Smartphones and tablets have become ubiquitous in both the consumer and business worlds, and manufacturing is no exception from this new status quo. These devices are a valuable window into data that can empower employees on the go. Organizations that haven't yet embraced them won't have much of a choice in the future -- it will become a requirement to conducting business.
Of course, it's not just the devices themselves that empower companies, but the access they supply to well-designed apps. Cloud-based CMMS apps, for instance, enable devices to become part of a seamless network of real-time updates and valuable analytics. And this is only the beginning.
The App Extension
The simplicity of the mobile experience has been a notable advantage since day one, and is one of the things that has helped Apple and Google take over the computing world. Good CMMS apps don't deviate from this model, working through a familiar and "finger-friendly" design rather than breaking the mold. These mobile apps act as an extension of the browser-based CMMS, delivering a sense of consistency with the same "look and feel" and core functionality wherever the user is located.
The native features of mobile devices, such as cameras, QR codes, and mapping, can become part of the CMMS experience. Whether these device features are used for faster item lookup or entry, or for clearer communication of asset issues or locations, the combination of a powerful CMMS app with today's iOS and Android devices can lead to greater maintenance efficiency and organization.
Industry Experts Speak
Plant Services recently spoke to members of the asset management community to determine what role mobility will play in the immediate future. Unsurprisingly, the news source noted that many companies are already committed to these solutions to improve the effectiveness of their processes. Furthermore, ongoing technology developments will only enhance industrial capabilities. The days of solely inputting data via workstations, for example, are now done, according to Plant Services.
Analyst Andrew Hughes told the source that engineers now have all the data they need when they are working with equipment. Check-ins with the control room in the middle of work order completion are no longer warranted, as mobile CMMS apps can contain instructions, manufacturer's manuals, tasks/steps, and more specific data about the current status, recent issues, and so on related to the equipment. The ability to see this data, combined with the quick data entry process, is a certified time-saver. Couple these benefits with condition-based maintenance and predictive maintenance for smart plants, and the CMMS mobile app only continues to become a more vital component of the overall CMMS plan.
Not the Future -- The Present
Mobility, as part of maintenance operations, isn't a future capability. Forward-thinking companies are doing this right now, and laggards will be moved to a mobile app strategy either by design or by necessity. After all, with the promise of better efficiency and agility on the table, what maintenance engineer could turn away?