Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) have continued to evolve and adapt, yet many businesses still rely on Excel to manage maintenance and inventory.
Some companies resist change due to the perceived cost and difficulty. With an experienced and knowledgeable maintenance coordinator quarterbacking Excel, many maintenance managers don’t want to rock the boat.
There are risks to this approach. Reliance on one individual with specialized knowledge works well until vacation, illness, or retirement impacts the work.
In addition to being a means of capturing tribal knowledge, transitioning from Excel to CMMS has significant benefits to the business at large.
Reduced Unplanned Equipment Downtime
According to The Manufacturer, a majority of companies have experienced at least one unplanned downtime over the past three years, lasting an average of four hours.
With an estimate of an unplanned downtime costing $260,000 per hour across all businesses surveyed, you can quickly understand why managers are so concerned with asset health.
Excel can certainly keep track of your asset’s lifecycle, but it is limited by the data you input within a worksheet. CMMS creators often have thought of all the little nuances, so you don’t need to.
Was it your asset maintained by internal employees? Maybe an outside contractor? What is the warranty with each work order? What is your asset’s MTBF?
All these statistics enable your maintenance team to make proactive decisions for asset health, as well, any manager or team member can have access to the data through the use of a mobile device or desktop computer. Secondly, CMMS can feature preventative maintenance alerts, to remind you even if you forget.
A CMMS can manage and report on maintenance schedules much more effectively and easily than Excel. Through CMMS predictive and preventative maintenance strategies, your company and your maintenance team can realize the benefit of scheduled downtime and improved overall equipment reliability and uptime.
Protect Your Assets and Save Time
Manage capital expenditures by looking after your assets.
CMMS provides stakeholders with a platform to record and recall an asset’s life with a few clicks of a button. From upgrades and work history to contractors and internal technician contact points.
With this information on hand, your maintenance team will be enabled to problem-solve efficiently, focus on preventative maintenance instead of repair, and as an overall effect, your company will be able to reap the value of increased longevity of machinery and capital assets.
Improved Inventory and Asset Management
Although great for capturing inventory quantity, maintenance dates, and asset information, Excel was not designed for searching and reporting on text vs numbers.
Inventory and maintenance supply can be so much simpler with the right tools. Holding too much inventory can be costly, but not having a pertinent piece needed to repair a machine can halt your plant’s workflow.
Success depends on a balancing act of having the necessities and reducing frivolous inventory. CMMS accomplishes this difficult task automatically. CMMS enables managers to know what inventory is needed for scheduled jobs in order to easily reassign necessary stock levels, reorder points, and even update ordering priorities.
Not to mention integrating your CMMS with your inventory management will allow your two departments to work together. By having your inventory match your maintenance and repair needs, your company can achieve a version of efficiency you probably didn’t think possible.
Reduce Human Error
As much as we strive for perfection, humans can make mistakes. Small but impactful errors can occur in any process – inventory receipt, issuance, and counts, Lock Out Tag Out (LOTO) procedures.
It all comes down to maintaining accurate records for employees and management to do their jobs well.
CMMS provides a centralized database for users to track and record information automatically. A good CMMS will be easy to use, validate data entry, and allow you to set notification triggers for maintenance and re-stocking. Excel was designed for a single user whereas CMMS allows multiple users to view and update status.
As your data becomes more accurate and reliable, so will your decisions for inventory strategies and procurement.
Beyond statistical integrity, CMMS integrated with MRO inventory management will spot patterns of inventory consumption from drill bits to motors. Utilizing this data allows managers and stakeholders a chance to reform usage or optimize stock levels, reducing both overstocking and stockouts.
Utilize Barcode Systems
When stock starts to pile up, it can quickly become overwhelming to track. This is where a barcode system can save the day.
Working to identify and numerate your assets, barcode technology works to connect your functions from work orders to purchase orders.
Whether your system utilizes QR codes or traditional bar codes, technicians, managers, and executives can pull any necessary data in one easy scan while saving time and reducing manual data entries.
Doing What Excel Cannot
Excel is a powerful tool, but it was not designed for maintenance management.
CMMS helps address the shortfalls of Excel by listening to what maintenance and inventory managers truly need.
It is these benefits that often deliver value directly to the employees that will be using the CMMS.
Finding and updating everyone on your team is time-consuming. Especially when a maintenance team needs to be on the same page.
Luckily, with CMMS, notifications for job changes, outages, and much more can be conveniently broadcasted to every team member affected. This not only reduces unnecessary time spent on meetings but also enables maintenance members to be informed and coordinated while allowing managers to easily reassign tasks or shift priorities. Best of all, team members can directly update work orders and inventory status in the CMMS. They can even add photos before and after repairs for complete information sharing.
Today’s CMMS are typically mobile-friendly. This translates to ease-of-use by a workforce that is already mobile-savvy, and efficiency where users can access and update information at point-of-use.
Improve Safety with Preventative Measures
CMMS has been shown to improve safety within manufacturing plants through multiple approaches.
These powerful software programs can allow workplaces to enter standardized safety programs/procedures for adequate and timely maintenance, setting detailed step-by-step instructions, reducing confusion that can lead to errors.
In addition to your usual workflow, safety audits can be implemented into schedules with ease, ensuring every worker knows what has and what has not been inspected.
In these cases, CMMS’s centralized data becomes more than a number – it is a critical metric for safety and preventing injury.
Ready to Implement Your CMMS?
If your business is ready to take on a computerized maintenance management system, look no further than Tofino.
Leveraging our customer and product team experiences, Tofino has developed a complete CMMS that has led to countless solutions for industrial manufacturing environments. Tofino’s CMMS is more than a CMMS with integrated inventory management and e-procurement to easily manage the materials required for maintenance.
We’ve helped companies successfully migrate from Excel to Tofino’s integrated maintenance and MRO inventory management solution. We recognize each customer has unique workflows; therefore, Tofino works with your knowledge guru to understand your Excel content and translate it into workflows that meet your operational objectives.
Still need to see more to convince you? Contact us for a demo today, and we will show you what makes Tofino the best.