How mobile is your CMMS/EAM?

Survey results reveal the role of mobility in asset management.

For those on the plant floor, mobile technologies are delivering productivity improvements by making necessary information accessible on demand, including maintenance history and work orders. But just because the technology is available doesn't mean that every worker has access to it, or is able realize mobility's full potential.

Plant Services recently partnered with IFS to conduct a survey focusing on how and why organizations integrate mobile technologies into their asset management practices. Here are three key takeaways from the survey results.

Are you in the 20% without mobile access on the job?

Mobility is playing a more important role in plant maintenance, a sentiment echoed by a majority of survey respondents who are able to use mobile devices in the workplace. While it's not surprising that mobility hasn't been universally adopted yet, we were shocked to learn that 1 in 5 respondents do not see a future where they can ever use a mobile device for job-related tasks. Plant Services Editor and Chief Thomas Wilk offered his own perspective on the technological gap in a recent report: "After analyzing the data from this question against the various demographic data collected at the start of the survey, the strongest determinant of mobile use seemed to be related to plant size: a heavy majority of respondents who responded 'No plans' to this question also worked for an organization that managed five plants or less, and those who responded 'Yes' most often worked for organizations that managed six or more plants."

Leveraging mobility to improve asset management

When delving deeper into the connection between mobile technologies and asset management, we learned that a majority of survey respondents are not using mobile devices to access their EAM/CMMS software. The disconnect between mobility and asset management software was surprising, and prompted our editorial team to more closely analyze the data. According to Wilk: "When analyzed against the demographic data, a clear majority of respondents who reported “no” work in energy verticals (i.e., utility/power generation and oil & gas), suggesting that workers in those verticals more often leveraged mobility for other purposes."

Top features and functions

Increasing worker productivity is a goal for many plants, so it's only fitting that when asked about the CMMS features that are most commonly used via mobile devices, survey respondents listed work instructions, planning and scheduling, and reporting as their top three answers. According to Wilk: "These responses also dovetail with findings from the field service management (FSM) portion of the survey. When respondents who had been using FSM software were asked which features they most commonly use, the top response at 27.3% was 'planning and scheduling' features."

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