The world is changing, and we’re all feeling it. With the ubiquity of GPS and location intelligence (maps), businesses can automate their processes based on real-time data, increasing efficiency and saving money. In this blog post, we will explore how technology has transformed the way people work around the world with a focus on Preventative maintenance strategy for field service industries; an industry that relies heavily on location intelligence (maps) to optimize their workflow because they rely so much on getting out into the field.
What is preventive maintenance?
Preventative maintenance (PM) is a strategy that identifies potential failures, malfunctions, or errors before they have the chance to become problems.
Preventive maintenance aims to extend equipment life expectancy without compromising safety or production quality. It includes lubricating machinery, replacing factory-installed parts, cleaning filters, and inspecting gauges to ensure that all components are working correctly.
Time-Based vs Use Based
There are two main types of Preventative Maintenance – scheduled and use-based maintenance. Your car servicing is often a combination of the two – in one year (time) or after 10,000 km (use).
Time-Based or Scheduled PM
Tasks are based on the number of hours, days, or months that equipment has been in service. It is recommended to inspect critical components more frequently than non-critical ones because they wear out first. Real-world examples of Scheduled PM are mowing the lawns every week in summer, cleaning building’s heaters before winter, replacing seals at the end of their rated life before they fail.
Tasks are performed based on an assets’ usage over time, such as production cycles or operating hours. If a machine is only used sporadically you may check how many hours it has been used before performing maintenance, whereas similar equipment that is used more often will need to be serviced more often.
There are several advantages of preventative maintenance which allow businesses to remain competitive in their respective markets. This includes;
- Less lost business opportunities and money due to fewer unplanned downtime and breakdowns.
- Preventive maintenance is less expensive than corrective or reactive maintenance because it deals with potential problems before they occur, thus reducing costs associated with downtime or emergency repairs.
- It puts the occupational health and safety (OHS) of employees at heart by preventing hazards at the workplace. PM reduces the number of equipment-related accidents and injury cases related to reduced uptime and increased use of proper repair and replacement parts, tools, and equipment. It also saves money on health care costs for employees which adds positively to the company’s bottom line.
- Preventive maintenance also reduces the amount of time you spend dealing with safety issues.
Preventative maintenance is a strategy that can be applied to any industry and equipment type. However, industries such as manufacturing, oil & gas, IT, power & energy, food, and beverages benefit the most from preventative maintenance strategies.
PM is beneficial for companies with employees who travel. This includes field service workers like plumbers, inspectors, technicians, or electricians who often rely on preventative maintenance because they work outside their respective businesses more than inside them. For example, a tree care company may hire landscapers to regularly inspect trees and make it part of their preventative maintenance schedule. Another example is power companies sending out inspectors to check electricity poles and make sure they’re in good condition.
Benefits to field service industries
Technology such as the introduction of the cloud and native mobile apps to transmit data from one place to another has immensely changed how people work around the world.
Nowhere is this more evident than with field service industries, an industry that relies heavily on technology because they rely so much on getting to where they need to be as quickly as possible. Such industries rely on mobile apps that use GPS and location intelligence (maps) to automate their processes based on real-time information, which helps them increase efficiency and save money. Combining with profiles of your teams and their current locations, business owners can now assign work to the nearest available worker to the job with ease.
Geofencing (a location-based service that uses GPS) has also been beneficial to this industry. It allows companies to log when workers approach an asset or leave it. This data can be used to determine if a worker is still around the work area and avoid unnecessary costs from being incurred due to non-attendance at an assigned job site.
You need a mobile workflow app
Knowing that a worker has visited an asset such as a truck or piece of equipment is important because it allows you to ensure that the work assigned has been attended at the required time. Furthermore, this information could also help you create better service schedules in the future by allowing you to see how often or at what time of day an asset needs servicing.
The data provided by the app can also be used to check that safety policies are being followed, which could help your business avoid fines resulting from violations during preventative maintenance efforts. Also, the workflow can help you tell if the work was done correctly and efficiently or if there were any problems with the materials used or how it was completed.
Workflow mobile apps will give you access to information about who was working on certain equipment at what time, which could help if any questions arise regarding quality or safety policies. This data may be particularly important in a heavily regulated industry, such as the pharmaceutical or medical device industries.
For businesses in the field service industries, having access to an asset’s service history is crucial for both you and your customers.
The ability to know when assets are serviced, by whom, at what time, and for how long is very crucial. It allows you and your customers to develop better preventative maintenance schedules.
At Gruntify, we provide smart forms and workflows for fieldwork. We power your inspection, maintenance, and workforce management process through our well-developed mobile apps.
When you choose us, you get access to a control panel where you can manage all your workflows anytime, anywhere. If you’re a developer, you get access to our integrated API, which allows you to automate your tasks seamlessly.