Computerized maintenance offers a host of benefits such as automated scheduled maintenance, timely action, accurate diagnosis, improved visibility, greater control, dynamic reporting capabilities, instant notifications, and more. However, the spread of computing comes with the proliferation of several tech folk tales as well. Here are some of the top myths related to computerized maintenance.
Computerized maintenance is often associated with big corporations, with the assumption that the set-up entails huge cost and effort. However, complicated solutions that required considerable investment in servers, backup resources and more, now belong to the stone age of technology.
With hardware getting cheaper by the day, and emerging technologies like the cloud and mobility breaking down tech barriers, even small and medium-sized companies can easily set up highly potent yet simple computerized maintenance solutions.
Cloud-based solutions, delivered to field service agents, supervisors, and other stakeholders through intuitive mobile apps offer the world of maintenance solutions at one’s fingertips, at very low costs.
Effective computerized maintenance management software (CMMS) requires an upfront investment. An effective solution requires developing customized software to match the specific requirements of the enterprise and associated infrastructure such as cloud subscriptions and mobile apps.
However, the benefits on offer payback for the investment in a very short time. For instance, CMMS enables proactive preventive maintenance, saving considerably on costly reactive repairs.
Enterprises need to undertake a cost-benefit analysis before committing to a CMMS and the result will invariably be in favor of the CMMS. The positive impact of a working CMMS, in terms of higher productivity and performance improvement, spreads across the board.
Earlier generation computerized maintenance software was complex beasts, requiring considerable technical expertise to operate.
Technology is becoming simpler and more accessible with every passing day. Today’s CMMS options are extremely user-friendly, allowing even lay and technically challenged users to leverage the tool comfortably. Using a CMMS suite is not any more difficult than using a computer or a mobile app.
The caveat, however, is the developer devising a neat, intuitive, and powerful UX, with a simple yet robust design, and self-explanatory menus. The enterprise should also train users on how to use the CMMS.
One popular myth is the CMMS suite slowing down the system or mobile, making the device sluggish. Conversely, even the best-designed maintenance suite may falter if the enterprise lacks the required infrastructure and resources to sustain it.
This myth becomes irrelevant when the enterprise opts for a cloud-based CMMS and accesses it from the cloud. For end-users, the CMMS does not take any more space or resources compared to any other mobile app. Most modern-day computerized maintenance suites function properly on the standard configuration, and if developed properly, do not draw heavily into the system RAM or other resources.
Cyber-security is ultimately a game of one-upmanship between the good and the bad guys. Cybercriminals spurn out new brands of malware and spyware faster than anti-virus providers can update their repositories. Except in cases of targeted attacks, viruses seek out targets on a random basis, meaning even ordinary users and small enterprises with little or no confidential data may find themselves infected.
CMMS suites, however, do not pose any additional risk to the system out of what the enterprise anyway encounters. Regularly updated anti-virus and malware suites protect the system from most threats, and additional security layers such as firewalls and network monitoring make the ecosystem even more secure.
Above all, educating users on security best practices, such as refraining from clicking anything not needed or suspicious, being careful about the websites visited, downloading only trusted files, and more, reduces the chances of security breaches considerably. Updating the CMMS suite to patch any vulnerabilities also helps.
The perception in the air is the implementation of computerized maintenance having a high failure rate, as high as 40 or 80 percent depending on who quotes it. Such a perception gained ground because of the complexities involved with traditional on-premises solutions.
As long as developers customize the CMMS suite for the enterprise, there will be improved clarity on project scope and top management commitment to the initiative leading to the CMMS implementation being a success more often than not.
Many enterprises use their CMMS software only to schedule preventive maintenance works. While scheduling is a core part of the software, the scope of the software extends to a much broader range of options. Enterprises may use the CMMS suite to assign the best available technician for emergency repair, offer a platform for remote repairs, and much more.
Any notions of simply developing a CMMS system and hoping it to work wonders are delusional. Implementation of CMMS almost invariably requires some changes in the enterprise.
The effectiveness of a CMMS system depends on the data on which it sustains. An effective CMMS system collects and processes relevant data automatically. The onus is on the enterprise to make the necessary organizational changes, to ensure a culture of transparency and flexibility, without data silos.
Above all, the biggest myth associated with computerized maintenance is the perception that implementing a CMMS will somehow resolve all issues automatically. CMMS is not a magic wand. It is only an easy means to an end. The effectiveness of computerized maintenance management depends on the clarity of purpose and the improvement of the work process.