Maintenance and facilities management, particularly for enterprise businesses, can be a daunting task. Ensuring equipment, work orders, and inventory are properly managed and/or service improves the overall efficiency of your organization.
Being able to execute an asset management strategy can be difficult without the right tools.
Having a cloud-based asset lifecycle management software like a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) can help your organization, especially manufacturing companies, run smoothly and save money.
Advantages of CMMS software
Undoubtedly, the maintenance department in your organization uses an operational tool to manage capital assets and maintenance activities within the organization. For many companies, maintenance spreadsheet software like Excel is deployed as the maintenance management tool of choice.
But Excel has limited functionality and today’s business needs and trends require something more robust. An emerging solution that is extending maintenance management functionality is CMMS software.
CMMS addresses the complexities of maintenance management in ways that spreadsheet software cannot.
CMMS software is capable of performing more complex calculations, analysis, and data-handling performance. CMMS software also does not require the same additional data formatting that spreadsheet software does, reducing human error and data merges from disparate databases.
But, the real CMMS software capabilities that set it apart from spreadsheet software are:
› Secure system and remote accessibility
› Access to real-time information
› Simple and interactive GUI and dashboards
› Inventory control and part tracking
› Automated preventive maintenance triggers
› Dedicated work-order section
› Efficient and well-advanced reporting tools
These key features promote operations efficiency and supply chain management.
Having a centralized CMMS database also enables your organization to better understand an asset’s performance over time. This will minimize costs associated with downtime, improves response rates, and results in more intelligent decision-making.
Deploying CMMS software
› Today’s businesses demand more from their maintenance management software.
› CMMS software is the clear choice for organizations looking to maximize their business value. And while there’s no denying the appeal of CMMS software, investing in maintenance management software solutions is just the start.
› Successfully adopting CMMS software requires a comprehensive framework. Like any other new software implementation, it requires a full culture shift within the organization. Complexities will arise during a CMMS rollout.
› If not carefully managed, the CMMS implementation will fail. This will result in poor end-user adoption, cost and time overruns, and reduce performance efficiency and profitability.
› Ensure your business achieves resounding success with its CMMS software by following the implementation process below.
Step 1: Discovery
Before seeking out vendors or trying CMMS demos, take the time to examine your unique business situation. Determine and identify the objectives and business goals you want to achieve with your new CMMS software.
Every business will have different goals, from inventory optimization and health and safety improvements to cost savings and efficiency gains. Knowing what goals and business requirements, you hope to achieve will allow you to develop a strong business case for adopting CMMS software.
This business case can be presented to management and other C-suite executives to increase the chance of a buy-in and management support, which is crucial in any organization to successfully implement new software.
Because maintenance is seen as a cost center rather than a value center for an organization, your business case should highlight how CMMS software will help maintenance take a more preventative maintenance strategy, ensuring greater cost savings and efficiency for the business.
Step 2: Preparing for change management
Management is not the only individuals who must be informed about new software implementation. End-users and other key departments must also be aware of the software implementation.
To some, automation software like CMMS is seen as an excuse for departmental restructuring and possible layoffs. If this fear is allowed to persist, poor adoption rates among end-users will occur. This will limit the effectiveness and functionality of the CMMS software, causing implementation failure.
To avoid this possibility, good planning is critical. All stakeholders must be included in the discovery phase. End-users should be involved in coaching sessions, project update meetings, and throughout the implementation process.
During this phase, agreeable objectives should be determined and mapped to the correct business processes.
This gives them opportunities to see the benefits and advantages of CMMS software can become positive contributors to its success. Moreover, their involvement will ensure project expectations, timelines, and milestones are met effectively and efficiently.
Before CMMS selection can occur though, select a project team that will own the CMMS implementation.
The dedicated project team should consist of maintenance and IT professionals. A typical team structure for software implementation includes:
› Steering committee
› Advisory stakeholders
› Project manager
› Training director
› Software implementation specialist(s)
› User groups
A well-structured team will clarify accountability and streamline management tasks. This will put your business in a great position to successfully integrate the new CMMS software company-wide.
Step 3: Choosing the right CMMS software
Once CMMS is seen as a positive change for the company and KPIs have been determined, and the project team has been selected, it's time to decide on the specific software that your business needs.
When it comes to maintenance and asset management software, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Every business has unique requirements from the software they buy.
But with that said, there are five factors every business should consider before investing in a CMMS solution:
› Business size
› Training and support
Each of these factors will assist in determining the effectiveness of your new maintenance and asset management software.
A small- to mid-size enterprise (SME) can succeed with a CMMS solution that offers less functionality and preventative maintenance system than an enterprise-level corporation. The varying functionality CMMS software provides though will also come at a cost.
The more robust the features are, the more costly it becomes.
Similarly, the software you should choose should be easy to use and configure. New employees should have no problem accessing and using new software. The right CMMS solution for your business will also come with good post-implementation support to assist your company with any queries it has.
Step 4: Organizing data
Data migration is a crucial factor in the success of your new CMMS software. Due diligence is necessary during the data-gathering phase. Missing data or an incomplete database is a big factor in why CMMS implementation fails.
Data from your legacy systems or spreadsheet software should be unified in a single database and scrubbed to remove duplicate and outdated data. This will ease data migration and allow your data to be easily imported into your new CMMS software.
Migrating data should be carefully managed. The effectiveness of your CMMS rollout will depend heavily on how organized your data is. While this is a time-consuming process, entering clean data will prove to be invaluable years into the future.
This is also the final step before your CMMS software goes live.
Step 5: Going live
If the previous steps have been carried out, your new CMMS software is ready to deploy. From this point on, employees should be expected to use the new maintenance management system for this new software solution to work.
The more employees are encouraged to use the new CMMS system, the faster adoption of new business processes will occur.
While implementation is complete, remember that there’s more work that needs to be done. The new CMMS solution will need to be actively managed to address any technical difficulties, management turnover, or employee resistance that arises.
Ongoing implementation monitoring from upper management and the CMMS project team will help the business develop a culture of continuous improvement.
During this time, take advantage of vendor training and support. Vendor support is a necessary lifeline during the go-live phase to get the full benefits of the software.
Once the project is live, a post-project review should be completed. A project assessment will identify what worked and highlight areas of improvement. It will also help the company formulate best practices and address any potential issues that may arise.
Creating a comprehensive report will also enable the key stakeholders to review, improve, and refine the new CMMS system as the business evolves.
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