Poll reveals facility and fleet management pain points

February 5th, 2018, Published in Articles: EngineerIT, Articles: PositionIT, Featured: PositionIT

A recent poll has revealed that the South African facilities management, manufacturing and fleet management industries face four distinct pain points: work orders, asset registers, downtime and contractors. The challenges within these areas include value and visibility. Technology, used correctly, can offer reliable solutions and turn pain points into profit areas.

Heilet Scholtz

The poll was conducted during
an EAM Xelerate roadshow, held in the last quarter of
2017. The results reveal that similar pain points are experienced across facilities management, manufacturing, production and fleet management. With spreadsheets and manual management, productivity and accuracy continue to be stifled.

Assigning work orders

Work orders present a marked challenge. In facilities management, for example, work orders with inaccurate information that are poorly scheduled or not synchronised with material and labour requirements cause chaos. Incorrect costing on work orders wastes valuable time in the finance department, and result in incorrect invoices. It is imperative that work orders direct the technician or service agent to all the information needed
to complete the job quickly and effectively.

Enterprise asset management (EAM) schedules is one solution, with software assigning work orders to the right technician for the right job based on geographical location, skills, and available inventory. It reserves the spare parts, tools and other materials needed for the job, providing better maintenance inventory planning and control. Technician are guided
by defined workflows, customer information, checklists, bills of materials, diagrams and step-by-step instructions, to ensure the work is completed efficiently and to standard. Once the work is complete, mobile capability enables the technician to update the work order and record costs in real-time.

Asset register visibility

Without an accurate, up-to-date asset register, asset-related decisions are made without the entire cost picture.

Through effective EAM solutions, an asset register hierarchy tracks where assets are located and what they cost. A “family tree” connects equipment, systems, and locations. It includes photos of those assets and related documents, such as original purchase date, instruction manuals, drawings and diagrams, technical specifications, service contracts, spare parts and warranties. A complete picture of the cost to maintain each asset (labour, materials, energy consumption, and depreciation) enables accurate budget calculations and capital planning.

Optimising maintenance

Equipment failure and machine downtime are detrimental for any business, but especially damaging
for manufacturers. Unexpected downtime ripples through the entire production cycle, causing delays to order fulfilment, delivery and customer satisfaction. Yet many organisations lack the insight and visibility they need to refine their operations in a cost effective and proactive way.

The key to solving this pain point is
to determine the optimised mix of failure-based maintenance (run-to-fail), use-based maintenance, preventive maintenance, and condition-based maintenance.

For organisations managing a wide variety of facilities, buildings and properties over a broad geographical area, partnering with contractors is the key to maintaining service levels and keeping customers satisfied. Managing contractor relationships includes effective communication, providing accurate information and instructions, receiving feedback, and applying the correct rates.

A reliable contractor portal is essential for EAM to provide a trustworthy link to the facilities maintenance manager and the contractors. As service requests are entered, the work should be scheduled and, through the portal, work activities assigned to the right contractor.

It is essential that manufacturers keep their assets performing to improve uptime and minimise business risk. Effective work order and contractor management are the foundations for profitable facilities management. While an accurate understanding of an asset’s performance over its lifespan informs better asset buying decisions, a detailed, accurate asset register is vital for reducing overall costs of asset ownership.

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