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The Maintenance Management Blog

March 15, 2022

Leadership and CMMS

Image: Leadership image

"The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them." -John Maxwell

I could have chosen any one of numerous leadership quotes but thought this one was best for this discussion. It encompasses several subsequent points.

A search for leadership qualities, roles, and attributes will net you plenty of material. Many articles I reviewed shared similar points. For my venture into leadership discussion, I took inspiration from an article on Indeed. I want to expand on these points and relate them to a CMMS with specific references to Mapcon Technologies. I'm coming at this seeing the 'leader' or supervisor who would act as an admin on the CMMS. I'll also relate the points to MAPCON itself.

Before moving through the points, there are two clarifications needed. The first is while the Indeed article lists only nine roles of a leader, I added a tenth that I found elsewhere. I think it fits. The second clarification is I'll be taking the Indeed points out of order. I feel the third, Communicator, should be first.

1. CommunicatorImage: man with bullhorn

"Communication—the human connection—is the key to personal and career success." -Paul J. Meyer

Without good communications the rest of the points lose some 'intensity.' Good communications is the foundation for nearly every aspect of our lives. Personal relationships fall apart without it. Good communications needs to exist between buyer and seller. Prospective employees need it to find that next job. Clear conveyance of skills on the resume, concise points in networking and interviews. When on the job, communications between coworkers and between management and workers needs to be solid. They don't necessarily have to agree on decisions, but how the information is passed along could help ease the acceptance to keep business chugging along.

A CMMS needs to communicate well with its users. With MAPCON, this is done in several ways.Image: cats hugging

Menus and functions within those menus are laid out logically, as are the data fields and tabs. Filters in reports are alphabetized.

Another excellent communications aspect MAPCON has is support. 800-922-4336 reaches a support person in Des Moines, Iowa, ready to assist. That person can even remote into your system if necessary to show you the solution. Yeah, MAPCON has your back.

2. NetworkerImage: people around table

"Networking is an investment in your business. It takes time and when done correctly can yield great results for years to come." -Diane Helbig

I mentioned networking in the previous point. It is beneficial not only for prospective employees, but company representatives to network. There are numerous online networking events. They're a good way to establish contacts that may be useful for future projects and plans. Maybe you find an individual to whom you can send business. That individual might reciprocate later on.

You'll find many business leaders on sites such as LinkedIn who actively network for employment, recruiting, and for prospective clients/customers.

For a supervisor using MAPCON, I see networking accomplished in two ways.

A. The supervisor has better communications with workers, bringing in more users to MAPCON, authorizing non-users to initiate work requests through an HTML link.

B. If using the Advanced Purchasing module, the admin is in touch with suppliers, working toward more efficient and cost serving transactions. A better networking system through MAPCON means more success for both sides.

C. Mapcon holds an annual convention called MUG. During the three-day event, customers attend seminars on various features of the CMMS, but one of the best aspects of the convention is the sharing of how MAPCON is used in real situations. A supervisor relates how he uses the system for his business, and another will go back and adapt it for his own.

3. Coach/TrainerImage: teacher in classroom

"The most important thing is to try and inspire people so they can be great at whatever they do." -Kobe Bryant

I added trainer to his point because they go together. First, the leader trains employees the job duties and responsibilities, then coaches them afterward to improve, addressing issues, and implementing and practicing solutions.

With MAPCON trainers on your side, supervisors and system users can learn the features of the CMMS. Check out Mapcon's training page for details on the three ways to train. (By the way, none of MPACON's trainers is the guy pictured.)

4. Manager/DelegatorImage: man in factory

"When you delegate tasks, you create followers. When you delegate authority, you create leaders." -Craig Groeschel

I added manager to this point. Once again, I feel these roles mesh. Usually, group leaders, and managers/supervisors delegate. They oversee who does what, as well as how and when the job is to be done.

I think the quote is apt here. If all a manager does is 'managing' by giving orders, he has only followers. Giving workers authority in areas where they're skilled, develops leaders others can follow and from whom they can learn.

I've already mentioned authorizing non-MAPCON users to submit work requests. A manager can also give authority to certain workers to create work/purchase orders.

MAPCON helps supervisors to delegate through work orders. Maintenance and repairs are streamlined because with set parameters and procedures, checklists, parts needed, and attachments, workers understand the exact nature of the job at hand.

5. StrategistImage: silhouette of head with gears for brain

"Strategy is not the consequence of planning, but the opposite: it’s a starting point." -Henry Mintzberg

Leaders think about 'What comes next?' "Where do we want to go from here?' They envision a future, then as the quote implies, the planning begins.

I'm not only meaning long-term plans. Strategizing could be used for the jobs work orders cover. Hence, the utilization of the aforementioned checklists and procedures. MAPCON also offers Routes for jobs done in several locales. Supervisors need to strategize the layout of the most efficient steps in the route.

Even before work orders, PMs, and routes, a leader would strategize how best to use MAPCON. This is akin to planning out what is needed to be input. What modules are needed? What features will most benefit everyone. After a period of time with the CMMS, the supervisor may strategize again as the company grows. How can MAPCON be further utilized?

6. Role ModelImage: child in Superman outfit

"I think a role model is a mentor – someone you see on a daily basis, and you learn from them." -Denzel Washington

Leaders don't necessarily have to be superheroes. (Keeping the costume clean is a real hassle.) Also, a leader as role model isn't always done in the workplace. Are you a leader in a social club? Scout troop? Are you striving to be a good role model for your family?

When it comes to the workplace, what sort of role model are you? Are workers comfortable approaching you with questions and issues? Have you instituted an 'open door' policy? Are you a micromanager wanting to control every aspect of the operation?

