What is Maintenance Management?
Maintenance management is the practice of managing your company’s maintenance activities, personnel, assets, and resources, with the purpose of optimizing your maintenance program to achieve success and meet KPIs. Maintenance management can include managing the overall maintenance and reliability strategy, scheduling preventive maintenance, assigning work orders, overseeing assets, tracking spare parts inventory, and much more.
What are the Five Fundamentals of a Maintenance Management System?
The five fundamentals of maintenance management are budgeting, scheduling tasks, complying with regulations, optimizing workflows, and respecting safety standards. Because most programs are flexible, they can be steered toward training personnel on the best practices or using work order software to tackle complex requests.
Maintenance managers are sometimes constrained by the plant budget and will need better transparency to decide how those funds should be allocated for preserving the health of assets. The real challenge lies in preventing unplanned downtime caused by smaller problems that spiral out of control if the necessary repairs or part replacements aren’t being made.
Breakdowns are a source of operational costs in which damaged machines detract from the quality and quantity of products. But not all spending is created equal: For getting assets up and running, a maintenance manager will have to restock MRO inventories by considering the functionality of each item before calculating the trade-off between cost and durability.
A big piece of it is the matter of balancing different personalities on a daily, weekly, or monthly schedule. This is one method that lowers the cost of employing labor for reactive maintenance calls. When work orders are piling up, you’ll need to assign various responsibilities to your technicians and engineers to ensure a product is delivered on time.
In return, the completed requests act as placeholders for when maintenance took place and which procedures were carried out, documenting equipment histories so you can estimate the remaining useful life. Time and labor are good indicators of how activities should be ordered on the calendar, with notifications to remind the staff.
The third goal is to automate workflows by maintaining operational efficiency at every stage of the production cycle. This keeps equipment in good condition so that it lasts longer and is less prone to sudden failures. An effective maintenance strategy will make the most of your preventive, predictive, or run-to-failure processes.
There is always room for improvement when establishing workflows and procedures. What’s important is figuring out which tasks are urgent and who should perform them. The goal is to minimize setbacks resulting from a lack of coordination and conduct frequent inspections of machines to estimate the production rate. Adding modifications can further enhance the reliability of heavy-duty assets.
Complying with Standards
Quality standards in your industry are constantly changing from one year to the next. It can be easy to lose sight of regulations if you haven’t been updating the records on file to incorporate new policies issued by the FDA or EPA. Most organizations have quality assurance checklists for product readiness during either the manufacturing or distribution phases.
However, compliance has several layers that span local, state, and federal laws. This includes training your staff on workplace safety standards and equipment operations. For that reason, you need to save electronic records of approved work orders and documented incidents to prepare for future audits.
An example would be correctly labeling food and beverages before they are shipped out of the supply chain.
Best Practices for Managing a Maintenance Team
As a plant manager, you should be proactive about communicating with your team by being open to feedback and suggestions on how to improve existing processes. Before approving a request, it would be best to practice testing scenarios modeled after types of failure.
Your written documentation should be stored on a CMMS, describing the policies, procedures, user guides, and hierarchical flows of mechanical systems. Continuous improvement is the main objective, which means planning maintenance around the availability of machines.
The core principles of maintenance management are:
Be able to define the scope of work before you try to gather the results. Run a cost-benefit analysis based on past outcomes to understand what the implementation challenges are. The final takeaway should be: What results are actually meaningful, followed by what are some resources to address these obstacles?
The truth is, a lot of time and effort goes into maintaining top-priority assets, so it makes sense to shoot for higher-quality performance while limiting the time and money spent to a reasonable amount. With an actionable plan, your team won’t be held back by unpredictable events anymore.
What is Maintenance Management Software?
Maintenance management software, also sometimes known as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), is a software that centralizes all of your maintenance information and provides tools to optimize asset performance. The goal of any maintenance management software is to increase the availability, utilization, and reliability of your equipment.
At the most basic level, maintenance management software is a complete solution for maintaining physical assets across your facilities. A CMMS enables you to effectively manage, automate, and streamline your maintenance operations.
Today, maintenance management software is increasingly cloud-based, rather than on-premise. This means that maintenance information is quickly accessible from any device, providing rapid visibility into all of your maintenance operations, even across multiple facilities.
