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Know Your Reports: The Basics

The first phase in any successful rollout of ManagerPlus is to run all work orders, logs, PM schedules, inspections, and other primary maintenance tasks through the system.

Once the transition is complete and everyone is using the system to track, schedule and document their work, it’s usually not long before our clients start diving into our Reports Module to gain detailed insight into their data.

Depending on the edition, ManagerPlus offers anywhere from 23 to 84 ready-made reports that provide a wealth of insight into data on assets, work orders, inventory, logs, and much more. Each offer different filtering and configuration options to help you zero-in on the information you need (not to mention the full customization available through the add-on ReportingPlus Module).

With all of these options, it can be difficult to know where to start, so we’ve decided to launch a new blog series: Know Your Reports. This first installment is designed to get you familiar with the basics, so let’s get started.

+ Printing the List View.  Yes, I know I just got done talking up the benefits of our reporting options, but sometimes everything you need to see is right there in front of you in the module list view; all you need to do is print it.

Sorting your data in the list view is easy: you can rearrange columns by dragging and dropping the headers, and add additional columns by clicking the asterisk button (1). You can also right click and select “Show List Grouping” (2) which will create a blank area where column headers can be arranged for a variety of data views. If you want to see totals for any of your column headers, you can right click on the column header and select the footer type to show the count, average, min, max, or sum for the full list or individual groups within the list (3).

In the below example we are working in the Work Orders Module, and have dragged the “Status” header into the List Grouping area, followed by “Work Type.” Now we can see a count of all of the completed work orders for the work type “PREVENTIVE” because we have also added a footer that shows the count. In this case, I have also narrowed down what appears in the list by using search criteria (4), filtering the view based on the “Status” and “Work Type” (check out our in-depth guide to custom search criteria here).

Work order list view 1

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OEE: One Metric That Can Spell Success or Failure for Your Company

forklift2

In business terms, there may be no maintenance-related metric more important than Overall Equipment Effectiveness (OEE).

By accounting for availability, performance, and quality, OEE provides one of the quickest ways to assess the role of maintenance in the overall health of your company. Yet many companies either neglect to track it, or calculate it using incomplete/inaccurate data gathered using outdated paper records and spreadsheets.

World-class companies, by contrast, use CMMS solutions to track detailed information on their equipment and watch their OEE numbers carefully to target areas for improvement. These companies maintain upwards of 90% equipment availability, performance rates of 95% or more, and overall quality of 99% for an OEE greater than or equal to 85%.

So how do they achieve this level of excellence? First, let’s quickly review how OEE and each of its components are calculated:

Availability = Run Time/Total Time (accounts for Down Time losses)

Performance = Total Count/Target Counter (accounts for Speed losses)

Quality = Good Count/Total Count (accounts for Quality losses)

OEE = Availability x Performance x Quality

In order to put these calculations to proper use, world-class companies will define several specific timespans (work shifts, for instance) and calculate these OEE measures for each in order to compare them. In this week’s blog, we’ll focus on availability to see how you can drill into this metric and improve it.

+ Availability

Availability is the foundation of all OEE calculations because it is a straightforward measure of downtime. When it comes to improving OEE, availability is therefore the best place to start.

There are two key factors involved in availability: machine breakdowns and machine adjustments/setups. Continue reading

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How Much Preventive Maintenance Should You Be Doing?

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When companies come to ManagerPlus looking for our maintenance software solutions and expertise, it’s not because they aren’t familiar with preventive maintenance. The vast majority are already performing routine oil changes, replacing HVAC filters, lubricating heavy machinery, performing safety inspections, etc.

In most cases, what they need is for us to assist them in performing these services more efficiently–and we’re extremely effective at helping them accomplish this. So much so, in fact, that they’re often faced with a new dilemma: they now have spare resources and capacity that could be used to perform more advanced forms of preventive maintenance, but they’re not sure if doing so would yield additional benefits.

In other words, we’re able to help them make it so easy to do the preventive maintenance they’ve always been doing, they now have to ask whether they should do more, and whether there is such a thing as too much.

So…is there?

The answer is: it depends, but generally speaking, there’s no such thing as too much preventive maintenance if you’re doing it properly.

According to “Maintenance and Reliability Best Practices” by Ramesh Gulati, companies that run “Best Practice Benchmark” operations schedule between 10-40% of their maintenance work. World class organizations, on the other hand, schedule upwards of 85% of their overall maintenance workload.

