The future of maintenance
Over the last year, hundreds of maintenance professionals have been filling us in on their journey towards better maintenance programs by completing our Fiix Score survey. Using this data, we’ve been able to glean insight into where maintenance is now and where it’s heading as an industry. Here are just a few interesting trends we’ve noticed and what it means for the future of maintenance.
Digital transformation is the new standard
Over 46% of respondents use maintenance software to manage their operation and only 18% use pen and paper or work boards. The number of facilities ditching legacy systems, in favour of modern maintenance software, like a CMMS, is growing by the day.
If there’s one thing this number tells us, it’s that digital transformation in maintenance is here to stay. Industry 3.0, a movement towards cloud-based, mobile-enabled maintenance software, is no longer a couple of years off from becoming the norm. It’s not the future of maintenance, it’s the present, and those who ignore this trend are doomed to fall further and further back. Production-heavy facilities are slowly but steadily coming around to this new reality and learning to integrate digital technology into their maintenance operation.
As digital transformation becomes the new standard for the industry, the focus for maintenance teams in the next few years will be on optimizing these systems. Setting up maintenance software is not a difficult task, but implementing it successfully can be. As organizations discover the advantages of integrating maintenance into their ecosystem of technology, it will become important to develop a culture that embraces maintenance software and continuously looks for ways to optimize it. Efficiency is the name of the game and discovering how to find it within maintenance software will be a huge consideration in the near future.
Data management is keeping maintenance professionals up at night
More than 28% of survey respondents said their biggest challenge is collecting data and organizing information. There’s no doubt that the challenge of handling the numbers is becoming a larger threat to maintenance operations.
This stat should come as no surprise as more and more facilities transition to more sophisticated digital systems to manage maintenance. Digital transformation brings with it the ability to collect much more data than previous maintenance strategies, like Excel. But while it may be easier to build a mountain of data, it’s getting tougher to climb that mountain every day. Sorting, cleaning, analyzing and using this data is hard and many maintenance professionals are falling behind.
As maintenance professionals face this challenge in the coming months and years, it will mean a shift in the systems they use and the skills they expect from their team. Maintenance software, like a CMMS, will continue to grow in popularity as this type of system makes it easy to input data, create reports and use the resulting information to take action. Technicians will also be expected to focus on inputting data in systems correctly and promptly while being able to complete basic data management tasks.
From putting out fires to preventing them
A whopping 75% of maintenance professionals who took our survey say they use preventive maintenance as their primary maintenance strategy on a daily basis. It’s clear that the evolution from a reactive-first environment to a preventive one has taken hold at hundreds of facilities across the world.
A shift has been on for quite some time and this statistic is the latest indication that maintenance professionals in every industry are buying into the benefits of preventive maintenance. Preventive maintenance is also becoming easier to plan and execute with the help of cloud-based, mobile maintenance systems and a growing focus on holistic approaches, such as total productive maintenance.
As facilities adopt preventive maintenance as their primary strategy, predictive maintenance (PdM) can’t be too far behind. Harnessing the power of preventive maintenance is a huge step towards implementing predictive maintenance. Establishing a successful PdM program requires major investments and change in several areas of maintenance, which isn’t easy, but preventive maintenance is able to lay the groundwork for this transition. The rise of preventive maintenance techniques may be signalling a long-term desire for PdM as facilities prepare themselves for the future of maintenance and their organization five or more years down the road.