The first tools were invented by our ancestors with a clear purpose in mind – to make our lives easier. The same holds true in the modern day field of maintenance management; however, with the large amount of technology out there, a new problem comes up. How do we know which tools are the best to arm our staff? Software tools can make preventative maintenance much more efficient, but picking the right ones is just as important as adopting new technology.

One common mistake is simply falling for the glamour and galore of the latest gadgets. In the field of maintenance management, many of the personnel are gear heads and gadget freaks. And there’s nothing wrong with the latest and greatest, but to best ensure the highest quality within preventative maintenance, picking the right tools is just as important as making sure they are appropriately used.

Let’s take the vibration tool, a popular tool used within preventative maintenance, as an example. The tools themselves are solid pieces of equipment. Problems come up when often times, the people using these tools are not afforded the proper amount of time during shutdowns to use the tool to its fullest extent. We see here a valid issue in the field of maintenance management: that the great tools that can make our lives easier are worthless if they are not used well.

Technology is an important aspect in many parts of life and it can accelerate processes which might have proven difficult or even impossible without it. For maintenance management, it is equally important to use the tools correctly as it is to give staff the right tools in the first place. Here we can see the necessity of proper training to give preventative maintenance staff the skills and knowledge that they need along with these powerful tools.

When it comes to preventative maintenance, it is often the basics that get overlooked such as planning, scheduling, inspections, lubrication, alignment and storage. Sure, these might be the boring or tedious parts of the job, but when it comes down to doing the job right, maintenance management staff can not forget about the fundamentals. Instead of simply purchasing the next new piece of technology or latest gadget, make sure to think thoroughly about whether this new tool is optimal for the job. It’s easy to get caught up in the new and shiny gadgets and forget about the fundamentals of preventative maintenance.

Another common mistake some people make when adopting new maintenance software or other such tools is thinking that the new technology may guide the company or provide a “magical” solution for basic problems. Although technology can definitely make many solutions much more easily attainable, picking the right one is where the difficulty arises. Especially for a field as large as maintenance management, there are many competing technologies. Distinguishing between these technologies and choosing the right one for your staff will make a huge difference to your company. And if you keep the key fundamentals of preventative maintenance in mind (again those are planning, scheduling, inspections, lubrication, alignment and storage) then you will be prepared to pick the best tools for your business.

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