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September 8, 2010 -
This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media, with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is identifying the most underused functions of a CMMS.
Computerized maintenance management systems, or CMMS, are among the most powerful tools managers have for achieving maintenance and engineering goals. But a handful of commonly underused CMMS functions exist, and managers should keep them in mind during the specification process and after the CMMS is operating.
First, a Web-request system. Many organizations do not push customers to use these modules because they prefer to take work-order requests over the phone and perform data entry manually. But allowing customers to make requests via the Web creates real-time savings and status updates, and it gives customers the ability to track their requests and view costs any time.
Preventive maintenance, or PM. Many CMMS have a PM module, but few organizations use it to perform predictive-maintenance tasks, including infrared thermography, leak detection, and vibration and oil analysis. Many organizations use preventive and predictive interchangeably, but they are two different types of tasks the same PM module can generate.
Warehouse and inventory control. This feature allows: documentation with purchase orders; receipt of parts into warehouses; charging of parts to work orders; and selling parts to other departments via sales orders. The warehouse and inventory control module is even more useful when combined with the PM module.
Timekeeping. Most technicians punch a time clock, but many managers do not break down that time by the hours and minutes technicians spend on specific jobs. Using the timekeeping function helps managers better understand the way technicians use their time. The number of hours on a work order is a major element in the cost of a job, so linking work-order time to the actual available hours in a workday makes sense.
Finally, human resources. These modules track everything from managing position-control numbers to promotions and certifications. Managers also can use this module to monitor charge rates, which should include benefit and overhead costs.
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