2015 Maintenance

6 Mobile CMMS Points to Ponder

Jane Alexander | January 12, 2016

The portability factor is one of the biggest advantages of a mobile CMMS. Workers, carrying smartphones or tablets into a plant, can access crucial maintenance information on the spot, rather than having to go to a PC and look it up.

While this type of maintenance-management system offers substantial benefits in terms of accuracy, efficiency, and productivity, is it the most cost-effective solution for your plant?

These days, many facilities have embraced the power and convenience of a mobile CMMS (computerized maintenance management software) system. According to MAPCON’s Joel Tesdall, however, before investing the time and resources that are required to get a mobile CMMS up and running, plant personnel need to consider whether this technology and functionality is really the best fit for their needs. Determining if it is or isn’t depends on responses from the site’s CMMS users to the following questions:

Do plant personnel need to browse inventory, work orders, or assets while on the floor?

One of the biggest advantages of a mobile CMMS is its portability. Workers can easily carry smartphones or tablets out into a plant and quickly access crucial maintenance information rather than return to a PC and look it up. If CMMS portability isn’t important to your business, a mobile version may not be necessary.

Is fast emergency-response capability important?

Work orders can be created and closed within a mobile CMMS, which can be very helpful when a critical machine goes down. A technician will be able to see the work request on their mobile device and get working on it immediately, thus reducing overall machine downtime.

Do users frequently view reports in your CMMS?

With a mobile app, the reports that you view regularly in your CMMS will be available on smartphones or tablets.

Do personnel add attachments to work orders?

When it comes to attachments, a mobile CMMS can be invaluable. If, for example, a machine breaks down, workers can look in their CMMS for the manual to see if and how the machine can be repaired. Pictures can also easily be attached to work requests and equipment, to help prevent mistakes.

Does your facility use barcoding?

Another place where a mobile CMMS proves its worth is when paired with barcoding. All barcode scanning can be done using a smartphone or tablet, instead of a barcode scanner. Using the mobile CMMS along with barcoding can make inventory management a lot easier and more convenient.

Do you contact vendors to place orders?

In the vendor screen of a mobile CMMS, users are able to click on the vendor’s phone number and connect with the supplier while still on the floor. This helps eliminate errors because personnel can begin the procurement process while standing right in front of the machine for which parts are needed, rather than trying to make accurate notes on what items are required and trekking to a PC to place the order.

If CMMS users can answer yes to one or more of these questions, a mobile system may, indeed, make sense for their operations.

Joel Tesdall is president and CEO of MAPCON Technologies Inc., a leading CMMS provider, based in Johnston, IA. For more information about maintenance-management systems, email jtesdall@mapcon.com, or visit mapcon.com.

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Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander

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