A maintenance worker checks information on a tablet, demonstrating the effectiveness paperless software solutions have on maintenance

In the forty years since information scientist Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster first envisioned a “paperless society,” astonishing advances in business technology have brought his vision closer and closer to reality.

While many companies still rely on print and paper for recordkeeping and information storage, in another forty years we may look back on this era and be amazed by the fact that our businesses once ran on piled stacks of dead trees.

The benefits of a paper-free workspace apply to nearly any business, from white-collar office work to fast food restaurants. In the field of facilities management, paperless software solutions can be an absolute game changer.

No matter how organized your current system may be, a paperless computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) will almost certainly boost your team’s productivity and simplify operations across the the board.

Going Paperless Saves Time and Reduces Error

Your maintenance team will likely see the biggest benefit from paperless software solutions. Once you’ve implemented a CMMS and populated the database, the next step is to ensure that your technicians have easy access to the software.

CMMS programs like MVP Plant offer easy-to-use graphical dashboards accessible right from your web browser, with options available for mobile and wireless viewing as well.

Once your paperless software solution is available to your team, you may soon begin to see improvements in the speed and accuracy of data entry. This in turn can have a positive impact on productivity as your technicians start to make the most of the paperless system.

Imagine, for example, all the time spent at the end of each shift by technicians trying to remember the details of the work they’ve done. This scenario is not only inefficient and time-consuming, it’s subject to the errors and inaccuracy of human memory. With easy access to the CMMS, your technicians will be able to effortlessly enter data as soon as the task is completed and still fresh in their minds, ensuring accurate information and minimizing wasted time.

Paperless and Wireless: A Match Made in Heaven

Many CMMS programs offer wireless access to their databases, untethering you and your team from the traditional desk-based workstation. Available on barcode scanners and even smartphones, with mobile paperless software solutions your technicians won’t even have to walk back to the maintenance shop to receive their next work order.

Instead, the orders will be instantly available on their handheld device. In larger facilities, and campuses in particular, this long walk back to the shop can be quite time-consuming. Over time, these treks add up to a lot of wasted man-hours. Paperless software solutions eliminate the need to constantly report back to a centralized shop, making large productivity increases possible.

Preventive Maintenance in the Palm of Your Hand

Of course, having vast quantities of data in the palm of your hand has a much larger effect than just cutting down travel time. Once your paperless software solution is fully implemented, your wireless devices can take your team to the next level of productivity.

For example, you can create work orders that include entering several meter readings. While the technician enters readings, the system can be automatically generating other work orders for any readings that are out of parameters (oven temperature too high, machine runtime threshold, a hydraulic system falling below the minimum level, etc) – as long as you’ve got the right CMMS and handheld-device capabilities.

Why stop there? Instead of the semi-automatic process just described, fully automate the process by integrating the meters or programmable logic controllers (PLCs) into the CMMS, automatically generate the preventive maintenance work orders for items out of parameters, and download those work orders to the handheld device for completion for a fully paperless process. Now THAT’s paperless. And very productive.

Paperless software solutions are the next logical step in workplace innovation. Going paperless reduces the need for human intervention and minimizes potential error. By eliminating arduous procedures and tedious backtracking, your technicians will be busy where it counts– turning wrenches instead of tripping over paperwork.