The old Turkish proverb tells us; “A building without foundation is soon demolished” (Source Unknown). Take your time to scope a project before rushing into loading information.
Most companies have asset data in some form when you first start the gathering process. Generally it comes from multiple sources and it nearly always is incomplete or outdated. Like any well-constructed system, it’s important to know the who, what, when, where and how’s:
- Always avoid the instruction to get it loaded and we’ll clean it up later”. It won’t happen!! The resources will not be available and no one wants to clean up someone else’s mess. It is much easier when you are moving into a new house to clean the furniture from your previous flood-affected house BEFORE you take it inside. The same goes for populating your CMMS/EAM. Plan how you want the data formatted, set out, the basics that you need to make it work and ease of accessibility.
- Spreadsheets can be wonderful when you are trying to make sure that the data is clean. Use the sort and filter and spell-check to mix the data in the columns around and highlight the duplicates, the dodgy listings and the missing fields. Only once you're sure that there are no more flies in the ointment should you consider loading it into the database.
- Discuss the existing work flow process. Demonstrate how the software can improve the flow and how the information can be disseminated. Even the most experienced Asset and Maintenance Management Implementation Consultants need to discuss the proposed system with both the administrators and the users.
- What data will be collected and what will be done with it. If you aren’t going to use it, why save it? Also take the time to understand what is the main purpose of the system and how could they better track certain elements to improve system efficiencies.
Now that you have explained the function of the various modules of the CMMS/EAM and how they interact, you can reduce the need for wholesale changes later when the customer finds the system is not what they expected.