Setting and Achieving Goals in 2023

Modern Maintenance Setting and Achieving Goals

January is the start of a new year, which usually means we hear a lot about New Year’s resolutions. We make them, get all excited, and about a month or so later we forget them. I like to keep it simple, no “New Year, new me” cliches, just plain goals. I have an idea of the things I want to do, see, and achieve next year. I write them down and make a plan to fit it all in. Do I always get it right? No. This way of thinking, however, has slightly tricked my brain into actually working toward my goals all year. Unfortunately, to achieve any goal takes more than a little brain trickery. Having an idea of what your goals are is just the start. You then need to write them down, get everyone involved who needs to be, brainstorm how to achieve them, put the plan into action, and then do the work. Let’s breakdown what it will take for you to achieve goals in your department this year.

Corporate hands down many of the maintenance departments’ goals: decrease downtime or spending; increase productivity or revenue; cut costs and increase profits. These are the basis of most, if not all, company goals. Cutting costs is a little too broad though; you’ll want to be as precise as possible. For instance, “cutting costs by 10 percent while increasing production by 5 percent” is specific. That kind of specificity gives you and your team a very clear goal to work toward.

Once you’ve gotten your goal(s) set, you’ll need to brainstorm ideas to make it happen. Start by getting your entire team involved. They work with the assets day in and day out, which can help pinpoint problem areas as well as give ideas on how to do things a little differently. No idea is a bad idea, it just may not be a good fit. Go through each idea and discuss the pros and cons. Team involvement connects everyone with the goals while improving a team-like atmosphere.

Now that you have a plan of action, write it down. Research has shown you are 42 percent more likely to achieve goals if they are written down and 76 percent more likely to achieve your goals if you write action commitments and share weekly progress reports. Set milestones or key performance indicators (KPIs) and review them weekly. I’m going out on a limb here in assuming most company goals are set with a 12-month timeline. If yours are not, make sure you know exactly when the goals need to be achieved. As it’s been said, “A goal without a deadline is just a dream.”

By using a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) such as MaintiMizer™, you’ll be able to track goals easily. Take a look at your reports from last year and break them down week by week or month by month. Whatever makes the most sense for you and your team. We understand every month is not the same; you could have spent more money in January than you did in April. If you have your cost reports from January of last year, compare them to January of this year. Using our sample goal from above, if you spent $6,000 last January, you’ll want to make sure this January you spend $600 less. This is just one way to set KPIs and track your goals. Be sure to set KPIs that make sense for your company.

Now that the initial legwork is done, it’s time to hold yourself and the team accountable for achieving these goals. Using the KPIs you set, make sure you are reviewing them as often as needed. If your team is falling behind and you’ve only been checking KPIs once a month, move into weekly progress checks. If there seems to be a big gap between where you are versus where you need to be, take a look at your action plan. Is there anything more you can do? Anything that needs to be done differently? Are your technicians properly trained for their tasks? Do you have the right technicians working on the assets that best suit their abilities? Review, assess, and change up the plan as needed. No need to change the goal, just the steps to get there.

When done correctly, goal setting is effective and often critical to success. Goals energize performance, motivate teams to persist in activities over time, and focus people’s attention. Set your goals, write them down, and have your CMMS help keep the whole team on track. Your CMMS can be your best friend when it comes to tracking KPIs, so make sure it’s set up properly and kept up to date. Keep momentum going all year long with this formula, and you will achieve goals for your department consistently.


Modernizing Maintenance

Modern Maintenance


What does modernizing maintenance mean? It’s proper maintenance with limited interruptions to operations. To put it simply, it’s the practice of moving your maintenance department out of reactive maintenance and into preventative and even predictive maintenance strategies. With the help of Industry 4.0 tools and strategies, from Computerized Maintenance Software Systems (CMMS) and sensors to root cause analysis and asset criticality analysis, you’ll be able to build a plan to leave legacy systems behind and move into modern maintenance.

There are many different approaches you can take when it comes to modernizing your maintenance department. It all starts with the decision to do so. Then what? Ask yourself why you want to and where you want to end up. Your company could be looking at future expansions, reducing maintenance costs, improving operations, and more.  These are all good reasons that you’ll want to modernize your department and need to do so. Expansions will fail if your department isn’t ready for the workload, nor can you improve operations if you’re stuck in reactive maintenance.

You could simply want to make the lives of you and your employees easier, which is easier said than done, but it can happen. Modernizing your maintenance won’t happen overnight. It takes setting goals that align with corporate goals, updating any training you or your team may need, putting together a strategy that makes sense, putting your plan in action, and then reviewing and revising as you go.

