Pen and Paper is for Cavemen, CMMS is for Modern Man
Historically, commercial utilities and project developers spent long hours correlating asset data, manually transcribing paper forms into digital platforms, undertaking painstaking reviews of maintenance records, and preparing elaborate maintenance schedules to communicate across field crews and contractors. Reliance on pen and paper or software like Excel and WhatsApp meant that maintenance was often time-consuming, inefficient and costly.
In 1965, developers launched the first CMMS system, although it wasn’t readily available or affordable until the 1990s. The 2000s saw rapid adoption of intranets and web-based connectivity. This allowed CMMS to be adapted for mobile devices and tablets for use on remote field operations. CMMS is continually developed to support cloud functionality and greater data security for users.
“One can only shudder in despair at the thought of using manual maintenance processes…in this age and time where information represents the pinnacle of our very existence. Even using Excel spreadsheets seems antiquated.” – Senseware.
The Database is the Heartbeat of Maintenance Operations
A CMMS acts as a communication tool to facilitate the processes of maintenance from a centralized platform. The software connects maintenance teams, management, assets, sites, machinery, vehicles and plant infrastructure from a single location.
A database is at the core of any CMMS. This intelligent algorithm recognizes, collates and organizes critical maintenance data, presenting to field teams and managers an assets condition, lifecycle and maintenance tasks. It also lists the equipment, materials and resources required to undertake such maintenance tasks. A CMMS is so much more than a field data capture tool.
The Benefits of a CMMS
“Efficient systems offer averages of 60% reduction in paperwork and administration, 53% improvement in maintenance response times, and 200% increase in logged maintenance requests and actions. Once you realise the true cost of not having a CMMS or simply having a poorly performing system in place, investing in a market-leading maintenance management system becomes an easy decision – and you will quickly see a real return on your investment”. – SSG Insight
Many companies rely on Excel spreadsheets and Whatsapp for maintenance tracking and communication. However, a CMMS can provide indisputable benefits to your business and workforce.
Predict problems before they arise
Dynamic data trends allow for maintenance operators and inspectors to review an asset’s lifecycle, anticipate an inspection or replacement and generate a preventative maintenance schedule ahead of time. This capability saves utility costs in unnecessary reconnaissance trips and improves field crew productivity by optimizing time spent in the field. For example, a vegetation inspector fulfilling a powerline safety inspection could check an assets’ condition and carry out only necessary inspections on “at-risk” utility poles. This data can avoid a potential blackout, ensure optimal substation health and safety protocol and increase asset uptime for reliable electricity generation.
Automate maintenance tasks
Paper-based systems require consistent collection, management and organization of records from multiple locations, staff members and communication devices. Such devices include fax, text and face-to-face conversations in the field. A CMMS allows supervisors to automatically assign work orders and send trained technicians tasks to field crews, avoiding the risks of potentially lost information and forgotten requests. For example, a substation owner could create a ticket to initiate a breaker repair immediately upon being alerted on his CMMS. The system will store that ticket and send a notification once submitted.
Take the headache out of audits
Do you know how many hours of equipment downtime you have had this year? Could you calculate the total labor hours and costs associated with each asset? With a CMMS, field data, images and messages can be collated on-site for archival or review from any device at any time. This critical data is stored in generated reports and dashboards, where the information can be pulled directly from the platform in a downloadable format, ready to present during an audit. These custom-built reports can also assist in making repair/replace decisions even while you are in the field in a remote location. These custom-built reports can also assist in making repair/replace decisions even while you are in the field in a remote location.
Respond to actionable tasks in real-time
Excel spreadsheets don’t allow for field crews or technicians to review an asset status on the go. Critical information and maintenance tasks are not communicated to the workforce promptly. This lag in communication can lead to technicians being unaware that an asset has been down for some time, resulting in potentially hundreds of dollars of lost revenue. A CMMS allows secure access to information required to properly service equipment in real-time. Technicians can pull up tasks, images and updates on any device or tablet from even the most remote locations.
What to Consider when Investing in CMMS
Selecting and implementing a CMMS as an integral centralized maintenance tool requires functional evaluation. It could mean the difference between optimizing your maintenance strategy or wasting a great deal of time and money.
When comparing CMMS, it is imperative to consider; identifying and analysing your existing operations plan, updating standard operating procedures, consulting your health and safety department to see how a CMMS can support your safety culture. It is also important to identify the top 5 metrics by which the operations team will evaluate the efficiency of a CMMS, how vendors will use your CMMS, the cost involved to include them and the role of your mobile field technicians.
After analysing whether a CMMS is a great fit for your business, make sure you get the best deal by:
- Booking a demo – A no-obligation demonstration of a CMMS platform could demonstrate real-life situations.
- Downloading the mobile app – Allow your technicians to test the water and how simple it is to build and check-off customized forms and work orders.
- Comparing costs – Find out what maintenance is costing you and compare the market for the most suitable CMMS platform for your needs. 60Hertz’s flexible pricing plan allows you to pick a bespoke service that fits your budget and scale.
Join the 200+ Customers who Saved Approximately $60,000 on their Maintenance
Maintenance technology is ever-evolving – don’t get left behind. To find out more information about whether the 60Hertz CMMS platform is the best money-saving investment for your business, download our free eBook.