In an economic environment that provides no leeway for mistakes, and when a short burst of downtime can eradicate all profit margins, organisations of every size need to improve the performance and uptime of equipment. Yet a lack of capital budget continues to constrain maintenance teams: how can any organisation maximise asset value when critical information regarding history, performance, stock and resource utilisation is recorded manually? By Richard Exley, Commercial Manager for Real Asset Management.

Times are changing. Cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) overcomes the traditional IT and budget barriers to provide a business with reliable, cost-effective software that is easily and quickly deployed. Cloud-based software doesn’t involve large, upfront licencing costs or massive internal IT overheads and, critically, delivers the high level of functionality required to improve performance in both proactive and reactive maintenance activity.

With the continued emphasis on every sector to ‘do more with less’, organisations are under increasing pressure to maximise asset value. For the manufacturing site desperate to minimise downtime and improve productivity, asset maintenance is finally taking centre stage.

Yet the vast majority of businesses in Australia & New Zealand are struggling to drive forward improvements. Most are still reliant on highly inefficient, paper-based processes or at best, spreadsheets for information. With no immediate or accurate insight into the cost of maintenance, stock expenditure or stock availability, asset performance history or trends in repairs, it is impossible to establish more efficient asset maintenance processes. Without trusted, accurate asset information, how can any organisation determine whether or not asset life can be extended without compromising reliability and performance?

As a result, organisations are actually incurring more costs, needing additional personnel to record the information required to meet burgeoning health and safety and compliance regulations. If companies are to respond to the demands to maximise asset value, drive down costs and improve efficiency, it is essential to evolve beyond the realms of basic maintenance solutions and processes.

A new model

Of course, many organisations have been looking to embrace robust asset maintenance solutions but have been constrained by the lack of capital budget available. Not only have budgets been slashed, but the time and red tape associated with getting a new software solution onto a network can be disheartening. The reality today is that despite the essential nature of maintenance management and asset maximisation, the vast majority of organisations simply cannot justify the expenditure in new hardware, networking infrastructure or IT expertise to implement or upgrade a maintenance management solution.

As a result, the growing availability of Cloud-based maintenance management systems is compelling for many reasons. The model can provide unprecedented, low-cost access to highly functional software that can transform performance and ensure that today’s mobile workforces have full, real-time access to asset maintenance information, enabling them to reduce failure rates and to improve equipment uptime.

Critically, for every organisation, the subscription-based, hosted model enables the maintenance team to sidestep time-consuming expenditure approval and gain access to the new system within a matter of weeks.

So what is holding companies back? With early security concerns allayed in an increasingly mature marketplace, there is no requirement for the more costly private Enterprise Cloud with dedicated resources that demand IT input and overhead, which also incur large associated costs for construction and on-going support. Opting instead for a SaaS solution removes all IT overheads, driving down costs whilst delivering secure data storage and back up, as well as automated software upgrades to ensure the business always has access to the latest functionality.

Asset insight

Cloud-based SaaS can be deployed quickly, reliably and cost-effectively, providing organisations with rapid access to the critical asset information required to improve performance in both proactive and reactive maintenance activity. The web-based model transforms accessibility – from providing mobile field engineers with real-time access to check asset history, request parts and update maintenance activity, to enabling managers to review and approve stock requests and facilitating contractors inputting information relating to work undertaken. This ‘anytime, anywhere’ access, via tablet, phone or laptop device, is critical to improve the timeliness and accuracy of asset information and resource utilisation.

With detailed information about asset history, stock utilisation and asset performance, organisations can use in-depth analysis and reporting to determine new maintenance strategies. Day-to-day performance can be measured via dashboards, enabling proactive intervention to address problems and minimise the risk of productivity damaging downtime.

Combining day-to-day performance management with ongoing strategic analysis, organisations can transform the efficiency of maintenance work, improve planning, stock utilisation and resource utilisation and gain a return on investment typically within 12 months.


By removing the capex barrier, the Cloud model provides maintenance teams with the chance to make a long overdue investment in technology. Rapid, cost-effective access to fully functional asset maintenance software will provide organisations of every size with the asset visibility required to transform performance. Having access to in-depth, real-time asset history, performance, stock availability and costs, maintenance departments can begin to evolve and to embrace the proactive maintenance strategies required to extend asset life. This allows them to maximise value and to deliver the cost savings, efficiencies and performance improvements demanded by the business.