Now that we have gotten into the why behind modernizing your maintenance department, let’s look at what it is and how it can help achieve your goals. Proper maintenance can look a little different from company to company, but at the end of the day, it’s all about keeping your assets running at their best throughout their expected life cycle. The best and simplest way to achieve that is by implementing a CMMS properly (note I said properly—that’s the most important part; don’t skimp on the implementation process and training on the program!) into your department, setting up a preventative maintenance program, and continually assessing your department and its goals. That may sound like a lot, but once you get into the groove of using these methods, you’ll see how much easier your department runs.

Over the course of the next 12 months, we will dissect each of these components with a series of blogs that I have put together with the help of my team. These informational blogs will help you take your plan to the next level—regardless of where you are in your journey—and include the following:

  • Reducing waste
  • Determining which reports in MaintiMizer™ to use based on your goals
  • Learning how to utilize MaintiMizer™ 5.0 widgets
  • Deciding why and how to use the data you get from those reports
  • Improving employee retention
  • Establishing asset criticality and asset hierarchy

Once you start implementing modern maintenance, the benefits will start rolling in. Benefits include better communication and accountability within your team, a better organized workflow, fewer asset failures and overtime hours, lower employee turnover, and a happier C-suite. All of this makes your organization and department a better place to work. Follow along with us over the next 12 months to get your department moving in the right direction.

5 Steps to Build Your Training Program

Ninety percent of employees surveyed agreed training and development programs improved their job performance. Below are 5 steps to build your training program.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) out there. You can pick one, install it, and start using it with no problem. You could probably even do that with MaintiMizer™. However, without proper training you’ll find yourself overwhelmed with the multiple functions and ways of doing the same thing, so you’ll find yourself asking, “What are these reports even for?” If you go through the motions when it comes to new things, whether it be a new job, software, or system, you’ll end up sliding back into the old way of doing things.

Every company is different and has its own systems, so training isn’t a one-size-fits-all situation. Tailoring your training program to your company’s unique needs is what makes the program successful. At Ashcom, when we’re asked to train our customers on our software, some of the first questions we ask are these: “What are your company’s goals?” and “What are your goals for this training?”

Sure, we can come in, show you how to use the program, and leave. But we don’t think that’s enough. It leaves a gap between how to use the program and why you’re using it. Implementing a strong training program is as easy as answering, “What do you expect your employees to be able to do after they complete the training?” This ideology applies to any training program within your company—training new hires, adding new business systems, and management training.

There are five points you need to remember when creating a training program: Identify, Compare, Observe, Create, and Reinforce. These points apply when an outside trainer works with your company as well. Here’s how we define these five points:

  1. Identify

Identify clear goals that support both the organization and the individuals being trained. What are you trying to accomplish within your organization? Answers may include improving company culture, improving communication, or increasing productivity.

  1. Compare

Compare what your employees do now with what they need to do to meet the objectives ahead. Do they need new certifications or software systems?

  1. Observe

Observe the learning styles of your employees. Everyone learns a little differently. Observing how your employees learn, whether it’s through video, in-person training, courses with workbooks and hands-on training, or a mix of styles will help your employees retain the information you need them to know.

  1. Create

Create materials relevant to your program. Examples include workbooks, manuals, how-to videos or an in-depth, hands-on training program.

  1. Reinforce

Follow-up with employees to see if they are on track with the new systems or if they need further instruction.

Implementing anything new should be followed by in-depth training. A study of organizations in Belgium found that productivity was 23 percent higher for trained employees compared to untrained employees. According to a 2019 Education tech Company Structure study, “Seventy percent of employees say they are at least somewhat likely to leave a current employer for one that invests in training and development.” Set your goals, then set up your training programs around those goals. You can improve employee morale and communication and set your company up for long-term success with proper training.

Here’s what a few of our customers have said about our training program:

“We have done a lot of training. This was the most positive feedback I have received on an outside training opportunity. I think the message, delivery, and material were relevant and done in a professional and knowledgeable way. I believe Gutchess Lumber will benefit greatly from this training. Kim followed up at each stage of the process and left our team with the tools to be successful. We have been underutilizing this program and I look forward to better efficiencies in the maintenance department.”

“Tim was very informative. Took time to explain all segments of MaintiMizer™ and answer all questions with patience. Knowledgeable and I believe he went above and beyond to answer all questions”

“Tim and Ka Lok both did an excellent job showing us how to use the system more effectively and any questions they were unsure of was sent to their company to get resolution. Tim is great at presenting and discussing this program. Some areas and issues can be sensitive to people and Tim will diffuse them with a way to make both parties understand.”




