How to Improve Your Maintenance Team’s Productivity

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Just how productive would you say your maintenance team is, on a scale of 1-10?  Hopefully your answer is at least a 7.  If it’s a 10, then why are you reading this article?  Your maintenance team is awesome!  But, if your answer is anything less than that (as most are), your team has some room for improvement.  Even if it’s a small improvement, such an improvement can make a larger impact.

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How do you improve your maintenance team’s productivity?  We won’t keep you in suspense: it’s by using facilities management software (aka CMMS software).  A CMMS expedites the maintenance management process and helps coordinate maintenance teams.  In the end, they help businesses run more efficiently by making every team member more productive.  These systems help facilitate total productive maintenance for warehouses, industrial facilities and more.  They come loaded with a plethora of productivity-enhancing features, but there are some that stand out as those that help maintenance teams the most.  The following list of benefits is just a sample of some of the productivity-enhancing benefits that a CMMS provides:

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Reducing Equipment Downtime

The foundation of just about every company’s operations these days lies in the data.  CMMS software provides maintenance managers with automated reports and analysis on every aspect of their operations.  These reports give managers valuable insights into their equipment, maintenance personnel, inventory and more.

So what do these reports have to do with reducing equipment downtime and increasing productivity?  It all comes down to what you do with the insights.  A CMMS reveals the patterns in equipment downtime, i.e. how long it takes before a piece of equipment needs to be serviced.  After recognizing these patterns, you can take two steps to ensure the equipment stays in peak condition: 1) schedule regular preventive maintenance, and 2) schedule regular inventory orders to replace important spare parts before you need them.

When equipment is continually running, your operations run smoother.  Your maintenance team never has to wait around for work while someone fixes the equipment, and projects don’t have to be delayed due to a single failure.  In short: when your equipment doesn’t stop, your maintenance team doesn’t either.

Creating a Regular Proactive Maintenance Schedule

We already touched on one way that regularly scheduled, proactive maintenance helps productivity.  But reducing equipment downtime isn’t the only benefit.  Scheduling regular preventive maintenance helps turn equipment maintenance into a routine for your maintenance personnel.

Humans are creatures of habit.  We thrive on routines in all aspects of life, whether personal or professional.  Scheduling regular maintenance gets every team member in the routine of, for example, checking one piece of equipment on Tuesday, and another every other week on Thursday.  By creating these routines, it’s less likely that maintenance is forgotten, as it sometimes is when it’s not a part of the weekly and monthly routine.  To help create the habit, a CMMS provides automated alerts so that all users of the software are reminded to get it done.

In addition, scheduling regular maintenance makes it easier to schedule other important tasks around it.  You can avoid having to shoehorn in things like team meetings when you have a consistent schedule.

Cohesive Maintenance Teams

What are two of the most important qualities of highly productive teams?  Communication and consistency.  Maintenance teams that use a CMMS experience more cohesion because they constantly have access to communication tools and consistent information.  Especially in today’s mobile world, it’s easier than ever to keep maintenance teams connected.

Most CMMS vendors have a mobile app which team members can access on their smartphone or tablet.  These days, most people carry their phones around with them everywhere they go.  If a member of your team needs to contact another about a project, they can do so through the CMMS and get a quick response (assuming they regularly check their device, of course).

Consistent information is especially key to creating a productive maintenance team.  With a CMMS, all information and data is stored in a central location that every user can access.  As soon as one user makes a change, for example an equipment status update, the change is reflected for every other user.  That way nobody makes a mistake based solely on receiving bad information.

The immediacy of recording and distributing information helps keep information consistent too.  Steve Brous explains how the immediacy of mobile CMMS helps maintenance teams: “Mobile technology is a natural fit for maintainers. With smartphones and tablets, you can capture information on the spot—instead of jotting it down on paper to be input later. Mobile devices allow you to access critical information easily without calling back to the office or getting “plugged in.” The potential to improve your maintenance team’s productivity is huge.”

Creating a highly productive environment for your maintenance team is tricky, but you won’t find anybody who said it wasn’t worth it.  A huge step in the right direction is adopting and utilizing a CMMS.  It won’t be able to make your maintenance teams more productive on its own, but it’ll provide you with a noticeable boost.  And who knows; if you rated your maintenance team’s productivity as an 8 or 9, maybe that boost is all you need to make them a 10.

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