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The Maintenance Management Blog

March 03, 2015

How CMMS’ Can Prevent Car Recalls

How CMMS Can Prevent Car Recalls

It seems hardly a day goes by without there being some mention of a car recall in the newspaper or on the local news. Sometimes the recalls are small, and other times literally millions of vehicles get called back in for some defect that was missed during the manufacturing process. What role does CMMS software play in all of this, and how can it help prevent these issues? That is the focus of today"s blog post.

As professionals in the reliability industry, we often think of maintenance in terms of how it benefits equipment or facilities. Today we are going to look at things from a different perspective, and discuss how it affects our brethren in the auto manufacturing industry.

Perhaps the most beneficial way a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help in a vehicle recall situation is by preventing them from occurring in the first place. By providing a system to track maintenance of the machinery that helps build cars and trucks, we can ensure that this vital equipment functions at peak capacity. Well functioning machines are less prone to break down or cause errors in the workflow, which could lead to an issue in the manufacturing process, and, ultimately, result in the need for a recall.

Of course, as we all know, things happen, and in the event of a vehicular recall, maintenance software can be a huge help. Tweaking the standard way you normally use your PM software, you can repurpose your CMMS to help in nearly every aspect of the recall process.

For starters, your maintenance system can track and store all of your vital documentation. This is important from a legal standpoint as well as for accounting purposes and even as a tool to help your company "learn" from its mistakes. This record-tracking can come in handy when you have to prove your team conducted proper maintenance on equipment and that the recall was not your department"s fault.

Once vehicles begin returning to shops for repairs, a CMMS is at its most handy for this particular situation, as it allows you to keep track of all of the changes and repairs that are taking place. This includes the planning process and the implementation as well. In addition, maintenance software will keep track of any past problems, so if further recalls are required, the manufacturer will have a record of past work performed.

In the event of a major recall (aren't they all?), there will be plenty of spare parts and other assets that will need to be tracked. Maintenance software is particularly good at asset management and inventory control, and in a situation where your company is already losing money, you will want to make sure you do not exacerbate the problem by misplacing replacement parts.

Finally, by their very nature, auto recalls involve a massive amount of data - everything from financial information to performance testing and quality assurance. The ability to manipulate that data and create detailed reports is key to surviving a recall and helping to ensure they do not occur again in the future.

For all these reasons and more, computerized maintenance management software is key to preventing - and recovering from - an auto recall.


Lisa Richards

About the Author – Lisa Richards

Lisa Richards is an experienced professional in the field of industrial management and is an avid blogger about maintenance management systems and productivity innovation. Richards' undergraduate degree in Industrial Engineering opened the door for her initial career path with a Midwest-based agricultural implement manufacturer with global market reach. Over a span of 10 years, Lisa worked her way through various staff leadership positions in the manufacturing process until reaching the operations manager level at a construction and forestry equipment facility. Lisa excelled at increasing productivity while maintaining or lowering operating budgets for her plant sites.

An Illinois native, Lisa recently returned to her suburban Chicago North Shore hometown to raise her family. Lisa has chosen to be active in her community and schools while her two young girls begin their own journey through life. Richards has now joined the MAPCON team as an educational outreach writer in support of their efforts to inform maintenance management specialists about the advantages in marrying advanced maintenance software with cutting-edge facility and industrial management strategies.

Filed under: car recalls, CMMS — Lisa Richards on March 03, 2015