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The tech takeover: how asset maintenance is changing in 2023

Digital transformation continues to open new doors for streamlining processes, innovating faster and improving the customer experience. And it’s influencing how companies run their asset and facility maintenance operations.

Digitising maintenance through computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) and computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) solutions positively impacts the maintenance workforce. Companies are manage key assets differently to improve their operational and production effectiveness, and it’s delivering significant benefits to their bottom line.

The digital transformation of maintenance using CMMS and CAFM technology is also helping companies to tackle some of their biggest business challenges in 2023. Let’s take a closer look at how they’re doing this…

Driving efficiency in a difficult economic climate

Most organisations are battling tough trading conditions. Economic instability, rising operational costs and increased material prices have affected profitability. ​​40% of UK companies have already reported higher goods and services costs, according to ONS research. And the British Chambers of Commerce estimates that 3 in 4 firms are likely to put up their prices in 2022-2023.

In this climate, organisations are looking for ways to reduce costs and increase efficiency. And this improvement drive is pressurising maintenance teams to optimise asset performance and availability.

Replacing equipment comes at a cost, which most businesses would prefer to defer until more predictable times. Maintenance teams are being told to prolong the lifespan of existing assets, which means ensuring those assets and their infrastructure are entirely reliable. This is where CMMS software plays a critical role.

If an asset breaks down, it could have a cascading effect on the entire operation. Planning when to regularly check and/or maintain a piece of equipment will prolong its lifespan, as maintenance teams can spot issues before they occur. Monthly checks, quarterly maintenance and annual overhauls are reducing failures, increasing machine efficiency, improving productivity, and enhancing the effectiveness of maintenance teams.

Of course, managing these programmes is complex work. As a result, forward-thinking companies have moved away from using a calendar or spreadsheet to plan preventative maintenance schedules. Instead, they use digital CMMS platforms like ShireSystem to manage their maintenance teams and regularly check assets.

Using automation to address labour shortages

Finding skilled people is a major challenge for many companies right now. Make UK (The Manufacturers’ Organisation) estimates that lost productivity due to staff shortages cost British companies more than £7 billion in 2022. In the USA, meanwhile, industry bodies predict 2.1 million manufacturing jobs could go unfilled by 2030.

With talented people in short supply, many companies are automating processes to drive production with a reduced headcount. McKinsey research has found that 85% of companies have embarked on digital transformation to increase their operational efficiency. But more machinery increases the workload of maintenance teams.

In light of a greater digital investment, operational leaders are looking for ways to better monitor and manage under-prioritised areas such as asset maintenance. Industry leaders are now using CMMS systems with business intelligence tools such as Microsoft Power BI to combine data from their maintenance systems with information from other production systems. This integrated approach allows them to monitor the effectiveness of production lines.

CMMS software is also giving maintenance teams greater insight into their workforce, monitoring the effectiveness of shift teams week by week. Gathering this type of data will allow companies to further reduce skills and efficiency gaps, and ensure they are retaining the right employee levels in their maintenance operations.

Improving sustainability using digital maintenance software

While profitability is a priority in the current fluctuating market, it’s not the only target. Many companies are also focused on reducing their environmental footprint. 81% of consumers would prefer to buy from a sustainable brand, so focusing on green credentials makes good business sense. And maintenance plays an important role in helping firms to lower their carbon footprint.

Slicker asset and facility maintenance enables companies to identify inefficiencies and other technical issues quicker. CMMS software solutions can empower maintenance teams to:

  • Regularly monitor meter readings to understand and optimise energy consumption
  • Monitor waste for production line shifts
  • Reduce/remove paper-based systems such as permits and risk assessments
  • Closely manage maintenance team visits to reduce mileage, fuel use and emissions
  • Improve machine maintenance to reduce production downtime and maximise energy efficiency
  • Increase the lifespan of equipment to reduce wastage/scrappage
  • Manage stock movements and purchasing to optimise availability and reduce transportation emissions

Implementing CMMS software as part of an overall digital transformation strategy also helps to bring IT and OT closer together. Well-integrated solutions improve data visibility, which enhances sustainable decision-making. It’s an example of how applying technology to business goals delivers a better result.

The merging of IT and OT

We’ve touched on the close relationship between operational technology and information technology for data collection and analytics. But there are other ways IT can help companies improve asset maintenance. For example, the transfer of data and controls between a CMMS system and an ERP system helps businesses to manage stock and purchasing processes without manual intervention or double keying entries.

CMMS software can use data from other digital assets to operate more efficiently, too. Many ShireSystem users tell us that close-coupling IT and OT systems using API technologies improves metrics and process automation.

By establishing such connectivity, maintenance becomes a value-driving area rather than a cost centre. Operational teams can demonstrate and report on how CMMS software boosts efficiency, streamlines processes and reduces waste.

Improve your asset maintenance with ShireSystem

Market conditions and company goals have turned asset maintenance into much more than a routine process. Today, companies can digitally transform their operations to influence how well they run and grow their profits. And operational teams can now be accountable to upper management, shareholders and customers.

Even well-established organisations with well-established plans are taking a fresh look at asset maintenance in 2023. Modern systems and processes can help them overcome economic pressures and future-proof their business. Even within our own customer base, a higher number of people are investing in ShireSystem to improve their asset maintenance.

ShireSystem improves the way maintenance teams deploy, integrate and manage assets. Our CMMS software helps companies improve profitability by digitising their operations.

Book a ShireSystem demo to see how our CMMS software can improve asset maintenance and lifespan.

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