Pen & paper, Excel vs. No-Code MRO Software
Pick up any research study and the “resistance to change” would be the biggest barrier to...
Over the last couple of months, we have been mulling to position Steer as something more than just a vanilla No-code platform. Now we’d like to officially update everyone that while Steer is still a no-code platform, we are focusing on the Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) segment. This is not necessarily a new segment, as we’ve set our eyes on the field service management space before. We have since expanded the coverage to the MRO segment which includes maintenance/repair work in the field as well as on the job floor.
Materials that are used in production and operational processes, but are not part of the end product itself, are considered to be MRO items. Anything that a facility uses to ensure that objectives are carried out is pretty much part of their MRO pool.
The broad definition of MRO can be quite overwhelming. It helps to break the whole list of MRO items into smaller groups of examples commonly found in production facilities.
Apart from that safety equipment and personal protective equipment (PPE) all are a part of MRO equipment.
The industries which would benefit most from the suite of MRO templates to be deployed include Diesel Engine, Facilities Management, Heavy machinery & Vehicles, HVAC Equipment, Industrial engineering, and Marine vessels. With easy-to-customize templates across its various modules, Steer Platforms MRO suite would provide a robust option for companies who would look to tailor their applications to fit like glove without it being either too expensive or time-consuming.
The MRO software market size is expected to be a whopping USD 45 billion by 2026 which is presently dominated by out-of-box CMMS and EAM solutions, which now form the adjacent markets to the Steer No-Code MRO platform. Some of the companies look for custom development as a way to undertake their digital transformation initiatives. However, because of the ability to customize the software application to the unique processes of the organization, No-code has emerged as the biggest innovation happening to the software world in a long time. By as early as 2023, analysts anticipate close to 50% of new application development using no-code platforms and with the focus on the MRO software, a category on which Steer has its eyes set on.
Digitalizing MRO has several challenges. Some of the existing gaps in the marketplace which Steer could help address include:
User-generated reports to meet business needs: One of the biggest gaps in the market is the access to timely information which would allow executives to make informed decisions. More often than not, access to real-time data is a major impediment to comprehensively meet business needs. Digital maintenance software makes it easy to calculate important KPIs and advanced metrics from assets through system-generated reports which have been pre-set by the users. Having these metrics on hand can eliminate redundancies and fine-tune maintenance practices to cut costs. For example, mean time to repair (MTTR) provides insight into predicting the life cycle cost of new systems, which helps maintenance teams make smarter purchasing decisions.
Ability to progressively implement one module at a time: Companies have often struggled with getting their software implementation right. Since it’s extremely difficult to digitize operations effectively. A company needs to invest—massively—in change management, new technical skill sets, cross-functional collaboration, strategic investments, and access to pricey talent. It must also evaluate a daunting array of new technologies which each needing stakeholder change management, training, and deployment. The entire digital transformation could be daunting that it could leave some of the most capable managers feeling overwhelmed.
This is where the modularity of your MRO suite comes into the picture. By progressively implementing one module at a time, the champion can chunk the mammoth transformation initiatives into smaller and achievable milestones which could be achieved. It would also be helpful to showcase the progress to executive management and have their buy-in on the implementation of the next modules. By ensuring a modular adoption, the organization can manage the entire transformation by milestones and have all the key stakeholders on board with the direction the teams intend to execute.
Custom job templates to fit industry-specific needs: With a new system comes new processes, and while it’s important to make sure your workflows are updated to make the most of your software application, it is seldom the case. Items such as entering work order information, automating routine tasks, and incorporating the system into maintenance planning should be worked into your maintenance processes, which are often unique to your organization or your industry.
Hence you must understand your industry’s specific need and have the job template tailored to fit that requirement. Understandably, an out-of-the-box MRO solution might not be the best alternative in this case. A No-Code-based MRO application would not just help you customize key aspects of the software solution to the exact needs of the organization, but also allow you to be on top of any process alternations which you might need going into the future.
Easy onboarding and end-user training and support: When a new asset comes to a facility, maintenance staff need to be trained on usage and maintenance tasks. The same is true of MRO software, but research suggests that most organizations continue to overlook this step. Training should not be a one-time thing either; continuous training is incredibly important, especially if a modular roll-out of the MRO software is planned. When an organization skimps on training, maintenance staff won’t know how to use the system that’s supposed to make their jobs easier. Illustrating the purpose of your software will help head off any misconceptions that may arise concerning its intended usage. It’s also vital to get employee buy-in. By showing how the application will make their jobs easier, you will get the support you need to make sure they use the new software properly.
Integration with Core Systems (like accounting and ERP): Integrating the MRO Suite with the core systems like accounting and ERP brings everyone on the same unified platform and would facilitate the flow of data and information between systems. Being a single and fully integrated system helps in reducing the time and effort applied for getting a job done. With the proper categorization of tasks, it saves the facility managers from wandering and keeping away the redundancy. The entire idea of the integration with Core systems is that the MRO suite becomes a part of the organization’s larger digital ecosystem and would help in furthering the organization’s digital transformation objectives.
Intuitive UX for technicians and other end-users: With software applications that cater to technicians or other end-users, easy navigation of robust platforms is critical to business success. The MRO application with poor UX creates barriers to adoption among technicians, making it very likely that employees abandon the application if it’s not intuitive. Poor UX, no matter how feature-rich the application is, creates inefficiencies in processes, and slower, more time-consuming processes don’t empower employees to do their best work. A design-thinking-based customer-centric application ensures that UX optimizes every touchpoint of the user journey regardless of the scenario. While deciding your preferred MRO application you might want to deploy for the organization, a good UX (apart from the modules and features) would be a critical factor in weighing options between different product vendors for enterprises.
There are several reasons why your organization would prefer Steer’s No-Code MRO solution over any out-of-box solution which might help you to address the market gaps. The fact the MRO solution is built over a No-Code solution would allow your organization to customize aspects of the application to your unique business processes and needs. Additionally, Steer’s modular approach ensures that once your core systems (ERP, accounting, HR, etc.) are in place you could use the license to build unlimited solutions to build a digital ecosystem for all your stakeholders. Furthermore, using Steer allows you the ability to integrate with any third-party system and automate/optimize certain processes.
Sid Wadehra is a seasoned and a result-oriented professional with varied experience spanning geographies from leading multinationals to fast growing start-ups. His industry experience is well-complimented with business education from a global business school. Sid's expertise include digital transformation, corporate strategy, and innovation management.