Posted on 06/17/2016

By Matthew Binko, Consultant II

As with New Year’s resolutions, we always wait for the perfect time to change.  Like New Year’s, we wait for that one day on the calendar to tell us that “Today is THE day!”  But, for a lot of what we want to change, that day never comes – no matter how much that change will benefit us.  For many organizations, it’s going paperless.  It’s good for our budget.  It’s good for our operating space.  It’s good for our environment.  Most importantly, going paperless is easier than you think with your CMMS.

Many techs anticipate their workload by the number of paper work orders they have in their inbox.  They complete their work, scribble some notes, and return the papers to the office.  CMMS, as well as new innovations in mobile computing, allows the life cycle of work orders to exist completely on the network.  In addition, proper setup allows for the technician’s experience to be simplified and to reduce errors when completing work orders.

Removing Paper From Your Administration

Most work orders see their way into the CMMS through a web request.  From there, it is assigned to a tech who, in turn, completes the work order.  In one way or another, the information in inputted into the system.  Depending on the size of the administration section (or lack thereof), the ability to do this manually can be limited.  An ounce of preparation will amount to a pound of effort.  If the requester is able to set the asset in the web request, information such as the location, skill, shop, contact, and priority can be preset.  Through the use of custom dashboards in the CMMS can allow the user to see exactly what they need to see.  Techs do not need to query through work orders that should be assigned to other techs.  Furthermore, they can be pushed out to mobile devices.  Are you tired of techs hanging around the office, waiting to be told what to do?  Have the next work order on their device while they are finishing one.

Curing Your Techs of Their Paper Addiction

The convenience of paper is evident.  It doesn’t break, need to be synced, and won’t die if you don’t charge it.  Most techs fight technology because it is unfamiliar to them and entering information into the system is “someone else’s job”.  And science shows us that we are simply creatures of habit.  The effort should be to show them how much easier technology is than scribbling on paper.  Completion comments can now be preloaded and selected from drop downs, eliminating typos and typing altogether!  Stop watch capabilities auto-collect time charges.  Plus, there is the added benefit to adding data reading to sub-procedures while they are at the asset.  Other benefits include the able to upload pictures to a work order and real-time completion of work orders.  With this, email responses and surveys can be sent out in real time and not at the end of the day.

But We Still Need Records, Right?

It’s not what you know, but what you can prove, especially with inspectors.  Inspections, planned events, and PMs all need to be recorded.  Whether they are fire drills or other events, most if not all need additional paperwork stored to show the outcomes.  Kept on paper and in a file welcomes the possibility of loss through fire, water, or natural disaster.  Summaries, photos, and other means of proof usually begins on electrons.  So, why not keep them there?  Through document upload, records of any type can be stored and recalled with work orders, thus eliminating the need for physical copies.

There will be no date on your calendar calling you to become paperless.  The reasons to do it are there.  But, so is the pain of making the transition.  So, make that transition today.  Ensure the system is optimized to enable everyone who uses it to enter and retrieve useful information.  Soon you will find out the transition was either than you anticipated.  Finally, anytime you feel the need to put something on paper, ask yourself, “Does it need to be printed?”


Learn more about how Accruent’s healthcare CMMS, TMS OnLine, can help your organization go paperless to help drive your team’s productivity and reduce your costs.