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The Maintenance Management Blog

May 06, 2022

CMMS Helps Productivity

"Focus on being productive instead of busy." –Tim Ferriss

Image: woman working on machineOne of the benefits a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) offers is increased work productivity. Because companies using a CMMS have better control and organization over equipment, inventory, and, of course, maintenance, there should be a marked increase in productivity.

How is that measured? Each company has its own way(s). For another discussion of basic work productivity visit Open Sourced Workplace.

For this discussion, I'll focus on work production through the measurement of attainment. Like above, each company will have diverse ways of measuring even this one aspect based on the goals set by management/supervisors/and even workers.

First, what is attainment? The first definition at Dictionary.com is 'an act of attaining' which doesn't help much. (Don't you love when dictionaries give you a form of word you want defined in or as the definition?) The second definition edges closer to what we want—an achievement. Better productivity is the overall achievement goal.

One way of defining this in relation to business, workers, and a CMMS is looking at the number of hours marked for completion of work orders for a designated period of time against the number of shift hours for that same period. This will be further discussed shortly along with asking relevant questions.

Let's see how many angles we can look at three scenarios in relation to attainment.

Scenario 1

Bob's work week: 40 hours. The total number of hours he conducted maintenance (work orders): 8. Attainment: 20%

Questions: What did Bob do during the other 32 hours? Was it productive time? Was Bob still on the clock, but delayed for a particular reason? Was the delay unforeseen, such as vehicle problems? Did the admin register all of Bob's work order time? If not, then why?

Another productivity question: Is Bob just an efficient enough worker he can complete the work orders in less time than others? If so, then the follow up question might be: Can Bob be utilized more?

There could be other legitimate reasons for the 20% attainment, and none necessarily need be taken as criticism. During this week, Bob spent some hours preparing for the work orders (being issued stock, travel time to location for the job).

Certain required parts weren't in stock. Bob was delayed for an unforeseen reason. ("I was traveling down the road and saw in my side mirror my rear tire roll off into the ditch.") If this last reason is the case, maybe an investigation as to why the tire rolled off is in order? Neglected preventive maintenance? Hopefully not neglected by Bob himself.

Another reason for those 'non-wrench' hours could be the time spent inputting the information about the work orders into the CMMS!

Scenario 2

Bob's work week: 40 hours. The total number of hours he conducted maintenance (work orders): 50 Attainment: 125%

Questions: Did the jobs take longer than expected? Were there just more jobs needing to be completed that week? Did Bob's supervisor overschedule him to keep him busy? If so, then if he doesn't complete them all and ends up with 30 out of the 40 hours on work orders, that may be acceptable. Were there just more jobs needing to be completed that week?

Scenario 3

You know a job takes approximately 1.5 hours to complete.

Questions: Do you add the estimated completion time to the work order? Why or why not?

The answer may lie in what type of work environment Bob works. If he sees that estimation, you hope he's not completing the 90 minutes job in 60 minutes, sitting with his feet upon the breakroom table drinking a soda for the final 30 minutes, and inputting the time as 1.5 hours. Good productivity has him registering one hour, allowing you to revise the completion estimation the next time the work order is initiated.


To answer some of the above questions, you'll have to take into account the workload of a particular week as well as those unforeseen circumstances. Of course, using a CMMS should help you to minimize those circumstances.

Also, as mentioned above, the answers largely could be determined by goal of the individual company or supervisor.

As an analogy, let me give you a real-world, personal example. Let's say I have 21 minutes for a martial arts workout exercise. I know my form (pattern of techniques) takes three minutes to complete. My goal for this exercise is to complete that form seven times with full power and at 'normal' speed. (As opposed to fifty percent power and speed.) This means, I complete one form and immediately begin again. No breaks, no rest. If accomplished, my attainment: 100% (Yes, I have achieved that goal a few times over the years. Believe me, it's tough.)

One hundred percent isn't a reasonable goal for your company. Bob would be exhausted, probably within the first day. However, what if Bob completed 20 hours of work orders. That's fifty percent. Could he squeeze out a little more? If the average stays about fifty percent with the pursuit of higher, wouldn't that be satisfactory productivity? Especially if, before you started using a CMMS, that percentage was a lot lower.

Now, add in the hours of the other workers, crews, and crafts in your company and calculate that attainment.

You know, if you're using the CMMS from Mapcon Technologies Inc., those calculations are a lot easier. Math wasn't my best subject in school but with MAPCON, I can run all sorts of reports and see the results without my having to resort to a calculator.

Image: man working on machineBefore I discuss those reports, sidestep to what I mentioned above—crews and crafts. You may have teams of workers for certain jobs. This may be because that's what the job requires, or you may have discovered a crew/craft is more efficient than letting one person do it all. Because of this, one of the ways MAPCON helps attainment is to dispatch work orders to individual workers, crews, crafts, and departments. You can dispatch them to each member of the crew, so everyone knows the job at hand.

If your CMMS is equipped with a module, such as MAPCON's Advanced Human Resources module, you'll find a menu labeled Attainment Reports under the HR tile. Within this menu, are 16 reports. Don't feel overwhelmed. It's likely you won't need all of them.

The groups of attainment reports are: by Craft, Crew, Shift, and Employee. Each is divided into Weekly and Monthly reports. Each of those can be viewed as detailed or summary. Within these reports are various filters to let you see exactly what you want.

As mentioned above, what reports you generate you will be determined by your company's goal. What are you looking for in the way of filling out a workload? How minutely do you want to monitor 'non-wrench' time?

Attainment is one way of measuring productivity. It'll be up to the admin to make sure all the information is inputted for the correct results.

If you're interested in having the powerful Advanced Human Resources module or have questions regarding Attainment, call 800-922-4336.


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: attainment, maintenance — Stephen Brayton on May 06, 2022