By Heather Wilkerson
When maintaining a church, it is important to be organized. A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) can be a very useful tool to help with this. Many think that this type of computer software is strictly for manufacturing plants, but that could not be further from the truth. Here are just a few ways a CMMS can be beneficial to your church.
Many times, when repair work is needed within a church, it is written down on a piece of paper or in an Excel spreadsheet, which can easily be lost or deleted. A CMMS allows users to enter work requests and work orders into the software itself, making it impossible to misplace them. For example, when the church vacuum needs to be repaired, instead of verbally asking a volunteer or handing them a sheet of paper, the work order can be entered into the CMMS and assigned to the correct volunteer. This can also help with getting new volunteers, since scheduling work allows people to see if more volunteers are needed or not to get everything done.
Since the majority of the people doing repairs within a church are volunteers, it can be difficult to track what needs done, who can do it, and when. This results in much needed repairs going uncompleted. CMMS software enables users to schedule needed repairs. Volunteers can also be assigned to the repairs and can configure the system so they receive an email notifying them when a repair is assigned to them.
Preventive maintenance tasks can also easily be scheduled in a CMMS. A preventive maintenance task is basically when certain things on a piece of equipment or location are checked or repaired on a regular basis so the asset does not break down.
CMMS software programs automatically keep historical data on locations and pieces of equipment, which can be very useful later on. This data can be gathered and used to make important decisions on repairs vs buying new. For example, if the outdoor sprinkler system keeps acting up, historical data can show the lifetime repair costs of the system. From there, church officials can decide whether it is less costly to keep repairing it or purchase a new system. Without the historical data, this would be quite difficult to determine.
One of the most useful components of a CMMS is inventory tracking. Keeping close track of inventory items not only helps ensure items are on-hand at all times, but it also helps workers locate items quickly. For example, if a particular tool is needed to complete maintenance on a church vehicle, people can go into the CMMS, lookup the tool, and know exactly where it is. This helps cut down the time spent doing repairs, so more things can be completed.
In addition, knowing what tools and parts are on-hand prevents buying duplicates, which can save the facility money. Some CMMS systems also have automatic reordering, which means whenever an item gets below a certain number, a purchase request is automatically created for that item.
The ability to run reports within a CMMS is another excellent reason for a church to have one. Reports can show volunteers things like which work orders have been completed, which have not been, repair costs over a certain time period, and many other things. This data helps volunteers within the church stay organized and on top of repairs.
Along with the above listed advantages, having a mobile application version of a CMMS makes things even easier. Workers can take photos and attach them to work orders, right from their smartphone or tablet. Work orders can also be completed on mobile devices right after the work is done. Attachments, such as images and manuals, can also be viewed on mobile devices, which can really help get repairs done in a more timely fashion.
Churches all across the country can benefit from having a CMMS in place. This software can help track inventory, schedule repairs, and run valuable reports, among other things.
Heather Wilkerson is marketing coordinator for Mapcon Technologies, which has been creating maintenance management software since 1982. MAPCON software is used in industry and facilities worldwide, www.mapcon.com.