Computerized Maintenance Management, Lean and the Maintenance Department


Lean Computerized Maintenance Management and the Maintenance Department

This article introduces the concept of Lean to the Maintenance Department and shows why Computerized Maintenance Management is a vital part of a successful Lean implementation.

What is Lean?

LEAN Practices are becoming more popular in companies all around the world.  You might hear such terms as Lean Enterprise, Lean Manufacturing, the Toyota Production System, Lean Sigma or similar words being bounced  around your company or even posted on walls and hung from ceilings.  How would a Lean Enterprise project affect your company or your department?  How does it relate to Computerized Maintenance Management Software?  While a full discussion of Lean Practices is beyond the scope of this article, Lean can be generally summarized as a program toeliminate waste from all actives.  Waste is defined as a non-value added activity – meaning that your customer does not feel that the activity is worth the cost.  A simple example would be excess inventory.  The customer will pay for your product or service, but not the carrying cost for keeping it in your warehouse, or extra staff, “just in case”.  That process does not add value.  Lean has been shown to rapidly increase productivity and profits and simultaneously decrease the time to deliver products or services to your customers.  The end result is satisfied customers and increased profits – an enviable combination.

How do we start?

All areas of your company are affected by a good Lean implementation.  Maintenance Departments are an extremely important, but frequently overlooked, factor of a successful Lean Program.  No productivity enhancing program can be successful with equipment that is frequently unavailable due to breakdowns.  A proper Preventive Maintenance Program minimizes breakdowns and unscheduled downtimes, thus pointing the way to increased productivity.   Put specifically in maintenance terms, customers do not value, nor do they want to pay for, breakdowns!

Computerized Maintenance Management Software helps reduce Breakdowns

One of the best ways to prevent breakdowns is to implement a preventive maintenance software.  Planning, scheduling and implementing an effective preventative maintenance program is difficult at best, but there is an inexpensive tool available that can help you transform your maintenance department in a very short time.  Computerized Maintenance Management Software can help guide your way into becoming proactive, more productive, and extremely efficient in less time than you would have thought possible.  Other benefits of  Computerized Maintenance Management Software include help in eliminating excess inventory, tracking equipment reliability and trends, and simple user work order request entry.  All of these features eliminate waste saving time and money.

Summary

As you can see, the Maintenance Department can be a key to success in the corporate LEAN initiative.  The best part is that implementing Computerized Maintenance Management Software will help organize the maintenance department while simultaneously assisting the Lean effort in the entire company.