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General Article

How do you manage your preventative maintenance? Many businesses use a binder of cards or a catalog of instruction sheets to schedule their maintenance, while other businesses use aging computer and programs that make the paper systems look pretty good in comparison.

Instead of dealing with any random file system or program, think about what you could do with a custom software suite. Here are a few details to keep in mind as you think about what a good preventive maintenance cmms software suite should do for your business or project.

Scheduling Maintenance and Enhancing Training

A vital part of maintenance is keeping a well-training, acclimated maintenance team. Whether you have dedicated maintenance professionals for all tasks or divide certain tasks among operators and technicians, it’s best to maintain familiarity with even the rarest repair techniques. With a preventative maintenance planning system, you can link efficient maintenance to an on-the-job (OJT) training curriculum. A lot can be learned between working with the team and working on certifications or school courses, but maintenance delivers the best of both worlds.

Some systems can go years without direct manipulation. If not for maintenance, many engineers and technicians may not have a reason to touch certain deep-system pieces of equipment until something breaks. By using a maintenance system that lists names of team members who have seen the maintenance before, you can figure out which team members need updated training while having a steady learning path for completely new personnel.

Tool and Replacement Tracking

As you schedule maintenance, it’s best to keep inventory of your tools and parts at the same time. A good maintenance plan will describe the specific tools used to perform a task, as well as suitable replacements. Paper/binder-based maintenance plans usually have pages of maintenance cards, but you can do better with a software suite.

The digital version of your maintenance plan can link maintenance instructions and schedules to tools and parts. Each item has its own entries and details, allowing you to store helpful information such as cost, retailer, acceptable replacements, and more. Consider cooling fan that needs monthly maintenance. Your maintenance file can include not just how to repair the fan, but the specific size and brand of screwdriver used.

In a modern database, you could click or type in name for the screwdriver and get specific details. If it’s a specialty tool, you’ll want future workers to be able to order that tool or a reasonable alternative even if the original installer isn’t around. For that reason, clicking the screwdriver should display the cost, retailer, manufacturer, and tested alternative that should be good enough. If your team is willing to risk an untested, but similar enough item, either you, a designated tech supervisor, or anyone you approve should be able to add those custom details into a custom field. If you want to analyze your business for other areas that need database tracking and efficiency, contact a cmms software professional to discuss best practices for keeping your maintenance on track with better apps.…

General Article

Cloud based computing is responsible for some big changes in the world. When the technology first hit the world, it was revolutionary enough that even mainstream news would bring it up on occasion. It was clear from the start that the cloud had a number of advantages for almost anyone.

But at a certain point people forgot that the cloud isn’t a static technology. Most areas of the tech field have constant and often quite noticeable changes over the years. In fact, one of the reasons for the cloud’s popularity is that it helps people compensate for increasingly rapid upgrade cycles. People tend to lose sight of the fact that the cloud itself is growing and evolving at that same rapid pace.

When the cloud first caught people’s attention, they’d often find themselves confused about what it did. This was in large part because the cloud was able to essentially act as a drop-in replacement for many tasks that normally required dedicated hardware. Asking what the cloud can do was somewhat similar to asking what a computer can do. The answer is so broad that it’s difficult to answer without narrowing things down a bit. Eventually people started to use the cloud as a means of dealing with the economies of scale for specific areas of their business.

And this is where many companies essentially stalled their own potential progress. The cloud continued to evolve and offer up new possibilities. People found ways to work with the infrastructure and expand it to offer even more benefits. We’re now at a point where the cloud can essentially offer any function normally provided by a computer. And that goes from specialty systems to a standard PC.

Even a domain name system, or DNS, can run in the cloud. In fact, a can often act as the logical next step to a company’s cloud-based infrastructure. In fact any cloud based dns service can often act as the logical next step to a company’s cloud-based infrastructure. But the most significant reason comes down to latency.

Networked systems work by essentially transmitting requests and results. One system requests data, another receives that request, and the answer is then sent back. However, the process is complicated by the fact that there’s usually a number of relay points between origin and destinations. Each of these stops can require additional direction or processing. The result is that a slower point will dramatically reduce the overall speed of the transmission.

It’s easy to see why latency would be a significant issue for systems which rely on networks for almost all functionality. But switching to a cloud-based DNS keeps one of the most probable causes of latency within a safe zone. One might compare it to a long drive which normally requires an extended detour to ask directions. Having the DNS services on the cloud essentially removes the need for a detour. Most aspects of cloud computing are improved by reducing need for external queries. But some, like DNS, offer larger scale advantages for the system as a whole.…