HVAC service providers must balance the needs of their customers while also running a smooth operation. Most of these companies are now using asset management software, such as a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) platform. These dedicated systems help streamline maintenance, finance, and inventory processes for the entire organization.
Most asset management platforms support hundreds of different features and can often be directly integrated with other software by using an API. There are several pitfalls that a company may encounter when performing a system rollout. We’ll take a look at several of these potential issues and discuss ways you can minimize your risk and avoid some of these pitfalls. Preparation and proper planning are very important to a successful asset management system deployment.
In order to properly organize service contracts, an HVAC provider can use the features of their asset management system to track and schedule work orders. This makes it much easier for the entire team to see all open orders from a single, centralized dashboard. One major issue that some companies face with their new asset management system is setting up communication pathways between office staff, field service engineers, and customers.
It is important not to miss important messages, and most modern asset management systems will support automated email or text alerts. Taking the time to properly configure and test these systems will help avoid any issues in the field. A missed appointment could lead to issues completing necessary preventive maintenance work and open the door to service liabilities or equipment performance issues.
For even more on preventive maintenance, check out our “Expert’s Guide to Preventive Maintenance.”
All HVAC service providers must maintain an accurate inventory of spare parts and equipment that can be used to maintain their client’s systems. If an asset management system is implemented without proper planning, there can be significant gaps in the company’s ability to achieve accurate inventory counts.
The best way to avoid this is to create a clear asset hierarchy within your asset tracking system. It may be best to organize these lists according to common HVAC equipment categories such as furnaces, rooftop units, fans, and ventilation components. Each asset should also be identified and properly tagged with a unique barcode label, such as a metal equipment tag or asset tag for facilities management, so it can be easily counted with a simple scan at any time.
Cost analysis and budgeting are two of the main strengths of an asset management system. During the implementation phase, it is important to capture financial information for each asset and develop a set of key performance indicators (KPIs). It may also be necessary to train your staff to ensure they capture cost data when completing customer work orders or updating asset information within the system. Without the proper financial data in your system, it will be impossible to track your costs and determine where to target savings.
Businesses lose assets due to a variety of reasons including misplacement, theft, and damage. The transition period during a new asset management system introduction is an especially vulnerable period. It can be easy for an employee to forget an asset tag or neglect to update an asset’s location information. Maintaining proper access controls during your asset management system implementation should be a priority.
This can make it difficult to locate the asset from the system side and require a manual inspection. Another important factor to consider is IT security and data handling protocols. Any computer system could be compromised, and it’s important to plan data backups and remote access policies from the very start of your asset management program rollout.
It can be challenging to meet customer expectations when servicing HVAC systems across a wide geographic area. Your asset management software should enable your service team and not detract from interactions and communications with customers. Another major pitfall that many companies experience during a software rollout is a failure to set realistic goals for service improvements. Your new system should be set up with performance reports to help staff understand how the current level of service can be improved. You may also be able to optimize travel routes other details that would be nearly impossible without a dedicated platform.
Asset management systems can bring a high degree of reliability to an HVAC operation and make it easier for engineers and employees to communicate. During the planning, implementation, and upkeep phases of your software deployment, take time to review progress and make sure that the pitfalls explained in this post are avoided. With a dedicated team and proper planning, it is possible to implement a quality asset management system to improve your HVAC service operation.