CMMS – Why Your Maintenance Spreadsheets Can’t Do It

“Enhanced Maintenance for Uptime, Lower Cost”

Some companies try to manage their CMMS maintenance programs with Excel spreadsheets. Although the spreadsheets have incredible flexibility, there are several reasons why they fail in all but the tiniest of shops.

Bumps heads with production scheduling – Do you really want your maintenance people scheduling downtime for your equipment without input from production? Can you risk late delivery of an important customer order because the equipment is down for ordinary maintenance? A CMMS-TPM system integrated within an ERP system puts all demands on one schedule. This allows your production control people to effectively schedule your equipment for all the prioritized needs of the shop.

Impossible to track – Even if you only have 35 pieces of equipment, and three maintenance people, the maintenance scheduling becomes overwhelming. Let’s say there are 4 tasks per piece of equipment per month, which adds 140 tasks to the schedule. This means 140 tasks to enter to the equipment schedules, 140 tasks to the schedule board, 140 lines to record hours, and 140 lines to cost. This also means balancing 35 schedules to make sure all the hours are accounted for, and 140 lines to post to the financial records for accounting. Whew, and this is before we do any trending or other reporting. Add to this the fact that none of the reports are produced in real time, so you don’t have any insight into the work orders or reports until tasks are complete. You can only guess whether efforts are behind schedule or off course. The long and short of this is that spreadsheets just don’t work, even in the smallest of environments.

Lost documentation – Another problem with a manual system is that it has no provision for handling the documentation for each piece of equipment. Hours are lost searching for invoices, warranties, specifications, phone numbers, and other necessary documentation. It is also tedious and expensive to track any compliance rules and regulations. Some companies can actually spend more money searching for documents and the resultant low warranty recoveries than the full cost of a CMMS-TPM system.

Inability to coordinate spare parts – Your equipment is down, your customer order held up, and there is a three week lead time on the spare part. The irony is that this has happened before, but you aren’t aware of the trend. Even if you stock the large list of parts suggested by the manufacturer, you still suffer from stock outs because you have no formal system of replenishing them. You also don’t have a system to track the performance of your spare part vendors.

Forget preventative, breakdown is easier – It’s true. It is easier to manage your shop by breakdown, since it requires little paperwork, your maintenance people are breakdown heroes, and everyone applauds their arrival fresh from their breakdown siesta. In the meanwhile, your profitability is slipping, your customer deliveries are late, and your quality slides. A good CMMS-TPM system will save you costs, and improve your operations.

It’s too much work- Usually what happens in spreadsheet solutions is that all the benefits are merely sacrificed in the guise “It is too much work”. Take a look at the benefits listed in CMMS – TPM, Don’t Build On a Crumbling Foundation and see how many benefits you are missing.

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