April 10, 2023
The Value Of A CMMS
"Values are like lighthouses; they are signals giving us direction, meaning, and purpose." – Recruiter Journal
How do you measure value? Sometimes it's easy to recognize. My Dodge Dart has more value to me than a pickup, mainly because of the good gas mileage it offers. On the other hand, a farmer or construction worker receives more value from the truck than he would a smaller sedan.
However, finding value in a product or a service can be a complex process and may not be known until much later. An article from 2015 at Phase2 offers excellent insight to determine value. They give the formula of Value = Benefit/Cost. Yes, there are downsides to this but for the most part, it is comprehensible and useful. As consumers, we use this to judge the value of an item we purchase. Did it fulfill its purpose, and was it worth the cost? We've all been disappointed by a gadget, tool, or other product when it didn't live up to expectations, didn't work at all, or didn't meet our needs. Remember the feeling that money was wasted?
Companies that use services or products in their operations can understand the value of cost-efficiency and effectiveness. Wasting money cuts into the bottom line.
What about companies that invest in a computerized maintenance management system for maintenance and perhaps purchasing? What is the value of a CMMS to them? Let's look at six areas within such a system and judge the value of each.
This isn't the first point but flows through all points. A huge value in a CMMS is that everything that follows is found in one place. No need to use one software to handle assets and another to process purchasing, and so on.
Each business will be different in how it uses the CMMS, but the commonalities are enough for an understandable discussion.
Spreadsheets are wonderful for certain records but understand their limitations and difficulty in maintaining organization trying to keep up with a growing and evolving business.
However, a CMMS does so much more for the list of assets.
In a CMMS, there are data fields for description, associated inventory, any preventive maintenance, and vendor information.
Value: As mentioned above, this is all in one place, although perhaps under different tabs in the listing. However, this is more easily organized and navigable than a spreadsheet.
Part of managing assets is keeping track of their 'health.' Some of this is done with routine inspections and follow-up PM. Another way would be to record readings of meters and gauges in the CMMS. If a worker uses the mobile application, the readings can be put directly into the system. No need to write them down to later transfer to a spreadsheet.
Value: Efficiency. The CMMS keeps a record of equipment health.
Overall Value: With an overview of all assets and the ability to call up information on specific assets—especially when away from the desktop app—the maintenance team has a better handle on how repairs and PMs are processed and conducted.
As with assets, a CMMS stores the listings of inventory with data for description, spec, quantity, package size, and vendor information.
Value: Again, all in one place. An extra value is, if set up correctly, the CMMS can auto-generate a purchase order if the quantity is too low.
One policy for many stockrooms is an issue/return system. As one supervisor quoted, "No work order, no part." Basically, you're signing out parts/tools/supplies and returning the tool and whatever else wasn't used, so everything can go back to the proper places. The CMMS handles the 'give and take' with efficiency.
Another routine done by maintenance is a physical count of inventory. The CMMS can ease the process by helping supervisors set up the specific count sheets in terms of what and how many are to be counted, print those count sheets, and reconcile the incoming totals. Yes, the count can be time-consuming, but scheduling several smaller counts instead of a massive all-out-entire-stockroom count is more manageable and the CMMS is there to assist.
Value: Both issue/return and the physical count through a CMMS help maintain accurate quantities. Less chance of items going missing. Less chance you'll run short and help you determine if you have too many items hampering cost-effectiveness.
Another area in inventory management that a CMMS organizes is stockroom layout. Assign each item a specific location.
Value: Less search time. Less chance of items going missing. Less chance of inventory piling up with no one knowing what they're for or where a specific item is. Again, location keeps you from running short or having an excess.
Work Order Management
The list of preventive maintenance jobs is organized, cycles created, and jobs scheduled.
Value: PMs reduce unplanned downtime, extend asset life, and keep equipment as close to peak performance as possible.
Work orders through a CMMS can be clearly defined with job steps, priorities, checklists, and safety procedures. They're properly scheduled. A bill of materials can be attached. Work orders can be dispatched to the correct personnel
Value: Efficiency and effectiveness in completing the jobs.
Even if a separate department handles purchasing, it can still use the same CMMS as maintenance.
Vendor information, shipping/payment terms, line-item details, a place for blanket purchase order items, process receiving, what assets the inventory is for, and invoice reconciliation.
Value: Better purchasing organization. Again, using the same system means fewer conflicts and better cross-referencing.
Regarding blanket purchase orders, the value comes in time and cost savings. Lists of multiple items bought from individual vendors make it easier to choose the inventory that's needed. Money is saved by having multiple items on one purchase order rather than several purchase orders for one vendor. Once you create blanket purchase order for those vendors, they'll stay in the CMMS record. It's like 'set it and forget it'…well, don't forget to use them when purchasing.
A quality CMMS will offer reports for any data inputted. Lists, cost reports for labor and material, and key performance Indicators (KPI) reports.
Value: With the CMMs printing, downloading to certain file types, or emailing reports, maintenance employees and management form a clearer view of the cost for maintenance and production and where improvements can be made.
With many products and services, customer support is wishy-washy, apathetic, or nonexistent. Value=low or zero. With a CMMS being a beneficial and vital part of your operation, customer service needs to be top-notch. Knowledgeable trainers, support, and IT will move that value up.
Later in the Phase2 article, the author mentions that value is not constant and needs regular revaluation. This makes sense. Think of assets. Year by year, they lose a percentage of value until a time arrives when the cost of repair/upkeep is more than buying new. (A good CMMS also can track depreciation stats.)
As for the system itself, it can't be static. The vendor needs to offer customization for customers with special circumstances or unique needs. The vendor needs to update the system and provide new features to keep up with that ever-changing business world. Otherwise, the value of the CMMS drops.
Value: A concept we constantly strive to measure and understand. We all enjoy a good deal. We also look for that which provides benefits at a fair cost.
For a superb CMMS, look no further than Mapcon Technologies. 800-223-4336. Visit the website to see how businesses see the value of MAPCON.