• How a CMMS System Can Increase your Business’s ROI and Uptime

    Have you been tasked to minimize your equipment downtimeincrease asset condition visibility and spare parts?  If so, this can be a daunting task for an assetheavy organization to move to a more proactive maintenance routine without the proper tools. 

    Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) can accomplish this goal through the following tools: 

    • Increased team collaboration via application based commenting system 
    • Accurate reports to help you plan and optimize maintenance plans and parts availability 
    • A single source of truth will allow a business to avoid duplicate work orders 

    In the recent 2020 Benchmarks & Best Practices for Maintenance Management Report, facilities using an effective CMMS have reported seeing 88% cost savings ranging from tens of thousands to millions of dollars. 


    4 ways a CMMS can improve your business: 

    1. Reduce Equipment Downtime 

    Lowering equipment downtime is a common objective in any asset-heavy organization. Typically manufacturers experience an average of 800 hours of unplanned downtime annually. These incidents can take a heavy toll and result in an average cost of $17,000. In some industries, downtime can have a massive impact, costing your business $50,000 per minute, which translates to $3 million per hour. 

     Equipment failure, human error, and low visibility into asset conditions are some of the reasons for these incidents. With a CMMS solution, you can avoid these unplanned downtimes by replacing physical paperwork and application silos by introducing a single source of truth to track: 

    • Workflow and work orders 
    • Asset and physical equipment conditions 
    • Accurate supplies counts (parts, materials, etc.)
    • Service schedules and invoicing 

    Having instant access to this data can help you build more proactive maintenance plans for your assets and equipment. Enhanced reporting on these metrics will allow your team to analyze failures and, in turn, minimize future incidents. 


    2. Maximize Labour Force Efficiency 

    Maintenance managers need direct access to PM plans, asset documentation, and part supply info. Without this information, issues can arise, such as duplicate work orders and increased overtime costs.  These are the hallmarks of a reactive maintenance cycle vs. a proactive approach. With the proper CMMS tools, a technician will gain insight into the following: 

    • Create, evaluate, prioritize, delegate, and monitor work orders from any system by managers and operators. When a work order is done, they will also receive up-to-the-minute updates. 
    • When there is a new job order, technicians will be notified immediately, and valuable information such as repair histories, checklists, asset manuals are easily accessible. 
    • Users can plan proactive maintenance by setting up triggers for time, use, or condition-based maintenance. 
    • Technicians can add notes immediately onsite, mark a job as complete, and let others know a specific asset’s status. 

    With all this data readily available, maintenance managers can make more informed choices regarding labor costs and efficiency. Creating a comprehensive preventive maintenance plan becomes a reality with a CMMS system, which saves your organization downtime and lowers costs. 


    3. Extend the Life of your Assets and Raise Their Reliability 

    To improve the efficiency and reliability of maintenance operations, creating a preventive maintenance plan is necessary. Predictive analytics yield a tenfold return on investment, according to one study, and results in savings of 30 percent to 40 percent. Organizations that configure the bulk of their Assets in a CMMS report significant improvements in equipment reliability. 

    A CMMS system places all of your PM dashboards and data in one place. Because of this, maintenance planners see the big picture and improve their KPIs via the following tools: 

    • Generation of custom reports on asset downtime and costs to improve maintenance plan 
    • Quick access to all related Asset documentation such as work order history, required safety equipment, and failure codes 
    • Realtime tracking of metrics (e.g., mileage, gauge readings, and operational hours) 
    • Integration with other systems for business-wide collaboration 

    All this functionality in your hands will lead to the automation of maintenance plans and insight into improvement areas. 


     4. Upgrade your Inventory Management Tools 

    Maintaining your MRO stock (maintenance, repair, and operating supply) is essential for reducing downtime. Your technicians need to be able to order parts easily to complete repairs on time. MRO supply can be costly. In many cases, MRO accounts can make up as much as 40% of a businesss annual procurement budget. 

