Unfortunately in many manufacturing companies big and small there is a tendency in higher management to see maintenance as a not very important but necessary evil. It is really not something they wish to deal with. They frequently see the maintenance team not as a crucial part of the organization – sometimes possibly a few steps above the janitorial staff! This unfortunately results in disastrous decisions being made for the maintenance team. CMMS/ maintenance software gets selected on how nice it looks (beautiful and extensive reports are always welcome!) or how well it integrates with other software (ERP, financial and so on) rather than functionality that will help the maintenance team.
We have even spoken to maintenance managers who have told us they have had to threaten to quit before they could purchase our FastMaint CMMS software! While this may sound unbelievable it is a sad fact that in many manufacturing organizations the maintenance team gets no respect. Here we will attempt to list some benefits that CMMS software can offer a manufacturing plant – this may make it easier to get the approvals you need to purchase the right product for your organization.
Manufacturing Problems That CMMS Software Can Help Reduce:
- Unable to deliver product because of machine breakdown: This can be an extremely expensive problem that CMMS software can help reduce. When you have a wide variety of equipment each of which performs a crucial step in the manufacturing process, breakdowns of any of them creates a logjam where no more product can be made or delivered to customers. Each machine will have its own maintenance cycles. Some cycles will be based on time, others on quantity of product made and so on. CMMS software helps maintenance managers create preventive maintenance (PM) tasks and work orders based on these frequencies. Many CMMS software programs also enable keeping track of maintenance inventory (spare parts & supplies). Not being able to bring a machine back into service because you do not have the spare parts on hand can cause significant product losses.
- Unable to deliver quality desired because of machine not working to specifications: This can be a much more insidious problem and may not be caught early enough if product quality control is not rigorous. The worst case results in poor quality product being sent to customers. Dissatisfied customers then cancel orders resulting in enormous losses to companies. This can be fatal if the company is selling to a few big customers – losing them may force the company into bankruptcy. Again proper maintenance of machinery especially preventive maintenance helps ensure that equipment is running as per specifications. Having records from CMMS software of maintenance work done can help identify problem equipment that need to be replaced.
- Machines requiring early replacement because of poor maintenance: This results in large costs over the long term. If the maintenance team is able to maintain and keep equipment up to specifications they usually will not need to be replaced early. In many industries replacing machinery is a big capital expense. CMMS software can help keep track of maintenance requirements on different equipment so that they do not get forgotten and are done correctly.
- Regulatory penalties due to non-compliance: In quite a few industries there are various regulations that companies need to follow during the manufacturing process. Not being able to show or prove that maintenance was properly carried out after certain incidents or when inspections are done can result in significant financial penalties as well as become a public relations disaster. Again the record keeping offered by CMMS software can be very helpful in providing a record of work done as well as show that the manufacturer was diligent in maintaining assets and equipment.
- Inability to manage costs of maintenance & equipment downtime: Maintenance statistics collected by the maintenance software makes it easier to report to upper management on the status of the maintenance management program. These statistics can be put in a short easy to understand report that can be easily shared and understood. More detailed analysis can help maintenance managers identify problems with equipment, staffing, spare parts and more resulting in a much more effective maintenance management program over time.
Maintenance Management Software Selection Guide
Since there are hundreds of CMMS software products available it can be quite a challenge finding the right one for your manufacturing plant. To help you identify what you need we have a free CMMS Software Selection Guide that you can download and use.Download CMMS Software Selection Guide
- “Equipment Failure & The Cost Of Failure” from Bin95.com provides a detailed analysis of different costs.
- “Quality Costs” from the Wikipedia attempts to categorize different costs that arise from trying to maintain product quality or lack of it.
- “Equipment Breakdown Insurance” an article on Smart Business Online discusses the benefits of purchasing this insurance and its availability.
- “The value, and cost of quality” from Plant Services Magazine discusses how quality starts to slowly go bad due to bad practices.
- “Software solutions can simplify on site compliance” from Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation Magazine.