work for a large manufacturing company. You’re sitting in your office, walking around a warehouse, or running a machine on a production floor. When an unexpected problem occurs, (the overhead lights flicker, a toilet overflows, or the check engine light comes on in a fleet vehicle) your ability to work efficiently is hindered. What do you do? Who do you call? Do you have a process for handling a situation like this, or would you be left in the dark? This is where a system for submitting maintenance requests would be incredibly helpful.

Maintenance Request System Definition

A maintenance request system is software used throughout an organization to submit requests for maintenance work to the maintenance department. Requests are usually submitted through a web or mobile application. Most maintenance request forms are user-friendly, short, and straightforward.

Various Ways Maintenance Request Systems are Used

Maintenance request systems can be used in various ways based on an organization’s structure and maintenance needs. Examples include:

1. A non-profit allows volunteers to submit service request forms when they see repairs that need to be done. A volunteer coordinator reviews the requests, approves them, and distributes the subsequent work orders to contractors who fulfill the jobs. The completed work order data goes into work order history, which allows volunteer coordinators to build a list of acceptable contractors.

Read Case Study: Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry

2. Maintenance request systems are used by production in manufacturing companies that use manufacturing maintenance software because it allows them to quickly and easily report maintenance issues.

3. Tenants in an apartment complex use maintenance requests to alert property management of issues in their unit, such as an electrical wire short, roof leak, or a stove burner that won’t light.

4. In other industries, customers use a service request system to ask for a maintenance job to be completed by an outside maintenance service company.

CMMS Maintenance Request Features

A system for submitting maintenance requests is a beneficial component of CMMS software. CMMS maintenance request software has features that will make your maintenance management process easier, as well as more closely integrate your maintenance team with other departments in your organization.

Easy-to-Use Maintenance Request Forms: A good maintenance request form is easy to fill out and submit.  Even those who work without a desktop or laptop computer access can submit requests on their mobile phone or tablet.

Automatic Notifications: After a request is submitted, notifications are sent out to a group of email addresses you choose. Those who receive the notifications can review requests and determine their level of priority.

Work Order Creation Flexibility: In order to filter maintenance requests and manage the creation of work orders, many maintenance request systems offer the option to require management approval, allowing you to filter out any duplicate or incomplete requests before they become a work order.

Status Updates: Notifications about requests are distributed throughout the process, facilitating communication between requesters and maintenance staff. Updates are sent to requesters so that they are aware of the status of their requests.

FTMaintenance Service Request

FTMaintenance Service Request offers a number of easy-to-use features, including its simple, user-friendly interface. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to successfully submit a maintenance request form. All requesters need to do is fill out a few fields and click the submit button. Since the application is web-based, it is available not only on desktop computers, but also mobile devices. Anyone can submit a request whether they’re in the office, on the production floor, or on the go.

FTMaintenance Service Request can be configured to create work orders automatically or go through an approval process before the request becomes a work order, offering you flexibility in your workflow. You can outline exactly what information you want to be included in every request and include other customized submission instructions. The interface can be configured in a way that works for you, including the welcome and instructions pages. Request a demo to find out more about FTMaintenance Service Request and how it integrates seamlessly with FTMaintenance.

What is a Work Order? | Maintenance Work Orders Explained

Clear communication is essential for business success. Often times, we communicate by talking with one another, but this can fail to get the message across. If you’ve ever played the game Telephone – where a message is passed verbally from person to person (slightly changing each time it’s passed) – you know this to be true, especially if the message is long and complex. Written communications, such as work orders, help to close this information gap.

 What is a Work Order?

A work order is a written means of communicating information about a task. For example, an electrician may receive a work order to complete a wiring project at a construction site. Production staff may be given a work order that instructs them to calibrate a machine. A work order may be used to tell the sanitation crew that equipment is ready to be deep cleaned. Work orders are referred to as “jobs” in some organizations. A maintenance work order provides details about maintenance, repair, or operations work, such as replacing a part, returning an asset to operating condition, or performing an inspection.

Types of Work Orders

There are multiple types of maintenance work orders. Depending on the organization, maintenance work orders generally fall into one of the following categories:
Corrective maintenance (CM): Includes the restoration of assets to optimal or operational conditions.
Preventive maintenance (PM): Includes regularly occurring time-based or usage-based maintenance such as inspections, cleaning, or part replacements.
Predictive maintenance (PdM): Similar to preventive maintenance, but uses real-time and historical equipment data to trigger jobs.
Condition-based maintenance: Uses real-time equipment data collected by sensors to trigger work orders when assets are approaching failure.

Lifecycle of a Maintenance Work Order

A maintenance work order is a “living document” that goes through multiple stages throughout its life.

Creation: A maintenance work order identifies the work and resources necessary to complete the job. The job is then scheduled and assigned to a technician, setting a deadline for completion. Maintenance work orders may be created in a number of ways:

• Customers or non-maintenance employees submit maintenance requests to the maintenance team when assets are not performing correctly. These requests are reviewed and turned into work orders.
• A maintenance manager creates work orders for planned maintenance work or in response to issues that have been reported.
• Maintenance technicians request or create work orders for issues noticed during their daily work.
Work order software automatically generates work orders for regularly occurring preventive maintenance activities.

Performance: As the work is being performed (or shortly after it is complete), technicians document the resources (i.e., labor, materials, time) actually used to complete the work, and include any special notes about what was done.

Close: Once the job is complete, the work order is approved, if required, and closed. The closed work order becomes a permanent record of what was done and what resources were used. Upon closure, the work order is filed away.

Analysis: An asset’s maintenance history is comprised of the contents of all its associated closed work orders. The history is available to assist with future troubleshooting, fine tune procedures, prepare for audits, and evaluate the performance of assets and maintenance employees.

