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.