The economic rollercoaster we currently are riding across North America affects each industry a bit differently. The manufacturing sector, as well as the oil and gas industry, are set for continued growth despite its challenges, including supply chain inconsistencies and labor shortages. Studies show that continued growth means manufacturing industry leaders must leverage digital technologies and adopt strategies to optimize their processes.
You may already be searching for the best CMMS software for manufacturing to streamline and tackle your many asset management and facility maintenance tasks. Finding the right computerized maintenance management system means taking a careful look at the ROI gained from each tool, as well as the utility within your organization. Just because a solution seems like a good fit doesn’t necessarily mean your team will use it or that it will fit into your budget.
Here are some tips on choosing the best CMMS software for manufacturing.
Justifying the Cost of a CMMS: Risk vs. Reward
Taking on what seems like the additional cost for a new tool can cause some hesitation, even if the long-term benefits outweigh any initial uncertainty. When considering the cost of implementing software designed for manufacturing, it’s important to calculate the return on investment rather than just the balance of your first bill.
If the top reason you are searching for maintenance management software is to improve efficiency and get more work done, calculate how much time your staff will save by using a digital CMMS, rather than paper documents or spreadsheets overrun with data.
If you’re looking to cut costs within your facilities, consider that hiring an assistant to handle incoming maintenance requests and keeping the team organized can cost upwards of $2,600 per month, whereas maintenance management software can handle those same responsibilities for 10 percent of that cost.
When comparing and contrasting manufacturing software solutions look for companies that offer unlimited users, no contracts and a free version so you can live with it for a bit and make sure it fits your company’s needs. Be sure to evaluate the pricing models (i.e. a one-time fee, a subscription or a per-user fee).
Finding the Right Features
The right manufacturing CMMS software will increase your efficiency and decrease your overall costs and lost revenue.
Some of the biggest maintenance costs in manufacturing (and even the oil and gas industry) come from regular equipment wear and tear, but also unexpected breakdowns and lost revenue due to a lack of forward thinking and tracking of asset performance. One hour of unplanned downtime now costs manufacturers at least 50 percent more than it did two years ago. In oil and gas, the cost of one hour of downtime has more than doubled in two years to almost $500,000 per hour.
While regular wear and tear is expected, when you are not accurately tracking each asset’s lifecycle, you can get hit with degraded or failing parts at the worst possible time. This leads to costly rush shipping of parts, overtime pay for maintenance staff and non-functioning equipment, halting production. The right CMMS gives you the tools to streamline asset management and schedule and plan preventive maintenance, so you know when to expect downtime and how to prepare for it to minimize costs.
Here’s a peek behind the curtain: The best CMMS for manufacturing will include preventive maintenance features that trigger actions based on estimates from historic data. You can create an informed maintenance plan based on automation, asset performance monitoring and real insights from your facility and asset management.
Energy and consumable manufacturing companies must adhere to and stay abreast of a regular schedule of inspections and compliance checks, as well as governmental guidelines and requirements. Using the right CMMS gives you a system in which to upload documentation and compliance checklists, as well as serial numbers and pertinent information about each asset. Rather than manual paper systems that risk becoming disorganized or out of date, keeping all of your compliance data digitized and immediately accessible via the cloud gives you the ability to be agile, efficient and responsive.
Work Order Assignment
A CMMS with a user-friendly interface gives you an immediate view of your current and completed task lists. Allow individuals to digitally submit work orders, assign those tasks, adjust and switch jobs, read notes and attachments and send reminders and push notifications, all from one platform. Your team will know exactly what needs to be accomplished and when, and you can receive updates at every step from your platform of choice.
In manufacturing, your staff is likely working all across different spheres of your business, from the plant to the road to out in the field with clients. Finding a CMMS that includes a mobile app allows your entire workforce to access the same information no matter where they are. If, for example, an employee in the field runs into an issue like an inaccurate meter, they can put a work order in via the mobile app directly from the client’s property. In the plant, your foreman can see the status, priority and associated tasks with in-house work orders, testing and other in-process maintenance.
Onboard with Ease
After you’ve determined the specific CMMS needs of your businesses from an operational perspective, talk to your stakeholders about what you need from a user perspective. Identify key team members who will use the software and get their buy-in on specific solutions as you test-run options.
Consider the ease of implementation and training required to get your team up to speed with the CMMS software. Look for providers that offer standout customer support from day one through your everyday use of the software. Research the reputation and track record of the CMMS software providers on your shortlist, considering factors like the number of years in business, customer base and customer satisfaction. Be wary of companies that don’t have reviews readily available — or those with negative or misleading reviews.
Gather a list of other software solutions you currently and regularly use, and consider how your CMMS will integrate with your current tools, such as inventory management or accounting software. You want data sharing to be as streamlined and efficient as possible.
The final step is to pick one and get started! Give a no-strings-attached look at CMMS built for manufacturing through a complimentary demo. Put in the time now to save yourself the cost of downtime in the future.