Information Included on a Maintenance Work Order

The information contained on a maintenance work order varies, but typically includes the following:

  • An explanation of the problem
  • The name and location of the asset(s) in need of service
  • Instructions for carrying out the work
  • The required parts
  • Who is assigned to the job
  • The desired completion date and time
  • Cost estimates
  • A way to track the work order, such as a work order number

Work Order Example

 

A work order example

 

 

 

 

 

Using CMMS to Manage Maintenance Work Orders

As crucial as work orders are to your maintenance operations, they are almost useless if not managed properly. Surprisingly, many organizations still use manual work order management systems, such as pen and paper, whiteboards and bulletin boards, or spreadsheets. These systems lack many important capabilities, such as comprehensive scheduling, automatic work order generation, automated notifications, and reporting.

Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) provides a work order management system that helps you effectively track work orders through their lifecycle. Using a CMMS, anyone in maintenance can create, manage, track, complete, and analyze work orders. The software stores all maintenance information in one place, allowing you to quickly build work orders. When work orders are assigned or due, the CMMS can automatically notify the appropriate employees. Maintenance managers can access the system to see a work order’s status and see who is working on what. When completed and closed, the CMMS stores work orders in history where they can be analyzed using maintenance reports.

FTMaintenance Work Order Management Software

Choosing the right work order management system is just as important as the work orders themselves. FTMaintenance ensures that no work orders fall through the cracks by automating work order generation, activation, assignment, and distribution. Mobile accessibility expands FTMaintenance work order management to technicians on the go. Discover all the capabilities of FTMaintenance work order software.

Why CMMS Implementations Fail

Can you imagine putting in the time to research CMMS vendors, find a product with the features you need, receive approval from upper management, and make the purchase, only to have the project fail? That would be costly and disappointing. Even after companies get through the selection and purchase process successfully, a large majority of CMMS implementations fail. Implementation goes well beyond the installation and setup of the software—a complete and successful implementation is reached when the software is being fully utilized after obtaining comprehensive product knowledge and reaching initial goals. We’re going to talk about why CMMS implementations fail and how you can avoid these pitfalls so that you will be set up for success.

Reasons Why CMMS Implementations Fail

Lack of Support after Purchase

The biggest reason why CMMS implementations fail is the lack of vendor support maintenance teams receive after the software is purchased. Some CMMS vendors work with the customer up until purchase, then offer little-to-no installation assistance or ongoing support. In some cases, support centers can be difficult to reach or have slow response times. Support during this transition period is crucial, and without this resource, the maintenance department is left with new software and no idea how to use it. They also find they don’t have enough time to commit to getting the ball rolling all on their own without some assistance from their vendor.

Lack of Adequate Training

CMMS software training is one of the most important parts of a successful CMMS implementation. Without adequate training, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and uncertain. While CMMS software is fairly user-friendly, working together with your team and your vendor to get accustomed to all the features and functions is important. When users don’t know how to use the software, they either make errors or don’t bother using the software. Maintenance management software that isn’t being used is money being wasted. If an organization is transitioning from manual maintenance methods to a CMMS , they will want to assess the different levels of familiarity with computer programs among staff to ensure a comprehensive training experience.

Lack of Clear Goals

While many companies realize they need CMMS software, they don’t always establish goals for the implementation process. This can create ambiguity in the steps that need to be carried out to successfully finish the project. Goals involving the implementation process and the use of the software should be clear cut from the beginning. That being said, it’s important to set a realistic number of goals to avoid becoming overwhelmed. If employees aren’t educated on why certain steps need to happen to meet those goals, they are likely to lose motivation and the will project slow down or come to a halt.

Overcoming Implementation Obstacles

Despite the ways your CMMS implementation could fail, it most definitely doesn’t have to! Here are 4 straightforward things you and your staff can do to ensure your implementation is a success.

1. Inquire about available implementation support when selecting a CMMS vendor. It’s important to make sure you feel comfortable with the type and level of support that’s offered. In addition to support via phone and email, many vendors offer learning center resources such as quick guides and video tutorials to assist you during implementation and well beyond. The amount of implementation support that is provided free of charge varies from vendor to vendor.

2. Find out what training services are offered. The types of training can vary, but they usually include a combination of:
• Remote Webinar Training
• Video Tutorials
• Customized Remote Training Sessions
• On-site Training Classes

3. Find out how a CMMS vendor can assist you with setting and reaching your implementation goals. When it comes to setting and reaching goals, you don’t have to do all the leg work. There are services available to assist you in planning the project and completing important steps such as CMMS data importation and entry. You should not feel like you are starting from scratch or left uncertain as to what to do next.

4. Set a schedule and budget for your implementation. If you’re preparing to purchase and implement a CMMS, you may be wondering how extensive the implementation process is and how much it will cost to implement. You are also likely thinking about how much time you’ll need to commit to the process. You should honestly assess the time and dollar resources you have available to ensure you are fully prepared to carry out implementation.

Ensuring a Successful Implementation

Whether your organization is a small business or a big corporation, the FTMaintenance team will provide CMMS implementation services, training through webinars and videos, and technical support to ensure you have as much implementation assistance as you need throughout the entire implementation process. With our project management services, a dedicated project manager will work with you to make implementation decisions that fit your team’s needs.

Contact us to learn more about how easy it is to successfully implement FTMaintenance CMMS, or request a demo.

What is Software as a Service? | Benefits of SaaS

Problems with the Traditional Software Model

In the past, organizations were responsible for hosting and maintaining software on their own premises. This meant working with a dedicated IT staff, buying servers and storage, providing security, and spending valuable resources on software installation and maintenance. In addition, IT resources were needed to perform ongoing software upgrades, install patches, carry out disaster recovery tests, and manage software licenses. While this software delivery method is viable for large companies, the costs are too great for small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs).

These obstacles prevented SMBs from implementing business software, such as computerized maintenance management software. Instead, many SMBs stuck with manual or low-tech methods for tracking maintenance, and still continue to do so today. However, computer technology has advanced and introduced new ways to make business software possible for all companies. This software delivery model is called Software as a Service (SaaS), and is now an industry-standard model for vendors offering CMMS. So, what is Software as a Service?

What is Software as a Service?

