December 19, 2014
A CMMS Helped Make That!
It is easy to overlook the role of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) in everyday society. We go to the store, and even as professionals in the reliability industry, we never think twice about how the items lining the shelves owe their existence in some part to maintenance software. In today"s post, we'll look at how the world would be a different place without these handy applications!
Every year at Christmas time, you see hoards of shoppers pile into stores, looking for great deals and feverishly plucking toys, tablets, and trinkets from the shelves. It seems that with each passing year, the money people spend on Christmas and the holidays grows exponentially. It wasn"t always that way, however, and a big part of that has to do with innovations in the manufacturing industry.
Imagine if way back in 1910, before the invention of the assembly line, shopkeepers and proprietors had to deal with today"s influx of shoppers. Not only would they be at a loss to keep track of all of their inventory (which, by the way, a CMMS could help with!), but the manufacturers would not even have been able to keep up with the demand. It wasn"t until 1913 that the first assembly lines began popping up and rolling products out at greater efficiency and the world as we know it began to rapidly change and adapt to meet the overwhelming needs of supply and demand for a hungry and growing world population.
Of course, with the advent of the assembly line and new manufacturing philosophies, the need for maintenance strategies and techniques arose. At first, maintenance was a bulky and clumsy task, as maintenance crews struggled to find their way. But more and more systems began to pop up and ideas like preventative maintenance flourished. Inventory management and asset control became more important, and as the 1900s got into full swing, even energy consumption became a part of maintenance concerns.
If assembly lines are the heroes of the manufacturing world, then maintenance workers and computerized maintenance management systems are the unsung heroes. Without proper maintenance, both preventative and proactive, those assembly lines would quickly fall to pieces and the world's economy and bartering system would come to a crashing halt.
Imagine a bleak world with no iPhones or tablets, no personal computers or PlayStation 4 consoles. Picture a society where we still ride horses instead of driving cars or pedaling bicycles. Worse still, think about the ramifications of having no air conditioning systems and having to hunt or grow our own food. Without the help of CMMSes, the world would be just such a place.
Okay, so maybe that is a slight exaggeration. The reality is, though, that with the world's population and demand, things would be very difficult in the world of maintenance without maintenance software. Products would cost more, as maintenance tasks would not be as efficient. If a machine broke or came to a standstill, companies would lose more money as their maintenance managers struggled to locate vendor phone numbers and warranty information in old filing cabinets and outdated maintenance systems.
Without maintenance programs, even something as simple as issuing work orders and tracking their progress becomes exceedingly difficult. The same goes for finding those spare parts and controlling inventory and assets. Reporting and even justifying your department"s role in a company would also be more of a pain.
So next time you pull up a chair and switch on that CMMS, take a moment to bask in the greenish glow of our electronic savior. Computerized maintenance management system, you make our lives so much easier!