17 February, 2012
Computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) is an essential tool to every Maintenance Manager. Many believe that the systems are a one trick pony, used exclusively for manufacturing plants but a wide range of industries can benefit from implementing a CMMS system. A CMMS is a facilities management system that can be tailored to achieve extraordinary results for hospitals, airports, banks, state agencies, churches, etc. Though there are dozens of advantages, here are five benefits of a CMMS for facilities managers to consider.
1. Efficiently manage work requests
A CMMS will allow any designated workers to submit work requests directly into the system. The requestors will receive automatic status updates via email, which will drastically reduce the volume of inbound phone calls that a facility maintenance manager would have to respond to. Work requests can also easily be prioritized based on type. For instance, at Slidell Memorial Hospital, the maintenance department gets over 200 work requests a month. However, they are readily prioritized and assigned through their CMMS so the the Facility Manager can complete safety requests first such as fixing patients beds or repairing fire alarms.
2. Plan and schedule recurring maintenance activities.
Facilities management systems allow maintenance departments to automatically schedule recurring activities by auto-generating PMs (preventive maintenance procedures) as work orders as they are due to be completed. These can include periodic inspections and preventive repairs (such as changing filters in HVAC equipment). The ability to store “checklists” and procedures are a feature of equipment tracking software that help ensure that the work is performed in a consistent and timely manner and the equipment is being properly maintained.
3. The ability to analyze data and trends to justify replace vs repair decisions.
Using facilities management systems to analyze historical data can help point out problem areas such as rising costs, constant repairs of the same equipment, and low productivity. Frequently, maintenance activities are seen as an expense in a company and Facility Managers face strict budgets. However, with a facilities management system, managers can track equipment breakdowns as well as costs and justify a replace vs repair decision. Backup data can prove that in the long run the company would save money by replacing an asset instead of constantly repairing it. A historical database can help any facilities maintenance department troubleshoot repairs by searching for similar failures.
4. Better manage spare parts inventory
Often Facility Managers face disorganized and undocumented storerooms and have difficulty finding the supplies they need when they need them. With equipment tracking software, managers can track Furniture, Fixtures and Equipment (FFE) that needs to be maintained and set up automatic reordering of parts based on the usage and need. A CMMS will also allow facilities to plan an effective budget for spare parts by monitoring current levels of inventory and common usage throughout the year. Orange County Container Group was able to save over $2 million in spare parts inventory by implementing a CMMS that allowed them to have visibility of spare parts across multiple facilities.
5. Meet safety and environmental regulations.
Regulatory compliance and periodic audits are tasks that all facilities managers face and often dread. A facilities maintenance management system can reduce the amount of paperwork and preparation needed when faced with an audit. Rather than unwieldy binders and filtering through papers, Facility Managers can easily generate a report or audit trail of work performed and when it was completed, making adhering to standards simpler. For example, each year Rapid City Regional Airport, must pass an FAA audit. Utilizing a CMMS they quickly take the regulator through historical data to demonstrate they have been monitoring and adhering to specific guidelines such as the length of the grass and the condition of the runway.
Facilities management systems have hundreds of benefits that can be tailored to any facility within any industry including manufacturing plants, hospitals, banks, airports, churches, hotels, resorts and state agencies. These are just a few of the immediate and ongoing benefits that can be achieved with a flexible and customizable maintenance management system.