    A modern CMMS tool can assist with inventory management, save time on repairs and reduce duplicate orders by: 

    • Providing realtime tracking of spare parts and all relevant data (i.e., purchase date, availability, and locations where the part is stored) 
    • Automating purchases of parts to avoid extending downtime on repairs 
    • Reporting on inventory costs, order history, and usage metrics 
    • Notifications sent to Technicians of which parts are required  

    Implementing a CMMS solution can have an immediate positive impact on your equipment uptime and increase your ROI. Moving away from reactive maintenance will result in fewer equipment malfunctions and raise efficiency across the organization. 

    To learn more about the Meridian CMMS solution and how they can help your team, please contact the SolidCAD Meridian team.  

    How a Localized, Multi-Language CMMS Can Streamline Global Operations

    Any sizeable global corporation that maintains sites worldwide knows how language barriers can negatively impact communication and team productivity. 

    Let’s break this down: If person-to-person communication is difficult, adding a complex tool such as computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) will only exasperate the situation. Many modern CMMS tools are English only, which further hinders an international business’s efficiency. 

    Today’s Covid-19 reality adds another layer to this, with most of the workforce working remotely. Due to these challenges, many global corporations have begun rolling out localized or multi-language tools, including CMMS. 

    Key Asset Management Issues Businesses That Lower Efficiency 
    • Not focusing on high-priority maintenance jobs 
    • A lack of proactive maintenance leads to safety issues and unplanned downtime 
    • Communication breakdown between teams that causes delays 
    • Spare parts inventory shortage due to incomplete stock tracking tools 

    If you add language barriers to the mix for multi-site CMMS users, this adds increased challenges: 

    • Incomplete international data due to English only tools 
    • Training issues lead to lowered understanding of the CMMS capabilities 
    • Onsite technicians having issues completing work because they can’t easily access critical information 
    • Smaller tool user base due to language barriers 

    All these issues can have a substantial negative impact on efficiency and team communication. The accuracy of missioncritical asset data can drop, which leads to increased unplanned downtime. 

    How A Localized CMMS Application Can Help Your Global Business 

    A CMMS tool with the ability to localize to your region will provide the ability to translate specific language, cultural and numerical requirements to a more familiar format. These can affect the following: 

    • Language 
    • Dialect (i.e., Quebec vs. France) 
    • Legal requirements 
    • Numeric, date, and time formats 
    • Currency 

    A Localized CMMS will remove layer of communication issues that will increase data completeness and clarity and ease access. 

    4 Benefits of a Localized, Multi-site CMMS Tool 
    1. Modern User Interface 

    A complicated legacy CMMS interface can be tough to navigate and cause frustration due to: 

    • Unclear levels of user rights and privileges 
    • Unintuitive navigation of workflows 
    • Ineffective user training sessions 

    These factors can lead to lower user adoption of the tool and will negatively impact the business. 

    An easy-to-use modern CMMS will alleviate these issues as training sessions become more effective and increase user adoption. 

    2. Native Multi-Language Support 

    Current CMMS platforms are typically only available in English or provide a reduced set of localization capabilities. 

    powerful multi-site CMMS like Accruent’s Maintenance Connection provides multi-language and does it with a single database.  Users can enter data efficiently using their local language into a single source of truth.  Everyone using the platform is accessing the same data, leading to increased accuracy of data with no need to sync to different environments.  

    3. Mobile and Remote Access for Today’s Reality 

    This year will highlight the need for all of your tools to offer Remote and Mobile access. This is further confirmed by a 2017 ARC Advisory Group global report indicated that 50% of technicians use a mobile device for work orders, and this number is only growing. 

    Onsite Technicians that have to rely on wi-fi and laptops will lead to delays in communication and reduced quality of data. 

    This is why an international business needs a CMMS tool with full mobile access. 

