10 Reasons Not To Use Excel for Maintenance Management
Excel spreadsheets are used as a primary system for preventive maintenance
management in 85 % of hotels and resorts. This is definitely a helpful tool for
Maintenance Managers but it has a lot of limitations. Let me show you ten
reasons why to replace Excel spreadsheets by modern Maintenance Management System.
1. LACK OF DATA STRUCTURE IN EXCEL
Classic Excel spreadsheets include all data in one Excel file. A lot of them are common for all Excel files using by Engineering maintenance team. Typically there is just one assets list for all sections of the Engineering Department. But the connection between preventive maintenance spreadsheets to one central assets list isn't common. Instead, each of those many Excel files contains assets list related to the specific maintenance which is planned and tracked in that particular Excel file.
2. NUMBER OF EXCEL SPREADSHEETS
The Engineering Department
is responsible for the maintenance of a wide range of resort assets.
The department is usually split into sections depending on professions or maintenance type. Each such section has several of their own Excel spreadsheets for preventive maintenance planning and tracking. Furthermore, these spreadsheets are for a specific time period. Tens of spreadsheets are generated every month and so they are becoming confusing and it is very difficult to effectively use them in the future.
3. STATIC PLANNING
You can prepare a maintenance plan of each asset in a timeline and split them chronologically into weeks. You can even print out the plan and hang it on wall or whiteboard to share it with your team. But I have never seen any plan which wasn't changed while following it. The plan needs to be adjusted almost every week and that means, that the original one is out of date just a few days or even hours after creating it. It also means that the Maintenance Manager has to update it and share the new updated version with engineering team again and again. I'm sure you can imagine many better uses of the time of the Manager, and also the team. More often than not the original plan isn't even updated and engineering team stops following it because they know that the plan is out of date.
4. NO CONNECTION BETWEEN CORRECTIVE AND PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE
is usually tracked in different Excel spreadsheets than preventive maintenance. It means that the information about resort assets maintenance lacks complexity.
The Maintenance Managers then have a hard time to connect all existing information about each asset, which negatively impacts their capability to plan and monitor the work effectively.
5. TRACKING vs PLANNING
Excel spreadsheets used for planning of preventive maintenance very often don't contain information about the date when preventive maintenance action was taken. Furthermore, it doesn't contain a list of jobs conducted during preventive maintenance. Instead, another Excel spreadsheet usually exists to track these maintenance jobs. Isn't it a bit too many spreadsheets?
6. WORK ORDERS FOR MAINTENANCE TEAM
Often, there is another Excel spreadsheet - for list of daily or weekly tasks for each engineering section shift. The preparation of such a sheet needs the time of manager or supervisor who creates daily shift plan from preventive maintenance planning sheet and corrective maintenance requests sheet. Once daily tasks are done then they need again to update all other Excel sheets. This is really ineffective - and managers, supervisors and the team know it. That's why it is often being skipped and the result is missing records about completed maintenance tasks.
7. LACK OF CENTRALIZED MANAGEMENT
It is very difficult for engineering managers to get the entire picture about conducted and planned maintenance. Instead, they have to believe their section team reports because they have got access to Excel sheets for maintenance planning and tracking. There isn't one single place for getting all relevant maintenance information from any engineering section and Engineering Managers have to work in a situation in which they lack the information needed to make a proper decision.
8. DIFFICULT SHARING
Excel file is designed for a limited sharing only. The Excel file works properly when just one person uses it. But once you allow access to multiple users, very often the Excel file may become corrupted and inaccessible for everyone. Even storing Excel files in the folder structure isn't suitable, as it prevents easy access to the entire engineering team.
9. DIFFICULT MONITORING AND CONTORLING
Engineering managers need tools for monitoring and controlling their staff in order to plan their work properly and have an overview of daily conducted tasks. Otherwise, the engineering team performance is low. Monitoring of many Excel files consumes much of the manager's time and often is conducted just occasionally instead of being part of a daily manager's activity.
10. TOTAL OVERVIEW OF PROPERTY MAINTENANCE
To get the entire property maintenance overview from all those Excel files is close to impossible. Regular reporting of resort maintenance status is inaccurate or the preparation of the report is too difficult. Lack of total overview causes wrong planning, budgeting, and assessment of current resort condition.
The modern information system for maintenance management can solve all the difficulties that come with Excel files. Such a system is called the Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS). If you would like to see a practical demo of how I worked with such a property maintenance management system, contact me and I will be very happy to show you!
Do you have experience with maintenance planning and tracking system? Share with me and other readers your experience! And if you have any questions or comments, feel free to contact me.