July 07, 2022
CMMS and Business Practices
"There's no shortage of remarkable ideas, what's missing is the will to execute them." – Seth Godin
Query ten people on their opinion on the best business practices. Probably, you'll receive ten different answers. I'm willing to bet if each of those ten listed ten ideas, there would be duplicate items from list to list.
For today's discussion, I'm not seeking to write another article with my own list, but to take ten points and see how a CMMS might help.
My list has been guided by suggestions from three sources.
University of Saint Mary
The Alternative Board
When you read through these discussions, you'll notice what I mentioned before, a number of points are repeated. Before I dive into my list, I wanted to note that many items in the articles could be grouped under the heading of Quality Communications. Engaging employees, being vulnerable, rewarding employees, and even meetings. The underlying concept to all of these is open and clear communications. In fact, all of the points have this element.
I chose the following ten because I think they relate directly to a CMMS. In turn, that system needs to help employees and the company itself.
1. Assess the product
"On assessment: measure what you value instead of valuing only what you can measure." – Andy Hargreaves
The article mentions that a business should examine its own product, but since I'm relating these points to CMMS software, let's focus there. Are your maintenance operations even using such a system? The next question is: Should it be? If the answer to the first question is: Yes, sort of, and you're meaning you're still using a spreadsheet/paper notes system, consider a computerized system. Plan how you'd use a CMMS, then do your homework. Schedule a demo of the product. This helps you assess if it will work for you.
"Before anything else, preparation is the key to success." – Alexander Graham Bell
As stated above, plan before the CMMS demonstration. What are you wanting? Inventory management? Maintenance organization? More control over purchasing? These questions could be discussed with management and/or coworkers.
3. Gain knowledge. Make informed decisions. Implementation/training
"It's important to have a sound idea, but the really important thing is the implementation." – Wilbur Ross
The next step will take some time, but you'll need to spend quality time properly inputting the information into the system and learning how to start utilizing the system. Assets and inventory lists. Vendors and User/Group Profiles. Does the CMMS company offer In-house, onsite, or online training?
4. Focus Team Effort
"Ignore the noise, focus on your work." - Anonymous
When an admin sets parameters and chooses setup options for everything from assets to inventory, and work/purchase orders to users, those decisions are global throughout the system. Again, you might want to meet with coworkers to discuss things like standardized Keywords, 'allowed access,' and authorizations.
When setting up User/Group Profiles, you decide who gets to do what. What allowances do you make for them to better focus on the job?
5. Seek Clarity
"It is wiser to find out than to suppose." – Mark Twain
I mentioned better communications earlier. A CMMS should do an excellent job of giving you several methods of clarification in everything you do.
Checklists - Sometimes jobs have to be completed in a certain order. Either way, a checklist assures everything is done.
Safety Procedures – Self-explanatory and important.
Routes – Step by step for jobs in multiple locations.
Notes/Comments – Data entry windows for further detailed information for those who are doing the job.
Attachments – Add images, documents, and links to videos for visual clarity. Workers are more knowledgeable with an image or video instructions. Vendors know the specific item to ship.
6. Cost and Pricing
"Intelligent people make decisions based on opportunity costs." – Charles Mingus
Assets, inventory, and maintenance are all costs. Businesses must track expenses. With a CMMS, you should have a record of
a lot of these costs, including labor, depreciation, vendor price discrepancies, invoices, and project estimates/totals. Does your company have an ERP? Can your system interface and transfer data to that system?
7. Keep Clear records
"Record-keeping is important. Document everything you do." – Frank Degen
In one sense, this could be part of Point 6. You have the data, now let the CMMS produce reports.
Equipment by Vendor
Locations costs by site/zone
Square footage costs
Open work orders
Line items by cost center/department/account
…and many more
Inside those reports, you can filter down to exactly what you want to view…or print, email, and send to a spreadsheet/PDF.
Spreadsheets can't do any of these. Your CMMS should.
8. Hold regular meetings
"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection." – Mark Twain
Meetings results come from the input. An analogy is a computer. Remember the acronym GIGO? Garbage in, garbage out. What you put into a computer is what you'll get out of it. The same holds true for meetings. Whether they're productive depends on the matter(s) brought up.
A beneficial meeting with your supervisors/employees regarding the CMMS might discuss:
Issues (Support could be the answer.)
Other features to use.
Further training. /p>
Company expansion means needing more from the system in the way of extra modules.
9. Updating Software
"To be successful in life, plan, implement, revise, update, and build on change." – Abhishek Shukla
Is the CMMS company resting on its laurels, so to speak? Are programmers constantly working on new/updated features? Will they work with customers on unique menu items geared for a specific need?
10. Form good relationships with other links in your chain of business
"My peers and colleagues inspire me." – Robin Chase
This is the heart of good communications. Building a cohesive company team. Having coworkers who work well together.
Those who use a quality CMMS will find it can be the 'anchor' for this. For instance, if it offers a Human Resources module, you'll have a central place to view employee information. The purchasing module helps establish better relations with vendors.
Admins can create crews of workers and authorize users for work/purchase orders and receiving inventory.
And of course, a mobile app only extends the reach of better communications and worker relations.
What business practices are in place at your company? Is a CMMS part of them? Call 800-223-4791 to discuss how MAPCON can be a 'business practice' worth having.