The thinking here is that, by proactively scheduling as much of their maintenance work as possible, these companies are able to maximize equipment up-time, utilization rates, and resale value. This makes sense–most authoritative sources suggest that preventive maintenance can be up to 20 times more cost effective than run to failure maintenance.

With ManagerPlus, it’s easy to determine how much of your work is scheduled versus unscheduled. The quickest way to find this information is to run the “Work Order Summary” report in the Reports Module (in our Enterprise Desktop product). This will show a quick count of the number of work orders associated with scheduled work as well as the number that were associated with unscheduled work. Dividing the number of unscheduled WOs by the total overall (unscheduled plus scheduled) and multiplying the result by 100 will give you the percentage of unscheduled work orders.

In the below example (a partial view of the final page of the Work Order Summary report), we can see the count of Scheduled WOs listed as 32, and the count of Unscheduled WOs listed as 12. If we take the 32 scheduled WOs and divide it by the Total WOs–44 in this case–and then multiply the result by 100, we come up with 72.7%.

Work Order Summary Continue reading

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Are You Spending Too Much on Maintenance Labor? Find Out with One Simple Equation

ABCs of Advanced Maintenance: Schedule Compliance Ratio

In our last installment, we looked at the first key metric you should calculate when evaluating your maintenance operations: Maintenance Cost as a Percent of RAV (Replacement Asset Value). In broad terms, this metric indicates whether you’re spending too much on maintenance.

So let’s suppose you’ve used your maintenance management software to perform this calculation for your company, and discovered that you are, in fact, spending too much on maintenance (or you’re in the benchmark best practice range, but want to become world class). Now what?

It’s time to drill down into different facets of your maintenance operations to zero-in on problem areas. And once again, the data you’re tracking in your maintenance management software will prove invaluable.

Since labor typically tops the list of expenses for any company, it makes sense to look there first if you find that your maintenance costs are too high. The key question is, are you getting the maximum amount for every dollar you’re spending on labor?

Answering this question is straightforward–all you need to do is calculate your Schedule Compliance Ratio using data from your maintenance management software. First you’ll need to find the total number of labor hours that have been allocated on all of your work orders over a given period. In ManagerPlus, all you need to do is go to the Reports Module and select the “Work Order Labor Count” report under the Work Orders section.

Work Order Labor Count_resized 2

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Maintenance Benchmarking with CMMS: How Does Your Company Compare?

 

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ABCs of Advanced Maintenance: Maintenance Cost and Replacement Asset Value

For many companies, efforts to streamline maintenance operations tend to follow a “fire, ready, aim” progression. Management wants to see improvements, but everyone has a different idea about how this should be accomplished, and pretty soon there are a dozen different initiatives underway with no unified, measurable objective.

To make matters worse, these companies often use multiple systems to track and manage maintenance operations at different levels (maintenance techs use paper systems while managers rely on spreadsheets, etc.). This makes it next to impossible to both accurately determine what initiatives need to be prioritized, and to roll them out effectively.

Thus, the first and best step any company can take is to implement a CMMS system to centralize maintenance operations. Companies are often surprised at what they find when they start tracking their operations properly, and if there’s one thing that can cut through the noise of different ideas and opinions, it’s good, solid data.

Consistently tracking data on all maintenance costs, for instance, will make it much easier to benchmark your operations and determine where you rank among your peers. With this data, you can calculate your company’s Maintenance Cost as a Percentage of Replacement Asset Value (RAV), which is a perfect benchmark metric to start with.

In ManagerPlus Enterprise, you can run an Asset Total Cost of Ownership report for an instant look at how much material and labor you’re putting into maintenance for any asset, or for all of them together. The “Work Orders” column shows a total of all labor, inventory and other costs that have gone into the maintenance of any/all of your assets.

Asset Total Cost of Ownership

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3 Ways Facility Management Software Helps Keep Clients Happy

facilities for 3.3.2015 blog

Occupancy is always at the top of every facility owner’s list of priorities—keeping current clients happy while attracting new business is the key to profitability.

The key to client happiness is, in turn, a function of facility condition and overall costs. This is where facility managers and maintenance personnel come into the picture.

They are immediately responsible for addressing maintenance needs, ensuring that facilities are helping clients meet their objectives. For your typical facility, this might be where their responsibility ends: satisfying basic needs in order to retain clients that are already there.

