Why you should not use Excel for Maintenance Planning

Man doing maintenance on a machine, using a tablet, planned with preventive maintenance in a manufacturing company

A lot of manufacturing companies still use Excel for day-to-day maintenance planning, there are much better ways to manage this. Preventive maintenance planning helps companies to avoid problems and failure on the shopfloor. 

It is a process that needs proactive planning and detailed documentation afterwards. Maintenance planning increases the reliability and life expectancy of the company’s assets. A successful maintenance plan helps to make daily activities run more smoothly.

Why preventive maintenance is important

When a company performs maintenance routinely, they can monitor the condition of all assets to prevent equipment failure and to determine when specific measures need to be implemented. These assets can be machines and systems, but can also be building services installations. It is an end-to-end process to identify and address possible issues ahead of time.

When maintenance is proactively planned, there will be less equipment downtime and failure on the shopfloor. Equipment is more reliable when maintenance is performed on time. 

This results in less problems in the factory and creates a safer working space for the workers, so injuries can be avoided. 

When problems get noticed in time, there are lower repair costs to fix them. This translates to higher life expectancy of the assets and a longer asset lifecycle. When using maintenance planning, general day-to-day operations will run smoother. It requires effort, but at the end there will be a decrease in costs on labor and electricity because equipment is used more efficiently. 

Disadvantages of using Excel

There are a lot of reasons why Excel is not the right tool for your maintenance plan.

Features

Excel is not designed for maintenance planning and lacks a lot of features to make the preventive maintenance process easier. There is no possibility for real-time updates because you are forced to centralize all the data. 

Real-time updates are very important to ensure close cooperation with the field because maintenance planning requires a constant exchange of information. Excel is not a mobile application, this is a big disadvantage considering that maintenance operators are always on the move. 

Productivity

Excel is considered an easy program, this is a false assumption because this is only true when working with small and simple documents. Maintenance planning requires a lot of data and from a certain volume analyzing all this data takes a lot of time. 

This has a negative impact on productivity. Setting up the templates and designing the macros in Excel takes an enormous amount of time. When you are done setting up, there are no time saving attributes possible to help with productivity. 

Accountability

Due to the complexity of the spreadsheets there is a high risk of making errors, this results in low accountability of the maintenance plan. There is also no back reporting to the ERP, this means all the data must be manually added to the companies ERP software, which is time-consuming and may entail errors. 

5 tips for a good maintenance plan 

  1. A good maintenance plan covers all features of the maintenance policy the company has. 
  2. It is important that the maintenance instructions are clear and detailed so that everyone knows how they should be carried out. 
  3. To proactively plan maintenance, there needs to be a detailed schedule of when and how the maintenance is going to be conducted and who is responsible.
  4. Try to keep the instructions as simple as possible and add visuals to make every step of the instruction clear.
  5. A good maintenance plan is dynamic and is constantly being adjusted based on feedback from the shopfloor.  

Simplify your maintenance planning

Azumuta offers digital solutions that can help your company to simplify the maintenance planning and to prevent equipment downtime and failure. Let operators keep track of all maintenance tasks, updates, and maintenance planning.

Maintenance checklists

Create personalized digital maintenance checklists and digitize your maintenance processes. With Azumuta you get real-time feedback to stay up to date. 

Maintenance planning

Plan maintenance audits and assign them to digital work instructions, checklists and even to the operators.  

Analytics

Monitor progress in our dashboards and prevent unexpected downtimes, machine breakdowns and equipment failure. All data gets reported back to the company ERP system. Better safe than sorry!

Maintenance log

Use digital records that contain all information relating to performance of scheduled maintenance audits. This log allows continuous follow up to ensure everything goes according to plan. 

Automatic reports

Consult digital reports with audit maintenance data and check findings with images and video feedback. 

Mobility

Azumuta is a software that also can be used on the go on tablets and smartphones, a convenient feature for operators who are always on the move. 

Stop wasting your time with confusing and inconvenient Excel spreadsheets! Let Azumuta help you to make day to day maintenance processes easier and more efficient.

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