How To Manage Maintenance Requests With CMMS Software

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cartoon maintenance contractorIf you are responsible for managing maintenance at a large facility or industrial plant you will be handling a lot of requests for maintenance work. Most will be for emergency or breakdown maintenance. Here the requester wants an immediate fix. Others will be for planned maintenance. Here the requester will want you to do maintenance that keeps equipment running in top condition. For example changing filters, oil changes, calibration and so on.

You need to have some way to manage and track and satisfy such requests. You also have to have a way to inform the requester when work is complete or if there are any problems. Having people catch you in the hallways or give you a call can end up being a real nightmare. When there many such maintenance requests to handle you are going to forget or miss quite a few!

Useful Maintenance Request Software Features

You need to have an standard way of handling such requests. Good control of maintenance work request management will go a long way to ensure high end user satisfaction and fewer complaints about the maintenance department. Most CMMS software packages have maintenance requests modules that are part of the software or available as an add-on. Some useful features to look for are:

1. Request submission:

Allow non-maintenance personnel/ customers to make maintenance requests on their own. Requesters may be able to choose specific maintenance tasks or equipment/ locations and request specific maintenance. Maintenance requests could be submitted by email or using a web interface to the software.

2. Support for alerts:

The CMMS system may also be able to send you an email/ text alert when work requests are submitted. This will allow you to attend immediately to the urgent requests. You can defer less urgent requests. Duplicate or unnecessary requests can be closed out.

3. Work request review:

You should be able to review a work request and decide what to do with it. Many work requests especially for emergency maintenance could be duplicates. More than one person could be submitting the same request. Other requests could requests for several different kinds of maintenance. So you need a way to convert these requests to work orders or close out duplicates. Directly converting each and every maintenance request into a work order will result in a lot of duplicates or work orders that span several maintenance jobs and can be difficult to manage and track.

4. Checking request status:

As work orders get done or completed you need to have  a way to inform the requester of the status automatically. This is much preferable to you having to contact each person individually to tell them what you are doing or have done! Most CMMS software have request status checking features that enable the requester to check the status of work requests they have made. Or they can check the status of specific maintenance jobs or equipment e.g. a machine calibration, pending work on an equipment and so on.

5. Reporting & statistics collection:

Report on all the work requests received and processed. This will help you catch requests that are overdue or pending and make sure that they are handled or closed. Besides this you can collect statistics on maintenance department performance over time e.g. requests received in a specific period, average days to complete a request and so on. Such statistics are useful to see if you are falling behind in handling requests or keeping up with them.

Looking For CMMS Software For Your Maintenance Requests?

If you are looking for a CMMS package that can also handle maintenance requests you may want to have a look at a free 30-day trial of the FastMaint CMMS software. The maintenance request module is part of the FastMaint Web edition and is available as an optional add on to the FastMaint Professional edition. You will be able to submit & process maintenance requests, collect statistics and reports and see how useful it will be to you.

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