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Where would we be without technology? Well, as past experience tells us – pretty stumped. You can probably count on more than two hands the number of times a system error has led to total shutdown.
This could be something as simple as the Wi-Fi turning off, to your whole facility going down – resulting in a critical SLA failure. There has to be a way to improve this in the 21st Century?
Enter: operations and maintenance software. If you’re not familiar with it, this software helps to manage asset functions that don’t require in-depth technical knowledge. We can apply it to property management or the assets (such as machinery) on that property, for example:
The benefit of using this software is that it can begin to see trends with the reporting engine. Using operations and maintenance software can alert you to any errors, preventing future downtime.
This is ideal if you’re running a property with any kind of machinery – even something as simple as a boiler on a university campus.
But that’s not all. Beyond keeping everything running like a well-oiled machine, you can also use operations and maintenance software to manage personnel.
We’re not robots, but our schedules can be automatically managed. Strong operations and maintenance software can help to manage time and attendance. In doing so, managers can forecast their labour requirements and recover costs.
Likewise, we can use the software to manage health and safety. For example, it provides full visibility over staff’s training and certifications – making sure they are not put in harm’s way for projects such as construction.
Finally, the software can help to keep all stakeholders in the loop – from managing work schedules to keeping tenants and other customers up to date. This helps to prevent data duplication and reduce waste – leading to larger savings.
So, what should you look out for when choosing operations and maintenance software?
If you want to get the best out of your software, you need to have an idea of what you plan to use it for. Let’s say you’re managing a suite of higher education properties, each with their own unique set of issues and considerations.
You might ask yourself:
Once you have established exactly what you need, you can determine which features would work best for you, helping you to get the best value out of your operations.
On top of understanding your goals, you also need to be honest with yourself and see where you could make improvements to your current operations. Once again, we can break this down into machinery and personnel.
We can look at both preventative maintenance and how we respond to system shutdowns. For example:
Straight away, we can identify problems and how the software can solve them – for example, communication breakdowns between departments may be stopping the right teams from responding to system errors promptly.
This can also help us to quantify how much value we can get from operations and maintenance software. For example, if solving one maintenance issue saves us X amount of money, we can extrapolate this to get more done in the long term – giving us larger savings.
Assets are more than just machinery – they are technically anything of worth to your business, from furniture to computer equipment. In some cases, you may not even be aware of all the assets you have. You’ll need to review the value of your current assets so that you can plug this data into the software.
You could consider choosing software that has fully integrated with your asset management tools, using your data to make decisions.
Finally, to get more value out of your operations, you need to have more visibility over personnel. This doesn’t mean micro-managing – it simply means understanding what hours are being worked, and where people’s skillsets can be used more efficiently.
Be honest with yourself and ask questions such as:
Using operations and maintenance figures can bring together data for all four considerations, and give you the answers in black and white. In turn, this will help to keep your stakeholders informed, identify opportunities to make or save money, and push up your savings.
By this point, you should have a clear idea of what your problems are and how you can solve them. So, how does the tech measure up? There will be a few things to consider depending on the kind of operation you’re running, and your current technical resource.
In this day and age, operations are rarely static. Your assets may be in one place, but your staff are likely to be moving around and answering customer requests. Ideally, your operations and maintenance software should be mobile compatible, perhaps with its own app – and this should also be secure. You must also check to see which elements of the software and data are available via the mobile application; all or just a specific function
As mentioned above, at this time, cloud-based solutions are often preferred because they do not limit users in terms of location. Likewise, they may be cheaper to set up initially. However, you should make sure your provider is completely transparent about cybersecurity.
Finally, you may have aspirations to grow your business, for example, growing your higher education property portfolio. In this instance, you should ask your provider about the scalability of the software – whether you can scale up modules, users or both.
Whatever your operational challenges or informational deficits, AssetWorks offers a simple solution that gives you full visibility of your world. As part of a larger Integrated Workplace Management System Assetworks O&M will help you to reduce costs while managing staff and equipment more efficiently.
Use our software to:
The numbers don’t lie. We can help you save up to 11% from improved operations and maintenance practices, as well as reduce equipment downtime by up to 15%. You can extrapolate this to help reduce costs such as Total Cost of Ownership, staff overtime, and duplication errors. With all your operations in one place, errors can be minimised and savings can be increased.
To find out more about our operations and maintenance software packages, contact AssetWorks today.
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