How Can Maintenance Managers Prevent Common Errors At Work?
Maintenance managers juggle many tasks through the course of their day. In the process, they invariably make a few mistakes. However, some of such mistakes can be costly for the enterprise. Here are the common mistakes maintenance managers make, and how to preempt it.
1. Attempting to Capture and Process Data Manually
Many managers, harried as they are, manage things on an ad-hoc basis. They do not have the time or the energy to set up a system in place, and instead attempt to gather, organize, and analyze data using spreadsheets and similar tools. Such manual methods serve the purpose in the short term, but very soon, managers would find themselves drowned in data, unable to scale-up their manual efforts, and helpless to extract meaningful information from the data.
Spreadsheet-powered FM analytics have serious limitations in terms of data input. The process soon becomes very time and resource consuming and is highly error-prone in the first place. Gleaning insights from field data require advanced analytical capabilities beyond what a spreadsheet program provides.
Smart managers invest in field management suite, to capture and analyze data easily. The latest suites leverage emerging technology to collect, integrate, organize and evaluate data from multiple sources automatically and accurately, and in the process ensure data transparency for all stakeholders. Besides, it can generate accurate and flexible reports, as well as transmit them seamlessly to all stakeholders.
A strong field management suite identifies trends, patterns, outliers within the data, and other insights not possible through manual efforts. For instance, comprehensive data analytics can pinpoint trouble spots, allowing for remedial action. Managers use such insights to make data-backed decisions with confidence. Lack of comprehensive data analytics leads to management by assumptions, with serious pitfalls.
2. Failure to Do Emergency Planning
Many managers make the mistake of not having an emergency plan in place. Fire, floods, storms, terrorist attacks, murders, and several other contingencies can afflict any business, anytime. A disaster or event can cause serious downtime and set back the maintenance facility for a long time.
Smart maintenance managers foresee all possible contingencies and have action plans ready, on a proactive basis. They also try to pre-empt emergencies. For instance, rather than look to repair malfunctioning equipment, they ensure the equipment does not malfunction in the first place.
Field maintenance managers leverage field management suite to prioritize preventive maintenance, automate work orders, enforce asset warranties, ensure constant monitoring of key assets and machines, and more. The latest field management suite co-opts IoT and analyzes sensor information to raise a flag on vital parameters straying outside ideal limits, triggering prompt preempt maintenance.
The best contingency plans are in easily understood step-by-step instructions, stored in the cloud and easily accessible through the field management suite from any mobile device.
Related Reading: Check out the benefits of mobility in field service management.
3. Not Prioritizing Contractor Management
Most managers do not give contractor management the importance it deserves. Embroiled with other high priority tasks, they never get down to developing processes or procedures for finding contractors or communicating with contractors.
Neglecting contractor management causes several issues such as inability to identify the right contractor for a job, expectation mismatch, lack of visibility into contractor performance metrics, botched up invoice processes, and more. Lack of a clearly defined Service Level Agreements (SLAs) with contractors often delays response and completion times and hinders timely invoicing. The implications of contractor slip-ups go much beyond delays or customer dissatisfaction. For instance, contractors missing compliance requirements cause serious legal consequences for the company.
A comprehensive field management suite co-opts contractor management component, automating many aspects of contractor management, a strong collaborative platform, access to SLAs, automatic approval of invoices, and more.
4. Neglecting Subordinate Training
A manager is only as good as his/her workforce. In today’s age of fast-changing technologies, systems, and processes, employees require constant training to cope with the changes. Many managers, caught up with their task in hand, fail to impart timely training, and eventually pay the price in terms of slip-ups, loss of productivity, and mistakes. Managers should resist the temptation of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” and impart periodic training to their employees, to make sure they remain at their productive best.
A good field management suite makes training easy. The manager can deliver timely tests and appraisals through the suite, to ensure the level of readiness and competency of the employee. They can also offer recorded training sessions through the suite, doing away with the hassles of organizing physical sessions and the participants having to take time out for the same.
5. Not Changing with Times
The adage “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” has done more harm than good. Even when a process or a system may be working fine, inevitable change may be around the corner. Not even the most healthy or swiftest of the horse-carriage survived the advent of the internal combustion engine. Managers who fail to see the coming change in today’s age of big technology change, and do not prepare for change make a big mistake.
Successful managers, while keeping tight control over the existing set-up always have an eye on the “coming storm” and remain ready to adopt new technology, or improvise to changes in the external business environment, at short notice.
6. Failure to Provision the Right Tools
Top management rarely allocates adequate money, workforce, and other resources to facilitate maintenance management. Lack of resources invariably strain operations and stifle productivity. The onus is on the managers to convince the top management on the virtues of adequate asset allocation for maintenance, and pitch for a comprehensive maintenance management suite.
A field service suite reduces the resources required to keep the facilities management running, allowing for optimal planning with minimal resources. Field management suites spare managers, time-consuming tasks such as scheduling work orders and confirming contractor compliance. Service automation allows managers to run automated processes across multiple business locations from a single dashboard.
The net result is a multi-fold increase in productivity and efficiency, with drastically reduced costs. ReachOut’s comprehensive field service management solution automates the process altogether, thereby multiplying the operational efficiency to deliver optimal quality of service. Get in touch with our consultants to see how ReachOut works for your business.
ReachOut: Inspection & Work Order Management Software
Do you still use paper or Excel spreadsheets to manage your service business? ReachOut is a web and mobile solution for companies to schedule, dispatch and deliver inspections, work orders, ticketing and more.