In part one of this series, we explored benefits such as common reporting metrics, information, and easy access to information as key reasons to pursue standardization. In part two, we round off the list with more mission-critical objectives that can be achieved by standardizing asset-related processes with EAM / CMMS software.
Demonstrate market leadership
Standardization separates the leaders from the laggards in almost every industry. Companies who use maintenance management software to standardize asset management are able to identify best practices and instantly disseminate them throughout their organization. This can dramatically shrink the time and effort it takes to scale-up operations and expand market share. Competitors who do not bring a systematic approach to asset management—or those who don’t use proper tools—must try to compete without concrete, data-backed processes that provide a clear road map for efficiency and success.
Create competitive advantage
Standardizing asset management means more up-time throughout your company’s operations. This means that, relative to companies who are not standardized and have no coherent strategy for maximizing and optimizing asset function, your equipment will work more efficiently, for a longer period of time, and suffer fewer catastrophic breakdowns. Functioning machinery equals higher output and a healthy bottom line.
Develop and maintain best practice
A host of factors affect asset performance, making it difficult to zero in on any one before assets have been tracked for a period of time and solid data has been gathered. Asset tracking provides the kind of historical detail necessary to identify common problems and determine best practices for asset maintenance and care. EAM software makes it easy to determine what these best practices are, and then easily disseminate them throughout your organization. Labor tracking makes it easy to see how maintenance tasks are being performed in different parts of your organization, and to establish common metrics that can be used to estimate and assess labor performance.
Common compliance and goals
Recent years have seen a significant increase in regulations of all kinds. Companies who do not have streamlined processes in place to ensure compliance are at a significant disadvantage. Companies who use EAM/CMMS, on the other hand, can stay a step ahead of regulations by proactively creating work orders and inspections the minute new regulations are passed. Perhaps even more importantly, EAM/CMMS software will create a solid book of record to demonstrate due diligence, minimizing exposure to penalties and fines. Standardization also enables managers to gain an overall sense of how different parts of their company are operating and compare them with each other. Standardization means that these comparisons will be more “apples to apples” and enable managers to make accurate assessments about the performance of different sites or divisions relative to overall business goals.
In virtually every job, there are cases where poor communication, caused by technology, employees, or processes, causes mistakes to be made or work to be missed altogether. Everyone has their own preferred method of interaction, be it phone calls, texts, memos, emails, sticky notes or paper-based logs. This can quickly cause problems as employees often do not have a reliable place to turn for certain types of information, and must hunt down the information they need (usually through time wasting phone calls, emailing back-and-forth, etc.). Standardization through EAM/CMMS clarifies communications and provides a central database where critical information can be accessed by anyone who needs it. Work orders can be automated to ensure that they are not forgotten. Workers in the field can access open work orders using a smart phone, eliminating the need for tedious exchanges with management to determine what needs to be done.
CMMS enables managers to gain complex views into asset history, parts, labor, work orders, and inspections that are not available through simple spreadsheets or paper-based systems. Every company is unique, which means that reporting must be customizable to provide the data necessary to make key decisions about asset life cycle, purchasing, and best practices among other things. Visibility can make your company more agile by giving you the information you need to adjust operations and achieve greater efficiencies.
Many companies take a “run to failure” approach to asset management by default, not realizing that preventive maintenance can be up to five times more cost effective. The reason for the difference in cost savings between the two philosophies hinges on the risk of catastrophic failures, which is minimized by the preventive approach. Catastrophic failures demand the costliest repairs and often occur unexpectedly, resulting in prolonged downtime. Preventive maintenance implemented through maintenance management software is a highly effective approach to risk management, as it helps identify and correct issues when they are small, before they grow into major problems.