Elite facilities, on the other hand, bring a proactive outlook to the cost equation, looking for ways to lower overall operating expenses so they can pass some of these savings to their clients. Here are three ways you can accomplish this in your facility.

+ Minimize turnaround time on maintenance requests. Before any proactive, cost-cutting measures can get underway, you’ll need to have a solid system for scheduling and managing facility services.

They only way to carve out additional time for proactive maintenance and facility upgrades is to minimize the resources typically devoted to maintenance emergencies. Clients have cut average turnaround time on maintenance requests from 4 or more days to 24 hours or less with facility management software. Continue reading

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Fleet Management Software: The First Step Toward Sustainability

Fleet sustainability

The debate over fleet sustainability is increasingly focused on the question of ‘how’ rather than ‘if,’ according to experts and technicians who presented at the 2015 Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) held last week in Nashville, TN.

Demand from customers and shipping companies continues to build momentum for new government regulations and initiatives designed to minimize the environmental impact of fleet operations of all types and sizes. Fleet companies that take a proactive approach to sustainability will thus avoid the extra costs associated with falling behind on new regulations and standards.

But that’s where fleet sustainability becomes tricky: where do you start? Alternative fuel vehicles are growing in popularity, but there remains uncertainty over which type will emerge as the new standard, and fleet companies (especially smaller ones) may not be in a position to make such a big investment.

The government itself doesn’t recommend taking such drastic steps too soon: guidelines developed for the government fleet operations suggest developing a strategy first and then collecting thorough data that can be used to create workable strategies.

In other words, the first step fleet companies need to make is to move away from paper systems and spreadsheets, and implement full-featured, centralized fleet management software with mobile functionality.

No other type of solution offers the reliability of data tracking and depth of operational insight necessary to develop effective sustainability initiatives. Here are some of the key areas where fleet management software can assist with sustainability initiatives.

+ Maintenance first. The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) rates preventive maintenance as one of the primary cost-effective ways to reduce fuel usage. Basic powertrain maintenance, including air filter replacement, lubricant changes, and tire rotation can cut fuel usage by as much as 19 percent.

The important thing is to ensure that these services are performed in a consistent, timely manner. In terms of sustainability, falling behind is the major concern: each day that these services fall behind is another day that you could be using up to 19 percent more fuel.

Fleet management software makes it easy to tie these PM tasks to log readings such as mileage and hours of operation, helping ensure that these services are performed before they start to impact fuel usage. Alerts can be sent out when these log values approach pre-defined thresholds, making it easy to stay ahead on these schedules, and reduce your fleet’s environmental impact.

+ Minimize idle time. According to Ford Motor Company, one hour of idle time is equivalent to traveling an additional 33 miles. Cumulatively, idle time can dramatically throw off PM schedules and contribute substantially to greenhouse gas emissions. Continue reading

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Gas Storage Tank Maintenance: Quick Tips and Fixes

gas pump

Unless you’ve been living under a rock somewhere (and maybe even then) you’ve undoubtedly heard the good news: gas prices are nearly 50 percent lower than they were a year ago.

Fleet companies, heavy equipment contractors, and other companies, apart from those working directly in the oil and gas industry, have seen their costs fall substantially as a result. Some are even making plans to expand into new, far flung territories that high gas prices had once rendered out of reach.

According to some estimates, the low prices represent the equivalent of a $60 billion economic stimulus. Even if your company isn’t planning a major project or expansion, now is the time to stock up on gas—prices are already starting to rebound around the country, so take advantage while you can.

In most cases, this means you’ll need to fill your Aboveground Storage Tanks (AST) to capacity. And while you’re at it, you might also want to take this opportunity to inspect these tanks to ensure that they’re safe and environment-friendly.

Purdue University has a free in-depth guide for AST inspections and safety that we highly recommend reading in full. Here are a few of their suggestions, along with tips on how to implement them with your maintenance management software. Continue reading

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The Power of Focus + Intent

MPlus high fives

ManagerPlus employees high-fiving each other at the 2014 Annual Award Luncheon

In this week’s blog, ManagerPlus Marketing Assistant Nimo Abdulle examines some of our company’s guiding precepts and encourages other companies to seek ways to adopt them.

How focus + intent led ManagerPlus to unity + success

ManagerPlus had a phenomenal year of growth and development in 2014. We celebrated the year’s achievements during the company’s Annual Award Luncheon and with almost 50+ employees in attendance it was easy to forget ManagerPlus’ small beginnings in 1992.  Over the past 22 years, M+ has grown into one of the top leading CMMS software providers, servicing over 10,000 businesses located all over the globe. So the natural questions then are: how has this come to be and how can you replicate this in your own organization?

