Enabling maintenance industry workers to utilize today’s digital approaches provides teams greater efficiency, safety, and insights.
By: Chris Turlica
Manufacturing has evolved significantly over the last century, but innovations have been largely housed in the physical machinery that increases production ROI and time to market. While this massive technological change and innovation has generated many positive results for the industry as a whole, less thought has been put into the professional workflows that keep the world of manufacturing running. In fact 62% of manufacturing professionals are still largely operating via pen and paper. As a result, the industry is looking at rethinking workflows, including collaboration, communication, and compliance through digitization.
Filling the gap in the maintenance industry
As with many frontline industries, the maintenance industry experienced the economical impact of the COVID-19 pandemic intensely. This, coupled with the rising rate of baby-boomer retirements, spotlights the difficulty of recruiting manufacturing talent. By 2030, the maintenance industry is set to grow by 8% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics; companies will need to hire talent to replace the previous generation of workers, and then some.
Maintenance work requires industry expertise, yet the industry presents major hurdles to recruitment and retention. According to Statista, the current number of smartphone users worldwide is 6.648 billion, meaning 83.72% of the world’s population owns a smartphone. This figure is up considerably from 2016, with 3.67 billion users, or 49.40%, worldwide. The rise of digital technology and CMMS implementation has enabled smaller manufacturers to compete with the giants in the global marketplace. To remain competitive within a variety of industries, these maintenance companies are integrating Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) into their workflows and making these systems mobile-first to improve operational efficiency and frontline productivity and safety.
The ROI of digitizing maintenance work
Organizations continue to make progress integrating technological tools into their companies, but others still struggle with manual maintenance systems that are inefficient and unproductive. Manual maintenance depends on a combination of word-of-mouth, clipboards, and emails that quickly can become disorganized and result in inaccurate data. Time on the clock can become inefficient and unproductive.
Easy to learn and implement, the best CMMS automates and streamlines work orders, inventory, maintenance data on labor, pre-operations checklists for safety and inspections, and analytics and reports that lead to long-term, smarter business decisions. When implemented correctly, the return on investment with CMMS is strong. In addition to extending the life of equipment, reducing equipment downtime, and increasing its reliability, CMMS could reduce machine operating costs by 12-18%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Utilizing workers who are educated in automated software, like CMMS, leads to accurate data collection that can create insights and cost savings that propel a company to the next level of their business as well as outperforming competitors. This allows for less human error and less time spent calculating metrics, where a large portion of time was spent just 10 years ago. Giving frontline workers access to digital tools improves productivity, maintenance, and safety across factory floors.
Data as a ladder for professional development opportunities
CMMS technology doesn’t just bring the technological side of the industry up to today’s standards. The use of these systems also provides rich and powerful data to enhance organizational decision-making. Imagine the power of managers across maintenance and manufacturing industries sharing with their executive teams real time data on preventive maintenance cost-savings, equipment downtime, and the status of work orders by team. Maintenance professionals can leverage their strategic insights and grow their careers beyond the factory floor.
Chris started his career in buy side finance as a lead equity analyst at Gottex Fund Management where he also finished the CFA program. He then started a company in the chat platform space that was subsequently acquired and he joined the acquiring company as the director of product. Chris is currently the CEO of MaintainX, a Series A company providing a workflow coordination, communication, and compliance platform for industrial and frontline teams. In his free time, Chris is the president of the alumni club of northern California for McGill University, an Entrepreneur in Residence at DTCP, and an advisor and angel investor in various technology companies.