Blog | Electronic Maintenance Records
It has already been well established that proper record keeping of preventive maintenance and repairs is crucial to any maintenance program. Without a good maintenance program, including regular inspections and documentation, companies are missing out on a number of gains, such as prevention of expensive repairs, individualized maintenance for each asset, ease of warranty claims, safer conditions for operators, increased asset longevity, identification of breakdown trends, increased visibility into health of all assets, and increased resale value of assets. electronic record keeping, maintenance program, mobile data collection, paperless data collection, and record-keeping
We will not be going into detail about these, but it is worth reiterating the importance of keeping proper documentation. In order for these numerous advantages to be realized, data must be consistently and completely recorded to a set standard, easily accessible, and easily utilized by operators, shop workers, management and ownership. This can often be exceptionally difficult through a paper-based system, and we will discuss the challenges and present an easier alternative in paperless record keeping.
The Challenge with Paper Records
It takes an exceptionally organized company to be able to keep track of all maintenance and repairs using paper forms, in order to extract all the benefits of record keeping. Every piece of equipment or vehicle requires a logbook, in which all repairs, maintenance, and inspections are recorded. There are a few issues that often arise as a result of physical books, such as:
- Lost books when they get moved between the asset’s location and the shop
- The need to take up physical space to store older logbooks and current ones
- Data inconsistency or illegibility of writing by different operators in the books
- Inability to make changes easily to the forms
- Multiple books needed for different inspections, maintenance, and repairs
- Disjointed information due to multiple books
- Lack of confirmation that inspections and maintenance are being done
- Lack of visibility into individual assets and general fleet health
The objective of record-keeping is to communicate the “who”, “what”, “when”, “where”, and “why”, with every person who touches a particular vehicle, equipment, or structure. Record keeping tells the asset’s story about what has been done to it, who has done the work/inspection, when was it completed, where the asset was at the time or where it is now, and why it needed that work done to it. The time will arise when that kind of information is needed by someone other than the person that recorded it, and with paper forms and logbooks this can be exceptionally difficult.
An Easier Approach-No More Paper
The use of paper is on the decline in all industries and our personal lives, yet in many industries and companies, this antiquated system is still present. From snail-mail to email, faxes to PDFs, filing cabinets to online document storage, there are numerous reasons why the paper has gone the way of the Dodo. Companies that rely on paper for critical operations, will eventually relinquish their competitive advantage to more forward-thinking companies.
One method of record-keeping that is getting more traction, as a result of technological adoptions, is the use of electronic forms on smartphones and tablets. With this method, there is no need for physical books, and logbook forms can be uniquely converted into an application on a mobile device to capture the same information that is being collected using the books.
View Entire Asset’s History- Search, Sort, Filter by Any Relevant Data
Rather than important data being collected in a logbook, information is recorded electronically onto a mobile device, with the data stored centrally and viewable in real-time.
Each vehicle or piece of equipment can be uniquely identified, and all tasks recorded directly to that asset, with the entire history of all tasks being accessible at the click of a button. The capabilities of this kind of system allow for much more than just recording work done to assets, but also gives the ability to search, sort, query, and filter by any category necessary, such as by individual assets, by type of task completed, such as whether it is a pre-trip inspection or a repair, by date, by operator, or by any other necessary grouping from a computer.
Electronic record-keeping also are easier to make changes to, so that the data collected is clearest, most concise and the most relevant, and alterations can be made on the fly, in an instant.
Paperless data collection also eliminates the possibility of lost books or paper forms, and also ensures data consistency, by not allowing for entries to be illegible. These mobile forms also do not require physical space for storage.
Nektar’s Mobile Data Collection Tool
Nektar has an incredibly robust mobile, paperless data collection system that has the ability to convert all current paper forms into the real-time, GPS-enabled mobile app. These forms are made to look the same as your paper forms, reducing pushback, but allow for a much higher quality of collected data. Our tool is used in many industries from construction to rental companies, to the utility industry.
2-Dimensional QR Tag to Identify Assets
Nektar uses a 2-dimensional QR tag that acts as a license plate to each unique asset and all work that is done is recorded directly to that piece of equipment, vehicle, or structure. This provides users with the ability to see all the historical data for that asset at any given time, and recorded work is updated instantly.
Reporting Tool-Identify Where Money is Being Saved and Lost
We round off our mobile data collection tool with comprehensive reporting tool allows management and owners to see compilations of data to provide meaningful insight into things like, which assets are approaching their next scheduled maintenance, or which makes or models have had the highest number of breakdowns, or which operators have the most reported damage to their equipment or vehicles.
The Overall Benefit
Using mobile data collection to keep records of the inspections and work performed on vehicles and equipment gives complete visibility into all assets’ past health, current status, and future needs. It allows for much more than just the documentation of the work completed, but also provides the means to gain the most benefit (we’ll say it one last time- read the previous post) from recording the maintenance and repairs. No maintenance program is complete without proper documentation of the work being done. Although any good record keeping is better than none at all, a robust electronic record-keeping tool will provide much more functionality, ease of use, and better visibility to establish the best maintenance program possible for your company.
Electronic Maintenance Records. Electronic Maintenance Records. Electronic Maintenance Records.