5 tips to avoid overwhelm when implementing a CMMS

5 Tips to avoid overwhelm when implementing a CMMS

Avoiding overwhelm when implementing a new software or system in your organization is much easier than it seems. According to “With most modern software packages, the greatest cost can be installation and implementation.  Prices vary dramatically but a rule of thumb is one to three times the cost of the software.” To avoid the overwhelming sticker shock and to see a return on your investment, be sure to implement your software properly. You are not just buying software when you invest in a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)—you are essentially changing the way you run your maintenance department.


Here are five steps to avoid overwhelm when implementing a CMMS to enjoy a better organized, efficient maintenance program while saving your company money.


  1. Research

Take the time to get to know what each software has to offer and why you may need or want certain features. Make a list of the things you need this software to tackle, and then narrow down your choices to a select few.


  1. Get Your Team Involved

Who will be using the software? Who will be managing it and who will be paying for it (if it is not you)? Present your list of needs for the software and ask if there’s anything missing. Also, ask what the top needs are—this will help narrow the search while giving your team ownership in the decision-making process. Present your top software choices and let your team view demos, features, and even be present on the initial sales call once you get to that point.


  1. Get Everyone on Board

After implementing steps one and two, getting everyone on board should be easy—or at least easier. Change is hard and making the greatest number of people happy is even harder. Take the path of least resistance by keeping everyone informed during the process. Achieving this step will help in decreasing the overwhelming nature of the task at hand.


  1. Training

I cannot stress this enough—make sure you understand all the components of the software. When it comes to a CMMS, some components can be overwhelmingly daunting. Ensure there is training available as well as a support team that suits your needs. If you prefer talking to actual people, makes sure that is an option. If you prefer videos, manuals, and quick how-to documents, make sure those are available. If you prefer hands-on training for you and your employees, make sure that is possible. Hands-on training from the software makers themselves can be worth its weight in gold. Learning how to implement a strong training program can be done, and our next blog will highlight how to do just that.


  1. Price Tag

Some people like to purchase whatever is cheapest, whereas others spend months hemming and hawing over whether they want anything at all because of the price. Let’s get real for a second — price should not be your main concern. We all have budgets to stick to; however, on average, it only takes about 14.5 months to recoup your initial investment on a CMMS. A CMMS can provide a maintenance cost reduction of as much as 25 to 30 percent. Reducing asset failures, employee downtime, and employee overtime only scratch the surface of what a CMMS can provide. I’m not saying you need to get the most expensive one—you should get the one that makes the most sense for your company. It may end up being the cheapest one after all. However, the price of a CMMS is nothing compared to the benefits of using one.


Here’s an indepth look at what a CMMS can do for you if implemented properly. Implement your CMMS properly the first time and enjoy your ROI, efficient workplace and productive, happy employees.

Using Data to Eliminate Obstacles

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) keeps your department organized, and the data it provides can help eliminate obstacles such as budget constraints, time and staffing issues, asset failures, and inventory issues. The data your CMMS provides helps to track and manage the money your department uses and gives a clear picture to decision makers. Being able to know where the money is going and why can alleviate the pressures of budgets and help you determine whether your department is spending too much in one area. Read more here about how to properly manage your inventory to help save time and money.

Saving time is a big deal at most companies. We’ve all heard the phrase “time is money.” The data a properly set up and maintained CMMS provides will give a clear picture of how time is spent in your department. For example, how long it takes work orders to be completed and the average downtime of both employees and assets, planned and unplanned. When you look at your dashboard with MaintiMizer™ 5.0 report widgets, you can have most of this information upon sign in. You can see open work orders, dead parts, bad actors (equipment), completed and on-time work orders, and reported versus scheduled work orders.

Administrators or maintenance schedulers can use the data from open work orders to see whether there are any major backlogs of work, find out why and how to fix the issues. Are work orders taking longer to complete than normal? Are you dealing with employee turnover or call offs? Are there missing parts or tools? Now that you know what is happening and why, you can adjust your preventative maintenance plan and how many work orders are being assigned daily, create an asset criticality plan, go over how much inventory you have on hand each week, or make a case for hiring more employees.

