Back to Blog

Key Features of an Effective MRO Software Platform

Image of Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Partnerships & Research
Siddharth Wadehra, Head of Partnerships & Research
Key features of an MRO Software

Think of the challenges your maintenance technicians face every day—breakdowns, backlog, missing parts, cost overruns—the list goes on. Luckily, MRO software offers a helping hand in eliminating most, if not all, of these challenges. The best part is, your organization does not need multiple tools to accomplish this. By deploying a robust MRO solution, the individual modules would be able to handle almost all the operational maintenance problems which your technicians grapple with.

But what is a robust MRO solution? Which are some of these modules which are absolutely key to the success of your maintenance repair operations? With every solution promising you the moon, what are some of the key aspects that you need to keep in mind while deciding on which solution to go with 

Throughout the course of this blog, we would explore some of the features which would make the MRO application a good fit for your organization’s requirements.

 

What Makes a Highly Effective MRO Application Suite?

The purpose of a MRO application is to track, organize, and diagnose asset needs. When it's properly implemented and used, this creates higher uptime, streamlined processes, and overall increased facility production. 

 

On the other hand, when MRO application systems are not implemented correctly, facilities struggle, production lags, downtime increases and business is impacted. The system may be scrapped and older, ineffective systems may take its place, leading to a vicious spiral of unproductivity. 

Sadly, most systems are might be far from ideal. They fail at one or more of the three basics required of them. Whether it's tracking, organizing, or diagnosing, every day that a company runs an unoptimized MRO system, they lose money, time, and resources. 

The ideal MRO Software:

  1. Is user-friendly.
  2. Is modular.
  3. Manages company asset health. 
  4. Has defined roles for all key user profiles.
  5. Supports maintenance process mapping.
  6. Creates maintenance management dashboards.

 

Work order builder – An MRO software allows you to build, assign, complete, and document digital work orders and work requests with a few tools:

  • Work request portal: Allows staff outside of maintenance to create and track maintenance work requests using customized request forms
  • Asset hierarchy: Search for assets or asset groups and associate a work order with them
  • Instructions and documents: Add task-lists, manuals, photos, and more to work orders or tickets.
  • Parts and safety equipment: List all spare parts and safety equipment needed for a job and ensure that the warehouse has sufficient inventory of the same.
  • Failure codes: Outline a problem, cause, and action for asset failure.
  • Logistical information: Set a deadline, choose a priority level, and assign a technician
  • Notes: Include additional details anything which would help the technician.
  • Tracking: See the status of work, monitor costs and file away closed work orders

 

The problems it solves

A digital work order builder helps you eliminate three key obstacles for your maintenance team:

  • Downtime: This tool makes the work order process easier and faster than with pen and paper or Excel. The quicker a work order is created, assigned, and completed, the less time an asset is down. Machines can get running in less time and stay healthy longer.
  • Inefficiency: This feature allows staff to document, submit, and see requests instantly without writing it down twice or sift through paper files. Technicians can access the resources to get the job done fast, correctly, and safely without wasting time looking for what they need.
  • Lack of information: The work order builder ensures every detail for a task is available with a few clicks. This leads to standard results, easier troubleshooting, and smarter decision-making so you can maximize asset health whenever possible.

 

Scheduled maintenance planner- This MRO application removes the challenges of scheduling maintenance, thanks to features like:

  • PM triggers: Trigger work for scheduled tasks based on time, use, condition, or events.
  • Calendar: See everyone’s schedule and assign tasks depending on workload.
  • Maintenance forecaster: Match upcoming tasks with inventory purchases and work schedules.
  • Inspection checklist: Attach a list of inspection tasks, including pass or fail guidelines.
  • Scheduled maintenance metrics: See metrics such as planned maintenance compliance.
  • All elements of the work order builder: Add all information available for a work order to a scheduled maintenance task.

The problems it solves

The scheduled maintenance planner shields your organization from three big issues:

  • Relying on reactive maintenance: The biggest advantage of this feature is it can help you establish a preventive maintenance program and reduce the number of challenges your team tackles every day, improving everything from production to safety.
  • Doing too much preventive maintenance: Yes, there is such a thing as too much preventive maintenance. The scheduled maintenance planner helps you find the best frequency for tasks so equipment and staff are never overworked.
  • Overspending: The planner tool gives you a view into every part needed for scheduled maintenance so you never order too many parts, schedule too many people, overpay on rush shipping, or lose sight of how your department is performing. 

Digital asset profiles - Digital asset profiles help you know your assets inside and out so you can avoid your biggest problems:

  • Repair history: See an asset’s past problems, how they were handled, and by who
  • Asset category: Organize all your assets in one place and group them in categories to associate them with actions and reports.
  • Documents and notes: Attach a bill of materials, manuals, diagrams, safety notes, and more as tags to various asset profiles.
  • Financial tracking: See how much has been spent on labor and parts for each asset.
  • Online/offline status: Set the status of an asset and track availability, MTTR, and MTBF.
  • Vendor information: Add warranty and vendor contact information to an asset

The problems it solves

Digital asset profiles give your team all the information they need to overcome some common obstacles.

  • Demanding audits: Audits usually require very specific information about assets and their maintenance history. Digital asset profiles give you the ability to search for assets, find that information, and prepare for audits in no time.
  • Building accurate budgets: Digital asset profiles contain all the details to calculate how much maintenance costs for each piece of equipment and make informed choices about capital expenditure forecasting, repair or replace decisions, and more.
  • Inefficient PMs: It is hard to see the value of preventive maintenance if it’s inefficient. This tool helps technicians avoid having to collect all the information about a task before they start, making it easier for them to plan and complete scheduled maintenance quickly and safely.

