HOW TO CREATE AN APP TO MANAGE MAINTENANCE ACTIVITIES

manage maintenance activities

Many companies have been turning to new technologies in order to increase the reliability and availability of their equipment and at the same time they try to keep maintenance costs under control. The use of digital tools to manage maintenance activities aims to prevent and avoid equipment failures and to increase labor productivity.

Adopting a digital approach in the maintenance sector can represent a big boost for the company and McKinsey research reports that “the most successful digital maintenance and reliability implementations share three common characteristics. First, these companies take a holistic view of these new tools, building digital technologies into a clearly defined vision for the future of the maintenance and reliability function. Second, they focus on two domains that have proved to be truly effective in heavy industrial applications: predictive maintenance (PdM) and digital work management (DWM). Finally, they support their use of digital tools by ensuring the necessary enablers are in place, including optimized workflows, a robust data infrastructure, and the capabilities of their personnel (exhibit)”.

Speaking of DWM, we must say that it includes a large range of systems that improve maintenance work, like work identification and planning, scheduling, materials management, dispatching, execution, and closeout. But it’s not over, because always according to McKinsey research, DWM systems “provide execution support in the field, with mobile devices or augmented-reality systems guiding staff as they complete their tasks, collecting detailed data on asset condition, and improving the accuracy and speed of work-order closeout and contractor payment”.

Some of the benefits that DWM systems can bring are listed by this research and they are: increasing the efficiency of internal and external maintenance labor, reducing planned downtime through shutdown and outage optimization, providing the opportunity to upskill the maintenance workforce, including more effective procurement and working-capital management through improved inventory visibility.

Predictive Maintenance can make the difference

If we’re talking about being able to manage maintenance activities, we cannot omit the importance of adopting a predictive maintenance (PdM). According to Techopedia, PdM is “an approach to asset management that relies on operational data to determine when a physical asset requires service. An important goal of PdM is to minimize maintenance costs by preventing equipment failures before they occur”.

Through to this kind of approach, many companies are using, for instance, sensors on machine which can trigger alarms in case of anomalies. The use of technology supports companies in this sense, and it gives a huge push up to improve quality standard levels. As a matter of fact, PdM, as Techopedia reports, brings several benefits when it is used as a maintenance strategy, because “it can minimize issues with reliability or quality. It can help in preventing expensive failures from occurring. Overstock can also be reduced in inventory thanks to predictive maintenance”.

TDox: your ideal partner to manage maintenance activities

That’s fine, we learned that to manage maintenance activities is important to entrust on digital tools which can support you to adopt a predictive maintenance approach. What if we say that there is a platform that helps you create an app to manage maintenance activities? If you want to know more, let us tell you about TDox.

TDox is a multi-experience development platform (MXDP) which is able to digitize business processes in low-code mode. If you’ve never heard about low-code technology, check our article out to know what kind of advantages it can give. However, with low-code is possible to create an app in an easy and fast manner because it doesn’t require any programming knowledge. In fact, anyone can do it, both professional and non-professional developers who can now focus more on the aesthetic of the apps rather than on the syntax of the code.

As a result of this, you get access to TDox on web app and here the platform puts at your disposal different functionalities which are very helpful to perform different maintenance tasks. Actually, you can create various forms, such as work orders, checklists, equipment management forms, reports and so on and add TDox’s functionalities. Let’s see what TDox can offer:

  • Camera integration. TDox is integrated with the camera of the mobile device, so operators can take pictures of the construction site or notify anomalies and damages. These pictures can be easily attached to the form and thanks to the time stampTDox is able to record the exact moment when the picture is taken. This integration also makes possible to read barcodes, a helpful tool that can be used to identify tools or specific material. 
  • Checklists. Create your own checklists with the material you need to check. For instance, you may need a checklist to check the activities to be done during the day or to control that the state of the equipment (if they need to be sent to repair, for instance), a solution that makes this activity even faster and reduces human errors.
  • Digital Signature. Certify your documentswith a digital signature, so you won’t have the problem to look for a pen anymore, you just need your finger!
  • PDF Preview. A simple tool that allows to show a PDF preview to the client, so he’ll be aware of what he’s going to sign.

Beyond these functions, you can add data pickers, GPS position, customers and products’ names, categories lists, and labels.

manage maintenance activities

An employee-oriented MXDP

We said that TDox is a multi-experience development platform which means that it’s got a specific multi-experience peculiarity. As a matter of fact, with TDox is possible to make the app that you create to manage maintenance activities available on Android and iOS mobile apps, but also on smart glasses (read the implementation of Augmented Reality in TDox here). In this way, your employees receive on their mobile devices the information they need related to the tasks they have to perform. As a result of this, there’s no more need of paper and you can entrust on digital tools which consent you to save money, time, and energies.

In other words, this multi-experience feature can be seen on TDox for what concerns, for example, the use of planning tools like TDox’s Agenda. Through this tool you can warn your workforce about urgencies, deadlines, or schedule changes or simply about the daily tasks to be performed. In fact, you can create a workload (read the full guide about TDox Workloads here) on webapp and then this is automatically sent to the operators who receive on their smartphone or tablet (here the multi-experience feature) the task that has to be performed, so they can get rid of other dispersive communication tools like emails or instant messaging software, because they have all in one single platform.

Work everywhere, even without connection

We defined TDox as an employee-oriented MXDP because its solutions aim to facilitate workforce activities by giving them the possibility to work better and without any fear of losing data.

According to this, one of the TDox’s distinctive elements is the chance to work offline. In fact, its engine is native offline, that means it’s set on your mobile device. Consequently, if your employee must work in places where connection is low, he/she can keep doing it without worrying about losing data or without speed complication. It will be enough synchronizing data as soon as he/she gets access to an internet connection. This functionality can be underestimated, but who works in the maintenance sector and has to manage maintenance activities knows very well how many times technicians need to perform tasks in places where connection is low, especially those who have to do external interventions.

Offline feature is a splendid benefit that TDox offers to simplify employees’ activities, and this is joined to the automation of data collection (in particular, for what regards the possibility to get Excel files with all the information you collected without data entry needed) and communication. Actually, a clear example is the case of the maintenance works where the technician has to send a report to the client or to the office after he/she has performed a specific task. A prefilled email with the attached document will be sent in automatic, so it will avoid the tedious process of downloading the file and writing a new email. 

Now that you know how to create an app to manage maintenance activities, do not hesitate to contact us to know more about TDox and what it can do for you. Furthermore, if you are interested in seeing what TDox looks like in action, request a free demo, and discover a new world of opportunities.
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