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a software delivery model in which software is hosted by a third-party in the cloud, accessed by users over the internet, and licensed on a subscription basis. This definition is a bit technical, so we will try to break it down.

Software as a Service is defined by two components – where the software is hosted and the licensing model. Let’s start with where the software is hosted. In the Software as a Service model, a third-party hosts your software on an internet server (known as “the cloud”) which is accessed by users over the Internet. Unlike traditional software, which requires you to install software to your server or hard drive, cloud-based software puts the onus of hosting on the vendor. This provides many benefits to industrial organizations, which are discussed later.

Now let’s talk about the licensing model. Simply put, a software license grants you permission to use a software application. Software licenses can be owned (perpetual) or rented (subscription). Traditional, installed software uses perpetual licenses, which allow you to make a one-time license purchase and use the software indefinitely. Rented licenses, such as those used in the Software as a Service subscriptions, are paid on a monthly or annual basis. You are given permission to use the software so long as your subscription is paid – this is where the “service” aspect comes in. There is more discussion to be had about licensing, but for the sake of this article, we will stop here.

Software as a Service Examples

You may already be using some Software as a Service products in your everyday life. While some of them have a free version, you may pay (either monthly or annually) to unlock more than what’s offered in the free version, such as advanced features, additional storage space, etc.

  • Video Streaming: Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video
  • Online News: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today
  • Email: Gmail, Yahoo Mail, Outlook (formerly Hotmail)
  • Entertainment: PlayStation Network, Xbox Live, Nintendo Online
  • Cloud Storage: Google Drive, iCloud, Dropbox
  • Productivity Software: Microsoft Office 365, Slack, Basecamp
  • Google Apps: Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Photos

Note: All company names, product names, trademarks, and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

Benefits of SaaS

Today, many software vendors offer their product through the Software as a Service model, which offers many built-in benefits including:

  • Lower Upfront Costs: SaaS subscription plans eliminate the higher upfront purchase and installation costs associated with on-premise software.
  • Lower Financial Risk: Monthly or annual subscriptions allow you to start and stop as you please. If you decide to cancel or switch providers, your losses are minimized.
  • Accessibility: Because of the low startup costs, SMBs can now afford to purchase and use powerful software that might have otherwise been unobtainable.
  • Lower Cost of Ownership: SaaS subscriptions are cheaper over the long run compared to the equipment and staffing costs associated with running an internal system.
  • Flexibility: Multiple subscription options allow you to pay only for what you need. If you discover additional needs, SaaS makes it easy to switch plans.
  • Reduced Time to Benefit: Since it is delivered over the internet, you do not have to wait for disks to arrive or IT to install the software. SaaS allows you to get started right away, thereby shortening your payback period.
  • Predictable Fees: Regular SaaS subscriptions fees make it easier to budget because costs are more predictable.
  • Ongoing Support: Subscription fees typically include ongoing support and upgrades. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about the penalties of expired warranties or service agreements.

Software as a Service (SaaS) and CMMS

With the introduction of the Software as a Service delivery model, CMMS software is a possibility for every company, regardless of size. FTMaintenance is offered through a number of Software as a Service subscriptions. These low-cost, low-risk subscription plans are designed to accommodate the needs of everyone from first-time CMMS users to experienced maintenance management software veterans. Learn more about all FTMaintenance CMMS pricing options.

Creating a Culture of Accountability with CMMS

What is Accountability in Maintenance Management?

When you hear the word accountability, what do you feel? Fear? Stress? Usually when we hear this word, it’s in reaction to a negative situation – something went wrong and someone will be blamed for the event. You might say that a person must be held accountable for his/her actions, suggesting that there should be some punishment. Due to this association, moving towards a culture of accountability can be challenging.

With that said, it is important to remember that “accountability” is not the same as “blame.” Accountability is being responsible for one’s own actions and the results of those actions, both good and bad. For maintenance managers, the goal of creating a culture of accountability is to improve maintenance processes, not to assign blame. Accountability is a forward-thinking strategy. Your team is made up of problem solvers. Every failure is an opportunity to learn from what went wrong and what could be done to improve the situation or to prevent it from happening in the future.

Creating a Culture of Accountability

Accountability starts with communication. Maintenance managers must help technicians understand what is expected of them, to what standard work will be held, and what deadlines must be met. Maintenance managers have an obligation to monitor the processes put in place and ensure that procedures are being followed. Being able to express concerns and accept feedback also plays an important role in strengthening communication and maintaining accountability.

The idea of accountability sounds really good on paper, but how does it play out on the plant floor? After all, there’s only one of you – you can’t watch what every person is doing every minute of every day. How can you ensure that your staff members are personally invested in developing and maintaining a culture of accountability? How can you make sure that maintenance is being performed correctly? How can you make sure that employees are staying productive? How will technicians know the specifications for each asset?

One thing you can do is provide tools, like computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), for you and your staff that documents, tracks, and communicates your maintenance process along with detailed feedback on the maintenance performance of your staff.

How a CMMS Improves Accountability

Without a system in place for communicating maintenance requirements and performance expectations, it is difficult for anyone to be accountable for their work. There is no record that can be referenced when there are miscommunications and misunderstandings about a particular job or task. A CMMS helps foster communication by documenting and storing information about your maintenance assets. The following are a few ways in which a CMMS can help improve accountability.

Work Order Tracking

A CMMS helps you create detail-rich work orders and provides you with full visibility of work being done. Using work order software to generate work orders makes it easy to communicate necessary details such as who is responsible for the work, what materials are needed to complete the job, and when the work must be completed. You can also use the CMMS to quickly check the status of work orders and follow up on any tasks that are incomplete or overdue. The work order itself then becomes the reference point for both maintenance manager and technician to discuss.

Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance (PM) procedures must be closely followed in order to keep equipment functioning. Because the consequences that may occur from skipped or missed preventive maintenance can be quite serious, it is important that all team members are held accountable for their timely and accurate completion. Preventive maintenance software, like CMMS, can be just the tool you need to keep your team accountable.

