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The Maintenance Management Blog

February 28, 2023

Success With A CMMS - II

"Today Not Possible, Tomorrow Possible" - Eternal Grand Master H. U. Lee

Last week, I started a discussion on how to have success with a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). I listed eight points of success to have or to follow. Near the end, I highlighted how those points could be used with a CMMS. This week let's go further with more details.

1. Planning

Last week, I skipped the planning stage, the pre-journey to success. I might brush over this first here because, as mentioned last week, you already have decided to invest in a system. If you haven't already purchased the software, however, review your plans for what you wanted from the system. What areas of your maintenance, inventory, and /or purchasing are you wanting a CMMS to improve?

Having the information with succinct discussion points will help the salesperson focus on what will benefit you the best.

Review last week's points of setting reasonable goals and taking things one step at a time. While a CMMS can be used for an overall organization of assets/inventory/work orders/purchasing, it might be more beneficial to start with one segment in maintenance, see the results, then add more when ready. Starting 'small' won't overwhelm the supervisor/admin person or coworkers.

Image: men on an electrical tower2. Implementation

After a decision and the investment have been made, start familiarizing yourself with the system. Begin by inputting some user information, a list of assets, and inventory. Once basic information is listed, add a few preventive maintenance jobs.

Of course, call the CMMS support team for assistance. They can likely provide data entry tips or tricks to help speed up the process or at least make it go more efficiently. The key is to get you started and give you an initial feel for how the system works.

3. Train

This is the Learn point from last week. I was in two spots, the first and the last. Here, with a CMMS, think of that first learning experience. An admin and a couple system users need to attend training sessions. There are three ways to learn. In-house, on-site, and online.

In-house is great because a classroom setting can be structured, yet casual and informal. Have plenty of time for questions. One benefit of this is you're apt to meet representatives from other companies and can listen to and share stories on how the system is being used.

On-site is also a great way to learn. It's akin to that on-the-job learning because you're using the system right away as your operations are happening. One great benefit to this is that a trainer can tailor the sessions to your specific needs and see the operations up close.

Online is a great method for saving travel costs. These sessions are typically only an hour or two so you don't have to commit the entire day to train.

4. Use it

Just as there's a time to start moving down that success path, there will be a time to incorporate the CMMS into your day-to-day business.

As time passes and you see the results, again, consider using more features and options, using the system for other areas of maintenance.

One of the keys to consider would be mentioned in training and that is consistency, especially in the naming and description of assets and inventory. The reason is to ease the search time for a particular item.

For example, you have several belts in stock but are all named differently. One is named Fan belt with a description of V-belt for an XYZ engine. Another is named Belt with a description of flat belt for an XYZ engine. Can you see the difficulty of looking for a particular belt? If you have the keyword (name) Belt and belt as the first word in the description, then searching for one belt is easier if you sort alphabetically by keyword or description.

Image: man with computer tablet5. Mobile application

Consider having workers in the field using the CMMS on a mobile device. No more waiting to return to the office to complete work orders, calling in to get quantities of inventory, or submitting work requests.

6. Customization

Should your company need a special report or feature, the CMMS vendor should work with you to make that happen. The system should be flexible enough to allow special additions.

7. Support

This was mentioned last time. On your journey to success with a CMMS, you'll have questions. The CMMS company support team needs to have a positive attitude and a desire to assist; know how to ask the right questions to get to the heart of the matter; and know when to bring in others for assistance, even remoting in to see the problem 'up close.' Support goes a long way toward your CMMS success and demonstrates the value of the system and the company behind it.

8. Reports

Recall the last learning point from last week. CMMS-generated reports should have enough filters to narrow the information to what you need. You're evaluating results of CMMS usage through cost and key performance indicator (KPI) reports.

9. Updates

Once success has been achieved, you're on to the next goal. Shouldn't your CMMS grow and improve as your business does?

I have mentioned communication and discipline/perseverance in relation to a CMMS.

The first is obvious. Because the CMMS is such a great organizer, you're going to have better communication with coworkers. Clear work orders, tracking equipment, and other asset readings, and don't forget to ask the CMMS company to integrate the system with your accounting, enterprise resource program, or other third-party systems for better communication with other departments.

As mentioned last time, I don't need to discuss discipline/perseverance, because you already possess those skills.

Success with a CMMS is one of the challenging and achievable goals. Challenging in the sense that you're venturing into something new, but you know the potential for great success. Achievable, because of that company standing behind the system.

Oh, and don't forget to have fun along the way.

Visit Mapcon for details about a world-class and easy-to-use CMMS. Ask for a free demonstration. Your success comes with MAPCON!


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: CMMS, matinenance, training — Stephen Brayton on February 28, 2023