December 16, 2022CMMS
How to Make the Case for Chat Work Order Software
Did you know connected workforce platforms might improve workplace productivity by as much as 25 percent? However, most organizations aren’t anywhere close to reaping the full benefits social platforms can provide.
These observations come from the McKinsey Global Institute report, The Social Economy: Unlocking Value and Productivity Through Social Technologies. After consulting with hundreds of maintenance teams regarding work order communications over the past two years, we’ve come to a similar conclusion: Chat-based work order software increases the efficiency of work order management, asset management, and maintenance workflows.
However, it’s not always easy to convince number-crunching executives to change what appears to be working “good enough.” In this article, we’ll provide some practical tips for getting leadership on board with mobile app software.
What Is Chat Work Order Software?
Chat work order software is a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) combined with instant messaging and work order comment threads. The smartphone applications allow busy field technicians to streamline work requests, asset documentation, and real-time communication within one digital location.
Essentially, it provides the same functionality of traditional work order software—inventory management, work order scheduling, task management—plus real-time communication via mobile devices.
How to Make Your Case for Chat Work Order Software
Despite the obvious benefits of enterprise instant messaging, it’s not uncommon for busy executives to resist changing what appears to be working. For this reason, it’s important for operational managers to expose the cracks within their organizations’ existing work order management systems while emphasizing what could be done better. Here’s how Brent Tomamichel, fleet manager of Southeast Power, recently explained the value of MaintainX chat:
“In the past, we relied on a combination of emails, voicemails, and text messages to communicate throughout the day. I was constantly checking different mechanisms to make sure I didn’t miss anything. Now I can quickly communicate with my guys, and nothing falls through the cracks.”
Below are four steps worth taking before making your case for a new maintenance management software solution:
1. Download a Freemium Work Order Management App
Before you make your case, you must build it! That means proving your idea—improving your organization’s maintenance program with work order software—by piloting a test program.
MaintainX is a work order software app that can be downloaded for free for both iOS and Android. The cloud-based CMMS comes with unlimited work orders, unlimited instant messaging, and several features that allow teams to begin optimizing maintenance programs with no financial investment.
The freemium app can collect data on your behalf that can be used to make the case for a paid work order software implementation with advanced capabilities.
2. Dive Into the Numbers
Begin by tracking some of your company’s most valuable assets and implementing a realistic preventive maintenance program. Setting realistic goals allows for quick wins that build confidence. According to Reliable Plant, a whopping 80 percent of new software implementations fail because of unrealistic expectations.
Work order software provides both tangible benefits (e.g. budget, investment, and ROI) and intangible benefits (e.g. improved employee productivity and customer experience). Though you should absolutely discuss the soft benefits in your presentation, spend more time emphasizing tangible gains based on real numbers. Here are some statistics from The Ultimate Guide: What Is Preventive Maintenance:
Understand Key Preventive Maintenance Statistics
- Businesses save up to 12-18 percent when they invest in preventative maintenance instead of corrective maintenance. (EERE).
- Poor maintenance strategies can reduce an organization’s production capacity by a whopping 20 percent. (PTC).
- Using equipment to the point of failure costs 10x more than a regular maintenance program (Buildings).
- More than 82 percent of businesses experienced at least one unplanned downtime within three years, with each one costing $250K per hour (ServiceMax).
- More than 70 percent of businesses don’t have a complete awareness of when their equipment needs maintenance. (ServiceMax).
- Aging equipment is the no. 1 reason for unplanned downtimes, as reported by 50% of maintenance personnel (2016 Maintenance Study).
Work order software helps circumvent unnecessary financial leakages. Calculate the ROI your company stands to gain by subtracting the cost of software implementation from its potential value. Those numbers will come from decreased utility costs, labor optimization, inventory optimization, reduced downtime, and increased asset lifespans.
3. Combine Your Data into a Presentation
The backbone of a good argument is a compelling presentation. Conduct a comparative analysis of how things were before adopting the freemium software and how they are now. When making your presentation, use the A3-One Page format to organize your findings. The executive-friendly structure suggests an 8-step formula focused on problem-solving, which includes:
- Identifying a company issue, problem, or opportunity.
- Describing why it matters.
- Articulating a goal statement.
- Performing a root cause analysis.
- Outlining countermeasures to solve the problem.
- Creating an implementation plan.
- Suggesting how to track plan results.
- Updating work standards.
If your organization has never used a work order app before, spend time discussing the standard features of CMMS—service request status tracking for productivity; recurring scheduling for preventive maintenance; digital audit trails for compliance; and time, budget, and labor reporting for cost savings—before explaining why you’re excited about the potentials of work order instant-messaging.
4. Choose the Right Time
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of good timing—it can make or break your presentation. You don’t want to barge into your boss’s office right after they’ve had a heated conference call with the directors, do you? How do you ensure the timing is right? Set up a meeting ahead of time and let them know what you would like to discuss. This way, both parties will have enough time to mentally prepare for the discussion.
Try Before You Buy—MaintainX Work Order Software
The best way to evaluate any product is to “try before you buy.” MaintainX is completely free to download from the app store, and all Premium Features are free for 30 days. Our platform includes everything you need to begin creating work orders, simplifying field service management, organizing maintenance requests, and tracking assets from the get-go. Our customers are amazed by the app’s ease of use, scalable pricing plans, and best-in-class customer support.