CMMS/EAM Implementation: Outdated Systems

“The sticky-note can hold it together for only so long.”

Are you maintaining the right items at the right time or just when you remember to? A well implemented CMMS/EAM can assist you in improving the efficiency of your maintenance program, ensure you have the right resources, the right parts, at the right time.

Implementing a CMMS / EAM will allow you to set your maintenance program up so that the equipment will be maintained at the correct frequency. Data from this maintenance can be used to ensure that the parts required to maintain the equipment are sourced in the most cost effective manner to avoid a “panic buy” or waiting until the equipment has just failed before realising you don’t have the required spare part.

Tools are useless unless you use them.

Ask any Implementation Consultant what their greatest source of frustration is and they'll tell you it's seeing a system used badly. There are still many maintenance departments that rely on their staff remembering to do regular preventative maintenance jobs and carrying out repairs that have been written in the “to-do” book. When a CMMS/EAM is installed, there is often a desire by some staff to use it in the same manner. Certainly the Work Order creation can be used to simply record a job that needs to be done and the Preventative Maintenance scheduling can be used to create regular Work Orders. But the true value of the software is found in using its full capabilities to improve the daily operation and long-term reliability of the business.

While the acquired knowledge of the staff is always a valuable resource, the accumulated knowledge of a business needs to be accessible at all times, not just when the staff are available. Gaining an understanding of the full capabilities of a CMMS system is a balance between knowing the key functions and how to use them and suffering from information overload. Many companies may only ever use half of a system’s functionality simply because of the broad range of businesses that the software was designed to service. By being thorough in the initial set-up of the modules and databases in the programme, a business can progressively expand their use of the tools which are incorporated in the system. A customer should discuss a plan of continued CMMS training with their Consultant so they can build on their proficiencies as they become more aware of system functions. And amongst those many useful tools which you begin to master, you may just find the Arkenstone that will help you rule your Empire.

Selling it to the masses.

History shows that the greatest leaders were those who had a vision and could get enough people interested in it to make it happen. They needed to convey the message that the “great-unknown” they were about to enter was truly in their best interests and the he or she would be with them all the way. Now they didn’t need to relay all the nuts and bolts of the plan in their speech, but it was important to emphasise that the decision was a result of careful consideration and evaluation of all options and that the goal was Nirvana rather than the Nullabor. There is also the need for the leader to clearly outline what is expected by all those involved in the project and the level of commitment that is required. From the very start, there should be no doubt that involvement is not optional and that everyone is expected to and is responsible for the success of the CMMS implementation. While I am sure that (contrary to the noble paintings) Napoleon was not at the front of the cavalry charge, he was in a position to be aware what was happening on the front lines and to see where problems were developing. The leader needs to stay in-touch with the set-up and roll-out of the software and to be ready to prod anyone who could undermine the implementation process.

Drive interest, enhance your systems.

The easiest way to fail is to show minimal interest in what you are asking others to do. The leader who asks his troops to go forth into battle, may not receive universal support if his parting words are “Now excuse me as I must retire for a few chukkas of polo”. By demonstrating an enthusiasm for a Project to work and the advantages it will bring to the main administrators of the system, the leader can create interest through to all levels. Success can be judged by the degree of acceptance by those who will work with the programme each day. You can usually tell if the message has filtered through when the maintenance teams start to put forward suggestions of ways they think the system can be utilised and enhanced. Always treat this infectious interest as a sign of growing wellness rather than a rash that could do with a case of antibiotics. Once the drive comes from within the work-force, the need for prodding by the leader is reduced. And they may even be time for that polo match after all.

If your interested in finding out more about the health of your asset and maintenance management operations and how you can unlock the full potential of your CMMS/EAM, click the following to learn more about our System Health services.

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