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The Maintenance Management Blog

July 09, 2024

CMMS - 5 Stages For Success

Image: A team meeting.A computerized maintenance management system(CMMS) offers a powerful tool for streamlining maintenance operations, boosting equipment uptime, and lowering costs. However, simply purchasing a CMMS doesn't give you a magic solution. To unlock its full potential, you should follow 5 stages for success.

In this article, we'll look at the following:

♦ Planning

♦ Implementation

♦ Training

♦ Going live

♦ Continuous improvement

♦ The benefits and challenges along the way

Stage 1: Planning - Laying the Foundation

This initial stage lays the foundation for a successful CMMS implementation. It involves defining clear goals for the system, gathering existing maintenance data and equipment inventory, and selecting a vendor that aligns with your organization's specific needs.

What do facility managers want out of their CMMS software? What areas of your operation do you want more oversight? Maintenance? Inventory stocking? Purchasing power? Perhaps your company uses bar codes and needs a better system.

Figure out what you want before anything else. How many times have you bought something because, at the moment, you thought it was a great idea, only to discover later it didn’t fit your needs? Planning saves later regret.

For more information on planning, read a discussion from U-Mass Boston.


  • Clear Goals. Defining specific objectives for the CMMS implementation helps everyone to "stay on the same page" when it comes to goals and a productive maintenance process.
  • Information Gathering. Taking stock of existing maintenance procedures, equipment inventory, and staff roles builds a strong foundation for data migration into the CMMS.
  • Vendor Selection. Evaluating software features, vendor support, and cost structures ensures the chosen CMMS software aligns with your organization's specific needs.
  • Mobile access. With the software on a mobile device, you can create and complete work orders while in the plant next to the equipment. Check out your parts while standing in the stockroom to ensure you don't miss anything.


  • Resistance to Change. Staff might have apprehension about transitioning from manual processes to a CMMS. For this, you need effective communication.
  • Unrealistic Expectations. Setting clear and achievable goals from the outset helps avoid disappointment and keeps the implementation on track.
  • Incomplete Data. Inaccurate or missing data about equipment, maintenance procedures, and spare parts can hamper the effectiveness of the CMMS.

Stage 2: Implementation - Building the System

During this stage, you configure CMMS to your specific requirements. This includes setting up work order management, improving your preventive maintenance program, and customized reports. The CMMS provider can assist with data migration from existing systems, and integration with other software, if necessary.

Having everything in place is the second step in improving your operation. Yes, it may take time, but once done, you're all set. You may need only to tweak settings once circumstances deem it necessary.


  • System Configuration. Tailoring the CMMS to your needs helps you familiarize yourself with system features.
  • Data Importation. You have everything in one, easily accessible database. You have more organization. With further information, you'll have records of maintenance history and asset health.
  • Integration with Existing Systems. With the CMMS connected with other software like accounting systems, you have reduced redundancy.


  • Complexity of Configuration. Extensive customization options might appear overwhelming. Focus on core functionalities first. Once comfortable, move on to more advanced features.
  • Data Migration Errors. Inconsistent or inaccurate data migration can lead to issues with reporting and work order generation. Work with your provider for an easier transition.
  • Integration Challenges. Integration with existing systems may require technical expertise and coordination with different software vendors. Rely on support from your CMMS provider.

Image: A team meeting.Stage 3: Training - Empowering Your Team

You'll benefit from comprehensive training. Training sessions should address different user skill levels.

You can focus on fundamentals or delve deeper into other features. Take advantage of the different training options available.


  • User Proficiency. It helps users efficiently navigate the system and familiarize themselves with different features.
  • Improved Communication. Standardized training fosters consistent use of the CMMS across different departments.
  • Increased User Adoption. Investing in training encourages users to fully embrace the CMMS as a valuable tool.
  • Future maintenance activity efficiency.

Learn more about team training benefits at Emeritus.


  • Time Constraints. Finding time for training amidst busy schedules can be challenging. Once again, proper planning comes into play.
  • Varying Skill Levels. Consider a more focused training schedule, perhaps on-site or online.
  • Retention of Knowledge. As you'll read later, you'll expect new features and versions of the software. Consider refresher courses for veteran users and new employees.

Stage 4: Going Live - Launching Your CMMS

This stage marks the launch of the CMMS within your organization. You move to day-to-day usage. Standardized processes. Preventive maintenance scheduling.

Real-time access to maintenance data offers greater visibility into equipment health and overall maintenance performance.


  • Standardized Processes. Consistency helps efficiency. If you have questions, ask CMMS support staff.
  • Improved Visibility. Real-time access to maintenance data offers greater visibility into equipment health, resource allocation, and overall maintenance performance. You also have this benefit from the software on a mobile device.
  • Reports. You input the information into the system. Now, you should analyze it through various reports. Gain valuable insights for a better maintenance strategy and improvements.


  • Initial Data Entry Backlog. Transitioning from manual processes might lead to a temporary backlog in entering maintenance data into the CMMS. Prioritizing critical data entry and establishing clear deadlines can help manage this.
  • User Errors. Initial user errors in data entry or work order creation can occur. Continuous training and readily available support can minimize these.
  • Unforeseen Issues. Technical glitches or unforeseen challenges during launch may require flexibility and prompt troubleshooting by the vendor or IT team.

Stage 5: Continued Improvements - A Commitment to Progress

Don't stop at one success. Continue on the CMMS journey for new goals. This stage involves continuously analyzing data for your own improvements.

It also involves the provider offering better features to help you. Your business grows and evolves. So should your CMMS.


  • Data Analysis. With key performance indicator reports KPIs, you continually reshape your maintenance operation. Learn more about KIPs at Investopedia.
  • System Upgrades and Enhancements. The latest CMMS features and functionalities offered by your vendor further enhances its value.
  • User Feedback and Process Refinement. Actively seek user feedback. Incorporate worthwhile suggestions from your maintenance team into the CMMS workflow.


  • Maintaining User Engagement. To maintain interest and usage continue the communications and discussions about the system. Highlight success stories. Share with others about your successes.
  • Data Quality Management. With the plethora of reports available, you might wonder where to start. Like before, focus on the fundamentals. Explore further reports later.
  • Adapting to Change. To reiterate, business and the CMMS landscape constantly evolve. Schedule regular meetings to discuss your operations and where you want to go. Basically, return to the planning stage, review goals, and adjust if necessary.


The 5 stages of CMMS success provide a roadmap for achieving optimal maintenance operations. Take each stage in turn and complete each stage before moving on. Once you invest in a system, invest time in learning all about that system. After that, you'll experience maintenance management success.

These 5 stages provide a general framework. However, the specific timeline and resource allocation for each stage will vary depending on the size and complexity of your organization. When looking into a system, consider the following aspects.

  • Licensing. Concurrent licensing negates individual licensing. Example—You have 5 concurrent licenses. The morning shift has five system users. Later, the afternoon shift also has five different system users.
  • Hosting Services. Do you want security from the CMMS provider or have enough capacity and know-how to self-host your system?
  • Scalability. Choosing a CMMS that can scale with your organization's growing needs ensures it remains a valuable tool in the future.
  • Support. What type of customer and IT support does the provider offer? Find out before you invest.

Organize your maintenance management. Learn more about CMMS Software here.

MAPCON / 800-922-4336


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, maintenance, success — Stephen Brayton on July 09, 2024