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Out of order ! To fix or to replace ?

Out of order ! To fix or to replace ?

Wednesday 19 february 2020

Whether it is due to normal wear and tear of a part, programmed or unplanned obsolescence, or an unforeseen event, there comes a time when the equipment's behavior changes, fades away and eventually breaks down. You are then faced with the decision: should it be repaired or replaced? What information do you then have to make sure you make the best decision? 

Towards an ideal decision-making process

If information is not the decision, having it remains decisive and essential when a decision has to be made. This complex cognitive process should always be able to rely on clearly identified criteria. In the absence of precise information, the choice will be made in a purely empirical way. Since it cannot be based on concrete elements, it will then respond more to the belief than to a real decision-making process.

CMMS, for Computerized Maintenance Management Systems, now enable companies to collect, process, store and share ever-increasing volumes of data. It should be noted in this respect that the arrival of smartphones and mobile applications in the maintenance sector represents a major breakthrough that advantageously replaces the paper-based solutions with forced retyping that are still common in older generation CMMS. Indeed, the mobile application is the ideal way to collect data directly in the field. The technician completes his digital work order from his mobile phone at the same time as he carries out curative or preventive maintenance operations. Subsequent double entries are now a thing of the past and the company benefits from very fresh information. 

Thanks to this new mass of information collected in real-time, processed, enriched and made available by CMMS, your choice to repair, replace or leave the property in good condition will now be based on tangible elements, which will not only facilitate decision-making but also make it more well-founded. Indeed, having quantitative and qualitative data will be essential to make the best decision quickly and confidently. 

Through the history of events associated with a technical asset, automatically valued (hourly labor, parts, travel, associated operating costs), the decision-maker has access to its cost of ownership at any time in real-time. These disbursements reconciled to the book value of the asset, taking into account its depreciation, the cost of spare parts and labor required for repairs can be instantly compared with the replacement cost. Namely: costs of acquisition, installation and maintenance of the new equipment that would be substituted. The CMMS will immediately provide you with all this operational, organizational and financial data and will enable you to determine the most appropriate course of action to adopt.

Beyond the budgetary aspects, there are benefits to repairing an existing technical asset. Technicians can be familiar with it, have the necessary skills to maintain it and thus better master it, unlike the manufacturer's latest model. Training and refresher course times must be taken into consideration. Having this information is also crucial in the decision-making process. However, it is generally accepted that the age of assets affects the difficulty of maintaining them in operational condition, with the consequences of more incidents or production shutdowns or impacts on the comfort and safety of users.

Environmental aspects must also be taken into account: if, on the one hand, the failing equipment may be more polluting, consuming more energy than a newer good either because it is of old design or because its efficiency and performance has deteriorated, on the other hand, its replacement will require the manufacture of a new good with all the associated ecological and societal implications. Numerous studies show that three quarters of the environmental footprint of technical equipment is concentrated in the manufacturing phase. However, in the medium term the impact can be very favourable due to the lower consumption of replacement equipment. This analysis is particularly difficult to carry out without suitable tools. The CMMS is quite capable of holding this information (current consumption compared to the characteristics of the replacement equipment or machine) and of providing you with the carbon and environmental balances of the 2 solutions in the short, medium and long term.

Preparing for the Future - Preventive Maintenance

Once the technical asset has been repaired or replaced, in order to keep future downtime and the expenses incurred to a minimum, the maintenance plan must be put in place or readapted. These recurring preventive actions will significantly reduce breakdowns through proper maintenance and monitoring. This is the famous saying, prevention is better than cure. On this point there is no alternative, it is imperative to integrate into your maintenance strategy a CMMS solution that must be robust, complete, easy to use for everyone (managers, technicians, and dispatchers) and very quickly operational. You will immediately improve the efficiency of your maintenance department. We will be delighted to present you with our recommendations in this area.

The right decision: CMMS

Thus, when it comes to deciding whether to repair or replace a piece of equipment that has broken down, the only thing you can be sure of is that a CMMS is essential to be able to make a quick and optimal decision. Indeed, it is the control tower of your maintenance, which will manage the technical teams for you, optimize the maintenance in operational conditions of your technical assets and the life cycle of each piece of equipment. Beyond that, CMMS will strengthen your decision-making capacity.

By the way, our ambition is to provide an unparalleled user experience. Check it out right away: try CMMS for free. Within 2 minutes, the time it takes to create your account, you'll discover what's newest in this category of software.

You can also benefit from a demonstration led by one of our consultants: book a videoconference

Good discovery and see you soon!


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