Once you’ve established a baseline of data by entering in all relevant information for work orders, inventory, employee time, and costs, you’ll be able to quickly notice any trends or random outliers in your data, such as a spike in open work orders or a sudden lack of inventory or extended downtime on assets or employees. When one of these outliers or trends pops up, you’ll be able to catch it and work to find the root cause. Take for example, the report widget “equipment bad actors” on your home screen—it will show whether there are assets that seem to be failing repeatedly or having extra work done on them. Seeing this and fixing the underlying issue before there’s a major breakdown—well, I don’t have to tell you why that’s important!

Obstacles are part of life. We can’t escape them all. But having the right tools and insights can help alleviate the major ones or reduce the number of obstacles so your department runs more efficiently. Create a plan in case the major obstacles are unavoidable. Maintenance doesn’t have to be a reactive profession.

Risk Assessment 101

Risk Assessment 101

When we see the words “risk assessment,” we can all probably take a good guess as to what it is. When it comes to working with machinery with many moving parts, at extreme temperatures, and at high speeds, injuries are more likely to happen, even for the most experienced maintenance tech. This is where risk assessment comes into play. To help keep employees, work areas, and buildings safe, some machinery requires a more thoughtful approach before work can be done on it. Risk assessment is the process that identifies hazards and risk factors, analyzes and evaluates those hazards, and then determines how to mitigate, control, or eliminate them.

Of course, there are many ways to go about the process, but typically, it takes only six steps:

  1. Identify the hazards.

Any and all hazards should be noted, whether they are natural, biological, workplace, intentional, technological, chemical, or psychological. Assemble a team that includes people who are unfamiliar with the workplaces as well as those who are familiar with them. That way you have fresh eyes looking for possible risks. Look at past accident reports involving the asset and determine whether an asset has parts that can be easily moved or damaged unintentionally (e.g., safety guards that can be removed).

  1. Decide who might be harmed and why.

Not only the technician working on the machine but also those who are around it can be harmed. Consider all the employees who are normally in the work areas surrounding the assets. You should also think about those who may have a different level of risk such as workers with disabilities, young or inexperienced workers, and new or expectant mothers.

  1. Evaluate the risks.

Now that you’ve listed the risks and who may be harmed, you should consider the likelihood of the risks happening and how much damage could occur. There is no one-size-fits-all template to determine the level of risk. Use your best judgment.

For example, if hazards can cause major injuries, (e.g., fractures, head injuries), poisoning, or even death, those would obviously be high risk. Furthermore, you should consider the probability of those risks happening. Could they happen once or twice a year or once in a working lifetime?

Evaluate the risks and ask yourself how likely they are to happen and what you can do to eliminate or control them. Is a properly fitted hard hat enough to protect from head injuries, or is a full insulated body suit better fit for the situation?

  1. Act to prevent risk.

Now is the time to write down the prevention protocols. A checklist would suffice here. Make sure no one else is near the machine that doesn’t need to be. Turn off or slow down the machine. Mandate wearing proper safety gear. Whatever protocols you decide on should be listed and abided by before work begins.

  1. Record your findings.

Depending on your industry, you may be required by law to have a written risk assessment for each asset. Record everything: how you identified the risks, who or what may be harmed, etc. (Every item from above). Be sure to have everything documented for employees and management to review.

  1. Review and adjust as needed.

Update your risk assessment protocols as needed. Ask relevant questions such as the following. Are there new machines around the existing one, and does that change who or what may be hurt or damaged? Did something happen during the last work order that no one thought of beforehand? Are the risks less than or worse than you originally planned?

Once you have your risk assessment process in place, you’ll use it each time you’re about to perform maintenance on a given asset. You’ll go through your checklist and make sure everything is in order. You may run into issues if not every box is checked where the assessment fails, and the machine is not ready to be worked on. You then need to find the issue or reason, fix it, and perform the assessment again. Once the assessment has passed, you can then perform work on the asset. This process is vital to workplace safety. Workplace safety should be a top priority for any manufacturing company. Risk assessment is not only important but necessary.

We’ve made it easy for you and your company to make risk assessment a part of your maintenance management system. Along with our all-new MaintiMizer™ 5.0, we are launching a Risk Assessment Module. This module allows you to build out your checklist and process it right in our Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). There’s no need for Excel or any other software program, not to mention paper and pencil! A customer previously asked us to build this module into our system, and after a couple of years of planning, coding, and testing, it will be ready to launch by September 2023. If you’ve been undecided about upgrading your system to our 5.0 platform, this module alone should help you determine your need for it. If you are in an industry or company that requires risk assessment, why not use one system to accomplish the task?

Get on our list to upgrade to 5.0 here.


Happy Barcode Day! – Do you Barcode?

