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11/24/2008 12:00:00 AM
Compiled by FacilitiesNet Staff
Very few companies relish the idea of spending money on computerized maintenance management software (CMMS). Maintenance departments are sometimes simply viewed as a cost of doing business, and in a difficult economy, maintenance departments are among the first to experience budget cuts.
Fortunately, computerized maintenance management software is one tool that can help mangers reshape the image of maintenance departments by showing how maintenance is valuable to the organization.
For example, improving equipment performance by reducing downtime is one important function of maintenance departments. This can be done by tracking the overall equipment effectiveness (OEE), which has three components:
•Availability, or the percentage of time a piece of equipment is ready to work
•Utilization, which is the rating of the machine that is available from the manufacturer
•Quality rate, which is how well the equipment actually operates. Out of every 100 hours of operation, how many of them meet company standards and requirements?
Unfortunately, U.S. companies have an average OEE of only 40 percent, which is less than one-half of the acceptable level according to world-class standards. For example, assume for every hour of downtime, the organization loses $1,000. Since it is common for equipment to be down for a few weeks each year, assume downtime of 100 hours annually.
In this example, the company will lose $100,000 in the 100 hours of downtime. Multiply that by the pieces of equipment in the facility, and the losses could be staggering. If an appropriate PM program is in place, it can minimize downtime and save a great deal of money.
How Maintenance Management Software Can Reduce Downtime
Maintenance management software can help managers assure the high quality of both the equipment condition and its performance. So maintenance management software is not just a means of controlling maintenance. It is a primary tool for improving maintenance productivity. Key maintenance management software functions include: generating, planning, and reporting work orders; developing a traceable history; and recording parts transactions.
Managers can deliver a number of benefits through the efficient use of maintenance management software. Benefits include increased labor productivity, increased equipment availability and performance, and longer equipment life.
Of these, one of the most significant is increased labor productivity. If maintenance management software provides technicians with a planned job, the procedures, needed parts and tools, they should be able to work without delays or interruptions. They also should be able work more safely, since job plans would describe all of the required safety procedures.
The additional, tangible benefits of a maintenance management software include: reduced overtime; less reliance on contractors; reduced maintenance backlog; reduced cost per repair; improved morale; better service; less paperwork; and reduced follow-up required by supervisors.