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You dread waking up every morning at 6:30 AM at this point in your career.
It is not because you dislike your job.
It's because you feel overwhelmed.
Your property does not look good. Your boss is breathing down your neck because your operation is a mess.
Your CMMS is older than your eighteen-year-old kid.
You despise using the application because it's cumbersome.
You cannot keep track of your vendors.
Your materials and labor are convoluted.
Engineers and technicians get their paper checklists of work to do each week.
However, nothing seems to get done on time.
For the last year, you have felt your maintenance operation is a lost cause.
However, this weekend gave you time to think.
You want to change.
It is time for your current operation to be a distant memory.
You need to change.
"I want to be remembered as the man who kicked the status quo in the rear end," you whisper to yourself.
After rushing to get dressed, you head to your property.
You walk briskly through the parking lot, into your property, and burst through the office doors.
"Jim, it's time to change!" you shout to your lead technician.
He gives you a blank stare while he waits for you to elaborate.
"We need to find a solution that helps keep everyone on track with their projects.
Will you help me find a solution to this problem?"
After seven minutes of scouring the internet, you land on this article, and your property operation changes forever.
Don't believe us? Keep reading.
Consider what is involved in completing a project on your property.
Let us walk through a scenario.
A staff member from Administration walks the property every morning.
Today, they identify a broken leg on the couch in one of your lounge areas.
They need to communicate the defective equipment to your team.
Then, a work order needs to be created, tracked, and updated accordingly.
Along the way, your technician finds more parts that need repair.
The repairs add up to over $1000, which requires approval.
Jerry, the technician working on this project, needs some information on how to fix the furniture.
He requires access to a manual and documentation about the manufacturer.
For this simple example alone, there's a lot to track.
Now, multiply this by many other projects under your leadership.
Projects can get messy.
How do you keep your staff on track?
You use CMMS software.
You might even be able to reduce the number of repair projects staff needs to complete by preventing projects like this altogether.
We will get to this below.
A good CMMS software brings all your needs together in a web-based solution that eliminates the cumbersomeness of legacy systems.
Nowadays, with the advent of modern property equipment, your team has more responsibility than previously.
Progressive solutions keep your staff on track.
Here's how maintenance management software helps your team get things done.
Your current system is not paperless.
This is a significant drawback and prevents your staff from doing what you need them to do.
"Our paperless system does X, Y, and Z.
It makes our work orders easier to understand when we print them out."
Does this sound familiar?
Handing work order information to your staff on a printed document is not 'paperless.'
They are walking around with paper!
You need a system where you create, track, edit, and efficiently communicate work orders to your team.
This ensures nothing gets missed, but you also reduce the time it takes to handle work orders.
How is that for a bonus?
Be sure that things are getting done.
Know who is responsible for a project and hold them accountable.
The best way to understand 'Chain of Command' is with a story.
Your technician, Rich, is working on an air handler.
He has concluded that it would be more cost-effective to fix the equipment rather than replacing it altogether.
The cost of the replacement parts will run $1,450 to $1,550.
What would happen in your current operation?
Who approves this?
Does it need to be approved by you directly?
Organize this using advanced maintenance software.
Rich will be able to submit a purchase request for $1,550 based on specific criteria you define:
The purchase request is sent to the associated person for approval.
$1,500 may be on the lower end of what you are used to having for purchase requests.
Jim, your lead technician, might only need to approve the request rather than you.
This ability reduces the time it takes to move purchase requests through the funnel.
Rich has a project schedule to stick to, and this keeps him moving along.
Preventing stuff from breaking is a big challenge for leaders.
It is a vital process you need to control.
It is also one of the most troublesome aspects of what you do.
Preventive maintenance (PM) can be quite complicated.
But it does not have to be.
Implement a solution that will reduce your inefficiencies while simultaneously increasing the effectiveness of your preventive maintenance.
You can reduce the number of equipment breaks, which keeps your staff ahead of the game.
PM lets you manage and track:
This capability is powerful because you, yourself, can keep the big picture on track.
Follow preventive maintenance in a calendar format with an ability to drag and drop schedules to change dates.
Manage your activities with ease, so nothing slows you down.
View your scheduled activities on a global view:
We call this Proactive Operations.
Ensuring that your staff complete maintenance projects the way you need them to is an obstacle many leaders face.
Do you find yourself fighting the never-ending battle of operational consistency?
All of these are projects your team will have to take on eventually. Don't wait to be on track. Put them on track immediately.
They can start producing today. Reduce the time it takes to complete maintenance projects the right way.
Create web-based checklists for performing all types of projects. Use your lists to direct your staff and keep your property humming.
If there is one thing to take your team off track – it's not having materials available in inventory!
Do you ever run to get material only to find you are out of what you need?
Avoid this mess and the increase in costs that result.
It is essential to reduce the problems of low or unavailable inventory, especially when you need to get stuff done.
When the time to reorder material is close, the system will alert you.
Now your team always has what they need to complete their projects.
Leaders like to be in control of their property's physical and financial wellbeing.
In order to reduce downtime, error rates, anything causing your staff to go off course or their ability get projects completed timely and within budget, requires constant evaluation.
Using reports in maintenance software lets you organize, manage, and analyze useful data, which allows you to optimize the performance of your operation.
See the data how you need to see it.
Always work to find more ways to increase the efficiency of your team and enjoy the success.
It feels good.
Implementing a CMMS solution is a significant investment. But not doing anything is costing you more money than the long-term return on investment you will realize.
There is no better day than today to put and keep your property's vital projects on track.
Do you agree?
Editor's note: This post was originally published in May 2016 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and freshness.