More than one-third of U.S. manufacturers are not capturing operational asset data, according to a recent survey by Smartware Group Inc. and Technology Evaluation Centers Inc. (TEC). Of the 60 percent of survey respondents who said they are capturing this data, two-thirds said they do so manually.

The findings demonstrate a significant gap between common maintenance practices in the field and existing technological tools. Modern data-driven asset management systems can help manufacturers cut downtime and improve efficiency through programmatic evaluation of each asset's health before a major maintenance issue arises. Non-existent or manual asset tracking can expose these organizations to increased risk of operational disruption.

"There's a significant number of maintenance professionals who aren't sure how to improve their current processes," said Paul Lachance, chief technology officer and president of Smartware Group Inc. "This study shows that manufacturers can do more to save time, money and resources by equipping their maintenance staff with modern processes and tools. The technology is out there, but maintenance professionals have yet to fully embrace it."

More than 100 small and midsized manufacturers participated in the December 2015 survey, which found that 40 percent of respondents use a homegrown application or manual processes to manage their maintenance operations. Furthermore, almost 40 percent of all survey respondents indicated they are not aware of their system's deployment mode.

"Asset management is a fundamental practice that can be dramatically improved – for cost, time and trouble savings – through the smart functionality offered by current CMMS-EAM solutions," said Aleksey Osintsev, senior ERP research analyst at TEC. "Increased functionality that allows maintenance professionals to more efficiently track and assess asset health will be crucial for manufacturers moving forward."

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