Maintenance Software (CMMS)

The implementation of Maintenance Software (CMMS)

Maintenance Software

Maintenance software, generically known as Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS), encompasses an almost dizzying spectrum of applications and industries. In fact, there can be few situations where the business case for CMMS is not well proven.

Taking the marketing hype at face value, introducing CMMS maintenance software is pretty much a breeze. Or so they would have you believe.

While most maintenance software is user-friendly, there are a few preparatory steps to ensure your CMMS implementation goes smoothly and represents good value for money. We deal with specifications elsewhere, so letís move on a stage or two.

Having defined our needs, selected our maintenance package and ascertained hardware meets minimum requirements, what next?

First of all, clean up existing Microsoft Access and SQL databases before importing into the new CMMS software.

Next, install and test the software, input the data and train staff (your vendor will be able to help with this).

Finally, itís go live with your new software-based maintenance system.

The much talked about cost savings hinge on a number of key issues. Savings will only be made if the right maintenance software is chosen, staff trained properly and the implementation and use of the system is successful. Skimping on training is a false economy; users have to have confidence and belief in the software, and this will only come through education and use. Employees who do not feel fully familiar with the software are unlikely to fully utilize or implement it. From a business perspective this makes no sense at all. In some worst case scenarios, itís estimated that only 15 per cent of CMMS software functionality is utilized.

It has to be borne in mind, too, that the transition from manual processes to their computerized equivalents will require time and commitment. The switch over, therefore, will create a temporary strain on resources while the new system and staff get up to speed.

Senior managers also need to be reassured, especially when maintenance is traditionally viewed as a cost rather than a contributor to production. In order to prove the value and worth of CMMS investment, itís vital to have a baseline from which to work. Accurate spending figures prior to the CMMS implementation will make interesting reading six months or a year down the line and help make cost-benefit and cost-justification analysis much more transparent to the non-engineer.

Ideally, prior to implementation, a core project team that spans purchasing, accounts, production and maintenance should be assembled to ensure a focused group takes ownership of the CMMS implementation. This way the whole company Ďbuys intoí the concept and eliminates the danger of a CMMS project being viewed as merely a new piece of software for the maintenance guys.

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