According to data recently published by UK banking group Lloyd’s,1 food and beverage manufacturing costs have begun to ease slightly for the first time since 2016. These declines are largely attributable to commodity costs that have fallen by 21% from a year ago, as well as falling energy prices and lower shipping costs.

Yet manufacturers continue to face challenges that prevent them from realising these gains. Labour shortages and supply chain disruptions have decreased production. Moreover, wage costs have increased more than twice as fast as average.

One of the ways to overcome these challenges is by minimising their risk footprint—and you can do this by implementing technology. It does not have to be a full ERP system that overrides your legacy processes and procedures; it can be a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) that fulfills your organisation’s independent needs.

There are many benefits to implementing a robust CMMS in the food and beverage industry. For one thing, you benefit from a monitor and maintenance plan with proven results, as did Masters Gallery Foods. And while everyone is looking to reduce their costs to boost ROI, you can do so simply by having a forward-thinking, problem-solving technology in place.

Here are three proven strategies for success when implementing your CMMS:

  • Utilise nested PM strategies.
  • Use PM automation to gain insights.
  • Apply PM strategies to document management.

Use a “Nested” preventative management strategy

Nesting in manufacturing is well known as laying out patterns to minimise raw material waste. Here we are referring to nesting in software, where you group matching parameter data to figure out patterns, which minimises financial waste. Using preventive maintenance (PM) by nesting your work orders together, you can group work orders of different length and complexity together when they are due to occur at the same time. This means you can cut the number of PM reports you must manage down to one. Organisations using a CMMS without a nested PM feature are most likely creating additional work.

An example where this may be the most useful is with an overabundance of work orders, which can significantly increase your maintenance effort. Does your monthly PM require a 1-hour procedure to lubricate a production line roller unit? How about an actuator valve on a product filler or maybe an essential lift arm on a packaging conveyor? Does your annual procedure require the total replacement of these vital parts? If so, you risk spending an hour of unnecessary time lubricating a component that is scheduled to be replaced a week later.

This is a common problem that many organisations do not realise. By utilising a nested PM functionality, users will be required to include all activities and tasks, with monthly tasks being included in every annual PM.

This helps determine which tasks are released to the work order based on the schedule. When the monthly PM is due, the nested PM only releases the monthly tasks. Likewise, when the annual PM is due, the nested PM will release both the monthly and annual tasks.

Need Insight? Use preventative maintenance automation

Two common maintenance challenges in the food and beverage industry are maintaining complex equipment and compliance with regulatory standards. Without the aid of automation, teams can be left scrambling when reactive maintenance and break-fix requests arise, leading to a decrease in controllable risks that range from labour safety concerns to possible compliance violations.

Although these challenges are daunting, organisations can excel in these industry-wide areas of opportunity by leveraging maintenance& automation within their day-to-day maintenance operations.

The advantage that automation provides can be staggering—from an increased return on asset lifecycle cost, enhanced performance safety management, and more effective processes aimed at compliance and regulatory standard execution.

Whether managing maintenance at a single site or multiple locations around the world, it is important to establish a standard approach to maintenance automation. A baseline of automation standards will help:

  • Reduce unwanted costs, unplanned downtime and the associated negative labour impact.
  • Capture real-time machine insights and data points.
  • Ensure that all work being done is in-line with safety, compliance and regulatory standards

Understanding the frequency that assets should be maintained and what approach works best is vital to success. A CMMS/EAM with a high level of automation will allow you to mold your maintenance activities based on your processes and best practices, as well as develop and automate the generation of corrective work orders based on certain reading thresholds of any asset.

It is important to notify technicians of work assigned to them and provide them with automated updates regarding the work order's status, specifically work orders approaching their targeted completion date.

You want to ensure that your CMMS/EAM platform includes a robust mobile application so technicians can receive real-time notifications in the field. Automated daily, weekly and monthly reports are a great way to inspire your maintenance team to work harder towards performance targets. When you know where you stand, it becomes more transparent where you need to improve at the team, individual, and contributor level.

Enhance efficiency with seamless integration

Accruent’s CMMS/EAM cloud platform Maintenance Connection integrates seamlessly with Meridian – Accruent's best-in-class Engineering Document Management System (EDMS) and Observe – Accruent’s Energy Management & IoT Remote Monitoring software. This integrated solution allows stakeholders to easily access up-to-date documentation from multiple devices, giving technicians access to the information that they need to perform their jobs efficiently. It saves hours in work order preparation, avoids duplication of work, and identifies energy-saving opportunities by leveraging data analytics. The integration capabilities also boost productivity while providing a user-friendly experience by eliminating the need to switch between programs and enter data into disparate systems.  

Get started creating your Proactive Maintenance Plan with Accruent's Asset Management Solution today.