Datenverwaltung in Serviceunternehmen

The disadvantages of inadequate data management in maintenance and service companies

In this article, we show you the disadvantages that result from a lack of data management. In our experience, this problem is often underestimated, as unfavorable data management has usually been established since the company's beginnings and many service companies are unaware of the underlying potential for improvement. Following the weak point analysis, we present the advantages of data management using maintenance software in a compact format.

The causes of unstructured data management in practice

ERP and merchandise management systems are already in operation in many maintenance and service companies. It is often used to maintain customer master data, orders and commissions, manage articles and carry out invoicing. However, the technical documentation and assignment of objects to the respective customers can be problematic. Integrated maintenance planning, flexible component management or an Asset history are often missing. Below you will find an illustration that summarizes the technical and organizational system data.


Here it becomes clear that maintenance companies in particular have significantly more extensive requirements than can be mapped in the classic standard ERP software. This is the reason why (master) data management is often outsourced there in an unstructured form using spreadsheet programs such as Excel - without a connection to the ERP system.

The typical solution: Excel and countless folders

Often, each customer and/or Asset receives its own Excel file, sometimes with countless sheets such as Customer and core data, Asset history and completed maintenance measurement logs. Depending on the number of customers and assets managed, there can quickly be several hundred files on one drive. In addition, files such as nameplate images and documents such as oil analyses, test reports and software versions can be stored. This is usually solved in addition to the Excel files via subfolders on the drive, in which the collected files from several years are then stored untraceably and with inadequate labeling.

The problems of unstructured data storage

In summary, this type of data storage has considerable disadvantages. Among other things, redundancies and inconsistencies inevitably arise due to the lack of connection to the ERP system. In addition, the Excel files are usually confusing and not very user-friendly, as their structure has been repeatedly and inconsistently adapted over time. The most critical factor is certainly the high average duration of a search process. In view of the sometimes large amounts of data and unstructured storage, searching for the last oil analysis or a type plate of the currently installed component can sometimes take several minutes, which leads to noticeable delays in the daily workflow.

Furthermore, multi-user operation in Excel causes the problem of write protection and a lack of scalability. Files opened by person A can only be opened by person B in read-only mode and therefore cannot be edited directly. The manual adjustment effort should also not be underestimated if structural changes are required in the Excel files. In the worst case, several hundred files have to be opened and edited manually.

Finally, the biggest long-term disadvantage: such unstructured data storage does not provide a basis for in-depth data analyses and evaluations. To e.g. To be able to carry out daily capacity analyses, route optimizations and fleet evaluations, structured data is inevitably required. As a result, maintenance and service companies lack extremely important information for making well-founded, far-reaching strategic decisions.

Time savings through structured data storage in a database

In the long term, the typical Excel folder solution was to be replaced by property and Asset Management with the help of maintenance and servicing software. This stores all data in a database in a structured and high-performance manner. The software should be as intuitive to use as possible so that users can find their way around it straight away without a great deal of training. At the same time, the administrator should be able to make flexible and independent adjustments to the data fields without the provider having to become active through expensive "programming services". The extensive search options (e.g. global search fields) reduce search times to a minimum.

Further advantages through the integration of file management

Many service solutions also offer integrated file management. This means that the storage within previous Explorer folders can be dissolved and fully integrated into the object management of the software solution. An example: A customer needs the oil analysis from last year for his insurance. Instead of searching in a confusing folder, simply open the object and navigate to the desired point in time in the Asset history. You can quickly find the required file here as an asset to the history entry. In summary, you have linked all information to your customer's service object in this way. At the same time, there is no need to switch between several applications and storage locations.

Would you like to put an end to your chaotic data management in the service department?
Please contact us.


In the long term, or above a certain company size, inadequate management via simple Excel files poses a serious threat to competitiveness in service. You should therefore rely on suitable database-based software solutions that specialize in data management in the maintenance and repair sector at an early stage. In this article, we explain what you should look out for when choosing such software.
If you have any further questions on this topic, we will be happy to advise you without obligation. Get in touch with us here.