Until just a few years ago, large companies looking to improve workflow, cut costs, and streamline processes had to achieve this through months of complex evaluations and costly custom made software. Maintenance processes often topped the list for this sort of organization, as maintenance is a notoriously costly but necessary part of so many businesses, small and large.
Today, it may still seem costly to reorganize and improve maintenance processes, but failing to jump on this bandwagon now could and probably will end up costing businesses even more.
For existing businesses, especially those in manufacturing or with large or multiple facilities to look after, moving into this new tech age might seem like a nightmare. Rather than putting in the effort to bring their tools and methods into the 21st century, many choose to stick to their existing work processes because “this is what works.”
One major fear in any big change being implemented to the way a company works is getting the employees to get used to new systems and tools. In this case, most maintenance workers are already mobile and would welcome a change that would improve their workflow and make cost reporting easier on them. The vast majority of people working in any maintenance capacity are already used to being mobile, working remotely, and have the habit of constantly thinking about how their own work processes could be made faster, more efficient or less costly.
The first step in implementing a change of this type and size in any organization, is equipping the relevant workforce with the proper tools. From the ground up in any system, a company wants to ensure that workers have the standard equipment necessary, while maintaining security standards.
In the instance of mobile technology, this begins with company issued mobile devices, the software and security of which is controlled by the company. The brand and software for basic management of these devices are fairly irrelevant, as long as the devices fit the company’s needs and are bound in a secure network with something as simple as Google’s G Suite or any other neat package of cloud-based services.
Tracking Time and Assets
As the developed world moves into the cloud, opting to manage businesses top to bottom in a secure online environment, a wealth of apps and SaaS are now available to companies of all sizes to do what was once affordable only to global multinationals. But, before randomly selecting maintenance management cloud apps or SaaS for a company, it’s important to take a look at the workflow and cost issues that these apps and software are meant to resolve in the first place.
For most businesses, reducing costs and improving efficiency are the major and constant issues to deal with. These particular two ailments are where technology tends to help the most, and this goes double for cloud-based software of this type. Before streamlining more efficient workflow methods, this all begins with tracking assets and time spent on individual maintenance tasks.
The average maintenance employee already knows well how much time they might need to complete specific maintenance tasks, but tracking time spent on and frequency of maintenance tasks helps greatly not only in crafting more efficient maintenance plans, but also in reporting and explaining tasks and costs to decision makers in the company. The data obtained from apps like a cloud-based CMMS become indispensable to a company’s planning and financial management.
Implementing and Streamlining Maintenance
The next step in putting maintenance management software to full and proper use is using the data obtained is using all of this information to streamline work more efficiently and, through this process, cut costs in an almost natural way.
Simply put, once assets are tagged and their use and location always visible, these assets can be used more efficiently, preventing the need for spending money on additional assets that will seldom be used. Similarly, when workflow and average time spent on tasks are clear, it’s easy to organize the tasks more efficiently and to know, ahead of time, how much time is needed for which task and when. Finally, maintenance management software also allows for better planning and preventative maintenance, so that less time and money is spent overall and in the long-term on maintaining vital company assets.
In the case of maintenance, company employees need very little time to become accustomed to the implementation of new software and systems, as most are already used to constantly gauging and improving their work. Finding and implementing a cloud-based CMMS becomes a no-brainer and can only benefit any business and, ultimately, its clients.