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The Maintenance Management Blog

March 20, 2017

Mine Business Intelligence from Your CMMS

Business Intelligence

(This article appeared in the March 2017 issue of Maintenance Technology.)

Business Intelligence (or BI) analysis is crucial to any company’s growth. BI is the use of software to analyze a company’s raw data. Analyzing data by the use of reporting and analytics can assist with crucial business decisions. In the maintenance world, a CMMS is a vital part of obtaining this data.

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Filed under: CMMS — Heather Wilkerson @ Monday, March 20th, 2017

March 13, 2017

March Madness with MAPCON

March Madness

It’s that time of year again – time for March Madness! As people are trading bracket tips, I can’t help but wonder how a CMMS could assist with this process. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could pull up a CMMS, such as MAPCON and run reports on all your favorite teams? You could use the reports to make educated bracket decisions, and maybe even beat your coworkers for once! Here’s how I think a CMMS could assist with bracket decisions.

Inventory Management. In a maintenance department, inventory management is always a high priority. It is critical to have necessary parts on hand for when repairs are needed. The same can be said for a basketball team. Players and coaches always need to make sure they have the needed equipment and that it is up-to-par. No one wants a deflate gate scandal to hit college basketball! So, in this case, a CMMS can be used fundamentally to make sure teams have the equipment they need to make sure practice goes off without a hitch. MAPCON even allows users to set a minimum number required, and once that amount is reached, a purchase requisition for the needed equipment is automatically created and a notification can be sent to the team manager to reorder equipment.

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Filed under: CMMS — Lisa Richards @ Monday, March 13th, 2017

February 28, 2017

Why Your Ethanol Plant Should Use a CMMS

Environmental CMMS

These days more and more people are choosing to be environmentally friendly when filling up their tank, by using gasoline with ethanol. As a result, ethanol plants are in higher demand than ever. Due to the high demand for ethanol, it is critical that plants produce as much of it as possible. A Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), such as MAPCON, is a great addition to any ethanol plant that is looking to increase production and decrease downtime.

A good CMMS will decrease spending and therefore also increase a plant’s profit margin. The software decreases spending in a few different ways. First of all, a CMMS can decrease machine downtime. When machines are down, part of production time is lost, which results in a plant losing money. The software tracks machine downtime which can help predict and prevent future downtime by displaying patterns. For example, a report might show that belts on certain machines are more likely to break when it is cold outside. Knowing that, the plant can stock up on belts during that time of year, or try and prevent them from breaking by increasing the temperature around the machine.

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Filed under: CMMS — Lisa Richards @ Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

January 11, 2017

5 Reasons Your Hotel Should Be Using a CMMS

Hotel CMMS

With the growing popularity of sites such as Airbnb, the hospitality industry really needs to step up its game in order to remain competitive. A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help hotels and resorts increase their bookings.

  1. Customer Experience. Preventive maintenance checks can be scheduled within a CMMS, which can help prevent downtime, which will definitely help leave your customers satisfied. A simple preventive maintenance check can keep HVAC or other systems up-and-running effectively.
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Filed under: CMMS — Lisa Richards @ Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

December 20, 2016

Twas the Night Before Christmas…

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the block
Not a programmer was coding, not even Brock.
The stockings were hung on Emily’s desk at reception,
In hopes of St. Nick’s eventual inception.

The support team was nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of work orders danced in their heads.
Aaron in his office and Joel in his workspace,
Were spending the night, to keep MAPCON’s pace.

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Filed under: CMMS — Heather Wilkerson @ Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

December 12, 2016

How a CMMS Could Have Changed Star Wars

CMMS & Star Wars

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

If you’re like us here at Mapcon, you’re excited for the upcoming release of “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” in just a few short days. As the release date draws closer and closer, we couldn’t help but wonder: how would the implementation of a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) have changed the previous films? I truly believe that both the Rebels and the Empire could have benefited greatly by simply using a CMMS.

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Filed under: CMMS — Lisa Richards @ Monday, December 12th, 2016

December 1, 2016

Using a CMMS for Business Intelligence Analysis

Business Intelligence

These days, companies around the world are more concerned than ever with improving business intelligence. Business intelligence (or BI) is the use of software applications that to analyze a company’s raw data. BI is made up of several activities, such as online analytical processing, data mining, querying, and reporting. Analyzing the data helps companies make strategic business decisions. For example, a clothing store may use an application to analyze sales and decide which clothing to order more of and which to stop ordering. Using the data allows them to spend more money on items that sell well, which not only prevents the company from losing money on items that don’t sell, but it allows them to keep up with the demand of items that do. BI can also be used to make bigger decisions, such as which plants or stores to close.

A CMMS can be a critical tool when analyzing business intelligence in a few different ways. MAPCON has recently incorporated a tool specifically for this, called the MAPCON Business Intelligence Reporting Tool, or MBIRT for short. The tool allows users to create custom reports which make it easy to analyze data and make informed business decisions.

MAPCON users can use MBIRT to create basically any report they want, which can help them make maintenance decisions. If users need to see which of their equipment has the most downtime or the most costly repairs, they can simply run a report which will highlight that information. The report also allows users to drill-down and get more specific information. The report can then be analyzed and used to make important business decisions. Managers may view the downtime report and decide that a piece of equipment has too much downtime and is costing them money, and therefore make the decision to replace it. An inventory usage report can also be run, which will show what is being used within the company and what isn’t, which can save the company money when decisions about ordering parts or equipment needs to be made.

