If you run a large enterprise corporation or your business has locations in multiple regions of the world, you know that language concerns can be a serious issue. When left unaddressed, communication barriers can negatively impact employee productivity and, in the bigger picture, the integrity of your data, the efficiency of your operations and your ROI.

Think about it: if you cannot communicate effectively person-to-person, how can you expect your employees to efficiently maintain data or understand the complexities of a tool like a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)? It is not possible – and the fact that many robust CMMS tools are only available in English has been a systemic issue that has hindered production and efficiency in an international context.

Particularly in the ultra-remote, multi-site post-COVID-19 world we live in today, this just does not cut it. That is why many businesses have started to deploy localized or multi-language tools, including localized CMMS applications.

By providing robust multi-language capabilities, a localized, multi-site CMMS can provide unified data in region-specific, user-friendly formats around the world. This can have wide-reaching benefits.


Efficiency Concerns Asset-Heavy International Businesses Face

Businesses in asset-heavy industries deploy CMMS systems to combat day-to-day inefficiencies with their work order management and maintenance. Specifically, robust CMMS systems like Maintenance Connection are used to combat industry-wide concerns like:

  • Delays due to breakdowns or incomplete information that make preventive maintenance difficult (and reactive maintenance the norm)
  • Difficulty maintaining appropriate staffing and keeping overtime costs down
  • Low visibility into mission-critical metrics and numbers, including spare parts inventory, work order history, maintenance costs and labor productivity
  • Failure to focus on high-priority work
  • A cycle of reactive maintenance, which can reduce safety, increase unplanned downtime and reduce asset lifecycle

In an international or multi-site context, there can be even more concerns for end users – even with a CMMS system in place. Specifically, international sites with pronounced communication issues face concerns like:

  • Incomplete or unintegrated data
  • Language, numerical or organizational barriers
  • Maintenance operations that run outside the U.S. cannot effectively use the CMMS tool to streamline their operations
  • Inconsistent training and incomplete understanding of their system’s complexity
  • Restricted language capabilities lead to a more limited user base
  • Technicians cannot effectively complete work orders or access critical information
  • Data literacy concerns because of unfamiliar or unstandardized formatting

And these issues can lead to major consequences, including low efficiency, poor team communication and team management, disorganized assets, inconsistent procedures and inability to make data-driven decisions.


A Localized CMMS Application Can Help

If your CMMS has a localization feature, it will allow you to translate many areas of your CMMS into a custom-built language that will meet the specific language, cultural or numerical requirements of a specific locale.

This adaptation can provide quite a bit of customization, allowing your business to alter things like:

  • Language
  • Dialect (for example, you can distinguish between Quebec French and French used in France)
  • Numeric, date and time formats
  • Keyboard usage
  • Currency
  • Legal requirements

These customizations, in turn, can reduce communication friction that can hinder user adoption and compromise data integrity. This can ultimately lead to increased transparency, efficiency and clarity among team members – which could ultimately improve productivity and ROI.


Key Features of a Localized CMMS

Native Multi-Language Support

Most CMMS solutions out there are only available in English – or if they do have multi-language capabilities, they do not offer robust enough features for enterprise-level businesses.

A robust multi-site CMMS like Maintenance Connection, on the other hand, offers native multi-language capabilities within one database, which means that users can not only access key information in their native language but also view the same instance of the software as everyone else. This not only supports a wider user base but also increases efficiency by allowing all relevant users to get the information they need in their form of choice.


Modern User Interface

If a CMMS has a poor user interface – meaning it has poor navigation, complicated access levels and privileges, or a difficult-to-navigate workflow — then many concerns will arise, including:

  • Low adoption because it is not intuitive or easy to understand
  • A higher number of mistakes being made
  • Alienation of many users, particularly if there is not widely available training and documentation

An intuitive CMMS, on the other hand, can improve both the initial CMMS experience as well as day-to-day interactions with the tools – particularly when it is paired with well-planned user training. This can ultimately increase efficiency, adoption and the benefits reaped from the tool.


Mobile-Focused Access

Particularly in 2020, there is really no overstating the importance of remote capabilities and mobile-friendly access. In fact, a 2017 ARC Advisory Group global report indicated that 50% of technicians use a mobile device for work orders, and this number is only growing.

In this context, lack of mobile capabilities or reliance on a Wi-Fi connection can lead to lack of transparency, consistency and communication across sites or between employees and departments. It can also decrease technicians’ efficiency throughout their day, adding unproductive steps as they try to access procedures, asset history, inventory management systems or work orders in the field.

That is why international enterprises want a CMMS with a device-agnostic mobile app.

A localized mobile app can increase technicians’ maintenance and repair efficiency, helping them effectively:

  • Retrieve documentation
  • Evaluate an asset’s maintenance history
  • Check parts availability
  • Initiate part orders
  • Update work order status

All in their language and format of choice. These capabilities can ultimately deliver major maintenance advantages. In fact, in a recent US-based survey conducted by Maintenance Connection, one customer estimated they had saved $1 million due to this kind of mobile CMMS implementation.


Multi-Site, Multi-National Deployment

A pressing concern with single-site or legacy systems is that they do not fully integrate with one another. This can lead to unstandardized operations across employees and sites, which can ultimately cause broader operational and efficiency concerns like incomplete data, inaccurate information and poor decision-making.

With a multi-site tool, on the other hand, all users can access the fully-integrated information they need across sites and devices, including configurations, dropdowns and system defaults. Teams also have access to centrally controlled permissions to increase data security and safety.

Overall, multi-site and multi-national cloud deployments allow for:

  • Unified data
  • Global standardization
  • Global report out
  • Increased data security and safety
  • Detailed, real-time work order management
  • Customizable asset management
  • Labor and access management
  • PO integration into other modules

These capabilities streamline work, standardize workflows, reduce mistakes and eliminate the need to match permissions across multiple systems. In the big picture, this allows employees and management to work effectively and plan for future and preventive maintenance needs.


Final Thoughts

A multi-site, localized CMMS can standardize workflows, processes and practices across sites and languages. This allows for changes, transitions, and additions to be completed with ease – and for employees to do their jobs effectively no matter where they are or what languages they are using.

Translation: decreased downtime, increased efficiency, improved employee satisfaction and more revenue for your business.

If you would like more information on all the things to consider when selecting a global CMMS, check out our Complete Guide to Selecting a CMMS system.