Admit it, if you are responsible for the maintenance in a facility you have said this before, probably more than once. The problem with that phrase and our prevalence in using it is that we are not going to get right on it. In fact, we forget that which we agreed to do by the time we get to the office because we have said it three more times to three other folks during the walk.
It is in our nature to try and accommodate others, yet as stewards we have many competing items on our time. When it comes to maintenance it means that things get missed. What is one to do? Well, we suggest utilizing a digital solution. Work Order Management software.
For many of you, you will recognize that we have Work Order Management Software, and many of you use it. I would be remiss if I didn’t suggest you click the image below this article and check it out if you haven’t already. However, I do not want this to be an ad, that is not what CFMS is about.
Why use a work order management software solution? Things will get lost, forgotten, or simply ignored. Not because we don’t care, it is because we get overwhelmed. Here are our “Top Ten” traits of a great maintenance software system.
1) Maintenance software will allow us to create a centralized database that helps organize our preventative maintenance and “pop -up” maintenance needs.
2) Maintenance software will allow you to collect and distribute all the information necessary for the task. When creating a work order you should be able to attach documentation, photos, etc. There should be a place that allows for the requestor and the one performing work to provide comments. While the work is in progress, the software should send out updates when status changes. And finally, the software should store the information on the work when it is completed.
3) Maintenance software will provide the ability to input and track all aspects performed to your equipment. At some point, the amount of time spent fixing an item will exceed what is reasonable and replacement should be considered. Maintenance software should assist that by providing a repair and maintenance history of each piece.
4) Tracking inventory needs and items related to maintenance should be a feature. As work is completed, the system will allow you to automatically update the remaining stock on hand of flappers, or filters, or anything else you need to track. Many systems will allow you to be alerted when you reach your reorder threshold.
5) A robust work order system allows you to communicate directly through the system with outside vendors to accept, perform, and complete work on or in your facility. This allows for the continued consolidated record-keeping for your maintenance activities.
6) A great maintenance software will allow for the creation of multiple departments or sections to help distribute the work to the appropriate people. Being able to get the right info to the right person quickly helps complete tasks quickly.
7) If different people or departments need to be part of a maintenance project, a good maintenance software will allow you to assign the appropriate parts of a job to the appropriate people.
8) A maintenance software will provide multiple methods for work to be submitted. This ensures that more info is submitted, which leads to…
9) A robust maintenance software will allow for workflow to be setup to meet the needs of the facility. Not all requests will need to be sent on however, so there must be a mechanism that allows for work to be prioritized or declined.
10) Finally, a robust program will allow you to automatically schedule preventative maintenance tasks and create the notices for you.
These are the top ten things a software geared towards maintenance should do, and there are other things to look for as well. Ultimately, the worth of the software will be determined by the deployment and adoption of the software. It is a tool that needs to be considered, and it is not just for the “big” churches. If you are not already using one, check out everyone you can. The cost of the software is offset by the amount of time, effort, and energy you save in doing what you are called to do. And yes, I would be happy to show you ours if you are interested.
By Nathan Parr, Facility Specialist