Do You Barcode? 

Many of our current customers take advantage of this amazing feature. If you’re not one of them, you’re going to want to listen up.

Barcoding has been around since 1951 and is widely used in retail environments where hundreds—even thousands—of SKUs exist. Keeping track of inventory, pricing, and purchase orders make taking care of those SKUs possible. But what about your maintenance department? How can it help you?

Let’s first look at your current stock room. Are your spare parts neatly arranged and labelled properly? Could you successfully send a new employee in there to find them? If not, you may need to use a barcode system.

You might be wondering whether it’s necessary to have a neat stock room. If you can find the parts eventually, does it matter? Imagine the following scenario: you’re pulling your PMs for the day, and you have a few pieces of equipment that need parts replaced; one needs a new belt, another needs a new hose, and some need new bolts. These appear to be quick and simple fixes—until you visit the stock room and struggle to find what you need. The bolts aren’t the right size. The belts you have are for other assets that aren’t interchangeable. That hose you know you saw yesterday is gone. Now what do you do?

If you search for another 20 minutes you might find that hose, but perhaps nothing else. Congratulations! You’ve just wasted an hour, and you can only do one of three PMs. Now you might need to track down your supervisor and explain why you can’t do the rest of your work. On top of that, you might need to wait on a purchase order for those parts to be approved, ordered, and shipped, delaying the scheduled PMs even further.

If you’re already doing heavy lifting to optimize your department with a Preventative Maintenance Plan, consider including barcoding. When you set up barcodes for inventory in your Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), you’ll not only be able to find parts within minutes, but the system also will automatically remove items from your inventory and charge them to the correct assets.

Nuts and bolts in blue bins


Maintaining a real-time overview of your inventory will help with purchase orders by indicating when to order new parts, how often you order certain parts, and enabling you to decide how much to order. Perhaps you’re ordering too frequently and have more inventory than you need, or perhaps you can include a part with a different purchase order and save on shipping costs.

Charging a part to its correct piece of equipment helps you be more efficient. The goal of which is to track your assets, keep them running, and maintain a safe work environment. Using a barcode system, you can take the information you receive from your CMMS and turn it into actionable processes. Examining your assets each month, as well as who has worked on them and which parts were used, allows you to adjust your PMs as needed. As an example, imagine that you have an asset that goes through hoses quickly. The CMMS history shows that you’ve changed hoses twice in a single month, but one hose should have lasted two or three months. With barcoding, you can examine what’s going on with that asset and find the root of the problem before it gets worse.

Before utilizing a barcode system, perhaps you were too busy to notice that your hoses were being used more than they should have been. The CMMS doesn’t show which asset is using which parts because the PM wasn’t filled out completely, or it was taken out of inventory without being charged to an asset. This might leave you with problems that could have been avoided, including asset failure and unplanned downtime.

Barcoding systems have come a long way since 1951 and have grown increasingly important in several industries, including maintenance. By keeping your assets running efficiently, avoiding costly downtime, and completing PMs on time, you can vastly improve your bottom line with a barcode system. MaintiMizer™ can provide you with barcoding that you can build directly into your existing system. In addition, we can share best practices for labeling and organizing your storeroom.

For more information, please email us at If you currently use our barcode system, please email with a note about how it helps your department. We’d love to hear from you.

Happy Barcode Day!

Team Ashcom

Dirty Data? Clean it up!

When data is dirty, you’re getting the wrong picture. Incomplete, unorganized data with inconsistencies significantly affects not only your bottom line but also your efficiency. To stay on track, complete work orders, and keep equipment functioning properly, you need clean data. Clean data also allow you to look at your entire business. You’ll understand exactly what is going on with just a glance. Is work getting done? Why or why not? Are you going over or under budget?

How do you get rid of dirty data?

Let’s first discuss what it takes to clean data with MaintiMizer™. Look at your equipment and parts labels. Are there duplicates? Are they consistent? For instance, are your blenders labeled as follows: Blender1 and Blender2 or Blender01 and Blender02? I’ll give you a tip, MaintiMizer lists items in alphanumeric order. When adding equipment or parts with multiples, we suggest using “Blender01” instead of “Blender1.” If you have over 10 pieces of the same equipment and you pull up a report to look at each blender, Blender11 would be behind Blender1.

Next, be sure abbreviations are consistent throughout the system––are you abbreviating your mixers? What about pumps, thermostats, and conveyors? Keep it consistent throughout. Alleviate any guesswork about what a piece of equipment is or how many you have. Doing this helps avoid duplicate PMs and inventory that will skew your assessment of the work to be done, PM completion, and wrench time. It can also ruin the reports you need for that audit that’s coming up.

