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Is planning maintenance a paperwork headache?

Maintenance is a make-or-break area for many companies. Over £4 billion is spent annually on machinery maintenance and asset management in the UK alone.

In the digital era, most companies rely on multiple pieces of equipment and the data that equipment generates to run an efficient operation. This places complex demands on IT, maintenance and facilities management teams.

To efficiently manage operational assets, many companies have invested in planned maintenance software. Digitising regular maintenance tasks helps engineers and maintenance teams to centralise workload and proactively manage assets and operating software, prolonging the life of essential machinery.

In this blog post, we will discuss:

  • Why planned maintenance software is critical to company operations
  • The key benefits of planned maintenance software
  • What features planned preventative maintenance software should include
  • How ShireSystem CMMS planned maintenance software improves asset management


Why Is Planned Maintenance Software Critical to Company Operations?

Traditionally, company maintenance departments have operated a break/fix model, focussing their resources on responding to mechanical issues and failures. However, as the volume of equipment and software that companies rely on to run their operation has expanded, the cost and inconvenience of repairing broken or unreliable machinery has significantly increased.

Many companies have started down the path of digitalising their maintenance process, but still rely on spreadsheets, word documents and calendars. This manual approach might serve very small businesses, but larger organisations need a slicker process to optimise production uptime, increase efficiency and improve worker productivity.

To minimise the risk of equipment failure and reduce maintenance costs, many companies are now investing in planned maintenance software – sometimes called preventative maintenance software or CMMS software.

Planned maintenance software enables companies to break their workload into two separate streams:

Reactive maintenance – responding to reports of machinery performance issues and failures to fix the problem as soon as possible.

Planned preventative maintenance (PPM) – scheduling maintenance jobs in advance to ensure smooth running operations. PPM software tracks routine tasks that must be performed regularly to maintain company assets.


What Are the Key Benefits of Planned Maintenance Software?

As the name suggests, planned preventative maintenance software is designed to prevent operational equipment and associated software from malfunctioning or breaking down.

There are significant benefits to moving from a reactive to a preventative maintenance model, including:

  • Optimising maintenance resources and workload: by scheduling regular tasks in advance, companies can identify the right level of technical resources needed to keep their operations flowing. Planned maintenance software also helps to distribute workload fairly between team members, and to group tasks logically, e.g. by location or specialist skills requirements.
  • Limiting operational downtime: the better assets perform, the less likely they are to break down. Planned preventative maintenance software schedules checks and updates during company downtime or quieter periods, to minimise disruption. Also, it’s often quicker to carry out routine maintenance tasks than to diagnose and repair a fault – and staff can build accurate maintenance schedules based on the average time each proactive job takes.
  • Greater asset efficiency: equipment doesn’t need to break down to impact operational performance. Sometimes, underlying issues can cause assets to run slower or less powerfully, impacting overall productivity. Being proactive with equipment maintenance allows companies to diagnose problems early to maximise equipment efficiency.
  • Extending asset lifespans: a regular maintenance schedule helps companies to keep their assets in good working order, fixing minor problems before they develop into critical issues. And by maintaining equipment while it is still functional, assets tend to last longer, and premature failure rates decline.
  • High health and safety standards: every year, people are injured at work due to mechanical faults and failures that could have been prevented. In some unfortunate cases, these preventable accidents prove fatal. Planned maintenance software creates a clear, digital record of compliance and helps to establish standard operating procedures (SOPs) for health and safety.
  • Managing maintenance costs: the combined benefits we’ve shared positively impact asset management budgeting. Well-maintained machinery n breaks down less often, needs replacing less frequently, and requires fewer replacement parts. And by minimising unplanned spending on operational equipment, companies release more budget to invest in additional digital assets and software.


What Features Should Planned Preventative Maintenance Software Include?

Companies wanting to invest in planned preventative maintenance software need to look for a solution to control costs, reduce time spent on asset management and meet regulatory requirements.

To achieve this, software should feature a modular approach. This way you can start small, covering the critical aspects of your maintenance needs, and then add more modules as your programmes increase in frequency and/or number. However, it’s important to consider what your long-term maintenance requirements will be when investing in planned preventative maintenance software.

Look for maintenance solutions that support tasks such as:

  • Building digital asset registers to capture detailed equipment histories
  • Creating servicing and inspection checklists
  • Scheduling work orders and assigning routine maintenance tasks
  • Documenting completed tasks and creating digital audit trails
  • Managing work order costs such as purchases, spares and labour
  • Developing a software maintenance plan to manage digital solutions
  • Introducing conditional monitoring to trigger preventative maintenance programmes
  • Setting maintenance KPIs and reporting on asset performance

Another key element to consider is how planned maintenance software operates. For example, browser-based solutions give maintenance teams flexible access to data wherever they are based. If the software vendor offers a mobile maintenance app, check that it also works offline. It is surprising how many machines are located in areas with no mobile phone or wifi signal!


How Does ShireSystem CMMS Planned Maintenance Software Improve Asset Management?

ShireSystem CMMS by Elecosoft is a planned preventative maintenance solution that enables companies to manage their equipment availability, performance and compliance online.

Every element of our software is designed to support efficient facilities and maintenance operations – from digital revision control for accurate work order management, to uploading photo-based evidence whenever a scheduled maintenance task is completed.

We also recently launched a new Permit to Work module to create safer working environments, ensuring employees and contractors follow the correct processes and protocols when operating or maintaining company assets.

Our browser-based software can be deployed rapidly through the cloud or installed on-premises. We also offer ShireSystem Mobile Pro, a mobile app for managing planned preventative and corrective maintenance tasks on the move.

ShireSystem connects your maintenance operation for greater visibility, productivity and cost-efficiency. Book your free planned preventative maintenance software demo to find out more.


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