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Steps to a successful CMMS implementation

Supplier: Mainpac
06 September, 2012

Because a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) — also known as maintenance software or predictive maintenance — offers significant benefits for organisations, it is critical that it is implemented effectively if its benefits are to be fully realised.

A CMMS is of particular relevance and offers the most desirable benefits for an organisation within the facilities, service and manufacturing sectors, but it is only when these systems are successfully implemented that they may enhance the operation, productivity and profitability of a business.

CMMS defined
It is useful to begin with an overview of a CMMS. A CMMS is a computerised approach to the planning and control of all of the activities required to maintain a facility. These activities include, but are not limited to, the scheduling of planned maintenance, documenting information in relation to breakdown and malfunctions, stock control, inventory and purchasing information.
For a number of organisations, a CMMS includes a range of beneficial features, but stock control functions are often identified as being of the most useful.
How to ensure the successful implementation of a CMMS
The benefits and return on investment of a CMMS implementation correspond with the appropriateness of the CMMS software package selected, how effectively it is implemented and the extent to which all personnel concerned with implementation are committed and involved. In order to facilitate the best outcomes for an organisation, it needs to:
Carefully and accurately define its requirements and expectations of maintenance software
Because the selection of a suitable software package is fundamental to the success or otherwise of a CMMS implementation, it is imperative that the clear definition of requirements and expectations serve as a starting point for this.
Compare, contrast and analyse the alternatives
So that an organisation can choose a suitable maintenance software package, resources (including time) need to be invested in understanding and careful evaluation of the alternatives. Very often, it is worthwhile working with a specialist or professional to gain their insight into the type of package that will best suit the needs and requirements of your organisation.

Prepare data
In order for maintenance software to enhance the operations and processes of your organisation, the data that is used by the software needs to be accurate, well organised and accessible. Time and effort needs to be invested in the preparation of your data in advance of implementation taking place.
Installation and testing of the required software and hardware
Prior to ‘going live’, there is great value in installing and testing the relevant software and hardware needed. Through these processes, there is an opportunity for glitches and more significant problems to be identified and strategies employed to address them.
Enter the data
Following the step of installation and testing, data can then be entered in the system, readying it for actual use in the context of your business.

Train staff
If a CMMS is to be effectively and fully used, it is critical that staff and key personnel receive comprehensive training and support. This is one of the most important areas of investment and the area that most directly corresponds with whether or not a CMMS will be successfully implemented. When staff are well trained and confident in their use of a system, it is more fully used and, ultimately, delivers greater benefits to an organisation.
Having decided to invest in a CMMS, all organisations want the use of this software to benefit their business. The aforementioned steps can help to facilitate successful implementation and maximise the advantages for many organisations.