If you’re looking at your labels and see several mistakes, you’ll likely get a headache. Don’t worry––you don’t have to do this yourself. At Ashcom, we offer Professional Services, including data cleanup. We can help merge your equipment and inventory and do anything else you need to keep your system clean and ready for anything.

Your best bet to clean up your data or keep it clean is to use the barcode system: label your equipment and inventory with individual barcodes. You should also keep your counts accurate, and equipment labeled properly, ensuring you’re performing PMs on the right equipment at the right time.

Before you do any cleaning yourself, be sure not to delete anything. Why? There are many reasons, and we will outline them in our next blog. Stay tuned!

Also, ensure your data is clean when you upgrade to MainiMizer™ 5.0 to start the new upgrade off right. If you don’t know about MaintiMizer™ 5.0, check it out here. You’re not going to want to miss it!

MaintiMizer™ 5.0

Something we’ve been working on for a while is now finally here: MaintiMizer™ 5.0!

We have given MaintiMizer a huge facelift—an entirely new, modern, and sleek look. Updated search functions. Sidebar menus. Upgraded tablet functionality. Let’s not forget the part we’ve been begged for and are extremely excited over: a whole new home page dashboard with report widgets. The homepage is still customizable, we have five available report widgets—with more coming—you can display up to four widgets nicely on your home screen.

MaintiMizer™ 5.0


We are over-the-moon excited to launch this product for you. It’s everything you need in a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) and then some. MaintiMizer has been a popular CMMS for over 35 years now, and it just got even better.

Don’t just take my word for it, check out my demo here. 

Be sure to get on our preorder list here.

This is one launch you’re not going to want to miss. Once you upgrade to 5.0 you’ll be able to upgrade to each version of 5.0 as it becomes available. Quarterly updates are our standard. As we add more report widgets and continue adding all the features you’ve requested, you’ll get each of those updates for free.*

Upgrading to any software can seem daunting. At Ashcom, we will make it easy for you. Hands-on training is completed either virtually or in person. A world-class support team is standing by to integrate your data, answer simple how-to questions, and install your new software. We make it easy because your success is our success.

—Team Ashcom

*Must have an active AMA for MaintiMizer™ 5.0 to enjoy free updates. 

Maintenance Management Software that will fix your most common maintenance problems!

Your maintenance management team faces new challenges every day.  Equipment breakdowns, a growing backlog of work, missing parts, increasing pressure regarding costs – the list goes on. It is no wonder they always look so stressed. If only there was a simple, cost-effective way that your business could address these issues and reduce your maintenance teams’ stress levels? Well in a world short of good news, here is some cheer, there is!  Maintenance management software or as it is commonly known CMMS will not only help eliminate your daily maintenance challenges, it will also often correct the root cause.  The good news doesn’t stop there either.  The right software, from the right provider, will address your most common maintenance headaches straight out of the box – without any additional development. So, what maintenance management problems do customers most often report and how will your CMMS help?

A real-time, overview of your entire maintenance management operation

When you log-in to your CMMS the first thing you will most likely see is your maintenance dashboard. This vital module gives you a real-time, overview of your entire maintenance operation with access to the key data you require to remain in control just one click away:

  • KPI’s and Performance Metrics: View and review all your important data in one place, you can filter what you see to suit your changing needs.
  • Work Order Status: See the status of live, upcoming, and overdue work orders and PM’s
  • Real-time data: Get an up-to-the-minute look at your maintenance operation in real-time.
  • Customized dashboards: Create dashboards based on an individual’s rights or roles or needs. You can include custom reports too.

As your maintenance dashboard gives you a real-time, overview of your entire maintenance operation it also provides all the maintenance intelligence you require to continually improve and increase your operational efficiency, and not simply after the fact but during the same shift.

Maintenance Overload: Maintenance backlog will always exist, will quickly get out of hand, and overload your maintenance team if not managed appropriately. Your CMMS dashboard allows you to see what tasks are due and when they become overdue. Presenting you with all the information you need to adjust your plan of attack and address this productivity stifling problem.

Bad Communication: It’s hard to make decisions, delegate work, and fine-tune maintenance schedules when you don’t have access to up-to-date information. Not only does the dashboard give you live insights into your maintenance operation, a shared dashboard will also ensure your whole team is looking at the same key metrics, allowing them to work as one.