Scheduling PMs for a handful of assets may not be much of a problem, but most companies maintain hundreds – if not thousands – of pieces of equipment. Without CMMS, keeping track of these schedules is nearly impossible. Automated work order generation, distribution, and notification ensure that preventive maintenance assignments are not missed or forgotten.

CMMS also helps you standardize PM activities through the use of tasks. Detailed tasks lists communicate your expectations for the work while also serving the purpose of providing step-by-step instructions for technicians to follow. In general, task lists will spell out what must be done, how it should be done, what guidelines or specifications must be met, and approximately how long a task should take. Because they follow the same procedure each and every time, it becomes easy to tell when PMs fall below expectations and where additional training might be needed. This performance evaluation data is most clearly revealed in reports, which are discussed later.

Notifications

Notifications automate communication about the status of your maintenance activities, helping to ensure that work is not forgotten, lost, or miscommunicated. When a maintenance request or work order is created in CMMS software, notifications can be sent to the right people, letting them know that a new job is waiting.

A CMMS can also be used to implement an approval process for work order closure. As part of this process, notifications can inform a superior that a work order is ready for approval or let someone else know that approval has been given. Securing the approval of others helps facilitate a system of checks and balances that ensures maintenance work is meeting expectations.

Mobility

A mobile CMMS empowers your staff to use maintenance software from the field. With more access to your maintenance management software, technicians are more likely to report issues on the spot, track tasks and time as they go, and stay productive. CMMS software that includes GPS or GIS functionality can also help you keep track of where employees and assets are located.

Reports and Dashboards

Maintenance reports and dashboards are vital tools for holding your team accountable for its performance. Maintenance management reports help you track productivity, work completion rates, maintenance costs, and more. Dashboards graphically display key performance indicators (KPIs), allowing you to monitor operations at a glance. Analyzing the metrics provided by a CMMS helps you identify areas of improvement, which can be reviewed with your team.

Improve Accountability at Your Facility

Accountability should not be considered a bad word. It is a shared responsibility between team members that can foster more collaboration and accuracy, thereby improving maintenance operations and morale. But creating a culture of accountability requires the right tools. FTMaintenance provides a single platform for managing, documenting, and tracking maintenance activities. Request a demo of FTMaintenance to discover how our maintenance management software can help improve accountability.

How a CMMS Prepares You for Compliance Audits

Depending on what industry your company is in, you may have regulatory compliance standards you must adhere to. Some industries have more stringent regulations than others because their products or services demand closer monitoring. Companies in the Food and Beverage and Pharmaceuticals industries have strict FDA standards they must uphold because their products are made for consumption. Companies in the Power and Energy industry need to keep up with OSHA regulations as well as the ever-changing environmental protection laws.

This only scratches the surface, so with all of these rules to abide by, CMMS software is an ideal tool to make meeting regulatory compliance standards easier for every business. Regulatory compliance is an organization’s adherence to laws, regulations, and directives relevant to their business processes. These processes may include the production or maintenance of products, services, assets, and labor hours—all things about which you can store data in a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

What Auditors Want to See

 When it comes to compliance audits, auditors want to see that in your processes, you have completed five steps:

  • Say What You Do (Have Quality Procedures)
  • Do What You Say (Follow the Procedures)
  • Record What You Did (Keep Quality Records)
  • Prove It (Check the Results)
  • Improve It (Act on the Differences)

A good CMMS can assist you will all of these steps. Here is a simple example.  Let’s say you are a mass-production bakery. You have industrial-sized ovens in which grease builds up after use. A procedure you would need to follow is sanitizing the oven before the grease and bacteria collect to unsafe levels. In an audit, you would need to provide all the work order records for this sanitation process, instructions stating the specific steps involved in that process, and documentation proving the process was completed each time it was necessary. If someone inspected the oven to ensure the sanitation process was done correctly, documentation should also show that. Finally, if any problems were encountered—maybe you had to switch cleaning products because the first one left a residue— improvements to the process should be documented as well. A CMMS will have all of that information stored for you.

 A CMMS Prepares You for Compliance Audits

CMMS software can assist you in preparation for external compliance audits. There are different features that provide specific documentation for audits; however, using a CMMS as part of your maintenance management processes in and of itself shows auditors you take these regulations seriously. CMMS software allows you to customize the required fields needed to complete work orders and other forms to ensure all the information you need is captured.

Audit Trail Capabilities

Audit trail capabilities in CMMS software allow you to log all changes to work orders, including what specific changes were made, who made them, and when. This builds data about work order history while providing the documentation you need to pass audits. Audit trail functions were designed to meet the needs of organizations with multiple locations, allowing you to verify procedures in minute detail. In addition to being able to see work order change records, you can also view employee use of CMMS software.

Digital Signatures

In the pharmaceutical, medical, and food and beverage industries, the FDA Title 21 CFR Part 11 plays an important role. Instead of submitting paper records, you can use a CMMS to prove compliance via digital signatures on work orders to ensure all the proper procedures were followed. You can set work order closure permissions to require approval, and there are other settings you can select to provide digital sign-off on all documentation you might need for regulatory compliance.

Reporting

CMMS software often has several reports available and custom report writing services may also be an option. Any of these reports can be used to show proof of compliance, especially the equipment, maintenance, and labor reports. Most CMMS software has the capability to modify reports to meet your ever-changing compliance audit needs.

PM Tasks

You can create a preventive maintenance (PM) tasks list within most CMMS software, which contains information that specifies the standard procedures for various jobs. Users creating PM work orders can select these tasks and add them to work orders, ensuring that the correct procedure is followed every time. Automated PM activation functionality ensures daily, weekly, monthly, and annual checks or inspections are never missed. Maintenance history (which is also created for corrective maintenance jobs), displays proof that the jobs were completed.

Employee Information

Regulatory compliance audits can also involve presenting information about your employees. In CMMS software, individual employee certifications can be attached to employee records. They are stored in the CMMS and can be found quickly whenever you need to refer to them. Depending on which maintenance management software you choose, more information about your employees may be stored to make it easier to assign jobs appropriately and evenly distribute labor hours.