Top Features of Maintenance Management Software
Maintenance management software solutions offer a wide variety of features and capabilities, including:
- Preventive maintenance management and automation
- Centralized asset management throughout the entire asset lifecycle
- Work order management and automation
- Inventory management, tracking, and automated re-ordering of parts
- Condition monitoring and analysis for predictive maintenance and prescriptive maintenance.
- Reporting & analytics dashboards
- Digital record-keeping for audit preparedness
- Safety & compliance management
A maintenance management software with an intuitive user interface makes it seamless for users of any level to access the information and tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently.
What are the Benefits of Maintenance Management Software?
There are many advantages to leveraging a maintenance management software, or CMMS, in your maintenance operations.
Centralizes Maintenance Information
Clear and effective communication throughout your organization is critical. A CMMS provides a single source of truth for all of your maintenance activities and related information. This reduces the risk of miscommunication, so decisions are made based on the most up-to-date and accurate information possible while keeping maintenance teams on the same page with their maintenance program.
Increases Asset Uptime While Reducing Costs
By helping maintenance teams fine-tune their operations, a maintenance management software can increase the effectiveness of your maintenance program. For example, a CMMS aggregates critical condition monitoring data and issues alerts when a potential problem is detected. This enables maintenance teams to respond promptly when and where they are needed more. Ultimately, by enabling more proactive maintenance approaches, like predictive maintenance, maintenance management software reduces costly unplanned downtime and reduces overall maintenance costs.
Streamlines Work Order Management for More Efficient Workflows
Management and automation of work orders is the key capability of any asset management software. This reduces the risk of errors due to manual work order management, while increasing efficiency by making it easy for technicians to see what needs to be done.
Digitizes and Automates Record-Keeping for Compliance and Audits
A CMMS solution can often replace manual paper filing and spreadsheets, making it easier to stay organized and properly maintain all of the necessary documentation in the event of an audit. For example, a maintenance management software can be used to automatically log information about every asset in your facility in a centralized location. In case of an audit, this digital record can easily be exported into a file or report. This not only ensures compliance with relevant standards but can also facilitate faster audits and avoid downtime for investigations.
Choosing a Maintenance Management Software
When selecting a maintenance management software, it’s important to consider not just features and capabilities. It’s also important to consider whether the vendor offers the level of support you need to execute the solution effectively within your organization. For example, in addition to its core capabilities, the technology should also be expandable to include other maintenance functions, such as vibration sensors or other online condition monitoring techniques.
Maintenance management solution providers should also provide robust training and support services before, during, and after software deployment to help reduce the adoption curve and enable continuous improvement of the installed system.
It is also important to ensure that legacy systems can be integrated into newer software to protect the integrity of the databases—and save time and frustration of working with incompatible systems.
Why Your Team Needs Maintenance Management Software
Maintenance management software is designed to give you a clear picture of trending data on critical infrastructure across many locations.
One benefit is condition monitoring in real-time, which lets organizations make data-driven decisions to cut down costs and increase their overall uptime. This eliminates many time-consuming manual processes, so you can plan accordingly for downtime with increased visibility on scheduled work orders.
From the dashboard, there are features like tracking the MRO inventory so you know what items to purchase for replacing damaged parts. Auditing capabilities make it possible to stay up-to-date on the latest SOPs, allowing you to create a maintenance history on any asset with timestamped photos and certifications.
There are many efficiency and lifecycle benefits from implementing and using computerized maintenance management system software. Overall, it allows teams to align their maintenance practices and activities with other departments and business goals. When you have a system that allows cross-departmental data sharing, everyone’s job gets a little more efficient.
Installing a CMMS is one solution that lends greater visibility to your facility environment. Some of them even support integrations with accounting software or project management apps to help boost employee productivity and ensure that all core functions are transparent.
Maintenance Management Resources
Eliminate unplanned downtime
Be proactive in avoiding equipment downtime by scheduling maintenance as needed based on analysis of asset condition data.
Reduce work order backlog
Improve efficiency by auto-triggering work orders when a calendar date or meter point is met, and viewing open work by type, technician, craft, etc.
Improve spare parts accountability
Save time and budget by associating spare parts with assets and PMs, automatically reordering parts, and implementing barcoding.