Technical compliance with a Planned Preventive Maintenance (PPM) schedule should not be complex to achieve. After all, there are clear instructions specifying what needs to be done, how it should be done and when. So why are PPMs such a headache for many NHS trusts? I’d argue that it’s not meeting the compliance requirements that’s the issue, but proving you met them.
NHS managers need to be able to demonstrate that their teams have performed to a planned routine within a set timescale. With the vast estates today’s NHS trusts must deal with, this can only be done effectively with the aid of technology.
The problem with paper – and why CAFM isn't the solution
Gone are the days when daily jobs could be issued to an engineer on a slip of paper giving the sparsest of information. Purely paper-based processes give you little solid evidence of asset and property compliance.
Thousands of bits of near-identical paperwork are not exactly the ideal way to check what’s going on – at least until someone in the back office has uploaded it into the CAFM (Computer Aided Facilities Management) or worse, a creaking excel spreadsheet. The total lack of visibility makes it difficult, if not impossible, to track productivity, check the status of remedial works and manage the performance of frontline teams.
The answer to this problem might seem obvious: why not just use your existing CAFM system to record works and send people tasks?
But CAFMs are not built for workflow management – they are too detailed and require too much specialist knowledge to be useful to someone just trying to log a PPM report. That’s not to say they aren’t useful, but they are not designed to quickly log reports or tasks and you would have to be confident of training your maintenance teams to use it correctly.
Turbocharge your data IN
However, a workflow automation platform like (ahem) mpro5, empowers you to make a step change in PPM performance at every stage of a job.
Firstly, engineers are armed with accurate, specific information about the PPM to be attended, and supporting information on the asset and any parts can be attached to the relevant workflow task – without all the additional noise a CAFM would provide. The work they do and the data capture are intrinsically linked, and this is sent directly into the database.
Automate your Remedial Actions
Secondly, if something fails – the software will automatically create the remedial action as a job and send it to someone who can fix it, then track that until it’s resolved. This is all recorded through the mobile application, which can easily be downloaded on any device.
Real time your data OUT
Dashboard reporting collates data to give managers a powerful visualisation of PPM performance in real-time – which is invaluable for effective operational management. You can choose to receive alerts only when issues arise or fall outside acceptable boundaries pre-determined by you. (After all, no one needs to be told “Elvis is still dead”).
As much as we would like to be dealing in real time, it’s usually all about last month’s performance when it comes to reporting. Your workflow platform of choice should produce a traditional static performance report at regular intervals to compliment the dashboard. Instead of hunting down pieces of paper, or building graphs in excel manually, meaningful reports can be pre-designed and then generated within seconds and sent automatically to the right people at the right time.
Powerful data analytics
How long would it normally take you to manually calculate the average number of remedial jobs completed? What about the average time to close them, or the number of PPM jobs completed for the last month?
Daydream for a moment about these illuminating performance measures, sortable by job type and team member that completed them, being produced automatically without you even breaking a sweat.
The law of unintended consequences is not always your enemy. Over time, this information is building a rich database of potential insights. This can be used to inform your future resource planning: do you need a short term or long term investment to tackle the maintenance backlog? It gives you a better grasp of when it’s time to replace, rather than merely fix, an asset that’s reaching the end of its lifecycle.
And if this data is collated along with other information from your Facilities Management teams, you will start to see how factors and assets can be interconnected in surprising ways.
A stitch in time…
Organisations with a well-managed PPM strategy are typically more efficient, more productive and more compliant. They have less need for major unplanned repairs, which reduces maintenance and overtime costs. Furthermore, their assets tend to have a longer lifespan because they’re well looked after. Our solution, mpro5, already plays an integral part in several NHS trusts and healthcare providers’ PPM plans, maybe it could play one in yours.
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