FTMaintenance Assists with Audit Preparation

While compliance audits are typically scheduled once per year, surprise audits are also conducted to ensure companies are compliant at all times. With FTMaintenance CMMS, you will be prepared for your next audit, whether it’s expected or not. Schedule a demo to view all of the features FTMaintenance has that can assist with compliance audits.

What is Corrective Maintenance?

Even if you don’t call it by this name, you may already be familiar with the concept of corrective maintenance in your daily life. If the dryer breaks, you fix or replace it. If windows are dirty, you clean them. If the color of your siding is fading, you paint it.

When this concept is applied to the industrial workplace, there’s a little more to it. Machine breakdowns require investigation to identify the issue and make a decision as to whether a part should be repaired or replaced. Components are cleaned so that assets can perform at their highest capacity. General upkeep is done to keep environments safe and secure.

You know that preventive maintenance is used to prevent breakdowns before they happen, so where does corrective maintenance fit into the big picture?

Read Blog Post: What is Preventive Maintenance?

Corrective Maintenance Definition

Corrective maintenance (CM) is a maintenance task performed to restore a non- or under-performing asset to an optimum or operational condition. This corrective maintenance definition may mean different things, depending on your organization or industry. For example, corrective maintenance in equipment-centric businesses may be the repair or replacement of a part that has worn down. Companies that deal primarily with non-equipment assets, such as facilities or property, might consider mowing the lawn to be corrective maintenance.

The need for corrective maintenance may be discovered in many ways. A maintenance technician may notice a degrading part while performing a preventive maintenance job like an inspection. A machine operator may alert the maintenance team that equipment is not functioning as expected. Seasonal weather may dictate the need for corrective maintenance, such as when a parking lot must be plowed after a snow storm.

Types of Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance can be broken down into smaller categories, scheduled corrective maintenance and unscheduled corrective maintenance.

  • Scheduled corrective maintenance: Corrective maintenance that is needed but is not required to be performed immediately.
  • Unscheduled corrective maintenance: Corrective maintenance that is required due to a critical failure that must be corrected without delay.

Corrective Maintenance Examples

The following corrective maintenance examples are based on the types of corrective maintenance.

  • A spray nozzle becomes clogged causing lubricant to stop flowing through the nozzle. A work order is created to clear the blockage or replace the nozzle head at the time of the next inspection (scheduled corrective maintenance).
  • Mineral build-up from hard water collects in a pipe, increasing the pressure and causing it to burst. The pipe must be replaced as soon as possible (unscheduled corrective maintenance).

Advantages of Corrective Maintenance

When used as part of a larger maintenance strategy, corrective maintenance can provide multiple benefits.

  • Less Planning Required: Although some corrective maintenance activities must still be planned, compared to preventive maintenance schedules, there is less planning involved.
  • Simplified Process: Corrective maintenance is need-based, allowing the maintenance team to focus on other tasks, such as preventive maintenance, until a breakdown or adverse condition occurs.
  • More Appropriate in Some Cases: Corrective maintenance can save money because you don’t need to repair or replace an asset until maintenance is truly needed. For example, it is more cost-effective to replace a light bulb when it burns out than to spend time, money, and effort creating a preventive maintenance plan.

Disadvantages of Corrective Maintenance

Relying solely on corrective maintenance without the benefit of a preventive maintenance strategy can have significant shortcomings.

  • Increased Downtime: When serious problems arise, maintenance can be a slow and expensive process. Periods of equipment downtime affect production, costing the organization money.
  • Higher Maintenance Costs: Without preventive maintenance, the condition of assets can deteriorate more significantly before problems are discovered, requiring the repair or replacement of more parts while also increasing labor costs.
  • Safety Issues: When performed in response to a breakdown where money is being lost every second, maintenance may be rushed, leading to a higher risk of unsafe or improper work.
  • Unpredictability: When emergencies happen, all other maintenance work is put on hold until the problem is resolved, leading to a backlog of work orders. Maintenance managers must also quickly identify the technicians and parts needed to address the repair.

When to Use Corrective Maintenance

Corrective maintenance is unavoidable. Every maintenance team performs corrective maintenance in response to equipment breakdowns and failures. But as we’ve stated, relying too heavily on corrective maintenance can negatively impact operations. So when should you use corrective maintenance over other types of maintenance, such as preventive maintenance?

The decision can depend on many things, such as the cost of downtime, your assets’ reliability, and whether assets can be easily swapped if problems occur. Your company may also conduct a cost-benefits analysis on your assets to help support the case for scheduled corrective maintenance. Experts recommend that your balance of preventive vs. corrective maintenance should be 80/20. That is, 80% of maintenance should be preventive, while the remaining 20% should be corrective maintenance.

How Corrective Maintenance Software Helps

The goal of every maintenance team is to reduce asset downtime. A CMMS like FTMaintenance stores information about corrective maintenance activities and automatically builds a maintenance history. During critical corrective maintenance tasks, it also allows technicians to quickly check an asset’s service history, speeding up troubleshooting and repairs. Corrective maintenance data can be analyzed to identify trends, spawning future preventive maintenance that will help avert future failure. Learn more about all the CMMS features FTMaintenance has to offer.

Transitioning from Manual Maintenance Management Methods to a CMMS

If you are still using manual methods to manage your maintenance operations, there’s never been a better time to transition to a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). Demands on maintenance teams are increasing and technology is advancing. Why not take advantage of the off-the-shelf tools that are available? With the right CMMS and support staff working together, the transition from pen and paper or spreadsheets to using maintenance management software will go smoothly and be worth your efforts.

Why Transition to a CMMS

While it may seem like more work at first, don’t worry! Your initial investment of time will pay back in savings of both time and money many times over.  Using a CMMS makes life easier for the maintenance team.  After your maintenance management software is set up, you’ll be able to create work orders, accurately track your assets, repairs, and labor hours, and receive notifications about maintenance requests through email. Mobile devices allow you to edit and close work orders from anywhere.  You’ll spend less time entering data and more time taking care of business.

