Life, Death, & MRO: How FAMe:Maintenance Keeps Medical Equipment (and you) Healthy

We hear all the time that ERP systems are important, but it’s not like life-or-death.  But for our Customers who provide Medical Services, that is not true. Properly maintaining diagnostic equipment is a matter of life-or-death — or at least avoiding serious injury.

While FAMe:Maintenance has become a key tool for SAP Business One Customers in many industries to address the maintenance of their plant and equipment, it has likewise become essential for those Customers who provide Healthcare Diagnostics.  For most diagnostic equipment, our Customers must be able to show that the equipment is properly and regularly maintained, calibrated, and in some cases certified.

One of our Customers in New York has over 50 diagnostic facilities, with equipment ranging from sonograms to nuclear imaging.  I don’t know about you, but if I need a procedure requiring anything ‘nuclear’, I prefer that it operate correctly.  In addition, they have to maintain all of those facilities.  To do this, they have hundreds of maintenance contracts (many required by Medicare) with outside providers, and an internal staff for everything else.  Knowing what requires service, when and by whom, is essential to running a safe, productive, and financially viable medical practice.  To actually do it successfully requires a fully integrated Maintenance Management System.

Using FAMe:Maintenance, which is totally integrated with Fixed Assets: Enterprise (FAMe) and SAP Business One, the Customer is now able to track and manage all of the maintenance contracts (including Vendor obligations for scheduled maintenance), manage all scheduled maintenance, and capture and resolve all unscheduled maintenance – all to ensure that the facilities and equipment are maintained and operating at the highest possible levels.  All aspects of equipment and facilities are now tracked in detail providing KPI data on usage, costs, repairs, calibrations, and maintenance schedules.  While this fully justified the investment in B1:Maintenance, as a bonus, they were able to identify how they could save over $250,000 per year on their Maintenance Contracts.

FAMe:Maintenance provides the client with the confidence that their equipment is properly maintained, tracked and financially managed.  This is key not only financially, since their equipment represents the largest line item on their balance sheet, but more importantly, for their patients, where properly maintained equipment can be a matter of life and death.

FAMe:Maintenance Helps Auto Parts Manufacturer Achieve MRO Goals

Blog - MROMaintaining your PP&E (Property, Plant and Equipment) is as much an art as it is a science.  But, nowhere else in your organization does the adage ‘knowledge is power’ more aptly apply.  For manufacturers, uptime of the plant is essential.  Failure of anything in the manufacturing process causes both down-line and ancillary disruption.  And that disruption is expensive, both operationally and financially.

No one knows this more than one of our Customers in the Auto Parts manufacturing business.  They are ISO 9000 certified, rightfully very proud of that, and dead serious about maintaining the standards and operational efficiencies that they achieve as a result.  We at B1 Fixed Assets know that overall PP&E maintenance expenses can be reduced by over 50% with a properly implemented Scheduled Maintenance plan.  And, the savings from a reliable operation are equally significant.  Our Customer doesn’t just know that – they live it.  Every day, every week.

With FAMe:Maintenance, they continue to meet their existing high standards, get the feedback they are accustomed to getting, and are confident that their operations will continue at their currently exceptional levels.  They receive Analytics like Meantime Between Failures, On-time Performance of Scheduled Maintenance, ‘Wrench-time’ for each technician / mechanic.  And, they even got a couple of huge bonuses.

First, in addition to these ‘in the past’ analytics, they have Predictive Analytics – seeing into the future based on past trends.  OLAP Cubes, Parts Inventory levels based on planned maintenance schedules, repair / replace patterns and criteria — just to name a few.  And, Process Analytics – like being informed about an Equipment Warranty, so that necessary steps can be taken to realize the chargeback.  Or, seeing an upcoming PM procedure, while processing either a repair or another PM procedure, so that the equipment can be taken offline once, not twice.

Second, prior to FAMe:Maintenance, their Plant Maintenance system was a ‘silo’ system, running separately from the rest of the Company.   Now, they have full integration with SAP Business One, its Inventory and its Financials.  They also get the 360-degree view of all Equipment by utilizing FAMe.  Not only does Plant Management see more and see deeper, but now financial managers and executives can see more and manage better.

Is it possible to improve an ISO 9000 certified operation?  Well, they just did.

Imagine the level of improvement you can realize if you are not already operating at their level.

How One of Our Clients Saved $250,000 Per Year

Everyone loves a great story.  Things are going fine until tragedy strikes.  After a heart breaking loss, someone comes in to save the day and restore everything to the way they should be.  But in some cases, disaster strikes and no one even knows it.  But that same “someone” comes in and restores everything just the same.

The latter version of the story is much like one of our clients.  A leader in the Medical Services industry operating 50 centers in the eastern United States with 6-10 medical imaging devices in each location.  Some of these highly sophisticated pieces of equipment use nuclear devices.  By U.S. law, all nuclear devices are required to have comprehensive maintenance contracts in place to ensure that they continue to function as designed and avoid lighting someone on fire by mistake.  We wholeheartedly agree that maintenance is vitally important for nuclear devices for this very reason.

When they reached out to us, they had been operating for about 4-5 years using spreadsheets to organize and manage their maintenance records.  One thing we have learned with maintenance management (and Fixed Assets in general) is that problems typically arise from two things: a lack of resolve or a lack of systems (sometimes both).  And while this company is run by competent business minds very capable of managing a process such as this, their situation was a direct result of rapid growth meeting tapped out resources and systems.  They knew they needed something better in place if they were going to continue to grow in the right way.

When we started implementing FAMe:Maintenance, we also suggested that several best practices be implemented immediately including a thorough reconciliation to account for each and every piece of equipment.  In the process, we discovered multiple pieces of equipment that were no longer in existence!  And no one knew it!  Adding further insult to injury, this company was still paying for maintenance contracts on the non-existent equipment.

Imagine reporting that to your Board of Directors.  That’s a bad day.

In the end, our client estimates that just implementing FAMe:Maintenance has saved them more than $250,000 annually.  But just as important, having a near-enterprise level maintenance management software tool in place to properly and effectively manage their assets brings tremendous confidence in knowing that each individual piece of equipment is accounted for, operational, and properly maintained.

It’s great to know how much your assets are worth.  Most CFO’s can recite that from a balance sheet in less than 5 seconds.  But do you know all you need to?

  • How much are they costing your organization?
  • Are all of your assets accounted for?
  • Are they being used appropriately?
  • Are you sure?

If you don’t have this confidence that our client now has, we want to talk to you about FAMe:Maintenance and see if we can help you uncover any problems of your own.