How a CMMS Can Help Improve Relationships With Vendors
Does your company deal with a large volume of maintenance requests each month? If you haven’t yet, you should consider investing in an effective computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) to improve your operations and relationships with vendors. Far too many organizations stick to their guns, using outdated maintenance management practices that waste time and money for both them and their vendors.
Sometimes, it’s easy to get stuck in our ways. If you’ve been using email or phone to track, order, and manage your maintenance operations, you may not even fully understand what you are missing out on. An investment in a CMMS with improve your resource management practices, allow you to more easily evaluate the vendors that you work with, and improve communication between all stakeholders.
A few of the ways that a CMMS solution will help your company improve your relationship with your most trusted vendors include:
Improve Your Resource Management Practices
When your company outsources maintenance operations, it can be difficult to manage your resources effectively. Proper resource management leads to a shorter work order backlog, lower average time to completion for work orders, and better management of the equipment and tools that you need to succeed.
Any company that deals with a large number of maintenance requests knows just how difficult it can be to ensure that the right resources at not only taken to the job site the first time, but are accurately tracked in inventory as well. Did you know that 80% of employees waste at least an average of 30 minutes per day retrieving information? The average search time for a single document is 18 minutes. Forgotten documents, tools, or components can mean hours of downtime while your vendor scrambles to ensure they have the resources on hand to do their job right. Even your vendors themselves are resources. A CMMS can help to appropriately assign tasks, improve response time, and maintain healthy communication with partners.
Easily Outsource to Partnered Vendors
Using a CMMS solution gives your company more control over your relationships with vendors. You can ensure that you assign the right job to the right vendor, never overload a specific vendor with a rush of work orders, and maintain a continued presence in their operations. Being able to see a quick bird’s-eye view of your current work backlog can help you to achieve a better balance in your vendor relationships. You never want a valued partner to feel like you’ve put their relationship on the backburner, and a CMMS can help to ensure that you maintain a positive working relationship with all vendors.
When managing lots of maintenance work orders and vendor relationships, communication can be difficult without a proper system in place. Whether you have a single vendor handling all of your work orders or dozens of vendors in larger operations, constant communication between you and vendors is an absolute necessity for a smooth workflow and quick turnaround on maintenance work orders.
A CMMS allows you to manage work orders, assets, and inventory, while communicating with the assigned vendor directly inside of the work order. This makes communication on specific work orders more clear and consistent. Trying to manage maintenance work orders by sharing work order identifiers and relaying vital resource information through email is a hassle. A CMMS solution simplifies and facilitates quick and accurate communication by making all information easily accessible on the work order page, making things easier on both you and your partnered vendors.
Eliminate Manual Processes and Speed up Maintenance Service
Take a hard look at your current maintenance management operations. How often do you have to fire off an email with details about a work order, make a call to ensure that a work order has been received, or double check to make sure that the proper materials are available to complete the request? If you aren’t using a CMMS, it’s probably much more often than you think. Taking inventory of all of the little, manual tasks that are required to complete a work order can be eye-opening and show you how much time you and your partnered vendors are truly wasting on each new work order.
Although there will be a learning curve to the transition to a CMMS, you will quickly find that your vendors will love you for making the switch. Not only will it make their lives easier by reducing their time spent communicating and increasing their time spent performing maintenance, but you can also open up their eyes to how a similar system would benefit their own business and relationships.
Stay on Top of Preventative Maintenance
Most companies are aware of the benefits of preventative maintenance, but often place it on the backburner while more pressing issues are dealt with. According to National Facilities Management and Technology Conference, companies can save 12-18% by choosing preventative maintenance over reactive maintenance.
The truth is that preventative maintenance is the right choice for all involved parties. Your company will save money in the long run by ensuring that important resources receive regular maintenance and are less likely to break down. Your vendors receive a consistent stream of steady work and rarely have to deal with huge issues that lead to problematic maintenance requests. A CMMS facilitates preventative maintenance by automatically scheduling regular preventative maintenance, keeping your team from overlooking it or pushing it back.
Strengthen Financial Controls and Improve Invoice Accuracy
Many companies that manage a large number of maintenance orders have accounting and maintenance management operations that operate independently. Whether your company operates on net30, net60, or net 90 payment terms, it is important that you are able to accurately invoice your vendors to avoid disputes. A solid CMMS will not only allow you to ensure that you are invoicing for the right job every time, but many give your vendors the ability to input their work hours and remain informed throughout the payment process. This gives your vendors peace of mind and ensures that invoicing and payment disputes are mitigated.
Track and Compare Vendor Performance
One often overlooked benefit of using CMMS software is the fact that you will have access to complete, detailed reports for each vendor relationship. You can dig through statistics that detail which vendors you do the most business with, where your assignments have been trending in recent months, which vendors you run into issues with most often, and which vendors get the work completely fastest. Tracking and comparing vendors is absolutely vital for streamlining your workflow, allowing you to grow relationships with your most effective partners, and reducing issues in the long term.
Industries that are subject to strict compliance regulations must take extra steps to ensure compliance. For example, those that work in the pharmaceutical, medical device, biotech and other similar industries are subject to Title 21 CFR Part 11. It plays a major role in their daily operations. These regulations outline criteria for ensuring that electronic records and signatures are reliable, requiring organizations to demonstrate that there are procedural, administrative, and technical controls in place. This means that companies within this space require software that works within those compliance standards.
Using software that streamlines data & maintenance management within your industry’s compliance requirements will make things easier on both you and your partnered vendors. Not only does it supply peace of mind knowing that important information and maintenance is being performed within regulations, but it reduces risk and allows employees to focus on the task at hand.
Any company that outsources maintenance should begin taking the steps to move toward a CMMS solution. Although it might seem like an inconvenience to move away from the methods that you have been using for years, there are simply too many benefits to overlook. A CMMS solution makes maintenance management easy and saves companies money by ensuring productive use of resources, encouraging preventative maintenance, and facilitating improved decision making through in depth reporting. You’ll find that the switch to a CMMS will not only help your company be more accurate and nimble, but will improve your relationships with your valued vendor partners as well. Vendors appreciate accuracy, simplicity, and organization, which is exactly what a CMMS will provide.