A seamless training and a change management plan are crucial to the successful implementation of your MRO suite. It would help the organization progress significantly with their digital transformation objectives and keep them poised to tackle the challenges for all the uncertainties and challenges the tumultuous business environment might spring. The first step, undoubtedly, would be to know the key stakeholders who should have access to the MRO suite and to empower them with the appropriate permissions on the platform. Failing to give the right access, or giving access to too many people, can lead to everything from inaccurate data to safety lapses, overspending, and more.
Different levels of MRO Access
Not all MRO users should have a similar granularity of access to your platform. Knowing which levels of access are available and determining whom to place at each level is critical to setting up the MRO application and optimizing its use. A user's level of access determines the features they can use, the information they see, and the level of control they have.
Most MRO SaaS platforms charge by the number of active users. Discuss your goals and processes internally so they can recommend who needs access and how much.
Different levels of access ensure the accuracy of information and efficiency of tasks. Each operation can have customized levels of access depending on the work they are performing. The executive management may want access to the reporting feature, while the operations manager might want access to real-time data to understand the pain points in the organization.
Even though some of the users might not have access to some of the modules of the MRO suite, they can still submit and track maintenance work requests. By choosing an MRO solution with a work request workflow that allows people to submit, search for, sort, and track their requests would greatly help with enhancing its utility in the digital transformation journey.
Why should there be multiple MRO software users?
In some organizations, there are only a handful of MRO software users, usually, technicians and maintenance managers form a large majority of them. Although this can save you money in the short term, it can cause two big problems over time:
Fewer users put more work on other users. They become responsible for everything, including logging work orders, running reports, and more. It limits the effort and impact of everyone from technicians to senior leadership. When they don't have visibility into maintenance operations, it leads to confusion, missed work, misinformed decisions, and a lack of accountability.
Giving MRO application access to a variety of people within your organization is beneficial for two reasons - It makes maintenance a shared responsibility across your business, freeing the maintenance team to find ways to improve and grow.
Additionally, you can capture critical information from all corners of your business, analyze it and use the data to make more informed decisions.
User profiles for an MRO suite
Maintenance manager/system administrator – System administrators should ideally be the core users in an MRO software suite. These are the people who oversee the daily use of the software and are heavily involved in the selection, implementation, and optimization of how the software functions. Most aspects of maintenance run through managers, which is why they should have administrative access. This way, they can create, schedule, and prioritize work orders, while managing assets, creating reports, and more.
Facility manager or operations manager - Maintenance is a key part of how a production facility functions. That's why facility managers or operations managers need access to MRO software. They need to be able to see maintenance information, schedules, metrics, and performance across different facilities to improve efficiency, determine budgets, prepare for audits, buy inventory, and more.
Reliability engineer - The people in these roles should have administrative access to your maintenance software as they need to be able to take the data collected with the MRO application, crunch the numbers, and turn it into actionable information. Being an administrator in the MRO solution allows them to access all the necessary data, run reports, and create processes within the platform that can reduce downtime, boost efficiency, and cut costs.
Inventory manager - Giving inventory managers administrative access to your MRO software allows them to log information on spare parts, view historical data, set minimum quantities, and send purchase requests. When you add all this up, it leads to better inventory tracking and purchasing so the maintenance team has the right parts, in the right place, and the right amount for every job. It also results in more accurate records and spending, and better coordination between departments.
Health and safety personnel - Health and safety are critically important to cutting down on accidents and passing audits to stay compliant. Administrative access to MRO software gives this personnel the ability to put all health and safety information in one system, like certifications, policies, checklists, and audit results. This is a great way to reduce safety risks at work and ensures the organization stays compliant.
Technician - Technicians should be instantly included as users in your list of users for the MRO application. They will be the ones using the MRO software and its features the most to conduct maintenance. Although few technicians will have administrative access, they should be able to view work orders, receive notifications, add information to asset profiles, and do other tasks essential for the repair and inspection process. This allows them to be efficient, accurate, and safe while ensuring data is logged in real-time.
Production personnel - Line supervisors, machine operators, and other production personnel work with equipment every day, which means they can often detect signs of failure early and are onsite when a breakdown occurs. Having access to MRO software allows production personnel to submit requests or add details to work orders so issues are caught early and the repair process is more efficient. Operators can also be assigned basic maintenance tasks in an MRO application, like cleaning equipment, which saves time, keeps equipment healthy, and frees up technicians for more jobs that might need a higher level of skillset.
Contractors - Contractors or third-party technicians that aren't always on-site or directly affiliated with your organization should have guest access to your MRO application so they can view work orders, task lists, and resources while also being able to add notes and complete tasks. However, given the fact that they would be occasionally accessing the application, they might not necessarily need full access.
Executive management - Executives and other senior leaders make the big decisions about the company using all the data they can. Having access to your MRO application suite keeps them in the loop about the performance of the maintenance operation, including key achievements, challenges, and KPIs, so they can make informed decisions and view maintenance is crucial to organizational success. Senior leadership only needs limited access to the application as they won't be using it daily.
The IT department- The IT team oversees your company's entire digital infrastructure, including the MRO application suite. Giving your IT team access to the platform allows them to monitor any integrations, software updates, and data storage and security tasks undertaken by the software provider to ensure proper policies and procedures are followed.
Ensuring user success for your MRO suite
Knowing who should use the MRO application suite is just the first step— those employees also need to use the system consistently and appropriately. Like the case with any digital transformation initiative, a successful implementation often hinges on user adoption, which relies on making staff comfortable with the new technology.
Get everyone's feedback before selecting the MRO solution- If an MRO application doesn't have the features that suit your team or users are unwilling to adapt to new processes, your investment might not be worth it. It is important to decide whom to talk to when selecting an MRO application, ask them how they feel about adopting new routines, consider what they need, and make sure it is addressed when deciding which software to choose from.
Create an asset management policy - An asset management policy provides a set of guiding principles, intentions, goals, and methods for asset management so everyone feels confident in their choices and contributions to the facility. An asset management policy helps empower users by giving them a set of clearly defined processes and boundaries. When users can make informed decisions, they are more likely to feel comfortable with a technology application and adopt new software quicker and easier.
Select a champion – A champion coordinates with vendors, upper management, and users to ensure a solution is implemented and lives up to its full potential. They fuel user adoption by building an implementation strategy, an onboarding program, and a training plan so every user knows why the software is important, how it impacts them, and how to use it effectively. A champion also keeps everyone engaged with the transition to new technology by being the main point of contact for users who have questions, challenges, or suggestions about the software application.
Every facility will define its MRO users a little differently. However, there are a few key users that are central to the success of maintenance software, such as maintenance managers, technicians, and reliability engineers. It's also important to focus on how these users can be encouraged to use the software properly and consistently. Finding that perfect balance will create a foundation on which an MRO suite can thrive and maintenance operations can contribute more value to a business.
Steer: The solution to all your MRO user requirements
Steer's MRO solution built on top of its no-code platform allows the organization to set permissions and controls to help companies regulate the information access and the activity each stakeholder can perform on the tool. Ensuring seamless adoption and providing appropriate access would ensure that the solution helps the company progress with its digital transformation objectives. Since the solution is built on Steer's No-Code platform, it would allow the organization to customize the in-built templates to suit the unique needs of the various stakeholders in the system.
Book a demo of Steer's No-Code MRO suite HERE to understand how the platform would positively impact your company's operations and stakeholder experience.
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.