Asset and inventory tracking is crucial for any organization looking to improve its productivity, reduce overheads and improve oversight. Together, these technologies help organizations take good care of their inventory and assets through a systematic and informed approach.
Maintaining optimum stock, preempting demand, knowing asset status, and scheduling timely upkeep are critical tasks that these solutions perform to ensure smooth production and output.
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Though recent advancements in inventory and asset manageassment software have made them more accurate and robust, automated inventory tracking methods are required to make the process smoother and hassle-free.
Thus a significant number of firms today use Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) to manage inventory and assets effectively. However, before delivering deeper into how CMMS solutions improve asset and inventory management, let us examine what a CMMS is and what it does.
What is a CMMS?
CMMS software solutions help firms manage their distributed assets, schedule maintenance, and track work orders across multiple locations. Computerized maintenance and management solutions centralize maintenance-related data to facilitate smoother maintenance and upkeep for organizational assets.
They optimize assets’ availability and utilization, which helps organizations improve their oversight and control over their stocks and valuables.
CMMS solutions are used extensively in manufacturing, construction, power generation, transportation, where physical infrastructure needs to be managed critically. Almost 40% of maintenance managers use CMMS solutions to manage and automate maintenance tasks.
This is because they help organizations manage everything from stock movement to order management through a single interface. CMMS solutions also integrate with asset tracking software to organize data about assets are carry out their maintenance.
The figure below highlights the main functions of a CMMS solution:
How does CMMS facilitate better Inventory & Asset Management?
CMMS solutions can significantly improve asset and inventory management in a manufacturing environment.
Here’s how they do it:
1. Optimizing Inventory Levels:
Maintaining optimum inventory levels is essential for any manufacturing unit. CMMS tools help determine the optimum inventory level based on records, demand forecasts, and current supply chain trends, which help ensure that firms can maintain the correct inventory levels. This helps reduce maintenance expenses without affecting supply for production, which improves customer satisfaction.
In addition, once a CMMS system discovers that an asset or inventory item is missing, it automatically alerts you to place an order for the same before it’s too late.
2. Reducing manual errors through automated tracking:
The major problem with most asset management systems is that data must be managed manually. Most legacy asset tracking systems still rely on human intervention, which often causes errors and miscalculations. Incorrect information entered due to human mistakes can cost the company dearly, even resulting in a temporary disruption of work.
The use of automation not only reduces human error but also saves costs. For example, CMMS software automatically updates records and performs monitoring tasks with great accuracy and tracks equipment. This reduces the possibility of work disruption while also reducing workload.
3. Tracking Work History & Maintenance Upgrades:
CMMS systems are always aware of each machine’s work and maintenance history in your facility. They assign specific IDs to each asset and keep track of the work they have done, previous maintenance works, and due dates for the subsequent upgrades. They can also determine if your inventory and assets are in good condition or need a replacement.
Such intricate and detailed information is impossible for any human being to remember. However, without proper upkeeps, the whole system can fall apart in no time.
Proper maintenance and repair mitigate production and storage risks and improve the resale value of assets. Additionally, it records each change made to the inventory to help implement better change management protocols.
4. Standardizing Best Practices & Improving Quality Control:
Ensuring that your inventory quality is kept intact is crucial to retain your market share. Often, a slight change in production standards, ingredients, manufacturing process, storage, or packaging can severely impact the overall quality of the product manufactured.
Quality control is the practice that ensures that manufacturing units can maintain the precision and protocols necessary to standardize output. Asset management systems record each process change and help track all maintenance activities’ performance, efficacy, and results, ensuring that all best practices are followed, leading to continuous product improvement.
5. Diagnosing and Resolving Problems Faster:
With CMMS, resolving problems becomes faster since they can be identified quicker. This is because all information related to your company’s resources and assets is stored meticulously in the system. Since data regarding the history, changes, upgrades, and recent alterations are all recorded, you can find the root cause of problems much faster.
Typically, when a technical problem arises at a manufacturing unit, technicians have to spend a lot of time search for the origin of a problem. However, CMMS tools can tell you exactly why a problem has arisen, its physical location, and what caused it, helping in faster resolution.
The goal of CMMS solutions is to identify and solve problems, anticipate them, and stop them from occurring altogether. This is why they carry out preventive maintenance tasks frequently to avert such disruptions. Preventive maintenance tasks are also based on usage, time, and previously triggered events, which help them accurately predict future disruptions and solve them faster.
Since data from daily activities is combined with inputs from meters, sensors, and other IoT devices, you are always made aware of what is going on and what problems you would likely be facing. The system also suggests remedial measures and triggers alerts much before your assets start failing or underperforming.
Apart from boosting asset and inventory visibility, CMMS tools also improve your oversight over workflows and processes associated with them. By consistently capturing maintenance procedures, updating repair histories, and changing control documents, they ensure that all your assets are at their peak heath at all times, which facilitates better manufacturing with higher productivity.