Computerized maintenance management systems are hard to get right. Maintenance managers and operations executives are focused on the big picture—they want to know how maintenance affects the bottom line and they need a CMMS that gives them accurate, up-to-date data (and one that doesn’t bust the budget). At the same time, the people on the shop floor—the ones actually doing the scheduling, generating the work orders, and completing the maintenance tasks—want a straightforward, easy-to-use system that makes day-to-day maintenance operations easier and more efficient. MaintiMizer Web Edition is one of the few systems on the market today that meets—and in some cases, exceeds—expectations.
That’s not surprising when you consider that MaintiMizer Web Edition is just the latest CMMS offering from Ashcom Technologies. For more than 20 years, Ashcom’s developers and programmers have been creating high-function, high-value CMMS. In this Web Edition, they’ve created a system that integrates real-world suggestions from MaintiMizer users with the latest ideas in maintenance management thinking from their own industry experts.
The biggest change from previous versions of MaintiMizer is that this edition is now Web-based. That makes it easy to get started, whether or not you’ve used previous versions of the system. In fact, the entire system (including the remarkably jargon-free documentation) comes on only one disk. Anyone with basic knowledge of Microsoft SQL server can install it in minutes, or you can do what most other organizations have done and have Ashcom install it for you remotely. That way you’ll know that MaintiMizer is installed correctly from the start.
One of the biggest challenges to using a new system (even if it’s only an upgrade) is getting everything set up just the way you want it. With other systems, you have to sacrifice your company’s way of doing things to a preset template. That’s not the case with MaintiMizer Web Edition—you can edit the labels, headings, and notes; add attachments; and define screens to see as much or as little as you want.
Another challenge is getting all of your data entered. If you’ve used previous versions of MaintiMizer, you can import your data directly to MaintiMizer Web Edition. If not, you have a couple of choices. You can scan most of your data in (although you may still have to enter some of it by hand) or you can have Ashcom staff help with data entry.
When you first open MaintiMizer Web Edition, you’re greeted by the Home page “dashboard” screen. Just like the dashboard in your car, this screen shows critical information at a glance—closed, open, and overdue work orders; parts where the quantity on hand is less than your preset minimum; and open purchase orders over the last 7 days. Even if you never get another chance to look at MaintiMizer all day, you have enough basic information to keep things running smoothly.
MaintiMizer Web Edition is organized into “modules” that correspond to the most frequently-used maintenance management functions: Work Order, Preventive Maintenance/Equipment, Inventory, Vendor/Purchase Order, and Timecard. (There are also Utility and Help modules to help you manage and learn the system.) You access the modules through the menu bar at the top of each screen.
The screens themselves are straightforward and easy to read, without extra graphics to slow the system down or clutter the page. Because the screens look similar from module to module, it takes less time to become comfortable using the entire system. Drop down menus, look-up fields (noted by a magnifying glass icon), and calendars make the system easy to navigate and use, even for people with limited computer experience. (If you can use the Internet, you can use MaintiMizer Web Edition.)
Each of the modules lets you quickly and easily capture, track, and report your maintenance information. For example, the work ordermodule opens to a dashboard that shows open work orders by type as well as those open over the past 7 days. To add or edit a work order, you use the drop down menu at the top of the screen. Because MaintiMizer Web Edition automatically assigns a unique number to each work order, searching and tracking is easy. To check the status of a work order, you simply click on the Search button at the bottom of the screen and type in the unique work order number. Of course, if you don’t know the number (and who does?), you can simply click on the magnifying glass icon to open a list of all work orders.
The other modules are just as straightforward. The Preventive Maintenance/Equipment module gives you a place (other than in those bulky basement files or your foreman’s memory) to store all of your equipment-related information, from location to start-up instructions to preventive maintenance schedules. (You can even attach items like schematics and maps.) The Inventory and Vendor modules work the same way, consolidating all of your information in one place.
One particularly time- and frustration-saving function is the “work request” feature. Users can quickly and easily enter a work request directly into MaintiMizer Web Edition. That request then goes to the maintenance department, which uses the information to create a work order—without reentering any data. (That means no more lost notes or messages requesting work and no more data entry errors.) Users can easily check the status of their requests by using the “search work request” feature, which shows at a glance when maintenance requests are scheduled for completion. (And that means no more frustrating, time-wasting phone calls from people double-checking—or triple-checking—the status of their maintenance requests.)
MaintiMizer Web Edition has several practical applications that make it clear that it was designed by people with actual maintenance experience. The weekly schedule workup page shows at a glance exactly what work orders have been scheduled for the upcoming week so maintenance staff can be scheduled efficiently and effectively. Similarly, the daily schedule workup shows exactly what each employee already has scheduled for the day so it’s always clear who is available to take an emergency call.
Reporting is at the heart of MaintiMizer Web Edition, and generating reports is easy. Each module has a number of preset reports that can be generated with one click of the mouse. For example, in the work order module you can create a work order analysis, a backlog review, a craft hour/cost report, a top 20 items recap, an activity summary review, a summary of work order costs, a detailed work order report, a material/labor cost report, and a failure analysis. You can also create your own custom reports.
One particularly valuable report is the “cost of maintaining equipment,” which is found in the Preventive Maintenance/Equipment module. With that calculation you’ll have the facts you need to make an informed repair or replace decision. Purchase order and labor statistics reports can also be created with just a single click.
One of the most useful features of MaintiMizer Web Edition is its dynamic query builder, which is located in the Utility module. The query builder makes it easy to quickly retrieve your maintenance management data, either to view on screen or export to an Excel file. You build your query by following the pull down menus, and when you’re finished, you can save your query to be recalled at any time.
The need for system and data security is also fully addressed by MaintiMizer Web Edition. System security features let you control who can access what data, and automatically created audit logs track all changes. (This is also critical for complying with OSHA, ISO, and other regulations.)
Given its functionality, MaintiMizer Web Edition is surprisingly affordable, particularly when you consider that you’re getting the resources of a full-service maintenance management consulting company along with your software. You may never need Ashcom’s expertise, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you do.
The bottom line: MaintiMizer Web Edition is a high-function, high-value CMMS that meets—and in some cases, exceeds—both the big picture and day-to-day needs of your organization. And isn’t that why you’re buying a CMMS in the first place?