Are you still using paper checklists?
We don’t blame you.
Every day we speak with operational managers facing a similar dilemma: Should we invest our limited resources in work order management software or continue using an analog system that allows important details to fail through the cracks?
Of course, work request software is nothing new. The basic underlying technology has been widely available since vendors moved from Microsoft Access-based applications to browser-based systems in the early 2000s. A good work management software program includes capabilities for detailed asset tracking, recurring scheduling, and resource management.
Conduct a quick Internet search, and you will find dozens of providers, all promising benefits like decreased downtime, increased productivity, and more streamlined operations. Essentially, it just makes work easier! However, a large segment of maintenance teams has yet to make the switch. According to the Plant Engineering 2016 Maintenance Study, 39 percent of organizations use paperwork orders, and 52 percent use spreadsheets.
While there are many reasons for holding off on work order management software, the four most common ones simply aren’t true––anymore. In this article, we’ll review how the latest SaaS (Software as a Service) providers are flipping traditional maintenance platforms on their heads:
The 4 Most Common Myths of Work Order Management Software
1. It’s an expensive purchase decision
For decades, work order management software was only available to enterprise companies with large bank accounts. Securing a software license for an on-premise system could cost anywhere from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars.
That’s because providers traveled to facilities to build customized software programs installed on in-house servers. Each project required significant time to complete since programs had to be built from the ground up. Additionally, organizing on-premise upgrades required substantial client interaction that increased ownership costs.
In recent years, that all changed due to cloud-based infrastructures. Providers now develop single software programs that can be “shared” by an indefinite number of users in their respective locations. Pooling physical hardware in this manner allows software providers to pass on immense savings to their customers. As a result, work order management software is now within reach for organizations of all sizes. Additionally, multi-tenant platforms can scale as companies grow without reduced performance.
Pricing plans range from small monthly subscription fees based on user numbers to more sizable monthly subscription plans. You can expect to spend anywhere from $10 per user for basic plans to $150 per user for premium plans. Some SaaS providers, like MaintainX, even offer freemium plans that include unlimited work order creation, unlimited asset management, unlimited locations, and unlimited team chat.
2. It’s complicated to learn how to use
Every day, we speak with technicians and managers who have downloaded our freemium maintenance app. We want to understand what led them to try MaintainX, and we want to assist them in navigating it––free of charge.
Oftentimes, users with basic work order needs don’t have any questions; they begin creating preventive maintenance checklists immediately upon downloading the app with no problems. Alternatively, folks with more complex needs usually appreciate some personalized assistance. Regardless, nearly everyone is up and running with the software within a couple of hours. It’s why we get reviews like this:
If you have ever attempted to implement a preventive maintenance program with a traditional Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), you know just how time-consuming the adoption process can be. Most work order management software programs require several hours of paid training, a few hours of personal experimentation, and significant effort to memorize complex digital workflows.
Even then, managers still struggle to get the entire team on board. As reported by Reliable Plant, as many as 80 percent of CMMS adoption programs fail because of cumbersome user experiences. So, why are old-school software programs so dang hard to use? They were developed before the evolution of modern design, smartphone apps, and tablets. With so little competition in the marketplace, CMMS providers weren’t incentivized to heavily innovate according to user feedback, until recently. Expect work order management software platforms to become increasingly user-friendly as providers over the next several years.
3. It’s incompatible with paper checklists
Another common assumption is that maintenance teams must choose between CMMS or paper checklists. Understandably, many managers are hesitant to switch technicians from the familiarity of paper work orders.
However, it doesn’t have to be one or the other. Modern software programs allow users to export procedures as PDF files available for print. That means team members can continue fulfilling work orders the old-fashioned way until they are comfortable with the new system.
4. Inputting asset data is time-consuming
Finally, effective preventive maintenance programs are dependent upon maintaining updated equipment records. Assets should be organized within a single database by location, serial number, parts serviced, etc.
Most large organizations track service records with the help of spreadsheets, while many smaller teams have yet to find the time. Understandably, managers who fall into the former category may feel overwhelmed at the prospect of inputting dozens of columns and rows of data into a new CMMS. However, the best work order management software solutions boast easy import features that transfer data on your behalf. With MaintainX, the process takes about 30 seconds!
Work order management software made easy
Modern maintenance solutions are leaps and bounds ahead of their early predecessors. New technology has catalyzed affordable monthly subscription plans, mobile-friendly user interfaces, and sophisticated data transfer features.
Not only does MaintainX check all of these boxes, but it’s also the world’s first work order management software specially designed for team chat. Team members can now troubleshoot work order issues in real-time by texting comments, uploading photographs, and downloading equipment manuals from the convenience of their mobile devices.
Are you ready to ditch paper checklists, streamline operations, and enhance accountability? Experience the simplicity of MaintainX!