Getting Valuable Insights from Maintenance Software

Facilities maintenance software may not be the most glamorous software on the block, but it can be quite revealing. For example, maintenance software can provide you with valuable insights into operations and show you areas that you can immediately improve. As a result, you may be able to reduce downtime, slash costs, and gain that elusive competitive edge. How can getting down to the nitty-gritty of facilities maintenance do so much? It all comes down to information and analytics.
Maintenance software is useful in tracking your facility’s overall equipment effectiveness, or OEE. In a perfect world, OEE would live up to its promise and your organization would achieve its goal of perfection (100 percent value-added work, 100 percent speed/capacity, and 100 percent perfect quality). Unfortunately, few companies can lay claim to 100 percent OEE. However, if you can improve your existing OEE rate, wouldn’t it be worth doing?
Facilities maintenance software can address an important component of OEE: equipment downtime. By computerizing equipment maintenance tasks, work, scheduled maintenance, and processes, you can equip your maintenance team with the information it needs to anticipate issues, perform preventative maintenance, schedule repairs, and reduce downtime. This information can also improve productivity and streamline processes, resulting in lower labor costs and less reliance on outside contractors.
Analytical tools in maintenance software can also provide you with the insight you need to make better decisions. For example, visual dashboards could make trends more readily apparent than a stack of work orders detailing unexpected equipment failures. Using this information, you can have your team proactively inspect similar equipment for signs of a looming failure. Analytical tools can also help you decide when it’s time to retire and replace older or obsolete equipment instead of repairing it.
Facilities maintenance software and the insights it reveals can play an important role in improving OEE and reducing downtime.

The 5 Best Jobs in Marketing

There is a special kind of person who loves the game of persuasion so much they will take any amount of abuse and rejection to finally make that sale. Marketing is the art of changing minds and hearts, and for those who love it, the drudgery is all worth it. Here is my list of the best five jobs in marketing. Telemarketer - Not many would agree with me on this one, but it's where many marketers get their first taste of the action. It teaches how to deal with rejection, how to read people's voices, and how to think on your feet to turn a no into a yes. The Heller Group in Houston, TX employs many call center marketers, but only a few of them catch the bug and decide to spend their lives in marketing. But those who get their start in the trenches of telemarketing turn out to be some of the best marketers around. Trade Show Exhibitor - This is another front lines kind of gig. For most marketers, trade shows only come around every few months at best.

This makes them very exciting when they do, and companies invest a lot, and make a lot of money at them. Insight Exhibits builds custom exhibits for trade shows and they have to be eye catching and inviting. The marketer in the exhibit has to be on his toes all the time and be able to know in a few seconds who the serious customers are and who is casually browsing. It's hard work with a lot of rejection, but it can be one of the most exciting jobs around. Website designer - This may not sound as exciting as the jobs mentioned earlier, but it's just as much on the front lines. Today a large portion of sales are completed, or at least started, online. A company's website is its marketing arena. And the effects of every little tweak to the site can be tracked to see almost immediate changes in visitor behavior. Web design companies, like Infogenix in Utah, put great effort into figuring out who the target visitors are and the psychology behind their decision making, and then design websites to capitalize.

Company spokesperson - This is the person who speaks for a company publicly. It's who reporters look to for explanations during a crisis, and who gets to announce the big wins. Whoever is assigned this job has to be quick on his or her feet, incredibly knowledgeable about the company, and understand how news writers think. Even the White House has it's own press secretary. It's a job with a lot of potential dangers, where public opinion of the organization transfers to the person. But those who are strong enough and who have a gift for persuasion are idolized. Advertising executive - These are the movers and shakers on shows like Mad Men who assess a company's needs, analyze data, and come up with ingenious marketing campaigns.

The lifestyle may not be as glamorous as the TV shows portray them, but there is a reason they are portrayed so often. They are like the field generals of an ad campaign - responsible for the success or failure of multimillion dollar promotions. They must be creative, competitive, and tireless to succeed. It's a hot burning and rigorous lifestyle, but very rewarding for those who can manage it. For some, marketing is a way to make a good deal of money, and in that case, they wouldn't choose jobs like telemarketer or web designer. But for true marketers, whose main payoff is the thrill of the hunt, you'll at least understand why I picked the jobs I did as the best in marketing. Originally posted here.

Plastics Can Be Tougher than Metal (And Lower Cost)

It’s hard to break old habits—like using metal parts and metal products. However, there are three good reasons for changing from metal to plastic:
  • Lower manufacturing cost
  • Lighter weight
  • Zero corrosion
What many manufacturers don’t know is that—when done properly—plastic parts can be injection-molded with the same tight tolerances and perform just as well (or even better) than their metal counterparts.
Careful design and planning, selection of appropriate materials, and use of scientific injection molding principles will control the main factors that affect precision, accuracy, and tight tolerances—these include material preparation, melt flow index, machine processing parameters, and most importantly, using sophisticated sensor technology to track what is happening inside the mold in real time. Making these kinds of high-performance plastic parts therefore also requires a robust quality system that can monitor every step of the injection-molding process.
When injection-molding vendors fail to meet tolerances consistently with plastic parts, this creates additional machining costs, quality costs to sort or even re-call parts, and possibly even litigation. (Source: Plastic Overmolding by Kaysun)
It only takes one bad experience with plastic parts to drive a company back to metal. But, with an experienced metal-to-plastic-conversion injection molder, there are some big advantages in going with plastic, such as:
Lower cost to produce
No secondary process to prevent oxidation
May be able to eliminate some assembly
Plastic is generally less expensive than metal
May be able to eliminate costly machining operations
Lighter weight means lower shipping charges
No painting needed, molded in color/graphics
Lighter weight
Less fatigue on a person if it is carried
Might make a product go faster
The key is to successful metal-to-plastic conversion is understanding the limitations of the process, materials, and tools are before committing to the project. Every part or product is not necessarily a good fit for metal-to-plastic conversion: important factors that must be carefully considered are the expected tolerances, materials, specific part design/configuration, and initial mold flow/analysis.