Gain Maintenance Efficiency with a Mobile CMMS
A 2017 ARC Advisory Group global report indicates that 50 percent of technicians now use a mobile device for work orders and ARC states that these technicians expect nearly all work orders to be managed via mobile devices in the future. Yet, many companies are still managing maintenance using paper or spreadsheets. Others have adopted a CMMS, but are not taking full advantage of its mobile capabilities.
Paper-based work order systems are inefficient. Think about the maintenance technician who goes to the field to execute a work order only to find that additional procedures are needed to complete the work order. After walking back and retrieving the necessary documents, the technician returns and begins the repair work. Then, the technician determines that several parts are needed to complete the repair. After walking over to the shop, the technician discovers that the part is not in inventory and must be ordered. Much of the technician’s time is spent on non-maintenance tasks.
Even with a CMMS (which improves on these scenarios), some of these same inefficiencies exist. It is only when a mobile CMMS is implemented that the unproductive steps in this normal daily routine are eliminated.
Consider how a technician’s day is different with a mobile CMMS. The technician has field access to:
- asset history
- inventory management system
- work order
The power that a mobile CMMS provides means that working on equipment in the field, the technician can complete the necessary tasks for the maintenance and repair efficiently, including retrieving procedures and documentation, evaluating the equipment’s maintenance history, checking parts availability, initiating parts orders, and updating work order status.
It is proven that a mobile CMMS like Maintenance Connection’s MC Express delivers maintenance advantages. In a recent US-based survey conducted by Maintenance Connection, one customer estimated they had saved $1 million due to mobile CMMS implementation. The ARC Advisory Group’s global survey results revealed that 50% of maintenance technicians are now using mobile, which means 50% still haven’t adopted mobile CMMS. One challenge to embracing mobile for many companies has been concerns over slow adoption by less tech savvy technicians. However, that argument is becoming a non-issue. A 2017 Capterra report states that companies are seeing a shift in their workforce; they are becoming more tech-savvy with mobile.
Part of the reluctance for many organizations in the move to mobile is simply not knowing what to expect. Changing work processes is often seen as a major undertaking and many times companies fear that workers won’t embrace the changes and the expected benefits won’t be achieved. The good news is that a mobile CMMS like Maintenance Connection’s MC Express is easy to implement and offers significant benefits in several key areas.
According to survey responses from several Maintenance Connection customers representing energy, manufacturing and education industries, they realized a 20-30% increase in labor efficiency from MC Express adoption.
Labor productivity improvements result from both managers and technicians reducing time:
- giving/receiving instructions
- gathering documentation, tools, and parts
- traveling to and from field equipment
Workers shift focus to spending more time completing maintenance tasks. Technicians have asset information at their fingertips. Tasks that can be expedited include work order status updates, work order signatures, and recording of work order completion time.
With MC Express, technicians can upload images or video using the device’s camera and use barcode scanning to quickly identify parts or call up asset history. This functionality aids in updating equipment records and sending alerts instantly to technicians about new work assignments. In addition, work requesters can obtain minute-by-minute status updates, and managers can gain improved visibility into real-time work order statuses.
Real-Time Data Insight
A significant advantage of mobile CMMS is anytime, anywhere access to real-time data. By delivering access to asset information, equipment history, critical documents and procedures, and work orders, technicians are better prepared for maintenance work. Technicians can communicate information quickly to supervisors regarding work order status, parts orders, etc. giving organizations access to more accurate metrics, such as average response times, average completion times, and total downtime.
If issues arise during maintenance, the technician can conduct a global database search from the field and access information sources that previously were unavailable without searching large volumes of paper-based materials. Overall, improved information access fosters an organization-wide culture of productivity and collaboration.
Another benefit of a mobile CMMS is the ability to address parts and inventory aspects of maintenance work. A field technician can use barcode scanning for parts. They can request a part and have it ready to pick-up instead of walking to the warehouse and searching for a part or waiting to see if it is available. Access to online inventory streamlines the entire maintenance process for a field technician.
Moving to a mobile CMMS offers many additional benefits as well. Traditionally, when a company has used a paper maintenance system, mobile can speed efforts to improve sustainability and go green. Think about the file cabinets full of asset records, work histories, and more (who knows what you’ll find if you dig deep). A new job appears on the calendar, and the maintenance technician searches for documentation, prints copies, and later re-files new paperwork once the work order is completed. This process is not only inefficient, but counterproductive to the sustainability focus of many companies. With a mobile CMMS, electronic files are accessible from a technician’s device which is both more convenient and eco-friendly.
Organizations that have yet to adopt a mobile CMMS are lagging behind competitors who have already begun realizing the benefits of a mobile CMMS.