    A fully localized mobile application will allow on-site technicians to improve their efficiency and quality of work by helping them: 

    • Find missioncritical asset documentation quickly 
    • Process work orders remotely and in real-time 
    • Order parts in the field to reduce delays and confirm parts availability 
    • See the entire Asset maintenance history 
    • Provide immediate changes to work order status 

    They can accomplish all this in their local language, enabling smoother maintenance experience with increased effectiveness. In a recent US-based survey conducted by Maintenance Connection, one customer estimated they had saved $1 million due to this kind of mobile CMMS implementation. 

    4. A CMMS Tool That Spans Multiple Sites and Regions 

    CMMS suites that only allow for single site with limited integrations lead to unstandardized data silos that can cause discrepancies and slow down team interactions. 

    If your CMMS tool can handle multiple sites, the user base pulls data from a single source of truth quickly and accurately. Access to these documents can be controlled effortlessly via centralized permissions for improved security. 

    A modern multi-site and multi-national CMMS will provide these benefits: 

    • Centralized data  
    • Global reporting tools 
    • Standardization of data by removing the need for information silos 
    • Increased data security and safety 
    • Realtime status of work orders across the globe 
    • Full integration for engineering document management tools such as Accruent’s Meridian 

    Features like this can reduce data input errors, standardize workflows, and make for easy user privilege administration in a centralized environment. 

    To learn more about Meridian solutions and how they can help your team, please contact the SolidCAD Meridian team.  

    Why You Should Move Technical Documents to the Cloud

    Increasing operational efficiency is a crucial metric for any modern organization.  Teams are struggling during the Covid-19 Pandemic due to the reality of having a smaller remote workforce. Having reliable access to critical technical documents is an essential piece of this puzzle and is more challenging when a business has many locations.

    For some, finding these technical documents can be a manual process bogged down by email requests and phone calls. The chance of delays is high in this workflow, as it may take some time to locate the correct document or correct revision.

    1. Increase efficiency by centralizing your technical documents

    Accruent Meridian Cloud is a world-class technical document management solution that hosts all your organization’s mission-critical data in a centralized, secure cloud site. It features the following capabilities:

    • Change management via automated workflows and notifications
    • Secure collaboration to contractors on projects via Meridian Portal
    • Increased efficiency by providing users a single source of truth
    2. Meridian Cloud excels at hosting facility-based documents

    Accruent Meridian user interface

    Meridian Cloud fully supports the three most essential Facility document types:

    • Facility documents
      • These technical documents house operational information on the project and as-built items. Full revision history is available for any updates made. (i.e., Flow Diagrams, equipment specs, procedures, etc.)
    •  Project documents
      • This document type focuses on technical documents that are under modification and are not as-built. They can contain various information about the project. (i.e., project schedules, emails, etc.)
    • Generic documents
      • Generic documents contain miscellaneous information linked to a project (i.e., images, code, and more).
    3. Full asset management support

    You can link all your technical documents directly to locations, equipment, work orders, and assets directly for quick reference. This integration improves the value of both Meridian and your current computerized maintenance management solution (CMMS). Users can access Assets from Meridian or reference the relevant technical documents quickly from your preferred CMMS platform.

    4. Project controls and automation to improve efficiency

    Meridian Cloud’s project-centric design enforces change control through familiar workflows with full notification support. Ensuring any concurrent engineering endeavors are smooth and efficient.

    5. Powered by the best industry standards

    Adhering to the Process Industry Practices (PIP) standard, documents are organized by robust metadata for information, description, and classification. Custom Properties that are common to your data and can also be created.

    6. A solution that molds to your business’s needs

    Meridian Cloud is fully configurable and allows your organization to shape the tool to your data requirements.  Document types, collections, custom properties, numbering, and naming conventions ensure your information is complete, accurate, and easy to find.

