Making Computerized Sense of Maintenance

Keep production in process through effective monitoring and reporting of equipment status.

With harsh economic times having an impact on organizations throughout the world, cutbacks in operations and conservation of capital are typical management reactions. However, argues software provider Clive, Iowa-based Mapcon, these are the best times for investments in computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). One reason is reduced downtime that translates into increased production. Teamed with enterprise asset management (EAM), inventory reductions can be achieved. As the company points out, EAM means inventory and parts are purchased only when needed. Additionally, CMMS permits looking up parts and checking stock as needed.

Mapcon also notes that CMMS helps eliminate contractor costs. “Managed maintenance keeps repairs in house using a more efficient work crew,” it claims. “CMMS focuses crew time on work orders designed to keep the plant moving. Result? No maintenance log jams requiring expensive contractor time. This outcome creates not only a savings on labor but also a savings on parts.”

For its part, among other offerings, Mapcon has three CMMS products. Mapcon Lite includes a wide range of features, such as work-order and work-request control, preventive maintenance procedures, scheduling, work-order generation and equipment management, meters and gauges, among others.

Mapcon Jemms is designed for use by large, multi-site organizations. Web-based, it includes fully integrated report generation, inventory management and integrated security profiling. Mapcon Professional offers a complete work-order management system, equipment management and failure analysis and real-time inventory control, among its other features.

There are a number of other companies offering CMMS/EAM products. Mainsaver, for example, provides its CMMS solution as an integrated portion of its EAM framework. The provider's premise in developing its software is that maintenance processes that maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) inventory management are directly linked to revenue-producing assets.

As the company describes its offering, the Mainsaver EAM/CMMS application is designed to serve as an organization's primary asset management toolkit and information repository. Fully integrated into Mainsaver are maintenance planning, work-flow management, MRO inventory and purchasing.

Since it's enterprise-wide, Mainsaver delivers interoperability between major finance, production and plant-floor systems, allowing for information sharing and collaboration among all departments.

Having a short learning curve and being easy to use are two important characteristics of these CMMS offerings. They are given particular emphasis in the offerings by ManagerPlus. As the company explains, programs are designed to be very intuitive yet powerful. The program is built for users without a lot of computer experience. It has easy-to-understand screens, simple navigation and help menus.

Among other program features are preventive maintenance, scheduling, tool tracking, repair histories, a work-order system, fuel and oil tracking and more. The program also provides a number of powerful reports to help analyze inventory, maintenance, budgets, labor, repair history, work orders and expenses.

Aimed at small-to-mid-sized companies, ManagerPlus is available in three versions: standard, pro and enterprise. Benefits include reduced downtime, improved asset life, improved inventory management and elimination of most paperwork.

Keep Clear of Trouble

Offered by Western Management Consultants is a white paper, “Ten Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting a CMMS/EAM.” Written by David Berger, the paper covers in detail 10 of the more common mistakes companies make when looking for a new or replacement CMMS/EAM.

Berger is director of the company, a certified management consultant and an adjunct professor at Toronto's York University, where he has taught operations management for the MBA program for 23 years.

Send requests for the white paper to www.wmc.ca.

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