When deciding whether to make an investment in maintenance management software, ROI (Return on Investment) is ultimately the bottom line. A CMMS will add value to your maintenance operations, and increase the value of your maintenance team to the organization, by reducing costs and maximizing asset uptime. A good CMMS provides a wide variety of maintenance management features that can be used to accomplish these. For example, being able to scan asset barcodes, enter work order data from any mobile device, and be notified about new maintenance work immediately means less time walking to a computer, logging data, and following up on tasks.

Getting Started

Transitioning from manual to digital maintenance management involves a series of implementation steps. Implementing maintenance management software involves the purchase and installation, gathering and importing data, setting up user credentials, and learning how to use your software. The time it takes to complete CMMS implementation depends on the amount of vendor assistance you receive, whether or not you have a dedicated IT staff, how much time you can devote per day during the implementation period, and whether or not the project gets placed on hold for any reason.

Data Importation/Entry

Data importation is the transfer of existing maintenance data (such as assets and inventory) from existing files (such as Excel spreadsheets) to a CMMS. Alternatively, you can manually enter your data into a CMMS. Top CMMS vendors provide tools such as data importation templates and/or guides for formatting your entered data so you can easily complete the process on your own. Alternatively, the vendor can import or enter your data for you. Start by gathering your most critical asset and personnel information; then add less important information later. Preventive maintenance (PM) task information can also be collected to add right away.

Training

Another important step in making the transition from manual maintenance management to using a CMMS is training. In order to experience the time and cost saving benefits of maintenance management software, your maintenance staff needs to know how to confidently use your CMMS. Webinar training, along with customized remote and onsite training is beneficial for every new user. Many vendors also offer video tutorials, informational blog posts, help features in the software itself, and more for additional independent learning.

Transition from Manual Maintenance Management to FTMaintenance CMMS

If you’re preparing to transition to CMMS from manual maintenance management, FTMaintenance is an easy-to-use option backed by best-in-industry support from start to finish. Many companies purchase a CMMS system and are left wondering: What do I do next?  With FTMaintenance, your transition from a manual maintenance management system to a CMMS will be smooth and easy.

Our staff is committed to your success. We will work with you to install the software and set up your initial users. We’ll provide you with free data import templates so you can quickly collect your data and transfer it into FTMaintenance. Training through our webinars and video library is the next step, followed by as much CMMS customer support as you need. This support is readily available when you have questions. Schedule a demo to see for yourself how easy it is to transition to FTMaintenance CMMS.

What is Preventive Maintenance?

Imagine what would happen if you waited until your car’s engine failed before you got an oil change. Each time this occurs, you would have to pay for an emergency tow truck to take it to a repair shop where the engine can be fixed. That’s if there is no catastrophic damage. Otherwise, you must source a rebuilt engine (usually thousands of dollars) and install it. Meanwhile, you must also find an alternate mode of transportation. Clearly, waiting for your engine to fail is not only inconvenient, but also costly in terms of money and time. It would be much easier to try to prevent the breakdown before it happens. This same logic applies to the equipment and assets you work with every day.

Preventive Maintenance Definition

Preventive maintenance (PM), sometimes called preventative maintenance, is maintenance that is proactively performed on an asset with the goal of lessening the likelihood of failure, reducing unexpected downtime, and prolonging its useful life.

In practice, this means regularly checking equipment for small problems and fixing them before failure can occur. Preventive maintenance activities may consist of inspections, calibrations, lubrications, adjustments, cleaning, or part replacements. As preventive maintenance activities are performed, workers also document an asset’s condition so they know when future maintenance may be needed.

Types of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance can take many forms. The two most common are:

  • Calendar-based preventive maintenance: Maintenance activities are scheduled based on a specific date, or a time interval such as number of days.
  • Runtime-based preventive maintenance: Maintenance activities are scheduled based on a specific measured runtime unit, such as miles, hours, or level.

Based on our preventive maintenance definition, the following may also be categorized as types of preventive maintenance:

  • Predictive maintenance (PdM): Maintenance is scheduled by analyzing real-time equipment data and data from previous breakdowns.
  • Condition-based maintenance (CbM): Maintenance is scheduled when a monitored condition characteristic of an asset’s normal operation, such as temperature, vibration, pressure, meter readings, etc., is out of its normal measured range.

Preventive Maintenance Examples

The following are some preventive maintenance examples, based on the types of preventive maintenance defined earlier in this article.

  • A work order for cleaning the gutters is created every 6 months (calendar-based preventive maintenance).
  • An oil change work order is assigned to a technician after every 5,000 miles traveled by a fleet vehicle (run-time based preventive maintenance).
  • After studying maintenance history, a data analyst concludes that a machine will likely fail after running for 1,000 hours. A work order is created to inspect a subassembly after 950 hours of runtime (predictive maintenance).
  • An equipment sensor shows that a shaft is vibrating beyond normal limits. A work order is created with instructions to inspect, and potentially replace, the bearings (condition-based maintenance).

Advantages of Preventive Maintenance

There are a number of advantages of preventive maintenance compared to other types of maintenance, such as corrective maintenance.

  • Better Preparation for Maintenance Work: Since preventive maintenance can be planned ahead of time, you can efficiently coordinate any required parts, supplies, and labor resources before work is due.
  • Improved Scheduling: Preventive maintenance activities can be scheduled to fit into the production schedule or during planned plant shutdowns.
  • Lower Overall Maintenance Costs: Unplanned maintenance is often more expensive due to excessive downtime, loss of production, and expedited shipping fees. The cost of preventive maintenance activities is more controlled. In fact, companies typically save 12-18% on total maintenance costs using preventive maintenance.

Disadvantages of Preventive Maintenance

Preventive maintenance is an important part of every maintenance strategy. However, preventive maintenance does have some limitations.

