What is maintenance software?
Maintenance software is used to manage maintenance activities. The software runs the gamut from very simple—such as work order software, which is used to receive work requests and manage repairs—to more sophisticated solutions like CMMS or EAM software, which are used to document and manage all aspects of maintenance operations.
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Maintenance software at a glance
- Keep assets functioning
- Ensure equipment availability
- Boost production
- Drive product quality
- Extend asset life
- Maintain a safe and compliant workplace
- Establish procedures
- Manage and track incidents
- Verify and track compliance
- Manage documents and permits
- Control costs
- Contain and reduce maintenance costs
- Reduce parts and spares
- Manage warranty costs
- Manage people and processes
- Get organized
- Schedule labor force
- Boost worker productivity
- Report to management
- Manage vendors
Who uses maintenance software?
Companies of all sizes can benefit from maintenance software, whether they have a maintenance team of five or five hundred. Software is typically administered by the maintenance manager, with technicians, inventory managers, operators etc. logging in to the system to access their work requests and document completed tasks.
Maintenance software can also be used by the senior management team to generate reports, roll up maintenance costs into their financial reporting systems, track incidents, measure productivity, and ensure compliance with government regulations.
Advantages of maintenance software
- Work order management
- Maintenance management software eliminates paper, and lets you easily keep track of work orders, right in the system. You can access past work orders for any asset, to see what work has previously been done.
- Repair things quicker
- Maintenance software keeps track of how asset issues were solved in the past. When a breakdown occurs, you can instantly see how the problem was fixed the last time.
- Parts inventory management
- Maintenance management software automatically tracks parts, so you can manage suppliers and vendors, optimize inventory levels, and control inventory costs. You can also set up your system to notify specific users and suppliers to start re-ordering if and when stock falls below a set minimum.
- Discover ways to improve
- You can use the data tracked in your maintenance management software to generate reports and spot trends over time. These reports show you which equipment is problematic, whether your team is underperforming, and potential areas for cost savings.
- Get on top of preventive maintenance
- Maintenance management software automatically alerts maintenance teams whenever maintenance is due. This makes it easy to complete pre-scheduled tasks, and stay on top of preventive maintenance.
- Better scheduling
- In maintenance, there is a certain amount of work to be done and only so many hours to do it in. Getting work done often depends on the skill of the maintenance manager in scheduling their team’s time. Maintenance software shows upcoming making tasks in advance, which helps create better schedules.
Challenges in implementing maintenance software
- Training and documentation
- Learning how to use a new tool is always challenging, but it is even harder when that tool is a software package. There are many instances where maintenance software is left unused because the maintenance team is not properly trained. During training, remember to teach the team about the value and practical benefits of the software, not just how to use it.
- Establishing a maintenance process
- Unfortunately, giving maintenance software to a team won’t make them superheroes overnight. To get the most out of the system, it is important to sit down with the maintenance team, and outline a workflow—a standard process for handling work orders and emergencies. Without creating a standard process for manager approval, purchasing, work-statuses etc. the team likely won’t be able to use software effectively.
The system is only as good as the data going in
The insights you get from any software system are only as good as the data going in. This means that if technicians are not using the system on all work orders, or aren’t filling out forms correctly, then it will be impossible to get a good picture of your maintenance operations. Training, incentives and ease-of use are all factors that can increase the amount and accuracy of the data technicians are entering.