Maintenance and Contract Work in the Military

Posted under Blog by Shawn Snyder, Implementation Consultant and former Work Control Supervisor, Task Force Bayonet

While today’s military uses highly sophisticated weapons, machinery, and tools for combat, basic needs for comfort and survival have not changed.  The need for food, water, and housing are still vital necessities.

On Forward Operating Bases, the task of providing food, water, power, roads, housing (including heating and cooling) in many cases, is the job of military contractors.  While soldiers will still provide their own necessities when required, the military contractors must provide the “creature comforts” to the soldier.  This helps the soldier to remain focused on their mission.

Contractors are a vital resource for military units, and similar to other vital resources, they must be managed appropriately.

To keep the vast amount of military resources working at a satisfactory level, maintenance, repair, and overhaul of equipment and facilities must be carefully managed. Generally, this requires a software system to ensure documentation is kept, maintenance tasks are being completed when necessary and contractors are completing their jobs.

Maintenance in the Military

Documentation

In order for contractors to provide the utmost care for the soldier, they must document work requested, work performed, and work completed, while maintaining a safe environment for both military personnel and contracted personnel.  Safety is of the utmost importance, as locations are remote and immediate care is not always readily available.  In addition to staying efficient, documentation is how a contractor proves that he has done the work, inspected and documented the work, and completed all necessary steps to get paid for doing the work.  The contractors are audited continually for compliance with the agreed-upon Statement of Work.  Therefore, continuous documentation is necessary.

CMMS

In order to keep track of work, a well-built CMMS System (Computerized Maintenance Management System) is necessary.  The tracking of Work Orders cannot be done using a paper-based system, as the environment won’t support a paper method.  The system needs to be stable, easy to use, and one that can be easily taught to personnel that may not be familiar with Work Management Systems.  The system must also have a continuous backup, or be cloud-based to satisfy the requirement that data never be lost, and so that data is easily retrievable.  The easier the system is to use, the more likely it is that personnel will actually use it.  The system must also be extremely secure.

While the majority of systems today are “Enterprise” Systems which handle Work Order, Human Resources, and Financials, these systems can sometimes be “too much system” for the personnel working in remote locations.  The transfer of data and excessive navigation can be too cumbersome with limited bandwidth in the field.  That said, these enterprise systems are also very powerful, and can satisfy the need at the corporate level of the contractor.

Viziya

To cure many of the issues with using an enterprise system, the best tool for the job is VIZIYA WorkAlign® Scheduler.  This tool bolts on to an existing system allowing the user to manipulate Work Orders at a highly efficient level.  The original enterprise system is not required to be modified in any way, which means that personnel in the field can be trained and up and running in days instead of weeks.  Emergency Work can be prioritized, and audits of work are done more efficiently, which will increase the bottom line of the contractor.  In addition to being a “bolt-on” product, it is available on many platforms.  Therefore, if personnel are required to use more than one platform, such as SAP and Maximo, they can easily switch due to the fact that all of the Viziya platforms have an identical front-end.

Who?

When installing a CMMS System and scheduling solution, it is important to realize that not all installers may be qualified to handle the needs of their prospective clients, especially in a military application.  A few questions should be asked.  Do the installers have an extensive CMMS background?  (maintenance software is unique and unlike financial and HR software) Do the installers have military experience and understand the military’s unique requirements?  Do the installers have experience working in harsh environments?  It is not only important to understand what you are installing, but a more important question to ask would be who is installing.  A poor installation is a typical cause of cost overruns. Be sure to ask the correct questions.

To learn more about how the VIZIYA WorkAlign® Scheduler can help, contact one of our reps now:

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