Your services and maintenance crew might be spending a lot of money replacing faulty gears or figuring out why a particular compressor keeps breaking down. Maybe your services schedule consists of a drab Excel sheet, or just a vague maintenance plan in the back of your head. If that’s how you’ve always done things, there’s a better way! Businesses that don’t make equipment maintenance management part of their regular workflows can really suffer in the long-run, particularly from a financial perspective. This is why equipment maintenance software can be a great resource for asset-intensive businesses.
So, how does equipment maintenance work? Traditionally, it is divided into two groups; predictive and preventive maintenance. Predictive maintenance entails the active monitoring of equipment at regular intervals, ensuring that any potential faults are flagged up and dealt with before they actually take place. This is condition-based servicing, usually done on machines that are running as part of their routine work cycle. Preventive maintenance, on the other hand, takes place when machines are shut down. They prevent mistakes before they are expected to happen based not on the current condition of the item, but on a general understanding of its lifecycle.
Think of it this way – a predictive maintenance approach will test the oil levels in a machine engine every few weeks, going in for an oil change only when the level falls below a certain threshold. On the other hand, a preventive maintenance approach will simply change the oil every four weeks based on previously agreed timeframes, not concerning itself with routine monitoring. Of course, this means preventive maintenance can sometimes be redundant because you could be replacing parts that don’t need to be replaced or finessing operations that already fall within minimum standards.
Your business might be using one or even both these methods based on the machines in question. The trouble is that maintenance of any kind can be costly, disruptive, and generally requires a lot of pre-planning. For example, you’d need to pay for spare parts, hardware, reparative materials, and maintenance crew wages. However, maintenance is not just costly in financial terms. Manual tracking of maintenance tasks can work for businesses with limited equipment or small-scale operations. However, any workflows which call for the regular use of reliable equipment would be greatly helped by using equipment maintenance software. This can lower both the overt and hidden costs associated with maintenance activities.
Eliminate unneeded maintenance
The need to account for machine downtimes can be very stressful for businesses. Production has to be halted or rerouted by drawing up alternative workflows, different parties have to be informed of the changes, and the redirection implemented as seamlessly as possible. Owing to the lack of a systematic maintenance schedule, businesses can sometimes service equipment even when it is not required. This includes the cost of inspections, lubrication work, and hardware installation and replacement. With equipment management software, you can plan maintenance months in advance, and ensure that servicing events only occur when they are needed. This will help you cut down on all the costs associated with unneeded maintenance. The ability to set up custom filters flagging up all equipment which needs to be serviced can be very useful in this endeavor.
Maintain health and safety standards
Health and safety standards can be quite specific with respect to equipment maintenance. You might have to comply with a minimum number of annual inspections, or have specific rules regarding the communication of various faults within a machine. A system that lets you keep track of maintenance events in real time, or allows for the handy organization of all information or notes relating to a particular machine, can be very helpful. This can also insulate you from any potential lawsuits. You’ll know exactly what’s causing major malfunctions, and will be notified about maintenance events periodically without a hitch. You can also use item history trails to see information relating to specific items. A thorough understanding of assets can flag up potential risks and hazards a lot more effectively, eliminating the cost of damage control related to malfunctioning equipment. Moreover, documents containing safety guidelines and SOPs can be saved with every equipment record that can be referred to before using that equipment.
Reduce emergency repairs
You can use equipment maintenance software to organize and schedule your work processes a lot more effectively. With analytics and alerts in place, you’d be able to predict when the crew needs to step in and the avenues into which production is being redirected. This ensures you don’t exceed the Point of Diminishing Returns on Investment for your equipment. Cumulative maintenance over an asset’s lifecycle is always cheaper than buying that asset afresh! In this sense, such software can also act as a work order management solution. This helps you use maintenance materials a lot more economically because you are never surprised by an emergency maintenance event. These cost benefits spill over into other spheres as well. For example, rather than shelling out considerable sums of money on an emergency maintenance crew, you can book them in months in advance at a much cheaper price.
Increase Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE)
The OEE is a really valuable metric for all asset-intensive businesses. It gauges the effectiveness of a manufacturing unit in relation to its designed capacity during uptimes. A piece of equipment that is maintained regularly is more likely to run effectively and have a better production capacity than one that has been neglected for servicing. This is why equipment maintenance management software can optimize asset productivity by ensuring small fixes don’t turn into big ones. A solution like this is great for the strategic maintenance of all production equipment and plant system utilities. Previous service tickets can be very useful for this, helping you plot out a structure for your equipment maintenance needs. Instead of being a hiccup in your manufacturing or production processes, each maintenance event can now easily blend into your regular workflow. Smooth operational transitions can therefore encourage productivity not just in the machines themselves, but in the larger managerial ecosystem as well. The cost-saving implications of this can be enormous.
Improve asset longevity
Effective maintenance management can provide detailed insight into asset utilization. This information can be obtained through analytics and reports features detailing the number of times assets have been used, the frequency with which they’ve been serviced, lifetime servicing costs, etc. This would help maintenance personnel use machinery on a rotating basis to minimize wear and tear, or know what incidents routinely lead to major malfunctions in a machine. This also means that equipment won’t be forced to run beyond its expected capacity to make up for poor planning. This helps cut overtime costs, and also reduces the need to procure substitutes in the long-run. Routinely investing in asset conservation using equipment maintenance software is a lot cheaper than having to replace assets prematurely. The ability to generate a comprehensive picture of asset usage can therefore help you improve asset longevity. Fewer overhauls lead to less paperwork, fewer interruptions, and more savings!
Equipment maintenance software can help your business shed a lot of the costs and stress associated with the routine servicing of your equipment. EZOfficeInventory is an Asset Tracking Software and Inventory Management System that works closely with hundreds of companies, enabling them to recuperate losses and avail cost benefits. As a comprehensive equipment maintenance management solution, it can help you rack up savings in no time! To sign up for a free trial, click here.