Maintenance departments are essential to the functioning of any organization. However, their operations can be difficult for a company to track and monitor, especially under current circumstances when employees are more separated from each other and a central management system than ever before.
Many companies rely on outdated methods to track maintenance functions and implement fair accountability standards. Pen and paper systems, and even spreadsheets, are becoming more and more outdated when compared with new technology. To keep your maintenance department running smoothly and make a real difference in your team’s accountability, consider implementing a CMMS.
What is a CMMS?
CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System. Every time you collect a set of data or logs, a CMMS automatically parses and stores them in a centralized way. This makes it easier to access the information you might need about how a workflow progressed or when tasks were completed.
You can pull up data that has already been analyzed without having to perform the analysis yourself. Additionally, a CMMS that integrates well with or includes software for work order management allows you to simplify your team’s assignments and organize said tasks with maintenance schedules.
Why Use a CMMS?
There are many specific benefits to implementing a CMMS to increase accountability in your department, including:
- Track Availability of Asset– It’s easy to lose track of your tools, appliances, and machinery without a proper tracking system. A CMMS can automatically track your material assets and notify you of any potential issues with them as soon as they occur.
- Track Availability of Employees– Employees often have varying and inconsistent schedules. Without proper management, it’s easy to lose track of who is free for work and who isn’t. Tracking employee availability helps you hold people accountable when they are meant to be available and remember when they are off the clock.
- Scheduling Ease– Whether it’s scheduling regular maintenance or increasing the workload of a particular machine, a CMMS allows you to adjust your work schedule without facing overlap or overworking your staff and equipment.
- Automation– It can be hard keeping track of all physical assets and their need for regular check-ups and spare parts. A CMMS can automate regular maintenance booking in coordination with work order software and even order spare parts for your inventory.
- Documentation– Proper documentation of all previous tasks and work processes makes training and onboarding new employees simpler. That’s because all previous knowledge that they need is already available in detailed logs and documents. It also settles potential disputes about the right way to complete a task before it can even happen.
Choosing Your CMMS
Many of the CMMS options on the market are Software as a Service (SaaS). A separate company hosts the files remotely, but you and your team can access them whenever necessary.
SaaS CMMS is generally more flexible when it comes to hardware needs and expenses. These services are also subscription-based, so you only pay for the amount of storage and computational power you need, allowing you to save on building a tech infrastructure with storage units, servers, and technicians.
A good CMMS is also highly adaptable. Your business’s conditions will inevitably change over time. You might need to process different data types or increase the number of physical and human assets you have on-hand. A highly adaptable CMMS can change along with your business and accommodate its needs, ensuring efficiency and increasing workplace accountability.
How a CMMS Increases Accountability
A CMMS can increase accountability by making it easier to centralize and visualize data effectively. It can also decrease the possibility of workplace mistakes due to overlapping employee schedules and equipment availability. With better tracking comes the ability to make better decisions to your work strategy, from assigning tasks to scheduling shifts.
You can track which employees are the most efficient and effective in which areas, making it easier to adjust tasks and schedule accordingly. With specific functions automated, you can dedicate more time to those that are left.
If an issue does occur, you can handle it without blame or unnecessary friction with your hard-working staff. Every step of a process is documented, so if something goes wrong, you can see where and why and address the issue directly.
Steps to Increase Accountability
- Effective Training– A CMMS can store detailed work instructions and essential company information in a standardized and easy-to-understand way so that all new employees will learn the same thing in the same manner.
- Employee Logging– By requiring your employees to log their work hours, you can compare their productivity with your goals. This also gives you more data to analyze, allowing you to make better predictions and decisions regarding future projects.
The human component will also come into play if an employee needs to add extra information explaining a particular challenge that accounts for what might otherwise look like an unjustified delay or mistake.
- Implementing Preventive Maintenance– By keeping track of asset data, like when a machine was last serviced and which equipment seems to be slowing down, you can avoid technical issues and unplanned downtime by fixing them before they occur. Preventive maintenance automates some aspects of the maintenance process, taking some pressure off your employees.
Relying on Technology
It can be stressful to trust such an important sector of your business to complex software that you may not fully understand, but incorporating a CMMS into your work strategy is the best way to keep up with modern demand and workspace standards. With enough training and preparation, you’ll find that your CMMS benefits you and your employees by increasing accountability.