Data from business intelligence reports can also be looked at to determine if there’s a certain time of year when more repairs are needed, which can be helpful. For example, when a company is planning for the fiscal year, they might need to find out what repair costs were for the previous year, broken down by month, to see if there are any patterns. They might notice that repair costs are higher during a certain time of year, which would help them plan ahead of time for those repair costs.

Reporting within a MAPCON can also be used to make human resource decisions. MAPCON allows users to run reports which show how many repairs were done per shift, per craft, and per employee. Those reports allow managers to monitor their employees and make staffing decisions as needed. The possibilities for a CMMS assisting with business intelligence analyzation are limitless. This is especially true when people are using MBIRT within MAPCON CMMS. To learn more about MBIRT, along with other helpful MAPCON features, click here.


Filed under: CMMS — Heather Wilkerson @ Thursday, December 1st, 2016

November 14, 2016

Better Off Together

Lincolnland Agri-Energy LLC

(This article appears in the current issue of Biofuels International Magazine)

These days, many ethanol plants are searching for systems that combine purchasing and maintenance management into one. For the past 20+ years, Mapcon Technologies Inc. has offered purchasing within their computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS). Purchasing was integrated into the software to help companies enforce spending controls while reducing the time it takes from requisition to purchase order.

Lincolnland Agri Energy, located in Palestine Illinois, has been a part of the MAPCON family since early 2007. They have found having purchasing within their CMMS to be very helpful. According to Maintenance and Purchasing Coordinator Candace Kincaid, not only is it convenient, but it also saves them time and money. The majority of their purchasing comes from the maintenance department, so Kincaid thinks the integration of CMMS and purchasing just makes sense. Also, since the maintenance staff already knows how to use MAPCON, there is no additional training for employees needed to complete the purchasing process, which is definitely more efficient.

MAPCON’s CMMS can integrate directly with many accounting systems, which prevents employees from needing to enter vendor and purchase order information twice. The accounting department at Lincolnland uses Microsoft Dynamics GP, which integrates perfectly with their MAPCON system.

“It was integrated a couple of years ago and so far it has worked great between the two systems. It is nice for our accounting clerk to not have to enter all of the information twice!” Kincaid stated.

Previously, ethanol plant managers needed to closely monitor their parts and make sure more were ordered once the minimum number required was reached. Since this was a manual process, errors could be made and things could easily be missed. Also, manually tracking and reordering parts can be time consuming. MAPCON has automated that process, which not only saves managers time, but it also ensures that parts are always available when they are needed, and that the repairs won’t be delayed because a part was not ordered. Users can set a minimum and optimum number required for each part. When a technician issues a part to a work order, it is tracked. When the minimum number of parts has been reached, a purchase requisition is automatically created to order enough parts to reach the optimum number set, and a notification is sent to the proper manager for approval. Users can also change the settings so that the economic order quantity (EOQ) is reached, which can help save the plant money. Users that also have MAPCON Mobile will receive a notification on their smartphone or tablet letting them know that their approval is required. Receiving an email or a notification right away can save time by getting the approval process started almost instantly. Once the purchase order is approved, it can be automatically emailed to the vendor.

When the parts are received, users can log into MAPCON and enter the parts into the system. A notification can then be sent to employees that need to know when the part is received so work can begin. After the parts are added, a stocking report can be generated. This report shows employees in receiving exactly where the parts need to be stored. Having this report handy saves receiving from having to ask supervisors where to put the parts. Users can also easily print barcodes and attach them to the newly received parts at this point. Invoices can be entered into MAPCON, and the information will flow over to the plant’s accounting interface. Adding the invoices to MAPCON first is helpful because the pricing information within the CMMS will be updated if it is incorrect.

In MAPCON, a purchase order can be issued directly to a location, work order, or piece of equipment. This is useful for when a part is needed that is not kept in stock. Purchasing a part directly to a piece of equipment or a work order is also useful when tracking repair costs, as it will be evident what parts were purchased specifically for that equipment and what the costs were.

When vendor information, such as the address and phone number, is saved in MAPCON, it will populate when a purchase requisition or purchase order is created. This not only saves time, but it also helps prevent simple mistakes. Since the information does not have to be entered each time, typos and other mistakes which can delay the order can be avoided. Pricing information is also kept within their CMMS. Kincaid says that having pricing information for parts also stored in MAPCON helps ensure that plants are being charged correctly. There is also a purchase order history within the system so employees can see exactly what parts were requested, how many, and what the charge was for past orders. Vendor terms, such as when payment is required, can also be added. If a vendor gives a discount for receiving payment early, that can be tracked and added to the purchase order and the invoice.

Ethanol plants can also use the purchasing part of their CMMS to track the cost of different projects. MAPCON allows users to create different projects and write purchase orders to them, thus tracking the costs. Currently Lincolnland has several projects going on that they need to track the cost of. They are in the process of adding a fifth fermenter and a fourth grain bin. They need to track how much has been spent on the contractors installing both pieces of equipment as well as any other costs that arise, expected or unexpected. Tracking these costs will help them plan for the future, in case another new fermenter or grain bin is needed.

Since most of the costs accrued in an ethanol plant are maintenance related, it just makes sense to combine maintenance management and purchasing into one system that integrates with the plants existing accounting system. MAPCON did this over 20 years ago, and hasn’t looked back since.


Filed under: CMMS — Heather Wilkerson @ Monday, November 14th, 2016


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