Team Performance: Having key metrics front and center makes it easy to analyze your team’s performance – a key asset in any operation, identify areas that need improvement, and make changes that increase asset performance.

Track critical work flows

The Work Order module is a vital component of your chosen maintenance management software solution, in fact, we are often approached for ‘Work Order’ software. It is where you build, assign, process, complete, and document work requests and work orders:

  • Work Requests: Allows your entire team, including and perhaps especially those outside of your maintenance team to record problems and create work requests for your maintenance team to address. 
  • Instructions and Documents: Adding manufacturers manuals, SOP’s, drawings, photos, and more to work orders ensures more efficient communication across your team and boosts the likely hood of Work Orders being completed successfully the first time.
  • Spares, Tools & Safety Equipment: Associate all the spare parts associated with an asset or Work Order, produce Kit’s, and include the safety equipment or tools needed for a task.
  • Failure codes: Outline a problem, cause, and action for asset failure and report on it
  • Scheduling: Set deadlines, choose a priority level, and assign an appropriately skilled team member.
  • Additional notes: Include helpful details, like the sound a machine made before breaking down in work requests and work orders.
  • Tracking: See the status of work, monitor costs, and store closed work orders in a secure and easy to interrogate manner.

The additional control the Work Order module provides will solve many of your maintenance problems by contributing positively across your operation by driving efficiency and saving you money:

Costly Downtime: The Work Order module makes the work order process faster than with pen and paper and more accurate than Excel. The quicker a work request or order is created, assigned, and completed, the less time an asset is down. Assets will get running in less time reducing your costs and ensuring output targets are achieved.

Poor Workflow: This feature allows staff to document, submit, and see requests instantly without writing it down twice or by searching through paper files – maintenance becomes a team effort. Also, your Maintenance team can access the resources required to get the task done fast, first time, and safely without wasting your most precious and costly resource TIME.

Lack of Information: The work order builder ensures every detail for a task is available. This eases communication, makes troubleshooting more straightforward, enables smarter decision-making, and improves outcomes.

Deliver on your maintenance management plan

Your CMMS will allow you to create a Preventative maintenance schedule. Not only will it make building an effective preventative maintenance schedule easier. It will also help your team deliver on your plan because of features like:

  • Planned Preventative Maintenance: Automatically trigger scheduled tasks based on date, meter hours, seasonality, or any combination of these factors.
  • Activity: See your team’s schedule and assign tasks intelligently, dependent upon availability, workload and craft.
  • Purchasing Insight: Make sure inventory purchases critical to upcoming tasks are made and the items are held in reserve against tasks.
  • Planned Maintenance Metrics: Quick and easy access to key performance data such as planned maintenance compliance, or indeed non-compliance.
  • Complete PM Equipment Builder: Add all information available from a work order to a scheduled maintenance task enabling smarter decision-making and therefore improve outcomes.

The maintenance intelligence the Preventative Maintenance scheduler module of your CMMS provides will solve many of your maintenance problems, by enabling you to make decisions based on data, rather than gut feelings and other more subjective reasons:

Increased Proactive Maintenance: The single largest advantage of this module is that it will help you establish a preventive maintenance schedule and not only that the means to help you manage it. This will reduce your over reliance on fire fighting and improve everything from safety to boosting asset uptime.

Doing too many PM’s: There is such a thing as too much maintenance. The maintenance planner helps you establish the best frequency for tasks based on real data and maintenance intelligence, so your team are better utilized

Overspending: The planner tool gives you a view into every part needed for scheduled maintenance so you never order too many parts, schedule too many people or the wrong skills, overpay on expediting parts, or lose sight of how your department is performing.

If you’re ready to deliver on your maintenance management plan visit us here

Your team and your successors will feel like they have worked on your Assets all their career

A Digital Asset inventory provides you your business with a complete overview of your assets and not just that but their history too. Helping you, your team and your successors feel like they have worked on them all their career:

  • Asset Hierarchy & Location: Organize assets into a hierarchy, be that based on asset type, function, or production cell and know exactly where each asset is located.
  • Work History: See an asset’s entire work history including past problems, fixes, trends and which skills are required to support specific assets.
  • Documents & Notes: Attach bills of materials, manuals, drawings, safety notes, and more to assets to empower your team’s decision making.
  • Asset Costs: See how much an asset is costing your business to maintain, just how much has been spent on parts and labor for each specific asset.
  • Asset Status: Set the status of an asset and track availability, how much time has been spent online or offline, MTTR (Mean Time To Repair), MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures) and more.
  • Supplier Information: Associate warranty and vendor or manufacturer information to an asset.

