Increasing Agility & Effectiveness: The Critical Role of Maintenance Operations

Unplanned downtime not only damages productivity and drives up production costs – it can also lead to even greater “big picture” expenses over time. Our goal at Dude Solutions is simple – to provide you with easy-to-use, affordable solutions to manage all of your equipment maintenance needs. Our solutions can help streamline your maintenance operations with fast and easy access to critical reporting metrics. That means more accountability, more productivity and more data-driven decisions to ensure your plant stays up and running smoothly.  Because understanding downtime is the first step in preventing it. 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 1 Increasing Agility & Effectiveness: The Critical Role of Maintenance Operations SMAC Stack: Social, Mobile, Analytics, Cloud 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 maintenance practices. 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, 3WHITE PAPER Work Orders & Manufacturing: Back to Basics 4 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 connection. 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 given budget. 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 personnel • 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 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. 5WHITE PAPER Work Orders & Manufacturing: Back to Basics Dude Solutions 11000 Regency Pkwy #110 Cary, NC 27518