  • More Time Needed to Plan: Designing a preventive maintenance plan takes time, effort, and ability. This project requires dedicated resources, which may not always be readily available.
  • Increased Costs from Excessive Maintenance: Performing preventive maintenance on equipment that doesn’t need it leads to unnecessary downtime, labor costs, and part usage. Additionally, incorrect re-assembly, misalignment, or other errors caused by nonessential interactions can actually reduce the reliability of your assets.
  • More Maintenance Resources are Required: Preventive maintenance requires additional workers, parts, and budget to implement correctly. However, the long-term benefits you will receive will far outweigh this requirement.

When to Use Preventive Maintenance

Even with all its benefits, it may not always be clear when to use preventive maintenance. Ideally, you’ll want to use preventive maintenance to extend the lifespan of all your assets, but if you’re just getting started, you need to prioritize. At a minimum, preventive maintenance should be applied to assets that are critical to production, where their ability to perform their job is of high importance. From there, you can expand your preventive maintenance plan to include non-critical equipment and facilities.

Using a preventive maintenance program can also be used as a way to better organize the activities of the maintenance department. Carefully thinking through your maintenance operations can help you better forecast the demand for maintenance resources and make it easier to balance the work load. The creation of standardized PM task lists will ensure that all employees are performing work in the same way. Also, using a preventive maintenance plan as a guide helps keeps the team on task and makes sure that maintenance is being done when it’s needed.

How Preventive Maintenance Software Helps

Preventive maintenance helps to simplify and standardize complex maintenance processes. However, because preventive maintenance will likely be performed on a large number of assets, it is nearly impossible to effectively track everything in your head, on paper, or in a spreadsheet. Preventive maintenance software, like FTMaintenance CMMS, stores all of your maintenance data in one place so you can easily keep track of all your preventive maintenance activities. With features like PM tasks lists, automatic work order notification and distribution, and mobile accessibility, FTMaintenance CMMS makes a preventive maintenance program accessible to any company. Learn more about our preventive maintenance software.

Benefits of Mobile Maintenance Software

Mobile devices are essential to everyday life. For example, we rely on smart phones for communicating with friends and family, and tablets for browsing the internet and providing entertainment. But even with their widespread use, a surprisingly large number of industrial organizations (approximately 65%, according to a 2019 Plant Engineering study) are not yet using mobile devices for maintenance purposes. Given the mounting pressure to keep equipment and facilities running, maintenance teams must do what it takes to remain productive and efficient. One way to do this is to use mobile maintenance software, also called mobile CMMS. Here are some benefits of mobile maintenance software.

Reduced Downtime

At some point, your assets will experience downtime for maintenance work. Mobile maintenance software notifies you of urgent repairs wherever you are located, shortening the gap of time between when problems occur and when they are resolved. From the location of the asset in need of repair, your staff can quickly look up service history, maintenance records, and inventory information for faster troubleshooting. Once the problem has been identified, mobile maintenance software can be used to check if repair parts are in stock or identify who to call to place an order – right from the machine.

Increased Accessibility

The lack of available stationary computing resources stifles productivity. When only a few people have access to a computer, they become responsible for all data entry. Teams that must use shared workstations are often left waiting for computers to become available. Even computers dedicated to the maintenance team may be set up in inconvenient locations. A mobile maintenance software solution puts your CMMS into anyone’s hands.

Workforce Mobility

Maintenance is anything but a desk job. With mobile maintenance software, staff is no longer tied to stationary computers and can cover a larger area of the plant. Additionally, less time is wasted walking between offices, stockrooms, and job sites.

Another benefit related to workforce mobility is anytime, anywhere work order creation. Using mobile maintenance software, you can send work orders to technicians in the field. If a maintenance issue is noticed while in the field, technicians can create work orders right then and there.

Streamlined Processes

Technicians are more likely to input information when using mobile maintenance software. Instead of waiting until the end of the day to enter data into the system, technicians can record information as work is being performed (or shortly after it is complete). A mobile CMMS solution makes it easy for your team to enter equipment usage information and inspection-based data from right in front of a piece of equipment. Technicians can also use mobile maintenance software to create, view, change, and close work orders on the spot.

Convenience

Mobile devices offer many timesaving features well-suited for use in maintenance operations. For starters, mobile maintenance software is designed specifically for use on different screen sizes, leading to a simplified user interface. Cameras embedded in smart phones and tablets allow you to add supplemental details to work orders via images or videos. Talk-to-text data entry is more convenient (and often faster) than using an on-screen keyboard. Finally, staff can use their own, familiar mobile devices to access the CMMS.

Paperless Workplace

Mobile maintenance software helps support a paperless maintenance environment. With everything stored in a mobile-accessible CMMS, you no longer have to sift through stacks of paperwork or dig through file cabinets. By removing this clutter, work orders and other documentation are less likely to get lost.

Going paperless also reduces your businesses’ overhead costs associated with printer supplies, printer maintenance, ink cartridge disposal, and energy use. It’s environmentally friendly, too!

FTMaintenance Mobile Maintenance Software

Investing in a mobile maintenance management solution brings many benefits to your maintenance operations, such as reduced downtime, increased productivity, and more. Schedule a demo today to learn more about FTMaintenance mobile CMMS.

How to Determine CMMS ROI

One of the most important things every professional must consider when making a significant business-related purchase is: what will the return on investment be? Let’s face it—money makes the world go ‘round. If you’re looking for a way to make your maintenance operations more efficient, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) may be just what you need. We’re going to talk about how to determine your potential ROI with a CMMS. We’ll also discuss how a CMMS can save your business money.

But first, let’s further describe what ROI is. ROI stands for Return On Investment. In simple terms, it measures how much value you’ve gained from an investment relative to the amount of money invested. To accurately determine your CMMS ROI, you apply the standard ROI formula:

CMMS ROI = (CMMS Value – CMMS Cost) / (CMMS Cost)

 “CMMS Cost” in this equation includes the purchase of the software, service, support, and any additional services. “CMMS Value” is the dollar value of savings across all maintenance costs.

