CMMS for Business Intelligence

FROM THE JULY ISSUE: Analyzing data from computerized maintenance management systems can boost operational efficiency and streamline HR, equipment monitoring, inventory and more.
By Heather Wilkerson | June 25, 2018

Ethanol plants all over the world want to improve their bottom lines. Business intelligence information can help. BI is the use of software and other tools to analyze a company’s raw data, helping plant staff make important decisions.

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can be a helpful tool in gathering necessary information for analysis. Many systems allow users to create custom reports that will display everything they need to make critical decisions. What specifically can a CMMS help with?

Human resources decisions: It’s important for any ethanol plant to know what its employees are getting done throughout the day. Using a CMMS, a report can be run to analyze that, and help determine employee schedules to prevent unnecessary overtime expenses. For example, an open work order shows how much work a specific shift or crew has completed for the selected time frame. If a manager knows ahead of time how much work needs to get done by shift or crew, he or she can either reschedule some of the work if there’s too much—avoiding overtime—or change employee schedules if there isn’t enough work to keep everyone busy. A CMMS can also track which machine was repaired by which employee. This information can be important if work is done improperly.

Inventory control: Overspending is a symptom of uncontrolled inventory. A CMMS allows users to track assets, including how many and where they are. Having this information readily available reduces the risk of duplicating orders. An inventory usage report can be run and used to help determine how many of each part or tool is required to keep the plant running. Systems can also include automatic reordering of parts, which helps ensure necessary items are always available, minimizing machine downtime. Furthermore, a CMMS can be used to find out which parts are not being used as frequently and make sure they are not overstocked.

A report that shows which parts aren’t used often can also be beneficial in decision making. Unused parts can be discarded, freeing up space for additional parts.

Predictive and failure analysis: Many systems are able to run reports that can be used to figure out when a machine is most likely to break down, simply by using historical data. Knowing this ahead of time can be a huge time and money saver. For instance, a report might indicate that a machine is likely to break a belt after running for 500 hours. A preventive maintenance (PM) task can be scheduled to replace the belt every 490 hours, thus preventing any unexpected downtime. Also, repairing machines before they completely break down helps prevent other items from breaking down as a result. 

Reports can be analyzed to identify patterns in equipment breakdowns, such as the time of year. For example, a report might show a piece of equipment is more likely to break down during cold months. Employees can prepare for this ahead of time by making sure the area where that piece of equipment is stored is adequately heated during that time.

Information on the go: The majority of maintenance software programs now offer mobile applications. A mobile app allows employees to run numerous reports directly from their smartphones or tablets, making vital business intelligence information available virtually anywhere. This feature can be helpful when conducting meetings offsite. Moreover, techs can use the mobile app to add information to the CMMS right from the floor, increasing the accuracy of the reports.

It’s more important now than ever for ethanol plants to know exactly where every dollar is going. That’s why having accurate and detailed BI reports for analysis is so important. A robust CMMS can be a critical part of this analysis.

Author: Heather Wilkerson
Marketing Coordinator
Mapcon Technologies Inc.


CONTRIBUTION: The claims and statements made in this article belong exclusively to the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ethanol Producer Magazine or its advertisers. All questions pertaining to this article should be directed to the author(s).