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Digital Transformation for More Effective Construction Equipment Maintenance

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Digital Transformation for More Effective Construction Equipment Maintenance

Digital transformation has revolutionized the way many industries operate. Oil and gas, chemical processing, mining, utilities, and many others have used digital transformation and technology to improve how they solve problems and deliver value to customers. They’ve changed their corporate in terms of tech, people, and processes, how they're utilized, and how they interact. Integrating digital technology and mobile devices into equipment maintenance has reduced machinery downtime, increased productivity, and cut costs. Can digital transformation enable construction firms to achieve the same results? Let's examine.

Construction Equipment Requires Constant Maintenance; Yet Suffers Significant Downtime

The home building and commercial construction industry uses a lot of complex equipment to complete a job. This equipment can be massive, such as cranes, bulldozers, crawlers, loaders, excavators, etc. Or it could be something not quite so large, such as a fleet vehicle, a forklift, a man lift or scissor lift, or even a jackhammer. 

Despite this machinery being designed for heavy-duty jobs, no piece of equipment works forever. Eventually, something will need to be repaired or replaced. A belt will break or a gear will wear out. When that happens, that equipment is suddenly rendered out of service and can no longer perform its task. That means a project could face delays, leading to frustrated customers and lost revenues. 

Construction equipment maintenance experts estimate equipment downtime rates range from 20% to 30%. Lowering that rate tops every maintenance manager's wish list.


Paper-Based, Run-to-Fail Equipment Maintenance Causes More Problems Than It Solves… and at a Higher Cost

Construction companies using a paper-based equipment maintenance inspection and work order process aren’t getting an accurate, real-time picture of the operational status of their valuable construction machinery. 

When construction equipment goes offline, maintenance managers jump into action to get it repaired and restore it to operation. No matter how competent the manager or staff, a paper-based work order process hinders efficiency and productivity. Why? Because a paper-based system introduces a greater risk of error. It also delays getting the information into a decision maker's hands for action. A manager or supervisor using a paper-based maintenance data gathering and sharing process:

  • Can’t easily determine which equipment is experiencing problems
  • Has greater difficulty allocating labor and materials to jobs
  • Has no way to track repair work progress in real time
  • Can’t accurately gauge wrench time or productivity
  • Have difficulty making knowledge-based decisions

This situation means they're relying on a run-to-fail strategy where a piece of equipment must break before it undergoes maintenance. Run-to-fail maintenance practices result in:

  • Greater risks for equipment failure
  • More safety incidents
  • Additional revenue-draining downtime

A run-to-fail program also proves costly to operate. Delaying maintenance until a piece of equipment fails can run up to 10 times the price of a preventative process. It also leads to more machinery being offline. 

The company must pay to repair the equipment. But repairs aren't the only costs associated with unplanned equipment downtime.

Tangible downtime costs:

  • Labor
    • Direct labor (in-house maintenance)
    • Idle workers
    • Overtime
  • Production
    • Reduced capacity
  • Overhead
    • Parts and materials
    • Shipping
    • Renting replacement equipment

Intangible downtime costs:

  • Revenues
  • Profit margins
  • Lost business opportunities
  • Customer service risks

How can a construction company ensure its mechanical and equipment assets are up to the daily wear and tear? Does digital transformation have a role in this effort? Yes! 

Digital Transformation Can Overcome Equipment Maintenance Challenges

Maintenance technicians and supervisors need real-time visibility into current construction equipment health and performance to maximize reliability and reduce unscheduled downtime. When equipment goes down unexpectedly, they require a solution that delivers quick access to operational and historical information to expedite repairs and complete them to get the asset back onto the job site.

For supervisors and decision-makers, digital transformation technology - such as a mobile frontline worker application - delivers instant, real-time information from the field or the repair shop. No more waiting for hours for a paper checklist to be turned in or inputted into a back-office system like SAP. Instead, decision-makers get an immediate update on equipment conditions. They can make knowledgeable choices based on what's happening now rather than relying on paper-based forms and checklists that may already be outdated.

mWorkOrder: The Digital Solution to Unplanned Construction Equipment Downtime

Innovapptive is a worldwide digital transformation leader. It’s our mission to connect and create conversations between people, machinery, and work processes to improve people’s lives. To that end, we’ve developed a mobile-first solution that aims to eliminate paper-based forms and checklists, increase construction equipment uptime, and reduce maintenance costs. 

mWorkOrder provides an end-to-end work management application that supports preventive and predictive maintenance strategies that let maintenance teams move away from the inefficient and reactive “run-to-fail” approach. Technicians using mobile devices such as smartphones, scanners, tablets, and wearables fulfill maintenance work orders and perform inspections, equipment checks, etc. With these devices, equipment status and operational data automatically upload instantly to SAP. Eliminating manual data input eliminates errors and boosts wrench time. It also cuts administrative costs. 

mWorkOrder also increases communication between technicians and supervisors. Managers can create and issue digital work orders and follow the progress in real time. Supervisors instantly receive work order updates and can send push notifications to their employees’ mobile devices to notify them immediately of tasks or other information.

One of mWorkOrder's advantages is the ability to create emergency work orders in seconds without having to chase down technicians in person. Time is crucial during emergencies. Quick remedial or corrective action can mean the difference between a short, inconvenient unplanned downtime incident and a costly and lengthy one. When equipment breaks down, an authorized user can create, issue, and assign a work order on the fly. Technicians are immediately alerted to make appropriate repairs, minimizing risks and wasted time.


mWorkOrder users can:

  • Receive, process, create and update work orders
  • Access equipment details and maintenance history
  • Perform maintenance, inspections, and repairs
  • Track and automatically report work status, progress, and location
  • Capture readings, measurements, and images
  • Record problems, actions, time, parts, and material

What can users expect from mWorkOrder? Innovapptive clients have reported the following best-case scenarios:

  • Up to 98% higher asset uptime
  • Up to 20% greater wrench time  
  • Up to a 50% drop in work order backlogs
  • Up to 26% lower maintenance costs
  • Up to a 40% reduction in safety incidents

Digitally Transform Your Construction Equipment Maintenance with Innovapptive’s mWorkOrder

Schedule a free demo of mWorkOrder today, then call us at 888-464-6668. Our experts can show you how a mobile work order solution can dramatically reduce unplanned equipment downtime.

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