Maintenance Tracking Systems and Lifecycle Management
How well you take care of your equipment will be the single most influential factor in how long it lasts. Scheduling routine preventive maintenance can help keep equipment running on all cylinders, minimizing or eliminating stalls, breakdowns, and project delays. Maintenance tracking systems are a wise investment for any organization wishing to take a responsible approach to equipment lifecycle management.
Although it requires a financial commitment, preventive maintenance will stave off expensive repairs that result from problems that have been ignored and then turn into major issues. Rush-ordered service and parts alone can quickly outpace the costs of an equipment maintenance system. Without regular maintenance, equipment more quickly reaches a point of no return, forcing organizations to incur additional costs by purchasing a replacement long before they’d planned to. In the case of IT equipment, preventive maintenance can even reduce or eliminate the possibility of a security breach. Slow-moving and/or buggy computers can be more vulnerable to hackers.
Setting the Record Straight: Are Maintenance Tracking Systems Worth the Investment?
Despite overwhelming evidence that maintenance tracking systems make good sense, “there’s still a faction of the production world that views maintenance as an unnecessary consumption of manufacturing hours,” says Talmage Wagstaff, a reporter for SupplyChainBrain.com in a Sept. 17, 2020 article (“The Importance of Equipment Maintenance in Manufacturing”).
The mindset for that philosophy, he explains, is explained by a shortage of time and the desire to fill customer orders without taking a temporary pause for equipment maintenance. However, “by ensuring that equipment is properly maintained, the element of surprise in the form of machine failure is virtually removed from the facility.” In turn, the manufacturer gets more mileage – a longer useful lifespan – from its equipment.
The reality is that it’s challenging to keep track of the respective schedules associated with each piece of equipment. Maintenance tracking systems provide structure and allow the organization to take a 30,000-foot-view of all of its fixed assets or zero in on a specific department or area.
A broader analysis can help the staff determine which equipment and tools are due for service in the same time frame. They can then schedule those items for service in advance, set up reminders using maintenance tracking systems, and order parts ahead of time, if possible.
A Long-term Approach to Preventive Maintenance
How often should companies and organizations be scheduling preventive maintenance? That depends on the nature of the equipment, manufacturer recommendations, and the organization’s willingness to invest in this routine service.
Between formal preventive maintenance, operators and technicians should be encouraged to inspect equipment visually and identify any red flags. But that kind of knowledge requires proper training. Assigning responsibility to key staff to conduct those visual inspections – every week, for example – helps promote accountability, as well. With a suitable system in place, those operators can quickly record potential problems even outside of the routine maintenance cycle.
The Consequences of Poor Equipment Maintenance
Production delays can be costly in terms of customer retention. In the long term, taking a proactive approach to lifecycle management through maintenance tracking systems will most certainly help maintain morale, as employees won’t be sidelined and frustrated by unnecessary equipment problems, and keep your customer service standards high.
Another point to consider is the resale value of your equipment. Many organizations eventually sell their equipment and upgrade to newer models. The price you receive for your equipment will be influenced by how well you maintained it, whether you have an accurate maintenance record for reference, and whether the item in question ever experienced damage that impacted its output or overall performance.
Asset Panda's Equipment Lifecycle Management Software
Asset Panda takes a streamlined, intuitive, and completely customizable approach to maintenance tracking systems.
Powered by a mobile app that syncs with the cloud and includes a built-in barcode scanner, Asset Panda requires nothing more than the smartphones you and your employees already use. From the palm of your hand, you can get 24/7 access to the lifecycle of your equipment and fixed assets using real-time data.
Are you interested in learning more? If so, give Asset Panda's equipment maintenance software a try with a free 14-day trial (no credit card required)! You’ll receive full access to user guides, video tutorials, free mobile apps, and call-in and live chat support from our fantastic Asset Panda support team.