Not just for maintenance: How CMMS benefits other functions
It’s true that Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is typically designed for maintenance operations. With the advancement of cloud-based CMMS/EAM, however, well-designed platforms have become an essential system for other departments within, and outside of, the organization. A Spend Matters interview with Michael Croasdale, senior project manager at Source One Management Services, relays that MRO service providers should be lock-step in line with client companies, to the degree that they’re sharing "specific data to benchmark pricing, [ensuring] service levels exceed industry standard and [helping] to institute industry best practices." One way to maintain this alignment, of course, is through supplier access to the client’s CMMS. Internally, functions such as human resources, EH&S, QA/QC, engineering, operations, supply chain, and finance also stand to benefit from regular usage of CMMS.
As Part 1 of this series, we’ll look at how engineering and quality can experience improvements in their respective business processes through their CMMS roles and maintenance collaboration.
Let’s set the scene: While performing calibrations recently, your quality manager found unsatisfactory deviations in feed rates from a volumetric feeder, according to the Asset Trend Analysis generated by your CMMS. An automatic e-mail notification is generated by the CMMS, based on the equipment’s condition, to an engineer to troubleshoot the issue.
Your engineer then creates a PM work order, defining the appropriate tasks or steps in the correct order and references the necessary documentation, associating parts, estimated hours, and assigning the PM based on skill qualification. She checks the PM procedures against Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), but finds a PM task is incorrect when returning the equipment back to service, however. The PM procedure is then revised with added verification steps, including a series of work order status approvals, and uploaded "visual aids" when setting load cells.
The assigned PM work order is routed through your maintenance planner for actual technician assignment, which is confirmed after checking your CMMS’ PM planner to avoid scheduling conflicts and unnecessary overtime. The assigned tech receives an automatic e-mail notification of the PM work order and also sees the new PM listed on his CMMS Dashboard. He performs the work as requested, following the outlined steps, indicates the material used, and records his labor through the CMMS’ mobile app labor timer on his iPhone. The tech adds a few comments about the feeder and his/her signature to complete the work order.
Your maintenance supervisor receives an automatic e-mail notifying her of the completed work order, which requires her signature approval. After reviewing the work, the supervisor is satisfied and signs off on the work order. The quality manager receives notification of this approved, completed work order via an automatic e-mail. He/she can go about other tasks, as he knows that the feeder issue has been addressed successfully.
But what if your maintenance supervisor isn’t satisfied with the tech’s work or the current status of the feeder? She/he can reject the work order, re-routing it back to the maintenance planner and the tech. The work order can be re-opened for continued work by the same tech or re-assigned by the planner as needed. This is just one sample, CMMS business process workflow out of many different variations that may include multi-layered approval processes, routing, and notification setups. But by incorporating your quality and engineering teams into an advanced CMMS, you can enable better communication, increased productivity, and improved efficiency across your enterprise.