The additional insight and easy access to critical asset data your digital Asset Inventory provides will solve many of your maintenance management problems and contribute to increasing your operational efficiency:

Audit ready: Audits can be stressful. They require the provision of very specific information about assets and their maintenance history. Digital asset profiles give you the ability to find and present critical information in a stress-free and professional manner.

Building accurate budgets: Digital asset profiles contain all the details you need to calculate how much maintenance costs for each piece of equipment within your facility and therefore allows you to make better informed choices about repair or replace decisions, and more.

Inefficient PMs: It’s hard to see the value of preventive maintenance if it’s inefficient. This tool helps technicians avoid having to search for all the information they require about an asset before they start, making it easier for them to complete scheduled maintenance quickly and safely first time.

Get to grips with your inventory

If it is quick wins you are looking for (who isn’t) the Inventory feature is going to be your new best friend.  It will quickly help you get to grips with your spares stock:

  • Parts Monitoring: Know exactly what parts you have, where they are located, how many you have available and what your stockholding days are.
  • Barcodes: Pick the right parts, first time and automatically update stock figures.
  • Stock Alerts: Set minimum and maximum quantities and automatic reordering for critical parts when stocks are below minimum.
  • Part Tracking: Use parts based on date of purchase or use by date or any other method you prefer.
  • Multi-site Organization: Have access to spare parts across multiple sites, not just your facility.
  • Equipment/Work-associated Parts: Add commonly used or recommended parts to work orders and Preventative Maintenance tasks.
  • Purchasing: Automatically create and send digital purchase requisitions and purchase orders and track this activity too.

A robust inventory management system will address some big headaches for your maintenance team by taking control of the many and various spares fundamental to their day to day activity. Your purchasing department will be much happier too:

Mystery Maintenance: Your maintenance management team isn’t your only department relying on accurate inventory numbers. A CMMS makes it possible to share important data with financial software, like an ERP, so maintenance costs are always reflected in company financials.

Out of control costs: Spare parts can be expensive, especially if you are purchasing them in an emergency. Your CMMS should eliminate these circumstances and cuts costs by forecasting inventory needs and establishing just-in-time delivery.

Stock redundancy: Excessive stock holding is a drain on your profits, your CMMS will help you identify redundant parts and slow movers and introduce controls over your future purchases.

Elusive inventory: Hard to find inventory wastes time and can extend downtime – which is super costly. Not only will your CMMS identify parts it will also give you the precise location of each part, down to a bin number so you can always find what you’re looking for.

Track, Analyse & Optimize Maintenance Performance

By simply using your CMMS you will create lots of useful data. The ability to Report on this data will make it easier to track, analyze, and optimize maintenance performance, as well as inform other key departments within your business:

  • Pre-built & Custom Reports: Choose from many pre-built common reports or create your own to find information tailored to your very specific needs.
  • Dashboard Reports: Get real-time metrics sent to your CMMS dashboard.
  • Scheduled Reports: Set up regular reports to automatically run and shared with whoever needs to see them.
  • Other Reports: Create reports for maintenance spending, audit compliance, or other related functions

A universal truth is the data doesn’t lie, which makes your reporting tool essential for making better, more informed decisions, which will in turn further improve your operation moving forward:

Maintenance ROI: Effective maintenance provides value, true. But how do you show it? The numbers will back it up. Easier reporting helps you connect better maintenance to higher production and lower costs, so your team becomes recognized as the profit center it is.

Time Creation: Creating reports by hand in Excel can be tedious, time-consuming and often leads to errors. Pre-built, reports eliminate this issue and save everyone time.

Value Creation: Meanwhile, Custom reports provide everyone from management to technicians exactly what they require.

Identify Problems Build Solutions: Answers to your biggest problems can be hidden amongst a mountain of numbers. Your CMMS makes it easier to sort data, pinpoint problems, or what is causing them, then develop and implement a strategy to fix it.

So, there you go. Do any of these problems resonate with you and your business? Do you think implementing a new or upgrading your CMMS would help you address your pain points (and their cause) Would a product 35 years in the making and the support of a company like Ashcom Technologies supercharge your maintenance management operation? If you’re thinking about implementing a CMMS, Ashcom Technologies is here to help why not get in contact.

Don’t just take our word for it, we have compiled a list of Case Studies from customers. How they use MaintiMizer™ and how it’s improved their maintenance management systems. Find them here.

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  • Computerized Maintenance Management Software
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  • Preventive Maintenance Software

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