There are a number of different routes an organization can take on their journey to reliability. Depending on where you’re starting from, you may need to focus time and effort on setting up a reliability-friendly culture with the right guiding principles and best practices. Conversely, a different organization may want to concentrate on using data analysis to optimize PMs. No matter where you’re coming from or where you’re planning to take your reliability efforts, a CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) will help you in your journey. Below, we’ll take a look at what can be improved within your maintenance organization with a CMMS.
Preventive maintenance (PM) reduces the occurrence of breakdowns and, in turn, reactive maintenance activities by scheduling inspections and maintenance activities according to time or usage-based triggers. As one Fiix customer described, trying to schedule PMs in the days before implementing a CMMS was like “owning a car in the 1950s. You had to try to remember the last time you did something and guess at the maintenance that needed to be done in the future”. A CMMS allows you to automate the scheduling of these activities and rely on useful data to make PM decisions for you.
Planning and Scheduling
A CMMS also allows you to plan and schedule work much more easily by properly tracking work orders. Work order management with a CMMS allows organizations to enjoy productivity gains by reducing waste in the form of delays in job completion, incorrect identification of materials, poor coordination of personnel, and bad timing of equipment shutdowns for repairs. Whereas maintenance backlog can occur easily when no system is in place to allow maintenance teams to prioritize and schedule work orders, having a CMMS allows organizations to have a top-down view of the work that needs to be done, and when it should occur.
Spare parts Management
In many organizations, spare parts are found by searching the storeroom manually and hoping for the best. Often, no one will know that a part is missing until it’s needed on the shop floor, which can cause huge delays. Adopting a CMMS makes inventory planning much easier. Firstly, tracking the existence and consumption of parts through a CMMS means that technicians and engineers can always check online to see if a part is available. Then, a CMMS can automatically notify logistics folks when parts fall below an acceptable level, ensuring that stockouts are eliminated. Maintenance teams can even set up reports to stay updated on inventory levels, which can also help to optimize stock by tracking how frequently any given part is being used.
Documenting failures in a CMMS allows maintenance teams to identify the root cause of those failures easily, then use that information to eliminate defects. Though during any FMEA (failure modes and effects analysis) a root cause would be identified, documenting that information in a CMMS ensures that it can be called up whenever it’s needed to plan PMs, identify potential safety hazards, and improve processes. For example, if one piece of equipment is consistently failing for the same reason, or after a certain number of hours or kilometers, this can be identified by analyzing your FMEAs. Once the root cause has been established, a PM can be set up to prevent that failure from occurring in the future.
Ultimately, a CMMS will make life easier for any maintenance organization, regardless of their goals. Many organizations also find that by focusing on one area of improvement with a CMMS, other areas will also improve. You can read more about Fiix at fiixsoftware.com.
Sarah Bellstedt is a Content Marketing Specialist at Fiix, where she frequently contributes to the Fiix blog.