The Journey to Maintenance Excellence: Master Data (Part I)
Complete, clean, and accurate asset, parts, and vendor data provide the foundation for a world-class maintenance operation. No matter how good your CMMS/EAM is, it is only as good as the data that is in the system. Without clean, accurate, and quality data, your operation will experience a variety of negative consequences, including (but not limited to) unidentifiable items, duplication, excess inventory, increased equipment downtime, increased emergency purchases, and false stock-outs. These problems can cost your operation a significant amount of wasted time and money and prevent you from making informed, data-driven decisions.
The following scenarios illustrate just a few of the consequences of inconsistent, inaccurate, and poor-quality data:
- Scenario 1: When workers are searching for a part, inconsistent data description can cause frustration and wasted time, resulting in delays in scheduling and decreased profit margins.
- Scenario 2: When workers cannot find parts, you will experience an increase in duplicate parts as new parts are requested, resulting in a bloated inventory.
- Scenario 3: If a worker is searching for a part for emergency maintenance work, the time wasted can cause costly delays as the equipment downtime is extended. The situation may even require emergency parts ordering and expedited shipping, which further increase costs.
- Scenario 4: If workers cannot easily find the parts data that they need, there is a high probability that they will not complete work orders accurately, leaving you unable to utilize key-performance-indicator (KPI) analysis for parts usage.
- Scenario 5: When workers perform physical cycle counts, duplicate part records can cause duplicate work and inaccurate counts, resulting in increased MRO costs.
- Scenario 6: Because inconsistent and poor-quality data cause inaccurate transactional data, it will be impossible to make necessary adjustments to min/max levels because the parts-usage history will be inaccurate.
There are four main processes to establishing, maintaining, and improving master data:
- Data gathering
- Data cleansing
- Data classification
- Data enrichment
Each of these processes can be a substantial undertaking, and many maintenance operations lack the available manpower and expertise required to complete them successfully. For these reasons, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced outside firm that can complete these processes in a much shorter amount of time and that can use their expertise to develop quality procedures that will save time in the long term.
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