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CMMS Identifies Variances in Work Orders

By Kris Bagadia, author - February 2009 - Software


Properly specified and implemented, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can deliver benefits to departments that go far beyond record keeping. By not fully using a CMMS, maintenance and engineering managers are foregoing opportunities to save their departments and organizations time and money.

By enabling technicians to gather and store vital information in its database and giving managers valuable data to analyze, a CMMS can help managers make smarter decisions. But it is essential to know how to use the CMMS data effectively, to ensure everyone understands the importance of having meaningful data in the system, and to design and implement codes into the system that allow managers to access data and make meaningful interpretations.

Based on the type and amount of data entered into the system and the type of analysis performed using the power of the CMMS, managers can deliver a host of benefits to the department’s productivity, as well as the organization’s bottom line.

Estimated and Actual Times

Technicians should enter the estimated time on as many work orders as possible. It can be difficult to put estimated times on some emergency and breakdown repair work orders. But technicians can assign estimated times for all preventive maintenance (PM) and other planned work orders. If managed properly, these should account for the majority of the work orders.

Once a job is completed, the technician should enter actual time spent on the job into the system. Most technicians just enter the total actual time, but they also should record overtime and double time.

A CMMS can report the variance between the estimated and actual times. Managers should analyze this variance closely and identify the reasons it occurred. Either the estimate is inaccurate, or someone is not following the instructions, and therefore, actual time is off.

Another possibility is technicians are entering wrong actual times. Based on the finding, managers should enter the corrected data. In time, managers will have a valuable database of time estimates with which to work. The database helps compare the work of two technicians doing an identical job, such as a PM task. If a significant time difference exists, a manager can analyze it to find the reason and take corrective action.

The database also helps planning a job because if managers know the amount of time it will take to finish the task, it enables them to forecast staffing requirements more accurately.

Finally, it can help produce a report of overtime logged for a given time period, which can act as a tool for justifying additional staffing.





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