Most people underestimate the importance of maintaining their assets. The lack of maintenance on an asset can not only cut short the life of that asset, it will have operational disadvantages. These disadvantages include the asset’s performance running at a much lower percentage, higher operating costs, and regular breakdowns resulting in lost productivity.
Most times operators try to maintain their overworked asset at the eleventh hour but at this stage it probably needs a whole new replacement. If the asset is a couple of hundred dollars then maybe this can be overlooked and a replacement acquired, but when you are dealing with valuable assets that run into the tens of thousands to replace, the question then comes about. How important is it for me to maintain my assets? Can I afford to replace my assets if and when they cease to operate?
The implementation of an effective maintenance schedule in an operation is highly beneficial. If it was me, I’d be getting the most out of my investment and ensuring maintenance on these assets is of the highest quality and at the right intervals. Wouldn’t you rather replace a gasket than a whole engine?
The question is how do you go about logging and alerting your personnel of this?
Log Books? Yes, the good old log books, many organisations still rely on log books and whiteboards to manage their maintenance operations. Spread Sheets? Others use spread sheets and other documents, at times in conjunction with log books. The Disadvantage of the old log books and spread sheets are that they tend to rely on the user to calculate, record and remember the dates. Books and files can be easily misplaced and in the event of an employee leaving or even a fire this valuable information would be lost.
Increasingly many maintenance operations are starting to rely on a quality Maintenance Software with Asset registers and Preventative maintenance modules to take control of their operation. Implementing a Maintenance Software will reduce the need for this reliance on your users. All that needs to be done is data entry. Most systems today can calculate exact dates and lay out detailed work orders on what work, spare parts and which personnel would be required to maintain your assets. These Preventative Maintenance modules can really turn around the maintenance operation’s efficiency and organisations only stand to gain from it’s implementation.
In terms of Auditing, all data and maintenance history, including expenditure on any work done is readily available. All that needs to be done is to print a report off from the Maintenance System, as all data is securely stored in a database and in terms of data security, regular backups can be configured to ensure that in the event of a disaster, all your information is safe.
The time saved in running such a system can then be allocated to more productive areas of an operation.At the end of the day your workforce is more efficient, and manpower efficiently allocated.Not to mention work is monitored and carried out correctly and at the right times.
So back to our initial question, Maintain or replace an asset entirely? The answer, Maintenance. Maintenance coupled with the implementation of an effective maintenance software will greatly reduce asset breakdowns, cut expenditure, and the result would be prolonging your assets lifetime.
Photo Credit: Flickr/Tom Caswell