Areas of Maintenance Costs

As part of determining the ROI for any project, you must figure out your current maintenance costs before purchasing a CMMS and the estimated, reduced maintenance costs after purchase and installation. “CMMS Value” will be the difference between these values. Examples of maintenance management costs include:

  • Work Order Generation, Processing, and Close Out
  • Inventory Management and Overhead
  • Expedited Delivery Fees
  • Condition Audits
  • Report Generation

The following are just a few of the questions you can answer to help you calculate these costs:

  • How many hours of emergency maintenance do you experience in a week?
  • How many hours of lost production time do you average monthly?
  • How much time is spent creating and closing work orders each week?

You should add up all known costs, both direct and indirect, for your maintenance operations. A CMMS has the potential to significantly reduce many of these costs.

Value Created with CMMS

 Maintenance management software has many capabilities that have the potential to create value (or reduce cost). Over time, this value will lead to a significant ROI.

The ability to automatically create, process, and close work orders rather than using pen and paper or a spreadsheet, can easily save you up to 50%. The time freed up can be used to accomplish more maintenance tasks more quickly, or to reduce overall maintenance labor costs.

In order to complete or fulfill work orders, you need parts and supplies. With a CMMS, you’ll be able to optimize inventory management, saving you up to 50% on excess inventory purchases and expedited delivery fees. Maintenance management software allows you to keep track of inventory counts in real time, as well as send notifications via email when parts are due for reorder.

Numerous costs are associated with on-site equipment condition audits. These costs can include the hourly rate for the contractor’s time, data analysis and reporting fees, and other costs such as additional fees based on the size of your facility, scope of the audit, and the volume of documentation that must be created. With maintenance management software, audits will be faster, easier, and possibly less frequent, saving you up to 80%.

A CMMS keeps detailed equipment records so you can easily check information related to the status of your machines. You’ll also be able to find patterns in reoccurring repairs to help you make more informed decisions about maintaining versus replacing assets, lowering the downtime of your equipment and troubleshooting breakdowns faster, leading to improved asset life and reliability.

Any of this information can be put together through report generation, which costs up to 50% less with CMMS automated reporting capabilities. Self-refreshing dashboards display KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), along with notifications and alerts, which give you insight into the status of your current maintenance work. Built-in maintenance reports, charts, and graphs cover every aspect of your maintenance operations. You can modify reports to meet your needs as they change. User-defined data sets also filter information and sort records.

With all of these savings, your investment in a CMMS will pay for itself in a relatively short time frame.

FTMaintenance Expedites the Payback Period

The payback period is how long it takes to achieve ROI. While individual results will vary, the payback period with FTMaintenance maintenance management software can be as short as 4 months.

FTMaintenance can boast this number because of what we do to expedite the payback period. That’s where our services such as CMMS implementation services and CMMS training come in. We want you to get the most out of FTMaintenance and help to ensure you save as much money as possible. When you become an FTMaintenance customer, we’ll work with you well beyond the installation of the software—we’ll provide you with detailed instructions on how to import your data and train your users on the most important functions of our software. You’ll have unlimited access to our CMMS customer support to answer your questions and assist you in getting comfortable with using FTMaintenance CMMS. When your software gets up and running quickly and users are able to maximize the use of our CMMS features, the payback period becomes a lot shorter.

ROI is something that happens over time throughout your use of FTMaintenance CMMS software. It involves more than making back the money you spent on the software (your “payback”) and occurs when you begin seeing benefits that exceed your cost of investment, which varies for every business. Ready to learn more about how a CMMS can help you reduce costs in all of these areas, ensuring significant ROI? See FTMaintenance CMMS in action today by scheduling a demo.

What is Maintenance Management?

Maintenance Management Defined

The textbook definition of maintenance management is an orderly process to control the maintenance resources and activities required to preserve assets at, or repair them to, an acceptable working order. But, you probably didn’t come here to read from a textbook, did you? Chances are you are looking for more than a simple definition. Let’s explore maintenance management further.

What Is Maintenance Management?

One of the biggest responsibilities maintenance teams have is to keep facilities and equipment running. Every company takes a different approach to ensure these assets remain operational. Some choose the firefighting method, waiting until a machine breaks down before they fix it. As the term “firefighting” suggests, the circumstances surrounding this type of maintenance can be chaotic. Maintenance teams are often left wondering when the next breakdown will occur. While this can place a burden on maintenance technicians, it is one common way repairs are carried out.

For others, the goal is to prevent failure by looking for signs of wear and tear before a problem occurs. This may be done by performing regular inspections or analyzing data to anticipate malfunctions. Though these methods require careful forethought and planning, they make maintenance activities more predictable.

Both are acceptable maintenance processes and are often used in combination with one another. Yet, each involves a different amount of time and money. Organizations must be able to decide which methods to use and when. They must also ensure the appropriate resources are in place to carry out maintenance activities. This is maintenance management.

Through maintenance management, overall maintenance costs are minimized through efficient use of maintenance resources. Parts can be obtained in advance, assignments can be distributed more appropriately, and work can be scheduled when it’s least disruptive to facility operations. Because there are so many moving pieces—personnel, machines, inventory, scheduling, and more—you need a way to organize, manage, and store data about your maintenance activities.

Maintenance Management Software

That’s where a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)—such as FTMaintenance—comes in. CMMS is software designed to manage maintenance activities and resources while keeping detailed maintenance records of all assets within an organization. Regardless of what maintenance practices you use, having this data at your fingertips makes the process of maintenance management more efficient. In fact, companies that adopt a CMMS can improve their overall efficiency by up to 65%.

Maintenance teams reap many benefits from using CMMS software. Whether you want to reduce machine downtime, save money on repairs, streamline your day-to-day workflow, or all of the above, a CMMS such as FTMaintenance will help you reach these goals. CMMS is the foundation of good maintenance management.

Want to learn more about how FTMaintenance can help you manage your maintenance activities more efficiently? Schedule a demo to see our software in action.