Tangible reasons why you should be considering using a mobile solution as part of your EAM/CMMS strategy
Reduce Overall Maintenance Repair Cost
The best reason to use a mobile solution in your maintenance function is to increase efficiency.
Industry experts believe an increase of 35% in maintenance efficiencies can be achieved by introducing the use of mobile technology. Who could not use another 35% in their budget? Of course, this will vary with each organization but just imagine how much time can be saved by reviewing your inventory and reserving an item before arriving at the storeroom. Multiply this time savings by the number of work orders completed in a year and the savings are immense.
Increase Productive Work (Wrench) Time
Industry is finding, on average, an increase in wrench time of about 13% when using mobile devices in the field. Not only will we now save time by reducing “returning time” to look for inventory but we also start to find other efficiencies:
- We will have the procedure we need in our hands instantly when a problem is discovered
- We will know the safety procedure, the task list and the tools required at the job sight
- We will no longe need to return to the office to get a piece of paper or need to find another individual to pass the paper to at shift change.
The resulting increase in automation and work flow represents big dollar savings for a maintenance budget.
Increase Asset Availability. Reduce Unplanned Downtime
An increase in asset availability averaging 17% can be achieved by mobilization. We can now be informed instantly when an asset it down and can inform head office instantly when an asset is back up and running. No longer will production need to wait for the maintenance worker to hand in a piece of paper or a data clerk to record the information into the CMMS. This information is available instantly. This dissemination of information takes less effort on the maintenance workers part and allows them to move onto the next job quickly.
Drive /improved Practices by Enforcing Standard Work Practices
Use of a mobile device ensures that the field worker has the correct information, like safety procedures and spare parts lists, at their fingertips. This helps to ensure that both the well being of the worker and proper steps are followed in repairing an Asset. We have all experienced an emergency repair situation where the most important thing is to get the Asset up and running. We simply do not have time to go back to the office and print a Work Order with the task list, parts list and tool list. In a best case scenario one person works on the problem while another goes to find the parts. Imagine doing your diagnosis of the problem and having a list of everything you need at your fingertips without having to leave the job site? The efficiencies that can be realized are immense.
Reduce Entry Errors and Omissions
Several systems have “Start/ Stop” functionality which ensures the accurate recording of the time spent repairing an asset. With this kind functionality, coupled with a mobile device; a worker simply presses a button to start recording their time spent on a job, if they are called away they pause the recording of time and restart it when they recommence the work. When they complete the work, they are prompted for closing remarks. No longer will clerical staff be forced to track down a worker to have them interpret their closing remarks. This flow of information can help to eliminate the unnecessary downtime from important closing comment not getting to the appropriate person in a timely fashion. This flow of information will help ensure that the appropriate people, have the correct information which will in turn allow them to schedule further corrective action before a failure.
Electronically Capture: Readings, Photos, Signatures
Photos of issues can be provided to managers to allow them to see the issue that a technician may be describing to them. This ensures the greatest amount experience can review a problem at anytime from anywhere. How many times as a manager have you thought, “I cannot be everywhere”? With mobile technology, you can now review any problem virtually. In addition, these photos can be stored with the work order or equipment record for future reference.
Update systems and Asset Availability Immediately
Mobile monitoring can ensure that an assets availability is always know thus reducing downtime and increasing uptime which as we all realize is one of the primary functions, if not the primary function; of maintenance.
While it can be substantial, the greatest cost savings for mobilizing an organization is not the elimination of paper. In stead, it is getting the information recorded and delivered to the correct people in the most efficient fashion, thus improving asset availability, increasing uptime and customer satisfaction. A correctly implemented mobile solution is a win- win for everyone. The case for going mobile can be compelling. Stay tuned for upcoming articles where we will review hardware selection and implementation strategies.