The type of role model you are as supervisor affects how business is done and could affect the overall company. Again, it harkens back to quality communications. As children learn how to behave and what is permissible, so those under you learn work ethic. Not that all of them are looking to slack off but seeing how a manager acts and reacts influences productivity.

Applying MAPCON into the picture, at least one aspect of a role model is easily seen. It's been a previous discussion point. Support. Think about companies you've encountered where the quality of customer support is low. No worries with Mapcon. We'll deliver. Just ask.

How are you a role model when using MAPCON? You're savvy enough to set a minimum allowed quantity on inventory, so your facility won't be left short. You use those checklists, attachments, and safety procedures from before on work orders. You give certain authorizations to users or groups of users, so no one is left out of the loop. You sign up workers for sessions with MAPCON trainers.

This feeds back into the work ethic in helping your workers succeed to motivate them. In turn, this is an excellent segue into the next leadership role.

7. MotivatorImage: man on top of snowy mountain

"I want to inspire people. I want someone to look up at me and say, ‘Because of you, I didn’t give up.'" -Evan Carmichael

Just as you want your children to be the best they can be, you want your coworkers to reach their pinnacle of potential. This is where the coach part of the third point comes to fruition. A coach wants players to shine, improve, and excel. Motivation through quality training and practice.

Recall this amusing phrase: "The beatings will continue until morale improves." How motivating is that? Think about it, though. Do you feel like doing your best and exceeding expectations when the workplace atmosphere or management is cloudy, confusing, or convoluted? Praise and confirmation of a job well done go farther than one might think.

Obviously increased production and efficiency motivates people. Easy navigation through menus, features, and reports shows the benefits of the CMMS and motivates users to investigate how MAPCON could be utilized in other areas of the company. MAPCON helps take the worry out of maintenance management so you're more focused on the job.

8. AdaptorImage: gecko

"The most powerful natural species are those that adapt to environmental change without losing their fundamental identity which gives them their competitive advantage." -Charles Darwin

Technology, business trends, and lifestyles change. How adaptable are you? Are you resistant to change? Or are you an instigator for more changes because you see the potential advantages.

Leaders have to adapt. What worked decades ago may not be the most efficient method. The basic concept is still valid, but the 'how' has changed. Are you 'stuck in your ways?' A leader considers new ideas and takes the necessary steps to implement them.

Having a CMMS or a new CMMS could be the first consideration. If you've been using spreadsheets, paper notes, and forms for maintenance and work orders, are you adaptable enough to look at a CMMS? Sometimes, change brings anxiety. With MAPCON, the adaptable leader plans how it's going to be used, takes time to implement information, and trains to learn the system, seeing how changes can be made for his or her company.

MAPCON trainers adapt to the situation. Being onsite with a plan, the trainer finds a different scenario. He adapts to the change to provide the best service.

MAPCON itself is adaptable. More modules for the growing business. Scalability for individual business needs. Do you have a unique feature you'd like? Call 800-223-4791 and discuss it. We'll work with you to make it happen. It also interfaces with ERPs, accounting, and other third-party systems.

9. InnovatorImage: man bouncing off bed

*Not a picture of an actual Mapcon programmer…but close.

"Innovation is taking two things that exist and putting them together in a new way." -Tom Freston

We often hear of the phrase 'thinking outside the box.' What about thinking differently within the box? And why is it always a box? Why not think outside the barrel? Sometimes, we'll be asked to think horizontally and vertically.

A leader should think like all of the above, including the barrel. Use what works, but don't be afraid to experiment, try something new, even if it doesn't sound like it would work. I knew one author who sold his historical fiction book about the Alamo at gun shows. Another attended a car show to sell his Minnesota-based mysteries.

Leaders tap different sources and people for ideas. They talk to others who've been successful to see if what worked for those people might work for them.

MAPCON users share their ideas at the MUG conventions, as discussed in Point 2.

Mapcon programmers are constantly creating new features and options for customers. As mentioned, they'll help interface the CMMS with other systems such as an ERP or accounts payable.

10. LearnerImage: person with book in front of chalkboard

"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go." -Dr. Seuss

As mentioned before, this was not part of the Indeed article on leadership roles, but I thought it appropriate to include.

A leader cannot stand on current skills, talents, and knowledge. Yes, some can adapt or be innovative in certain circumstances, but many times, that includes learning to not only enhance his own experience, but those under him.

An instructor learns new teaching methods. An author learns tips of the writing craft. An individual furthers his education to advance in a career.

Of course, an obvious example is a supervisor learning MAPCON so he can be an admin who helps productivity by showing workers a better maintenance system. Mapcon also learns from customers. What business trends are going to hang around and how to add to the CMMS. Learning benefits customers.

Again, I reemphasize the first role—communicator. A person may assume all or a combination of the other roles and even specialize in them. Without proper communications, the 'leadership' loses impact, credibility, and value. With good communications, the other roles become that much easier to take on.

One often hears about a 'born leader.' Some people pick up the different roles easier than others, but each of us can be a 'leader' in one way or another. Your goal is to find that way, be an example of a quality leader, and don't forget to have fun along the way.


Stephen Brayton

About the Author – Stephen Brayton


Stephen L. Brayton is a Marketing Associate at Mapcon Technologies, Inc. He graduated from Iowa Wesleyan College with a degree in Communications. His background includes radio, hospitality, martial arts, and print media. He has authored several published books (fiction), and his short stories have been included in numerous anthologies. With his joining the Mapcon team, he ventures in a new and exciting direction with his writing and marketing. He’ll bring a unique perspective in presenting the Mapcon system to prospective companies, as well as our current valued clients.


Filed under: leadership — Stephen Brayton on March 15, 2022