Are your maintenance operations a mess? Do you keep track of maintenance tasks on your desktop calendar? As a former productivity consultant, I can tell you that the easiest changes to make in your maintenance operations are those that are right in front of your nose and most times change requires nothing more than common sense and a little organization which in facilities maintenance means using a CMMS system. Yet these little changes can make a significant impact on overtime, repair costs and peace of mind. This is called grabbing the low hanging fruit and is almost guaranteed to lower your blood pressure.

Using a CMMS system to uncover the obvious

The top 3 low hanging fruits are:

  1. Stopping the duplication of effort: This could include anything from writing the work to be done down in more than one location or having to fix the same problem over and over without really knowing the cause. For example, writing the work order down on your calendar and then also on a piece of paper to give to someone else to fix. Solution – STOP! Input information into a CMMS software just once, press the button and create a work order. Record results of job and include detail as to what was fixed, how it was fixed and what could have been done to prevent the problem.
  2. Using the CMMS to Stop Fire-fighting: This refers to spending the majority of your time reacting to maintenance request instead of inspecting assets and identifying problems before they cause unscheduled repair work. Solution – Start scheduling inspections and preventive maintenance on critical assets and then move onto lesser priority assets. Work toward a 80/20 ratio of proactive vs. reactive maintenance work orders. Watch overtime drop like a rock.
  3. Reduce energy costs: The biggest ongoing expense in most facilities is the utilities bill. Solution – Lower your energy cost 15-30% just by doing preventive maintenance like changing filters or lubing mechanical parts. When equipment is not well maintained they require more energy to operate.

We could describe dozens of benefits from implementing a CMMS system and even a few more if the CMMS is web-based by making use of handheld devices. The point is that much of the savings earned by having a CMMS solution can be found in just a few areas or by making subtle changes such as changing the font type when printing. So stop, take a deep breath and tell yourself there is a better way.