 

Maintenance dashboard - The central CMMS dashboard gives you a 360-degree view of your maintenance operation with a few simple tools:

  • KPIs and metrics: View important metrics in one place and sort by facility.
  • Work order and backlog status: See the status of current, upcoming, and overdue work.
  • Customized view: Put the information you need most at the top of the dashboard.
  • Real-time data sync: Get an up-to-the-minute look at your maintenance operation.
  • Sharing: Create and share dashboard templates across teams to be on the same page.

The problems it solves
Having your finger on the pulse of maintenance helps you smooth over some big potholes your team can get stuck in:

  • Overwhelming backlog: Maintenance backlog will always exist, but it can quickly get out of hand if not monitored carefully. A CMMS dashboard allows you to see what tasks are overdue in seconds so you can make a plan of attack and keep backlog manageable.
  • Miscommunication: It’s hard to make decisions, delegate work, and fine-tune maintenance schedules when you don’t have access to real time information. Not only does the dashboard give you live insights into your maintenance operations, a shared dashboard ensures your whole team is looking at the same important metrics, so you and your team will never be out of the loop again.
  • Poor asset health: Having key metrics makes it easy to analyze your team’s performance, identify areas that need improvement, and make changes that increase asset health based on what is best for each machine.

 

Inventory management - This MRO Software feature allows maintenance teams to manage inventory to ensure that the technician never runs out of a spare part again.

  • Parts monitoring: Know what you have, where it is, and how much it costs.
  • Low stock alerts: Set minimum quantities and automatic reordering for critical parts.
  • FIFO tracking: Use and budget for parts based on date of purchase.
  • Multi-site organization: See and share all spare parts across multiple facilities.
  • Work-associated parts: Add recommended parts to work orders and PMs.
  • Purchasing: Create, send, and record digital purchase orders and RFQs.

The problems it solves

Solid inventory management can clear up some huge headaches for your maintenance team:

  • Disconnected maintenance: The maintenance team isn’t the only one relying on accurate inventory numbers. An effective MRO suite makes it possible to sync this data with financial software, like an ERP, so maintenance costs are always reflected in company financials.
  • High costs: Spare parts can be expensive, especially if inefficiencies hamper the purchasing process. This tool eliminates these inefficiencies and cuts costs by forecasting inventory needs and establishing just-in-time delivery.
  • Hard to find / missing inventory: Inaccessible inventory is a big cause of downtime, which is why the inventory management feature is so important. It gives you the precise location of each part so you can always find what you’re looking for.

Mobile app- Ideally your MRO application should be accessible over a mobile interface with the following features:

  • QR codesand barcodes: Scan codes to instantly bring up information on an asset
  • Push notifications: Be notified of new work orders when you’re assigned a task
  • Asset profiles and work orders: Access all details of an asset or work order from the app
  • Offline access: Log information into a MRO application without an internet connection.
  • Photos: Take photos on your mobile device and attach them to a work order.

The problems it solves

A mobile MRO app allows you to do maintenance wherever and whenever you need to, which puts an end to nagging problems:

  • Missing, incomplete, and inaccurate information: Every minute between a meter reading or observation and the time it’s documented increases the chance for error. Mobile maintenance reduces this risk by making data input easy and instant.
  • Slow emergency response time: Every minute counts when a critical piece of equipment is broken. A mobile CMMS app significantly shortens the window from failure to response, reducing downtime and upping production.
  • Tough working conditions: Maintenance is rarely convenient—assets are often far apart or hard to access. A mobile app allows you to access information and document work without going back and forth from an office or worrying about ruining paper documents.

 

Customizability- No organization is exactly like the other organization, so why should software applications be one-size-fits-all? By using a No-Code platform based MRO solution, you would not just be able to customize the application to add the actors or logic as you would want it to be, but also be able to build other support applications which would complement the suit of existing MRO modules.

 

  • Customer access builder- Provide customers branded apps, web-forms and e-commerce or chatbot channels.
  • Form and process designer- Powerful drag and drop builder, to create custom forms and workflows for your customers and teams.
  • Process automation and integration- Automating repetitive activities and the ability to connect easily with third party applications via built-in recipes or direct integration.
  • Report builder- The ability to create reports via drag and drop to gain insights from one app or multiple apps built inside Steer.

The problems it solves

A No-Code MRO suite allows you to customize existing templates to the unique business needs of your organization in an inexpensive way.

  • Ready-to-use software doesn’t work for your unique processes. Building software from scratch is expensive, complicated, and long-drawn.
  • With a minimal learning curve, it allows non-programmers to build transformative digital applications without the long development time or the high upfront costs.

 

Steer: The No-Code MRO Software that packs a punch


Understandably, there are a number of features which are highly desirable, but having the above included in your MRO application would have your organization be better prepared for an uncertain and a digital future.

It must be noted that while the features and functionality of the software application would certainly help you with operational excellence, it does not automatically guarantee you success. The success of any digital transformation initiative depends heavily on the people who accept and embrace change.

As your organization is ready to start using a MRO application suite, make sure to invest in the right training and implementation program to set your team up for success. Better still, develop the culture of citizen developers who would build applications to weed out inefficiencies in their daily operational tasks.

To understand how the Steer No-Code platform and the MRO application suite built on top of would impact your operation, reach out to one of our Customer success consultants here for a demo.


Related Posts

Steer partners with Technopoly, Inc.

Steer Partners with Technopoly to Help Organizations Digitalize & Automate Operations

Image of Steer Team
Steer Team

Steer teams up with Technopoly, Inc., an advisory group that provides insights on operational...

Read more
Improving Technician Productivity through Digital MRO Tools

Improving Technician Productivity through Digital MRO Tools

Image of Steer Team
Steer Team

Technicians on the shop floor or in the field often face challenges in delivering maintenance and...

Read more