August 9, 2019

Tools Fleet Managers Need: CMMS

CMMS

Managing maintenance for a large construction fleet is hard. You’re working with all kinds of vehicles and equipment, and around project schedules that can change in an instant. Until recently, there hasn’t been a technology solution that solves more problems than it creates, so many contractors stick to what they know.

Who can blame them? The construction industry hasn’t experienced the same technological and digital innovations as other industries have over the years. Your team might still use pen and paper to manage fleet maintenance, but you know something more efficient is out there. Changing up your entire service process is intimidating, but with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), you’ll benefit in tangible ways that save you time and money while increasing your fleet’s uptime.

What exactly is a CMMS? 

A CMMS offers a digital solution to paperwork problems every fleet or service manager has experienced. It keeps tracks of all fleet maintenance data—every oil change, every inspection and every new part—digitally. That data is accessible to anyone who needs it, and it updates in real-time.

A CMMS also provides your business with one simplified way of managing your maintenance processes, rather than using multiple software systems that don’t talk to each other.

A quality CMMS modernizes everyday workflows and processes for your team. Consider how you currently handle work orders and maintenance schedules. With a digital solution, service management is faster and more efficient. 

It’s sort of a chicken-and-egg situation: Your team must have a quality CMMS solution in place in order to reap the benefits of improved, digitized workflows. Once you’ve got a CMMS in place, the benefits and improved workflows are many, and they all help you maximize uptime and optimize efficiency.

A CMMS streamlines daily tasks

When you transition from using paper and pen to a CMMS, you and your team become more organized and efficient. But the biggest benefit a solid CMMS presents to your team is increased equipment uptime. When your maintenance management plan runs like a well-oiled machine, your actual machines run in the same way.

With a quality CMMS in place, you open yourself up to plenty of opportunities to simplify processes and put technology to work for you. Your CMMS empowers your team to become proactive, efficient and productive. Here’s how.

1. A CMMS helps you carry out preventative maintenance. 

Traditional maintenance methods aren’t always efficient. When your team practices reactive maintenance—only servicing machines once they’ve failed or broken down—they experience more unplanned downtime. Not only that, but reactive maintenance costs more than proactive maintenance, and it’s harder on your equipment in the long run. 

Thankfully, you can break the reactive maintenance cycle with a CMMS. A quality CMMS allows you and your service team to schedule preventative maintenance. Preventative maintenance has numerous benefits for your fleet and your business’s bottom line, but most importantly, it keeps your machines up and running.

Getting maintenance in the books ahead of time helps your team plan around scheduled downtime. They’ll know which machines aren’t available for the job because they’re in the shop. They’ll also know the machines are in top condition after scheduled maintenance is performed. Planned downtime also prevents the alternative, unexpected downtime, and fewer breakdowns on your jobsites means projects stay on schedule and in budget. 

A CMMS can also alert you and your team when it’s time (or nearing time) for a machine to get serviced. If you’ve ever been caught off guard when a machine suddenly fails because it missed regular service, then this sounds like music to your ears. Notifications and push alerts to a phone or tablet tell your maintenance techs which machines are coming up for maintenance so they never have to guess again. 

Scheduling maintenance prevents breakdowns and allows teams to work around planned downtime. With preventative maintenance methods and technology that supports them, your team can keep machines in peak condition, which reduces overall operating costs.

2. Access maintenance information in the palm of your hand.

A CMMS gives your team a safe and easy way to store important service and maintenance information. Unlike paperwork, which can literally get lost in the shuffle, a CMMS like Track saves work order details, individual asset information and overall fleet data to the cloud for your entire team to use. Any changes update in real time, keeping data current and everyone on the same page.

Your entire team can access fleet data from the Track dashboard. See an asset, its runtime, the last time it was serviced and where it was last used. With a CMMS like Track, your team can take your typical maintenance workflow and complete it digitally from any internet-connected device. 

Instead of running around to locate a machine for maintenance, your tech can pull up Track and see where the boom lift is located. Instead of driving to the lift to diagnose its issue, the tech can dig into engine data and read through notes from the employee who created the Digital Work Order in Track.

There’s no more need to waste time creating paper work tickets and traveling to and from a downed machine. Now, it’s all available in your CMMS. Visibility across your business keeps processes moving smoothly and cuts down on wasted time and resources.

3. Create Digital Work Orders. 

Digital Work Orders are a maintenance game-changer, and they’re one of the most efficiency-increasing features in Track. Digital Work Orders save time, keep maintenance technicians informed and create a historical picture of each and every asset’s maintenance record. The best part? It’s completely paperless.

When a machine fails and needs service, all the operator needs to do is pull up Track on their internet-connected device and fill in the details for the machine in question. Operators can include photos of the machine and damages, describe the problem, identify the urgency of the issue and even assign an available maintenance tech to the job in one fell swoop.

Back at the shop, a maintenance tech gets an alert about the Digital Work Order and can see all the pertinent information he or she needs to prepare for the job, including where the machine is located and who used it last. Once they get to work on servicing the machine, operators and fleet managers can follow real time updates on the status of the machine in Track. 

It’s a hassle to create a work order by hand, so many operators don’t even go that far. By creating a Digital Work Order with Track, you can set your maintenance technicians up for success and quickly get downed machines back on the job, while creating  comprehensive historical maintenance records for every asset in your fleet.

4. Streamline overall fleet management.

Why spent time tracking data points when a CMMS can track it for you? A CMMS does the hard work for you when it comes to tracking fleet KPIs, utilization rates and more.

A CMMS allows your team to get a bird’s eye view at all of these key data points that help you understand just how your fleet is running.

  • Vehicle run time
  • Downtime rate
  • Operator information and history
  • Maintenance history and future maintenance
  • GPS location
  • Asset ID and status
  • Fuel level and machine health
  • And more

With so much insight into fleet operations, you’ll be able to make informed decisions that turn into profits. Identify machines that are underutilized and turn them into profit generators by putting them on rent or for sale. Track machines and waste less time searching for equipment. Correct unsafe driving habits before an accident happens. The benefits of a CMMS reach far beyond a better-maintained fleet.

Go digital for less downtime. 

With a CMMS, you can eliminate unexpected downtime by tracking machine usage and run time to predict and prevent machine failure. By practicing preventative maintenance that’s informed by your CMMS, you can keep machines in peak condition. And because all machines need service, you can plan for that, too, by creating a Digital Work Order and planning maintenance ahead of time—all with a CMMS. 

All of this information and all of these capabilities are available to your team in one single system. A quality CMMS like Track provides greater visibility into nearly every aspect of fleet management, which makes your operators and service team informed and empowered to do their work. 

With a CMMS, fleet managers can develop an effective asset management strategy and keep equipment moving. Making the jump to digital service management might seem intimidating, but consider how much time you’d save with digital maintenance methods. Time is one of your most valuable resources. Use it wisely by investing in a CMMS that helps you minimize the only kind of time you don’t need: downtime. 

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