August 21, 2023
Inside Your CMMS - Admin
As a supervisor, you have a lot on your plate. You oversee one or more departments, and numerous employees, and have responsibilities to keep operations running on time and with efficiency. Now, add to that role as you're looking to be the admin person for a computerized maintenance management system. What all will you have to do? Of course, that depends on the modules you have. It will also depend on what authority you grant users. Part of being a leader is delegation. You should be in charge but not have to handle everything. In this week's Inside Your CMMS discussion, we'll focus on the admin's responsibilities.
As the admin for the CMMS, you do have a few responsibilities that will take time to complete. As mentioned in this series, many lists (assets, inventory, vending, preventive maintenance, employees) already on a spreadsheet can be imported to a CMMS with some assistance from the system's company. This will save time if you feel like you have to "start over." You really don't.
As seen in previous parts of this series, there are a lot of options in each category. However, don't feel as if you have to use every one. Keep it simple until you've gotten some experience with the CMMS.
When investigating a system, look for scalability. Look for a basic setup option to quickly set up a company profile, create users, set keywords, input assets, and equipment, create your preventive maintenance tasks, and start using work orders. Yes, that may sound like a lot, but the basic information is all you're concerned with. Later, you can dig deeper and add details. The goal is to get you started.
Let's look at some of the details. Some are covered in basic setup, but let's go further. Again, this is a lot of information coming at you. It's not meant to be overwhelming, and you may not ever need all the options. My intent is to cover potentially useful points. Many are important up front, while others can wait and be used on an "as needed" basis. As admin, you'll need to set up:
Keywords. I've mentioned keywords in relation to Assets, Inventory, Locations, and Barcoding. Keep in mind the keywords help you with searching for categories of the items, to keep them simplified and organized.
Meter and gauge units. How do you measure your equipment? It'll differ from industry to industry.
Equipment codes. What specific action, cause, and failure codes do you have? Again, they'll vary depending on your business.
Location layouts / Stockroom layout. You decide how far to break down the location for assets and inventory.
Checklists / Safety procedures. Remember, they can be attached to equipment, work orders, locations, and preventive maintenance tasks. Draw up these in advance for later ease of operation.
Miscellaneous codes. Depending on your company, you may be designating codes for crafts, crews, shifts, work order types, and priorities.
Inventory seeding. At some point, you'll have to input a quantity for each item of inventory. Do you want a specific or arbitrary number upfront to get you started, or wait until you receive a shipment and input the data at that point?
HR pay rate types and compensation codes. For those with the human resources module, you may want to include this information for each employee.
Vendor payments terms. If you have special terms, you'll need to have them when you purchase items.
Purchase order forms. This was mentioned in the purchasing post. You'll create a header and footer for the form you send to vendors.
User / Group profiles. This is one of the more important areas for setup. This determines who your system users are. Depending on the operation, there could be several factors to be aware of. What types of groups are there? Maintenance, Administration, etc. Do users/employees belong in a group such as maintenance, purchasing, administration, etc. Whether a single user or part of a group, what authority do they have? How many allowances do they have access to?
Limiting users and groups is not a bad thing. For instance, do you want everyone to initiate purchase orders? Setting authority and security levels are wise suggestions.
There could be numerous options for each user/group. It's important to take time to specify what you want for them.
Configuration. Here, I'm referring to some general settings for the modules you have. Some will be more important than others. For instance, when receiving purchased inventory, are you going to accept shipments that contain more or less than the amount ordered? How are purchasing approvals required? These could be options to note.
The advantage of setting these configurations is unless your operation changes in a significant way, you probably won't have to mess with them again. Of course, new employees/users would have to be added. As for equipment, inventory, and purchasing, for the most part, you can "set it and forget it."
Does all this seem like a lot of work? It doesn't have to be. As an admin, you know your operation, and a little planning before implementation makes for an easier time. Quality time spent organizing the system to look the way you want saves time later.
The best idea regarding this process is to not go it alone. After investing in the system, schedule a training session to learn all you can about setup and the modules. When you start using it, like any other system, you'll become more familiar with it and find the hidden gems.
To get started, do some planning on what you want out of a CMMS. Then call 800-922-4336 and discuss these plans with a Mapcon representative. Ask questions and schedule a free demonstration. Ask about training options, and don't forget to inquire about the Mapcon Users Group (MUG) conference where you can discuss ideas and tips with other members of the Mapcon family.