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Analysis of manual data collection in maintenance context

Katrine Mahlamäki (Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland)
Marko Nieminen (Department of Computer Science, Aalto University, Espoo, Finland)

Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering

ISSN: 1355-2511

Article publication date: 14 March 2019

Issue publication date: 6 February 2020




The purpose of this paper is to identify details of technological, organizational and people (TOP) factors affecting maintenance technicians’ use of computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) in manual collection of asset data.


In addition to TOP factor details, results from six case studies in Finland, India and the Caribbean are presented. Interviews and observations clarify the role of TOP factors in CMMS use in industrial maintenance.


In total, 17 detailed TOP factors are identified and criteria for analyzing CMMS contexts with them are defined. Analyzing the cases with these factors reveals that technicians who collect good quality data have received good training and instructions for the CMMS, are competent, and understand how manually collected data benefits them in their own work. However, even these sites struggle with the usability of the CMMS.

Research limitations/implications

The 17 TOP factors and the criteria for CMMS evaluation extend understanding on context and usability in manual data collection. Case study method does not imply the relative importance of the TOP factors, which calls for future research using quantitative methods.

Practical implications

Management can use the criteria to analyze the context of manual data collection for improvements, e.g., in CMMS usability.


Insights from industrial environments and a new way of studying contextual factors of CMMS use are presented. The results extend a data quality research framework with details to manual data collection and define the TOP factors in CMMS context.



This research was supported by Business Finland, participating research institutes and companies (Future Industrial Services (FutIS) and Service for Fleet (S4fleet) research programs, managed by DIMECC (former FIMECC, the Finnish Metals and Engineering Competence Cluster)). The authors gratefully acknowledge this support.


Mahlamäki, K. and Nieminen, M. (2020), "Analysis of manual data collection in maintenance context", Journal of Quality in Maintenance Engineering, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 104-119.



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Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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