Operations management systems are at a major turning point. The structures of the traditional systems are no longer able to respond to the changes disrupting the daily operations of maintenance and material management and service operations management. In this article, I describe the four features that set modern operations management systems apart from the traditional systems and how they make life-cycle management more effective.
1. Network-driven operations management
Nowadays, being able to share relevant information and documents transparently and in a controlled way to the whole network of actors involved in your operations is a necessity. Traditional Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) solutions and their core processes were originally designed for the purposes of controlling and planning companies’ internal operations, and for this reason, they do not support the needs of network-based operating models.
Although all information and operations need to be controlled, they must, at the same time, be transparent and available to all the members in your networks. These networks typically include clients, partners that the clients’ maintenance work has been outsourced to, and the partners’ subcontract networks. The information moving through these networks may, for example, be a work order, to which further information (such as work time logs, materials, work permits, purchases, and work documents) is later added. Modern operations management systems allow for this data to be handled and maintained by the whole network, within the limits of the access rights granted to each actor.
2. Effective data usage and management in daily operations
Factories, institutions, and maintenance services constantly produce vast amounts of information. Traditional ERP and EAM systems often have no scope for managing extensive content (documents, pictures, emails, revisions, audio, videos, and so on). Modern operations management systems, however, allow you to structure, manage, and attain all relevant information in different formats without time or location limitations.
Seamless and effortless integrations of information into operationally crucial functions like work orders, purchase orders, and projects allow for comprehensive utilization of available data. This also results in enhanced risk management and more effective operations management.
Modern service and life-cycle operations management brings together the increasing intelligence of different devices, the contents of surrounding systems, and different cooperation networks. It serves as a one-stop center for intelligent information and life-cycle management. All relevant data is available through one system. Furthermore, the information you need is easy to locate and available on different user devices (mobile, tablet, desktop). Tracking changes, and managing access rights for individual users within your networks is also very simple.
3. Anticipating and analyzing the near future
Although you are able to make some predictions about the future with traditional operations management systems, the forecasting tools they provide are still very limited. Most systems only react after a critical device is already broken, replacement parts are missing, you have exceeded your expense limits, or when you have run out of skilled resources. In other words, when your client is already deep in trouble, and the chances of securing smooth and optimized operation are zero.
Often, having better insight into the future would allow for things to be done considerably better and with reduced risk. And when it comes to life-cycle management, what could be better than anticipating the near future? Modern operations management systems already turn this into reality.
I like to compare traditional operations management systems to driving in the dark with the parking lights on. The chances of crashing into a deer are very high. Modern operations management systems let you turn on the long-distance lights and accelerate your operations. They combine history data from several sources, use algorithms to calculate valuable information out of that data, and analyze all this new information, helping you make more accurate predictions about the future.
At their best, modern operations management systems can automatically react to future problems, leaving you precious time to choose the best and most cost-effective (and safe) course of action. To give an example, imagine the benefits of an intelligent device that is able to make automatic work orders well in advance prior to malfunctioning.
4. Easy on the hand
Even the best of systems can fail if users aren’t motivated to use them due to a poor user interface. If they aren’t “easy on the hand”, they won’t succeed.
Traditional operations management systems are often so intricate that they become too complex for the user. More often than not, the user interfaces are also too hefty for daily use. Poor usability leads to underutilization of some of the system’s features and unsustainable development.
When, for example, reviewing the mobile operations management capabilities of a given service, being “easy on the hand” is a highly important feature. Complicated workstation user interfaces are becoming a thing of the past as they are replaced at an increasing speed by more versatile mobile user interfaces that users can take with them anywhere and use at anytime. The developers of modern operations management systems have invested in the user experience of mobile ERP and EAM solutions, making them genuinely easy on the hand.
Modern operations management
What do you get when you combine network-driven operations management, seamlessly available content management, the ability to anticipate the near future, and high-quality usability into one compact system? You get a modern operations management system, designed specifically to be equally user-friendly for all users, and enabling more effective and better-controlled life-cycle management.
Read more about modern operations management and our Vincit EAM operations management system which entails all four features listed above.
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