     7. Fully secure on a world class enterprise platform.

    Housed on industry-standard secure Microsoft Azure servers, Meridian Cloud relies on ISO 27001 certified Microsoft physical and network security. Meridian Cloud extends the Azure platform with operation controls based on industry best practices for public cloud services including, but not limited to:

    • Role-based access controls
    • Data security
    • Purpose-built clients
    • Staff security training
    • Regular audits
    8. Meridian Cloud offers users specific web clients based on their roles
    • Meridian Explorer
      • The perfect web-based client for searching, commenting and sharing technical documents with other departments such as operations, maintenance, work schedules, and purchasing.
    • Meridian Power
      • Built for engineering teams, Meridian Power provides the ability to modify and create engineering information in a controlled project environment. Manage your Technical documents with the aid of automated naming, numbering, and tracking of CAD references.
    • Meridian Portal

    Meridian Portal provides a secure cloud-based location where internal teams can collaborate with external contractors and vendors. Data packages are controlled and validated throughout the hand over process.

     To learn more about Meridian solutions and how they can help your team, please contact the  SolidCAD Meridian team.

    Meridian Accelerates Time to Market through Engineering Document Accuracy

    As an excellent solution for any life sciences business with full support for E-Signatures and E-Records compliance, Accruent’s Meridian provides 3 key features:

      1. Ensure compliance with FDA 21 CFRPart 11, and Annex 11
      2. Fully realized change control for all engineering documentation
      3. Enable team collaboration through a secure single source of truth

    Here are some big numbers that prove Meridian is one of the top document management platform choices:

    Stats related to Meridian's user base

    Accruent’s Meridian technical document management solution can assist life sciences companies overcome the common issues found when dealing with vast amounts of asset information while maintaining full compliance requirements required by the industry. Teams will always have access to the latest versions of documents that are fully approved.  Through electronic signature control, your business will accelerate time to market by managing change control faster and with full traceability for audits.

    What can your company achieve with Meridian?

    Always be in control of your technical data.

    • Ensure the team is working on the latest approved documentation.
    • Provide accurate printing of documents with watermarking ability.
    • Full version control and revision management in a secure environment.

    Deliver new products on time.

    • Arm your maintenance teams with the most up to date documentation in the field.
    • Provide a robust and easy search tool for all technical documents.
    • Avoid production delays due to out of date information.

    Reduce audit issues with less risk of noncompliance.

    • Full audit trails – know when and who made changes.
    • Avoid costly fines and delays with life science specific regulations.
    • Workflows ensure consistency across teams and working sites.

    Empower your teams with improved communication.

    • Access to markup tools and comments on all technical documents.
    • Find the exact document you need quickly via robust search features.
    • Improve team cohesion by providing the same view of official documentation to both engineers and maintenance & operations.

    To learn more about Meridian solutions and how they can help your team, please contact the SolidCAD Meridian team.

    Civil 3D 2021 is Here

    It’s that time of year again folks; Autodesk has released their flagship Civil Engineering product in Civil 3D  2021.  Here is an Autodesk article explaining the new changes.  Here are my favorites from this release.


    There is no format change this year.  Excellent!  You may share your Civil 3D files with users back to 2018.

    Pressure Networks

    There has been significant development to this feature.  If you have not been using pressure networks due to feature limitations, it is time to rethink your approach; these tools are good!  We now have path-based pressure network Pipe Runs in both plan and profile.  The image below shows a grip-edit to a pressure main.  The bend was automatically swapped after the grip-edit.

    Do you need your pressure network to maintain a 1.5m cover below your corridor surface?  Here, the pipes are dynamically linked to the design profile at a 1.5m depth.

    Infraworks Interoperability

    More collaboration features have been introduced, such as:

    • Civil 3D corridors can now be mapped to Infraworks Component Roads and remain dynamic to the drawing when reimported.
    • Infraworks bridges are now supported within Civil 3D, stylized labeled in profile views.  There is a new Bridges node in the Prospector.


    There are additional nodes and functionality related to Dynamo scripting.