Enterprises leverage GIS and CMMS technology

GIS platforms provide unmatched asset tracking capabilities, allowing shop-floor crews to monitor and proactively address essential production tools before breakdowns occur and supply chains collapse.

Geographic information system platforms are used in a variety of industries. Federal, state and local government entities use them to map school districts and maintain property lines, according to the Massachusetts Executive Office for Administration and Finance. Utility companies collect and analyze electrical device delivery data via GIS technology, leveraging the resulting insights to perform field maintenance and manage outage events. Of course, companies within the the industrial sector do something similar, as GIS platforms provide unmatched asset tracking capabilities, allowing shop floor crews to monitor and proactively address essential production tools before breakdowns occur and supply chains collapse.

Understanding GIS software
GIS platforms allow users to integrate disparate geographical data streams into an easy-to-access map. This eases the analysis process and adds context to operational insights, according to TechTarget. Most solutions accept multiple sources and include database management and query tools. GIS systems often render query responses visually, which simplifies information absorption and leads to quicker reaction times.

Most adopters navigate multiple phases when configuring their solutions, directly connecting existing data sources to view real-time information or scanning in maps or other offline assets to establish an up-to-date operational picture. Additionally, many go with industry-standard solutions that integrate well with other key backend tools, such as computerized maintenance management systems. Why? Although powerful, GIS platforms cannot do it all on their own. Other systems are needed to leverage their full potential.

"GIS and CMMS platforms often go hand-in-hand, perfectly complementing each other within the operation."

Connecting GIS and CMMS solutions
GIS and CMMS platforms often go hand-in-hand, perfectly complementing each other within the operation. How does this relationship work? Shop floor maintenance crews can input CMMS asset data into the GIS solution, allowing them to develop and view mapped visualizations highlighting key production tools. This top-down view of the shop floor can facilitate streamlined maintenance workflows and allow for the implementation of predictive maintenance strategies, which save time and company resources, according to ESRI, an industry-leading GIS firm. Even organizations who wish to stick with more reactive methods can benefit from work orders containing location-based data, in addition to normal maintenance information.

Selecting the right GIS solution
As with most enterprise software solutions, a number of vendors offer GIS platforms fit for use in a variety of operations across many sectors. Organizations looking to adopt such a system should carefully consider their options and evaluate available platforms, keeping a few key variables in mind.

For instance, GIS providers normally offer solutions with either closed or open databases, according to GIS Lounge. The latter are optimal, as they can easily integrate with other backend tools, including CMMS systems. Additionally, it's always best to consider how users are going to access the platform. Operations that rely on mobile tools should obviously partner with vendors that can meet this need. Adopters looking for desktop-only GIS portals should do the same. Lastly, potential software partners should offer integration tools, like CMMS system connectors. Again, GIS platforms work best when paired with complementary operational tools. 

Businesses that really want to go the extra mile can search for open-source GIS tools and develop in-house solutions. Although these builds consume considerable company resources, they open up unique opportunities, especially in the area of system customization.

Overall, GIS platforms offer immense potential for industrial organizations looking to bolster maintenance operations and develop data-based shop-floor workflows that can save money and time. Here at eRPortal Software, we provide robust computerized maintenance management systems that integrate with a variety of industry-standard digital tools, including GIS solutions. Contact us today to learn more about our CMMS offerings.

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