Authored by DPSI staff, this article originally appeared on BetterBuys.com.
Many organizations take advantage of the vast work order management opportunities included in computerized maintenance management software (CMMS). However, there are many other useful CMMS features available that companies fail to utilize.
There’s no denying the appeal of work order management capabilities within CMMS software. It’s the number one feature most companies look for in maintenance management software solutions. This module typically allows companies to streamline work orders from beginning to end with a work order generation and management system. CMMS software enables maintenance management to create, schedule, assign and close work orders as well as many other tasks.
Additionally, there are a number of features and capabilities within CMMS software, many of which go untapped or overlooked. A recent article by Industry Week discussed a multibillion-dollar corporation that used its powerful CMMS primarily for work orders, creating and tracking repair tickets. However, “the system’s many other powerful capabilities – such as downtime tracking, real-time performance dashboards, standardized reporting, manpower, planning, and equipment reliability tracking – were accessed only rarely, if at all,” according to the analysis.
The same article suggests many tactics organizations can implement in an effort to achieve total productive maintenance (TPM). One tactic is to “improve utilization of existing maintenance systems,” such as CMMS software, that many manufacturers invest heavily in. Doing so will reveal new opportunities as well as improve machine up-time and overall equipment effectiveness.
Here are three of the most helpful yet underutilized features available to most CMMS adopters:
1. Mobile CMMS
With maintenance technicians frequently on the move, it’s imperative to provide staff with a means of instantly accessing up-to-date maintenance information. Mobile CMMS does just that—it’s essentially a scaled-down version of CMMS software that’s accessible from a smartphone or other handheld device.
Maintenance staff can complete a number of tasks on the go, such as completing and closing out work orders, creating work requests as problems arise, and adjusting inventory in real-time. The ability to scan barcodes and QR codes with a smartphone is especially convenient, allowing personnel to retrieve a wealth of information on assets and to perform data entry more accurately in a matter of seconds.
2. Reports and Graphs
It’s said that if “you’re not measuring, you’re not managing.” This is spot-on for maintenance managers—measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) is critical in their job role. KPIs are quantifiable measurements of specific activities related to a business, department or project that reflect performance. Common maintenance KPIs include the number of daily completed work orders, mean time between failures (MTBF) and many others.
Measuring KPIs and analyzing results help management pinpoint process deficiencies and continually improve operations. A CMMS reporting and graphs function provides an easy way to organize and display accurate data related to KPIs. Users can create reports from standard templates, or customize their own depending on which CMMS solution they’ve deployed.
3. Maintenance Dashboards
Maintenance dashboards enable management to track critical KPIs in real-time from a single screen. Dashboard features within maintenance management software systems display KPIs in the form of easy-to-read charts, graphs and gauges. With the ability to measure progress throughout the day, management can easily spot trends and identify weaknesses. The end result is a more informed and enhanced decision-making process, which helps create a culture of continuous improvement.
Computerized maintenance management software has much to offer besides the tried-and-true work order management module. Flexing some of the lesser known or underutilized features available within CMMS systems can help companies streamline operations and maximize their return on investment (ROI).