Businesses in the manufacturing and industrial industries rely on their heavy equipment. Without proper equipment, they’d quickly lose their efficiency and productivity. But even if they have the necessary equipment, they need to make sure every piece of equipment continues to work at peak performance. Unscheduled downtime leads to skyrocketing maintenance and repair costs. These are unnecessary expenses that hinder the performance of the entire business, not just the facility holding the equipment. So how do facilities managers ensure their equipment functions properly? They use equipment maintenance software.
What is Equipment Maintenance Software?
To be honest, the name is fairly self-explanatory: equipment maintenance software helps facility managers maintain their equipment. What makes it especially powerful is its automation of the entire process. From scheduling preventive maintenance to inventory and work order management, equipment maintenance software greatly reduces the burden of manually-tracking maintenance. Facilities managers simply need to look in the system to see when maintenance was performed last, when it’ll be performed next, and how much part inventory they have left.
What’s the Difference Between CMMS and Equipment Maintenance Software?
At first glance, equipment maintenance software seems almost identical to a CMMS. This isn’t entirely untrue. Like equipment maintenance software, facilities managers use a CMMS as an asset management software by scheduling and tracking preventive maintenance, managing work orders and tracking inventory. The difference, however, lies in how far-reaching a CMMS is.
Unlike equipment maintenance software, CMMS manages far more than just equipment. It can be used for maintenance of the entire facility, including all of the equipment. In addition, most CMMS systems come with more robust features. Some of the most common facility maintenance features include project management, labor availability, document management and compliance requirement management. Without these capabilities, equipment maintenance software is simply a type of CMMS specialized for equipment management. (For a full overview of common CMMS features, take a look at our CMMS Buyer Guide)
How Do You Use Equipment Maintenance Software?
So how exactly do facilities managers use their equipment maintenance software? What tasks do they use most often, and what can they accomplish by completing these tasks with software? Let’s explore:
Equipment Maintenance Scheduling
Preventive maintenance is an integral part of any manufacturing facility. This involves being proactive in taking care of potential equipment issues before they arise. Equipment maintenance software provides maintenance scheduling software for facilities managers. They can use this feature to schedule regular maintenance on each piece of equipment the facility owns, ensuring a productive facility.
The powerful aspect of regularly scheduled maintenance isn’t only the scheduling itself, but the access it provides. Anybody with access to the equipment maintenance software can view the maintenance schedule, keeping everyone who needs to know in the loop. Additionally, scheduling preventive maintenance far in advance makes sure that it actually gets done. If it’s not scheduled, it’s far too easy for preventive maintenance to slip through the cracks and not get done until it’s too late.
Equipment Maintenance Tracking
Just as important as scheduling preventive maintenance is tracking the maintenance history of each piece of equipment, especially heavy equipment repair. It’s important to note all of the repairs that were done to a piece of equipment for a plethora of reasons. Not the least of these reasons is that you may find a pattern of issues that leads to discovering a bigger one.
For example, if certain parts continuously need replacing, you may find that someone isn’t using the equipment properly, or that an internal system is malfunctioning in a way that would otherwise go unnoticed. In addition, it’s always helpful to know when certain maintenance tasks are done, so you have a complete maintenance history of all of your equipment.
Work Order Management
Lots of facility managers have a love/hate relationship with work orders. They love them when they’re organized, and they hate them when they’re not. But regardless of how you feel about them, they’re a necessary part of facility and equipment management. That’s why work order management was made as painless as possible with equipment maintenance software.
All of your work orders are kept in one place within the system, so you know exactly where to look for them. It makes it easy to check on orders old and new, as well as see the status of current work orders. By digitizing all of your work orders, your entire maintenance team can view work orders and mark them when they’re complete. You can finally be sure that your work orders never get lost and that the same order is never done twice.
Another crucial aspect of any business is properly controlling your inventory. From your largest assets to the smallest of parts, a good inventory management program translates to a huge reduction in costs. Equipment maintenance software specifically controls the parts inventory for your equipment. Using the system, you can check on how much of each spare part you have left in stock. When you realize you’re getting low on a part, you can order that part early so you don’t have to wait to make a repair.
One of the worst experiences for a facility is when an important piece of equipment breaks down, and you don’t have the right parts to fix it. You then have to wait for the part to ship, during which you lose valuable time and money. And in order to get the part faster and reduce downtime, you’ll probably have to pay for expedited shipping, too. These extra costs are easily avoidable when using equipment maintenance software.
No matter what type of equipment your business uses, you can benefit from implementing equipment maintenance software. Managing your preventive maintenance, work orders and inventory is as simple as ever when using this system.