dudesolutions.com WHITE PAPER Work Orders & Manufacturing: Back to Basics
In an industry dominated by complex processes, rapidly changing business
conditions, and a dizzying array of automation, it’s sometimes easy to
overlook the most fundamental ingredient for running an efficient and
effective operation: your workers.
Your employees, particularly the maintenance personnel who spend their
days on the shop floor, are the lifeblood of the organization. Ensuring
uptime is at a maximum, downtime is at a minimum, and all equipment is
running at optimal efficiency from power-up to power-down, maintenance
workers have always played a critical role in healthy plant operations.
However, recent trends in technology are forcing maintenance workers to
become even more agile, responsive, and proactive than ever before.
This white paper explores some of the emerging trends shaping the day-
to-day operations of manufacturers and the maintenance operations
teams supporting the business. We’ll also highlight how automating and
optimizing maintenance practices can help your organization to improve
everything from market competitiveness to regulatory compliance.
Consumer Tech. Industrial Applications.
There’s a great deal of buzz in the industry surrounding the “SMAC Stack”
concept: that the convergence of Social, Mobile, Analytics, and Cloud
technologies is fundamentally changing how consumers behave, how
businesses respond, and ultimately how manufacturers must shift operations
to keep pace. In essence, SMAC technologies are forcing several traditional
business models to compress. (In fact, Industry Week magazine dubbed
SMAC as the number one emerging trend shaping the manufacturing sector.)
Here’s a simple example of SMAC in action: Acme, Inc. comes out with a cool
new product. A video of the product in action is posted to YouTube, the link
is shared (and exponentially re-shared) via Twitter and Facebook, and it goes
Increasing Agility & Effectiveness:
The Critical Role of Maintenance Operations
viral. Suddenly retailers are flooded with demand, which then puts a strain on
manufacturers and supply chain partners supporting Acme, Inc.’s business.
Consumers can even tap into a global network of peers, helping them to
identify which retailers have the items in stock, which are out of stock, and
where the best prices can be found. (Don’t believe us? Search Twitter for
one of the hot new toys this holiday season and you’ll see how quickly word
travels.) What’s most impressive, however, is that this can all happen within a
matter of days. Demand now moves at Internet speed.
As a manufacturer, this means that maintaining high overall equipment
effectiveness (OEE) has never been more important. Equipment availability
and operational efficiency are two of the most important factors in the OEE
calculation, and both are directly tied to the capabilities of your maintenance
team. Fortunately, work orders, those seemingly simplistic tools that
provide your team their marching orders for the day, have also gone through
something of a transformation.
The same smartphones, tablets, and other Internet-enabled devices that
are responsible for this fascinating shift in consumer behavior, are having
an impact on employee behaviors as well. Work activities that are tethered
to desktops, or even worse, activities that are still paper-based, introduce
significant inefficiencies into a system that needs to run more real-time than
ever. That’s why best-in-class manufacturers have already embraced new
technologies that dramatically improve the accuracy, effectiveness, and
availability of work orders.
Contemporary, cloud-based work order systems deliver mission-critical
information and functionality directly to the hands of employees, whenever
they need it, wherever they are located. Using a mobile device:
• Line workers can create work orders directly from the plant floor, right at
the equipment that is experiencing an issue. This dramatically improves
both the timeliness and accuracy of the work order.
• Maintenance workers can access equipment information, documentation,
and other relevant content while they’re on the floor. This improves the
efficiency and effectiveness of the maintenance staff.
• Maintenance managers can access reports providing visibility into
equipment downtime statistics and reasons for equipment failure,
helping them to both prioritize resources as well as analyze patterns that
could help move your plant from preventive maintenance to predictive
dudesolutions.com 2WHITE PAPER Work Orders & Manufacturing: Back to Basics
OEE= Availability x
Performance x Quality
In addition to delivering these process improvements, a cloud-based
approach to maintenance management empowers workers to interact with
technology in a new, but very familiar way. The trends driving the SMAC Stack
evolution have also lead employees to expect enterprise applications to
have a “consumer-like” feel … meaning they need to be as simple, intuitive,
and easy to use as the apps they use every day. (And if your workforce
demographics are beginning to shift toward Gen X and Millennials, this
effect is even more pronounced.) Moving to a cloud-based approach not
only provides a more contemporary application, but in many cases, also
empowers employees to access data using their own personal devices.
