Making warehouse management efficient and better through CMMS

Here are seven ways CMMS can help with warehouse management and boost production.

Lindsey Walker is marketing manager at Nexgen Asset Management. Courtesy: Lindsey Walker, NexgenWarehouse management is a summation of several crucial tasks. A manager not only has to manage the content and assets of the warehouse, but also manage employees and schedule repairs and preventive maintenance, to name a few. For a long time, these tasks were performed manually, but now technology is being incorporated to achieve the same. Industries are implementing computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) in their warehouses to manage them more efficiently.

Incorporating a warehouse-management system will ensure a warehouse runs smoothly and efficiently by automating the processes. Technology helps in tackling various challenges and problems faced by warehouse management, such as increasingly complex supply chains, raising productivity, managing inventory, etc. Technology assists in complying with constant changes in the industry and helping companies stay competitive. CMMS comes with a host of advantages for warehouse and stock management. Let us look at some of them.

Higher efficiency achieved at organizing, managing

One of the biggest advantages of a CMMS is that it is in the cloud. This allows managers to access the site from anywhere. You can organize information and warehouse-inventory details via the cloud in a systematic manner. If you need to track the merchandise, check the capacity of the warehouse, or map the inventory, you can do it through CMMS. You can address several warehouse issues without being physically present at the site. Moreover, communication gets faster as you can send work orders and reports straight to mobile devices.

Labor productivity increases

All the information required by maintenance personnel to carry out repair and maintenance work can be stored on the CMMS. With quick access to equipment details, such as information on spare parts, nameplate data, repair history, operating procedures, etc., it becomes possible to reduce repair time and the delays caused by them. The maintenance team can complete work more efficiently without having to rely on third-party contractors for repair work. This increases overall labor productivity.

Equipment downtime reduces significantly

Downtime occurs when the processes have to be halted due to repairs and unexpected issues caused by lack of maintenance. CMMS helps in reducing the downtime, which directly impacts the productivity of the warehouse. You can store repair history, track trends, and collect data of crucial assets. This information helps managers plan maintenance repairs, perform a cost-benefit analysis, and predict machinery problems based on condition monitoring. This results in reduced downtime, which saves money.

Better control of inventory

You can achieve better inventory control through CMMS, as it provides a platform for vendor, purchasing and storeroom management. You can track various equipment, shipping costs, their orders and approvals, and storeroom levels. Purchase requests can be automatically created for approval, and you can create custom fields to track specific information about spare parts. The ability to control inventory through CMMS improves the response time, work order completion rates increase, and equipment downtime gets reduced significantly.

Inspections and audits management

Warehouse management cannot be complete without regulatory inspections, compliance, and safety audits. Some of the inspections that you need to carry out regularly throughout the facility include safety and hazard inspections, quality assurance, and meter readings. Through CMMS, you can use maintenance software inspections for building, scheduling, and performing various inspections. Moreover, you can upload the information and reports into the system in real time. This allows maintenance managers to access the data they need for warehouse operation and management, from any location.

Efficient preventive maintenance scheduling

Preventive maintenance helps in ensuring that equipment is functioning smoothly at all times by scheduling maintenance before the equipment fails. Actions like replacing critical parts before they get damaged, changing oil and lubricants, etc. optimize the overall performance of the assets and increase the production value. It can be quite a challenge to plan, schedule, and forecast preventive maintenance manually. Preventive maintenance schedules accurately translate to reduced downtime and optimized use of resources. Over-scheduling hinders labor projections and incurs unnecessary labor costs while under-scheduling may result in costly downtime. CMMS offers a user-friendly interface and the tools necessary for easy preventive maintenance scheduling.

Prolonged asset life

When proper and regular maintenance is carried out, you can increase the life of any asset. CMMS allows you to schedule preventive maintenance and repairs in such a manner that they do not coincide with machine use and production schedules. Regular maintenance ensures that equipment performs ideally and smoothly, thus prolonging its life.

— Lindsey Walker is marketing manager at Nexgen Asset Management. Edited by Joy Chang, digital project manager, CFE Media,

The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
Pipe fabrication and IIoT; 2017 Product of the Year finalists
The future of electrical safety; Four keys to RPM success; Picking the right weld fume option
A new approach to the Skills Gap; Community colleges may hold the key for manufacturing; 2017 Engineering Leaders Under 40
Control room technology innovation; Practical approaches to corrosion protection; Pipeline regulator revises quality programs
The cloud, mobility, and remote operations; SCADA and contextual mobility; Custom UPS empowering a secure pipeline
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Power system design for high-performance buildings; mitigating arc flash hazards
VFDs improving motion control applications; Powering automation and IIoT wirelessly; Connecting the dots
Natural gas engines; New applications for fuel cells; Large engines become more efficient; Extending boiler life

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
This digital report explains how plant engineers and subject matter experts (SME) need support for time series data and its many challenges.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me