Viewpoint: Recruiting And Retaining Talent In The Technology Age

Marilyn | January 1, 2008


John Granda, Executive VP, Syclo

Leading organizations are leveraging mobile to control costs by extending asset life and performance and optimize labor deployment. The automation and streamlined workflow that mobile technology delivers also helps with recruitment of skilled technicians and the retention of staff by giving them state-of-theart tools to work smarter more effectively.

For peak efficiency, managers should look at their operations with a critical eye. Examine workflow procedures where bottlenecks stymie productivity—processes that create data entry backlogs and deprive management of the accurate it needs to most effectively plan work and report. After minimal review, managers will find that paperwork is a reoccurring culprit, robbing management of wrench-time and adding unacceptable administrative, travel and inventory costs.

Eliminating reliance on paper forms by deploying mobile technologies has helped organizations around the globe control costs. The bestin- class mobile applications are deployed from ‘platform’ technology that allows for multiple connections to software applications such as the CMMS/EAM, purchasing, payroll, project management and more. For many asset maintenance teams that deployed mobile work management applications, the platform has enabled them to automate other areas such as maintenance inventories, rounds, inspections, equipment audits and plant turnaround task tracking.

Achieving rapid ROI and long-term value
Mobile works best when it is rapidly deployed—in just weeks—by experienced teams that connect to the CMMS/EAM system from pre-built modules. This allows for easy training of users and no disruption to production.

Mobile technology that enables the use of a wide variety of devices such as laptops, handheld computers and tablet computers is critical. Additionally, mobile that adopts to the latest communications peripheral technologies including GPS, GIS and RFID, helps organizations stay competitive and attract top talent.

Mobile technology ends reliance on paper— streamlining workflow and allowing workers to focus on their responsibilities without timeconsuming data entry. Many maintenance shops report that their techs spend as much as an hour per shift just completing paperwork. With the mobile products available for work management today, it now is possible to cut that time to an average of 15 minutes per shift. A group with 50 techs can ‘return’ over 5000 hours of wrench time to the organization.

The ability to almost instantly concentrate more resources on proactive instead of reactive maintenance allows supervisors to spend more time mentoring and training their teams. That’s a real plus in the quest to retain skilled techs.

With the exponential increase in data uploaded into the CMMS, managers are able to create reliability- based work plans and execute on preventive tasks that lead to reduced equipment failures and extended asset life. Mobile technology helps organizations control costs by cutting unnecessary travel, foot traffic, optimizes on-hand inventory, reduces shrinkage and helps control a number of admin expenses.

What to look for
Mobile maintenance software should be platform- based for peak effectiveness and be capable of supporting multiple mobile solutions. It is also critical for the platform to be capable of integrating with multiple data backend systems and planning applications, including HR and project management systems. Moreover, the platform must be quickly upgradeable to access multiple mobile products and also support on-line and off-line communications. That’s key to a lower cost of ownership.

Finally, keep in mind that the use of top-level technology indicates to highly skilled/professional workers that an organization is a serious achievement-oriented environment. Today’s computer-savvy workers expect employers to provide them with the types of tools they need in order to perform at their best! MT






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