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The Maintenance Management Blog

May 15, 2023

Are You Ready For A CMMS?

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient, well-defined operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient or poorly defined operation will magnify the inefficiency. – Bill Gates

Bill Gates also said: “Efficient companies will become even better with the use of a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) while inefficient companies will now have another “distraction” added to their operations which will probably result in even higher costs and lower efficiency, ultimately resulting in even lower equipment availability."

So, the maintenance department and management have decided to invest in a computerized maintenance management system. I won't detail the reasons for this decision because they'll vary. A few could include too many handwritten work orders overwhelming a supervisor, too much unplanned downtime, stockroom disorganization, and those spreadsheets just aren't up to par for overseeing maintenance. Whatever the reason(s), the decision has been made. However, there might be that lingering question of are you ready for a CMMS.

Let me give you some reassurance. You are.

"What?" you ask. "How can you know? You don't have any idea of my industry or the situation in my company."

That's all true. I don't know your company or its issues. I'm sure you're ready because I've been where you are. Not directly in your particular industry but faced with starting to use new-to-you software. Because that's what a CMMS is—software. It's powerful software with many features, options, and menus, but still software. In that sense, I'm familiar with the possible concerns about trying something new.

I know because I'm a writer. I've gone from electric typewriters to word processing programs to a writing assistant program. Throw in some graphic design applications and I've seen a lot. With each new program, I've taken the time to do five steps which will be discussed later. First, let's highlight a few industry examples of CMMS usage. The goal here is to show that a CMMS can be used by a variety of businesses. Knowing this helps up your comfort level with your system.

Industry Highlights

Let's look at four industries and see how they could use a CMMS.

1. Churches.

I'm not referring to the quaint country church. But you've heard about or have seen large churches with hundreds or thousands in the congregation.

This size of the church could have the following: The main sanctuary for services. This could be in a large building with other meeting rooms, administrative offices, and perhaps a kitchen. A separate building might be for conferences and special events. Then there is a fleet of vehicles including vans, trucks, buses, and possibly an airplane. Of course, off of this means a large property with grounds, parking, etc.

Think of the equipment and maintenance needed.

What about inventory? Not just parts for maintenance, supplies for cleaning/housekeeping, and food, but brochures, papers, printer cartridges, hymnals, bibles, and other related materials.

I remember broadcasts from a particular church out of California. Often, the pastor would take time away from the weekly message to harangue staff members about a mechanical failure or how they were neglectful in certain areas.

A CMMS might have solved some of the problems. It would organize church assets, help assign inventory locations in the stockroom, track quantities of materials, and help purchasing run smoother. With proper use and effort, workers are more productive with preventive maintenance, keeping problems away from the pastor who has other matters to tend to.

A CMMS would benefit a church.

Image: university campus

2. Schools

Again, I'm not meaning that one-room schoolhouse. However, some campuses occupy a large area. 'School' in this case means larger high schools, colleges, and universities.

Assets would include buildings and grounds, staff and grounds keeping vehicles, stadiums, other ball fields, and sports-related areas.

Inventory would include sporting materials and equipment, cleaning and classroom supplies, and parts and tools for vehicles and mowers.

A CMMS on a mobile device would be one of the best benefits for a large school. With the acreage the campus covers—colleges/universities can spread throughout a city—the mobile app helps the productivity of the maintenance workers, guiding them from job to job.

With a CMMS, zones are created for better organization. With a huge campus, each building, grouping of buildings, or section of the campus/city might be a zone. A crew could be assigned and dispatched to a particular zone. That way a supervisor doesn't have everyone scattered.

Purchasing probably will be a separate department, perhaps several departments. However, everyone can use the same CMMS for centralized records and reports.

Large schools benefit from a CMMS.

3. Manufacturing

I know this covers a variety of industries, companies, and products. What comes to mind first for me is a large facility with a huge hope room or several open spaces where product X is assembled, packaged, and moved down the line to delivery vehicles such as semis or vans. In this example, assets would include those vehicles (if company-owned and not contracted), conveyors, processors, driers, painting equipment, forklifts, and of course the building and grounds.

Inventory includes parts and tools for everything, perhaps spare motors that can be swapped out.

I envision production workers helping maintenance by tracking meter and gauge readings from equipment. Maintenance records these in the CMMS. They help shape preventive maintenance.

I see how certain parts can be designated as critical spares in the CMMS inventory listing.

I think of small teams created in the CMMS assigned to jobs.

I see an organized stockroom with the CMMS helping the supervisor give parts a specific aisle>shelf>bin location. Along with that, there's an issue/return policy in place to better track inventory.

Manufacturing definitely is ready for a CMMS.

Image: resort pool

4. Resorts

Similar to large schools, resorts cover numerous acres. Once again, a mobile app CMMS is so beneficial. Also, each section could be a zone. The golf course. Casino. Hotel. Amusement park. Restaurant(s). Trails. Horse stables. Cabins.

Inventory may be stocked in various places related to that section. The different stockrooms all are listed in the CMMS. Like a campus, specialized crews or crafts can be created and dispatched work orders via the CMMS.

Purchasing is similar to the schools, too. Perhaps several departments, but all through the same system.

Resorts are ready for a CMMS.

As seen, a CMMS is versatile enough to be used throughout numerous industries. You've researched a CMMS and decided to go for it. However, that readiness question lingers. The following should help you be better prepared.

1. Planning

Just like I researched the writing assistant to make sure it would do what I wanted, you should discuss what features, modules, and options you're going to need from a CMMS. To simplify, what part(s) of your operation are you wanting to improve? Discuss before speaking with the CMMS company. You'll start out strong with the correct information to share, making it easier for the representative to assist.

2. Implementation

Once the investment is made, take some time to input the necessary information. With my writing assistant program, I'll start inputting chapters into 'boxes' that I can arrange as desired. I can order and reorder boxes as needed. Within each box is the text for that chapter that can be formatted to specifications.

For your company, at this point, stay basic. Delve into more details later. At the outset, you'll want basic admin and user information, asset/inventory/purchasing vendor information. (depending on what modules you're using), and creating a list of preventive maintenance jobs. Ask for assistance from the CMMS support people.

3. Training

For my writing programs, I'll self-train. That's fine. If needed, I'll reach out to support for assistance or watch Youtube videos.

Decide the best option to learn how best to use the CMMS. In-house, onsite, and online are three ways. Each has pros and cons so find the best option for you.

4. Use it

Of course! Once I have chapters and scenes in place, I'll start using the software for all my stories.

Start using the CMMS for daily operations. Take it slow. Don't overwhelm yourself by trying to use every part of the system all at once. Start small and simple. As you see progress and positive results, expand the usage. Check out further features. Reach out to the CMMS support team for any questions.

5. Expect more

I expect updates or improved versions that I can upgrade to or purchase.

Your company grows/evolves. You CMMS should, too. Expect updates and new features.

Are you ready for a CMMS? Sure. As with any new undertaking, proper planning should be done. Satisfaction is discovering the benefits of a system and how others use it.

I highlighted several industries and how they could use a CMMS. Check out Mapcon case studies. Call 800-922-4336 and talk with a Mapcon Technologies representative about how a powerful and easy-to-use system would work for your company. Free demonstration, expert training, and expert support. All from Mapcon! Are you ready to call? Yes!


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: maintenance, CMMS, industry — Stephen Brayton on May 15, 2023