The overall role of a factory maintenance technician is to ensure that all its equipment runs efficiently without any major disruption to production. In traditionally run operations, there are many steps to remember in maintaining each piece of equipment, and relying on the pen and paper method is tedious, time consuming and also prone to error.
The introduction of a Computer Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) system with mobile access is a game changing technology for how routine asset maintenance is done. The system’s mobile access component informs maintenance technicians on the steps required in maintaining each piece of equipment, their location as well as the appropriate tools needed, and ways they can communicate with other team members to troubleshoot complex issues. All of this can be done using a phone or tablet.
While these sophisticated systems offer increased efficiency and production with fewer errors, adapting to this new technology can be daunting. Factors to be considered include the cost of the system, time needed to make it operational and instructing technicians on its use. There is no getting around the growing pains and learning curve involved. However, once completed, the positive results achieved make the expense, time and energy involved very worthwhile.
Manual Maintenance Management to Mobile CMMS
Maintenance technicians are crucial in ensuring the smooth operation of complicated machines, but their work is hindered by an outdated system. Manual recording of observations takes valuable hours and slows down the process of maintenance. However, a CMMS with mobile access provides a solution to these challenges. These tools allow technicians to complete their work quickly and efficiently. By leveraging the power of mobile devices, workers can access important documents, such as work orders and repair manuals, with ease. This allows them to work faster and be more productive.
Defining Mobile CMMS
CMMS with mobile access refers to various methods for assisting people to access maintenance management information in real time and from any location. Examples include computer programs that can be used online, mobile apps, and websites that can be accessed. In addition to retrieving maintenance related information, it is also possible to quickly enter data into the system using mobile apps on a phone or tablet. Moreover, cloud-based systems offer guidance on maintenance procedures from any device with an internet connection.
Maintenance technicians are able to do their job faster and better using mobile access solutions. This means they make fewer mistakes and get more work done. They can use this technology to quickly get information about how to take care of equipment, checklists, and parts in stock. This information is accessible from anywhere and at any time. Sharing knowledge makes communication easier and improves working with team members..
The Internet of Things (IoT) is also an important component of the mobile CMMS. IoT lets technicians receive instant notifications of a code detecting an equipment failure on their handheld devices. It helps technicians manage remote machinery either onsite or at a distant location. IoT is expected to become part of the overall maintenance strategy as their ability to gather and analyze data about assets, equipment, or machinery continues to grow. Maintenance will become even more predictive and actionable.
Benefits of Mobile Access
Maintenance professionals are more likely to be satisfied with their careers when they have easy access to their workspace. Mobile CMMS provides them with a wealth of useful resources that can enhance their performance. Technicians can complete their tasks more quickly and efficiently with the help of mobile access. Faster access to and dissemination of information about tasks improves overall performance. They can also be kept informed of crucial developments while on the job, allowing prompt action in the event of an emergency.
Boost workplace efficiency and productivity
Mobile CMMS offers many benefits to help increase efficiency and productivity, such as quickly collecting and reporting data as well as receiving real-time updates on work orders. Considered together, they enable technicians to respond more quickly to unanticipated repairs and complete their work faster overall.
Timely, accurate, and comprehensive reporting
Technicians can provide more detailed reports of their work if they have easier access to mobile devices. Data can be entered on the spot, allowing for more precise reporting. Taking photos or making notes to remind them of what they did are additional benefits in mobile access generated reports.
Flexibility and freedom
With Mobile CMMS, technicians are able to do their jobs from any location with an internet connection. This allows them more freedom in their schedules, allowing them to be available whenever necessary. They can collaborate with other technicians from distant places to find solutions to issues they are unable to manage on their own.
Implementing Mobile CMMS for Maintenance Management
Realistic achievable goals
Mobile access implementation is a point solution to maintenance challenges. With all the benefits noted previously, it is just part of a comprehensive maintenance software implementation project. For this reason, it is important to set expectations accordingly. The teams may be looking for a quicker turnaround, a longer lifespan from their machinery, or a more streamlined operation overall. With these other targets in mind, company owners and maintenance managers need to carefully evaluate their overall needs and goals first.
Involve key stakeholders
From the start, maintenance technicians, IT staff, and maintenance managers need to be involved. They should all team up together to ensure the mobile devices are set up correctly. Proper use requires that all users are conversant with the tools and committed to the system’s use. There needs to be coordination of their efforts to ensure a successful outcome. It is also beneficial to identify champion users and elicit their assistance in bringing onboard other users who may find the change challenging to mobile CMMS.
Training and communication
The importance of onboarding and training cannot be overstated. Hands-on training for technicians is fundamental to implementation success. It is the only way users will become familiar with and comfortable using these new tools. Training sessions will create partnership opportunities with the IT team where applicable. This improves the odds of successful implementation. It also sends the right relationship message to address operational issues that occur during the course of work. Dovetailing training with a creative and effective communication strategy will enable and compound returns from a mobility implementation.
Start Using Mobile for Maintenance Management Now
Traditionally, businesses have relied on pen and paper or spreadsheets for maintenance management. However, with the ubiquity of mobile devices, incorporating mobility into maintenance processes is possible and has become essential. There are several approaches to achieving this integration.
One method involves implementing a comprehensive Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) that includes mobile capabilities. Alternatively, organizations can opt for a step-by-step approach by first introducing the mobile aspect of CMMS software within specific departments before expanding company-wide.
For those taking initial steps towards digitalization, the recommendation is, to begin with a mobile implementation of existing maintenance management processes. This will serve as an effective starting point in transitioning towards a complete digitalization of your organization's maintenance systems.
David has been covering topics related to maintenance, asset and facilities management for over a decade. He is passionate about researching and sharing content that has a positive impact on maintenance and facilities professionals.