Times are a changing. What an understatement! Things are happening so fast in technology and communications, it is difficult to keep current and be able to take advantage of all the features and benefits you bought.
Too often technology—such as Smart Phones, Scanners, and CMMS—is purchased or upgraded just to have the latest and greatest. It is like we are addicts, or are suffering from the phenomenon of “keeping up with the Jones.” This certainly keeps the technology bubble growing but at the same time many organizations are not getting the pay back they anticipated from the investment.
The only way to apply technology to any maintenance management problem, and expect positive results, is to have a solid understanding of the what and the why of a problem. That understanding comes from understanding the basic core principles of both maintenance and management. If you don’t have this foundation, purchasing a tool to solve a problem may not help if you don’t know how to apply it.
I didn’t say maintenance management as one topic, but maintenance and management as separate and unique topics. A solid understanding of each allows you to marry the concepts and principles to a situation as needed. Some apparent maintenance problems are really management problems, and vice versa. The key is to know which is which.
The basics and core principles of any topics are best learned in formal training. On the job training (OJT) is good tool to enhance the basic principles, but it is a difficult and expensive way to teach them. I read a good article on this topic the other day that relates to this topic. You can read it here.
April 2013 Update. I just read another good article dealing with this topic that you should also take a look at. The title of the article is Training Programs Essential to Maintenance
So train ‘em up and then apply all the fantastic technology available to you, appropriately. I have to go now, my cell phone provider just released a new phone that I have to see!