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The Maintenance Management Blog

June 16, 2016

Have You Got Mobile CMMS Yet?

Have You Got Mobile CMMS Yet

If they know nothing else, anyone that has had a high school kid drift within their eyesight during the week understands one thing for certain. They have and constantly use their mobile device. And, 99.99% of the time, it's a smartphone. Moreover, they are expert users. Many can accurately type 40 words a minute - with their thumbs! They can find any information near instantaneously (if they care to – and too many don't) and learn more about a topic than a subject matter expert within minutes. Too bad they mostly use that expertise to find the latest rap music, celebrity news or sports scores. (Well, like many of us, right?)

Teens – and while we're at it we admit this goes for almost anyone below the age of 35 – use their mobile devices to communicate very fast and very efficiently. Instead of wasting time dialing up contacts and using tedious, single-dimensional telephone audio to communicate, they send fast Snapchat videos to say hello, update their day, laugh, have fun and tell their story. They chat with the world using Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Facetime and more. And, they accomplish all that in seconds per "snap". Even simple text messages we professionals have been using pale in comparison to the HUGE array of highly sophisticated and private communication options that have expanded their universe of close friendships and acquaintances completely beyond the comprehension of some less-savvy baby boomers. Mobile device users are constantly communicating – real-time – with dozens of peers much to the frustration of parents and those with a much more limited universe of contacts.

In the meantime, some of us older folks have been victims of the usual establishment machine and its ideology-based media propaganda apparatus. We've been led to believe (like the disinformation about "rock n roll" years ago) that teens have fewer friends and suffer psychological damage from this new, brilliantly pervasive communication mode. Nothing could be further from the truth. Teens and young adults are constantly "with" their friends throughout the day. They know where they are, what they're doing and whether they are having fun or putting in the work at sports, at school - or, yes, on the job! We older folks have been primed to sniff at mobile technology and dismiss its volcanic impact on society as though it were merely a new hula hoop craze.

What all does this have to do with CMMS?

The simple answer is maintenance management and mobile device technology are a match made in heaven. Really. The marriage of CMMS and mobile devices is surging into the forefront and promises a revolutionary change for organizations with a real commitment to efficient operations.

Question: How many of your maintenance crew carry their workstation around with them? Yes, it's a silly question. But, think about it. You have to return to your office to approve vital parts purchase orders. Your staff, upon finding an impending equipment failure must hurry to the closest computer or rely upon internal voice communications. Yet, everyone – and I mean everyone – carries a smartphone. Even an old man like me! And, with Mobile CMMS, your smartphone is now your workstation – but, much more versatile!

Now before we go too much further let us qualify, not all Mobile CMMS applications are created equal. In their rush to compete in the mobile arena, certain CMMS creators are offering an ersatz "mobile CMMS". Caution! Some Mobile CMMS is fake. What these guys are offering is nothing more than what's known as a "responsive website" meaning that their CMMS website can be viewed on a mobile device because its HTML is designed to collapse to fit on a mobile screen. That type of technology, like so much else advertised in the media these days, is merely meant to fool you. It's nothing more than a facsimile of a mobile CMMS.

Here's what you need:

Your Mobile CMMS needs to be directly connected to your system-wide CMMS, in other words, a "standalone" application. Don't get fooled by a static, "JavaScript"-dependent website unable to self-refresh against your CMMS database. What good it that? And, they expect you to pay for that? No way!

So far, we have found only one quality CMMS developer that has a genuine Mobile CMMS standalone application that runs on an organization's CMMS system, either server-based or cloud-based CMMS. That firm, Mapcon Technologies, Inc. has been developing CMMS for facilities and industry since 1982. MAPCON makes reliable, well-accepted, professional CMMS for organizations large and small. And, their Mobile CMMS works directly with the organization's system-wide CMMS.

With MAPCON Mobile CMMS, your staff member is directly connected to your CMMS database. He or she has the ability to use their smartphone or other mobile devices to start a new Work Request, scan the barcode of a piece of equipment, take a picture of a problem part, attach the image and complete the WR right on the spot. Your maintenance staff is able to react in real time! Similarly, you – as an authorized maintenance manager – can review and approve Purchase Orders for vital parts and supplies right from your mobile device. Imagine! Wherever you are, wherever you go, right now – your CMMS goes with you!

MAPCON Mobile CMMS operates in real time. When you're using your CMMS from your smartphone, you're not wasting time on a "mobile website". You send and receive real-time alerts, approve PO"s, scan barcodes as well as take and attach images directly to Work Requests and dispatch Work Orders all directly from your mobile device. Finally! A quality CMMS that has truly mastered mobile technology! Now, that's something professionals can use.


Chris Kane

About the Author – Chris Kane

Chris Kane is a management consultant and former business owner with broad experience in marketing and sales in service industries. He is also a former U.S. Army infantry officer and avid outdoorsman, including rock climbing and motorcycle riding.

Since 2008, Chris has been involved in web consultation for one of the original and most innovative Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software development firms in the industry. He especially understands how best to articulate the purpose and uses of CMMS software for potential end users across the globe. Kane appreciates and smoothly details the compelling financial and customer satisfaction advantages of CMMS software as do few others in the maintenance management field.

Filed under: mobile cmms, responsive website, standalone application — Chris Kane on June 16, 2016