It’s time to move to a software based solution for the value it provides.
In my day-to-day interactions with facility management professionals and physical asset managers, I come across situations where maintenance work orders are still being managed on spreadsheets!
Well, work orders have been managed on paper-based forms for a long long time, but, with the advent of computing technology, businesses started making use of spreadsheets. Over time, spreadsheet usage evolved as a versatile and simple-to-use tool for tracking tasks/activities, managing financials & action items and to-do lists, but, spreadsheets have always lacked the ability manage across process flows, generate alerts and notifications and incorporate complex logic and integration with other tools such as email & accounting.
In present times, where an app exists for almost everything, apps and/or software for managing work orders offer much more – they are purpose-built and include features such as analytics, real-time alerts, notifications, ability to track across the entire process flow, and integration with other software. Work order management solutions can be used for ensuring efficiency, implementing preventive measures and provide analytics & insights that can drive decision-making.
Maintenance and Work Order Management Software (WOMS), such as a Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are purpose-built to help organizations manage the maintenance of their physical assets. I have outlined below some of the standard benefits these software applications have over a spreadsheet and manual tools.
WOMS provides a comprehensive database of all work order related information including asset information, documents, images and list of parts and materials used. By ensuring relevant tracking of associated tasks and activities against the asset, a repository of historical data is created. This data provides a better picture of an asset’s utilization & performance over time and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In a nutshell, these systems unify planning, managing, forecasting, performance measurement, evaluation and reporting, helping businesses make informed decisions.
Easy Access from anywhere, anytime, as needed
A cloud-based WOMS stores data on a server that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime (as long as you have a device that can access the internet). It empowers facility managers with information when needed, rather than having to navigate through manual layers to get to the information. Most modern work order software’s can be accessed and used on phone or tablet as well, bringing the information in hand and to the job site for the technicians.
Real-time information for accurate insights
WOMS such as Kibog’s Work Order Management solution provide businesses a real-time view into an organization’s maintenance projects and activities. For instance, managers can get real time information about the various tasks currently in-progress and the ones that are scheduled, and the related parts and materials inventory, which provides them consistent, accurate data, and reduces guesswork.
Automated triggers and notifications
Software based solutions offer automated capabilities to prevent delays in interactions and responding to errors/incidents by generating alerts and notifications. A service technician can be notified in real-time of any tasks they are assigned to or ones that are due in the near future. In addition, regular preventative maintenance work orders can be automatically generated based on the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance cycles or based on compliance requirements. Usually, preventative maintenance work orders can be set for notification based on a number of triggers including time, meter and event.
Auditing & compliance with regulations
A CMMS or Work Order system digitizes paper trail and offers comprehensive record of activities. Work orders are documented electronically as the task/activity progress and get completed, which makes auditing and maintaining compliance easy.
Analysis & reporting
Typically, CMMS and WOMS allows users to easily run reports and manage the tasks and work order based on metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs). KPIs can be used for evaluating the effectiveness of current operations, for making organizational and personnel decisions, and for determining whether assets needs to be repaired or replaced. Reports enable you to refine maintenance processes and improve asset availability, ultimately improving your bottom line.
Manage Parts Inventory
Work Order and Maintenance Management software automatically track parts and materials inventory, help with managing suppliers and vendors and help keep inventory costs optimized. As parts and materials get consumed during work orders, the software depletes stock levels in real time and if the inventory falls below minimum levels, the system can notify the required users or suppliers to start the re-ordering process.
Image and Document Repository
Software based solutions generally allow technicians, project managers and administrators to upload documents and images to the software and link it to the work order so that it is easily accessible when needed. Some of the common types of images include before and after pictures while documents include insurance certificate, test reports, purchase orders and invoices for parts and materials etc. When using a spreadsheet, its difficult to upload an image or document and keep them grouped & linked according to work orders. Generally, companies use a shared drive on a server to store these documents and images which drives additional cost to purchase, install and maintain the shared drives and slows users down as they move between the spreadsheet on their laptop/desktop and the shared drive.
A spreadsheet based solution is inflexible and doesn’t allow the ability to respond quickly based on data being received from your assets and active work orders. In addition, it does not provide capabilities to minimize the costs associated with downtime, inventory management, and management reporting time is limited and requires significant effort to generate.
Automated solutions can streamline entire maintenance processes (or a significant part of it), no matter the size of your organization. A CMMS or Work Order management solution can be effectively deployed by any business in any market sector for efficient asset management and maximizing utilization and performance of these assets.
Should you need more information about maintenance and work order management systems, I’d be happy to chat. Drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org