Preventive/Proactive Maintenance Made Easy
Of course, the best way to contend with equipment-related issues is to avoid
them in the first place. Preventive maintenance has long been a hallmark
of any efficiently operating plant, as adhering to preventive maintenance
schedules significantly reduces the risk of unplanned downtime incidents.
Unplanned downtime not only damages productivity and drives-up
production costs, but it also can lead to much more “big picture” expenses –
such as loss of brand equity, diminished reputation, or worse.
By implementing a cloud-based approach to work order management,
however, the system can automatically create work orders – at the defined
schedule intervals – complete with detailed instruction checklists. This offers
yet another opportunity to improve quality and reduce costs by ensuring
that maintenance workers have the information they need to complete tasks,
including all necessary tools and materials.
For maintenance managers, however, there’s a tremendous opportunity
to gain greater insight into the entire PM process. Through a cloud-based
approach, managers can see PM backlogs, check equipment health, and
identify when and where maintenance activities are not being completed.
This empowers the manager to schedule and deploy teams where they’re
most needed, but it also helps them to define a better, more cost-effective,
more complete equipment management strategy.
COD: Compliance On-Demand
Compliance, or more importantly, proof of compliance, is also a critical
function for any maintenance professional. Whether you adhere to ISO, IEC,
dudesolutions.com 3WHITE PAPER Work Orders & Manufacturing: Back to Basics
ASTM, IAM, SAE, or virtually any other industrial standard, having a cloud-
based maintenance management system simplifies the compliance process
in two key areas:
• During maintenance activities, a cloud-based work order management
system ensures maintenance personnel receive specific instructions
that fully align with the policies and procedures as defined by your
organizations operational standards.
• After maintenance tasks have been completed, the system keeps a
running log of what was done, to which piece of equipment, on what
date, and with any notes.
Through this approach, maintenance managers can produce audit data for
any regulatory body on-demand, avoiding the need to hunt for information
and minimizing the risk that locally-stored electronic records could be lost
due to equipment failure, accidental deletion, or other similar concerns. All
information will be stored safely, securely, and redundantly in the cloud,
enabling you to access data and reports from anywhere there’s an Internet
Budget Conscious: Reducing Costs
Operational efficiency is one of the most important performance benchmarks
against which any maintenance manager will be measured. However, fiscal
efficiency is high on the list as well. Through a centralized, cloud-based work
order management system, you can optimize your maintenance resources
– both capital equipment and human capital – within the confines of your
Having a single resource for managing both the personnel and assets
required to perform maintenance tasks enables you to have both greater
visibility and control over your total budget.
Make the Move
Automating work order management processes and automating production
capabilities play equal roles in helping your organization to meet
productivity, financial, and operational goals. By moving to a contemporary,
cloud-based, readily accessible work order management system, you will:
WHITE PAPER Work Orders & Manufacturing: Back to Basics
• Improve OEE by ensuring equipment downtime will never be caused
due to poor maintenance practices, missed PM activities, or ill-equipped
• Improve resource management by gaining greater insight into your
operational and organizational needs, empowering you to better balance
materials, in-house labor, and contract services
• Simplify safety and environmental compliance by making policies,
procedures, and documentation readily accessible, as well as providing a
secure and centralized way to retain service records and reports
For More Information
To learn more about cloud-based work order management systems and how they can
help your business, visit dudesolutions.com or contact us at 866.989.3833.
About Dude Solutions
Founded in 1999, Dude Solutions is a leading software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider
of operations management solutions. Serving the maintenance, energy, safety,
IT management needs of more than 7,000 organizations, Dude Solutions helps
manufacturers and other industrial clients to boost efficiency, improve quality of
service, and reduce costs.
dudesolutions.com 5WHITE PAPER Work Orders & Manufacturing: Back to Basics
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