Identify Your Focus

The first-century Roman Philosopher, Seneca, once related this poignant piece of advice to a friend who had trouble getting centered in his studies, “To be everywhere is to be nowhere,” he said. What Seneca was relaying was that it’s simply better to extend focus and efforts in one area instead of being all over the map and losing perspective altogether. A more common expression is the reference to someone being a “Jack of all trades, but master of none.”

In today’s day and age we see plenty of businesses that are unwilling or incapable in identifying their core message or goals. They diversify their services so much in an attempt to cater to a wide range of palates yet wind up inadequately servicing them all. This is where the issue lies: quality suffers when organizations try to diversify prematurely. There’s nothing wrong with diversification, in fact it’s a pretty good indicator of a company’s growth (look at Google); however, it carries great risk for businesses that have not adequately developed their core product or service.

Since 1992 M+ had the singular focus of creating the very best asset maintenance management software on the market. We have been relentless in this pursuit for 22 years now and this consistency has clearly paid off as we enjoy a satisfied customer base due to a reliable product.

Now, what ensures the continued improvement and relevance of our product? It’s due to our intent.

What Is Your Intent?

At ManagerPlus we realized it was one thing to build CMMS software, but what would have our software stand apart? That’s where the power of intent comes into play. Our intent, every day, is to provide a maintenance management solution that is both simple and powerful to our customer base.  This intent is what drives us to continue to improve our product. We listen carefully to our customers, take notes, and then go back to the drawing board to continue developing our software so it always remains impactful on how our clients do business without sacrificing its simplicity in use. Clearly defined intent gives a business obvious benchmarks to measure their success and effectiveness. Finally, intent may also serve as the grounding factor when business demands get so hectic and perspective seems to have been lost.

The End Goal: Unity and Success

Like all other businesses and organizations, ManagerPlus’ growth has been driven by its employees. There is a genuine desire among our employees to keep the company healthy and thriving.

This is what sets high performing companies apart from the average performers; employees are engaged and invested in delivering the best services and products, and gain great personal satisfaction from doing so.

Why do some companies achieve this and others do not? This brings us back to our first point, the need for focus and consistency in what a business wants to deliver. It’s impossible to gain the support of one’s employees without having these clear messages and goals in place.

Once you have successfully identified what your focus and intent are, it will become significantly easier to share your vision for growth and progress and have these become idealized goals for all.

Finally, the unity and focus we enjoy here at ManagerPlus would be impossible without the practice of transparency. From very early on we’ve subscribed to a culture of transparency in our operations. One of the descriptions listed for transparency in the Webster-Merriam dictionary is: a condition characterized by visibility or accessibility of information especially concerning business practices. Seriously ask yourself how “open-door” the open-door policy at your company is—is it conditional, does it encourage even the least outspoken of your employees to ask questions and express concern about how business is doing? These are important questions to ask in the process of building trust and a sense of community within your workplace.

Identify what you value and want to focus on, clarify your intent, and watch how these principles permeate your organization and lead to unity and success.

 

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How to Reduce Inventory Waste

Spare parts inventory room

Inventory waste is one of those age old problems that appears simple at first, but becomes vexingly complex upon closer analysis.

Maintenance and inventory managers generally agree that inventory waste should be eliminated to the greatest extent possible. Beyond that, there is broad disagreement, beginning with the definition of ‘waste’ itself.

For some companies, any inventory that sits on the shelf for more than a year or two represents an unacceptable expense. In a recent IMPO feature, consultants from Grainger, an industrial supply company, suggested that, on average, as much as half of the inventory that companies keep in stock is never used.

Other companies may struggle with the opposite problem: parts are coming off the shelves so quickly they can’t keep up the pace. As a result, they’re frequently left short-handed when equipment breaks down, which causes prolonged downtime, excess costs, and damage to customer relationships. In these cases, the waste comes in the form of higher prices paid for emergency part orders, lost business, and operational inefficiency.

Which scenario best characterizes your company? What is your inventory really costing you? If you’re not totally sure, you’re not alone. Many of our clients come to us looking to do a better job of tracking their inventory data for the purpose of answering questions like these.

Here are some steps you can take to find the answers you need and finally start to make inroads into the inventory waste problem. Continue reading

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