MRO Magazine

Standardize Maintenance and Ensure Safety and Compliance with a CMMS

One of the most common reasons an organization with multiple plants and locations implements a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is to standardize maintenance operations and workflow processes.

August 30, 2021 | By Fluke Reliability

Photo: zhu difeng / adobe stock

Photo: zhu difeng / adobe stock

Often, the company’s plants or facilities do not have a CMMS or use an assortment of software, or the present one is insufficient or antiquated.
Monogram Foods, manufacturers of an extensive line of snack foods, wanted to consolidate and optimize maintenance operations across its nine plants, gain visibility of overall maintenance activities, and enable comprehensive, accurate reporting.
The Memphis, Tennessee-based company needed CMMS software that could:
-Enable a fully transparent view of maintenance activities to executives;
-Streamline maintenance management and control spare parts inventory;
-Help support the health of its more than 3,554 assets;
-Reinforce the company’s 15-year exemplary food safety record;
-Integrate with BI for visualizing multiple data sources at once.
The organization carried out an extensive search involving various maintenance management software solutions. They selected cloud-based CMMS software and a vendor well-known for successfully managing countless multi-site rollouts.
The snack foods company also liked that the provider had an impressive assortment of other advanced tools and software that could connect to the CMMS, including vibration monitoring sensors to further its reliability journey. Ultimately, the company’s reputation for exemplary customer service and ability to fully support the company’s unique goals helped clinch the choice.

Figure 1 – The organization configured the CMMS to track planned, unplanned, and unaccounted for hours.
PHOTO: Monogram Foods.

Expect to encounter challenges
Dee Robison was hired as the CMMS system administrator for Monogram Foods in 2017 and tasked with overseeing CMMS adoption and user training. Robison made training a critical initiative and became a CMMS expert user by attending the vendor’s online training sessions and in-person learning opportunities.
After fast-tracking her CMMS knowledge, Robison trained Monogram employees to use the system. Plant maintenance leaders and users needed to understand how to effectively utilize the system to impact the organization’s key performance indicators (KPIs) and overall objectives.
“I oversee the systems, making sure the functionality works, making sure that we get reports for corporate, that we do the training,” said Robison. “Everybody has a planner in each of their accounts and plant engineer. They’re responsible for loading in all assets, within the guidelines of Monogram Foods.”
Many of the organization’s objectives hinged on personnel inputting data accurately and consistently. Otherwise, the company’s continuous improvement metrics would be unusable and unreliable.
Data usage objectives:
-Track safety and other audits;
-Monitor continuous improvement metrics;
-Enable informed equipment repair and replacement decisions;
-Create individual plant maintenance activity reports and consolidated reports for leadership.

Figure 2 – The CMMS tracks parts usage and automatically triggers parts reorders when levels fall below a specific number
PHOTO: Monogram Foods.

Leverage CMMS features to ensure data integrity
Some plants embraced the change to the CMMS, while others resisted or weren’t entering data, including work order completions, consistently. Because the system was highly configurable, the organization overcame several obstacles by maximizing its many features and functions to fit its needs and lock in reliable data capture.
For instance, Robison created mandatory fields in work requests where a WO could not be completed without proper data. Additionally, the company’s implementation team worked with the CMMS provider to build a custom work order category to ensure audit/safety-related work requests were prioritized.
“We have three different types of work requests: facilities, production, and an audit request,” said Robison. “We have instructed each of the plants that, if this has to do with an audit that they put the work request through as an audit. And that automatically gets categorized as that. We can pull up all of our requests by any audit, and then we can track it easily that way.”
Monogram Foods also worked with the vendor to design a report that separated and graphed planned, unplanned, and unaccounted work hours. When the employee payroll hours upload into the CMMS each week, depending on the work order type, the CMMS dashboard displays how time was spent.
In just a few months, M&R teams and leadership learned where to focus continuous improvement efforts and optimized other areas of the system, such as generating daily cleaning and sanitizing work orders automatically.

Figure 3 – Power BI integrates with CMMS enabling comprehensive KPI corporate reporting
PHOTO: Monogram Foods.

Fine-tune your PMs and make procedures clear and consistent
The organization focused heavily on improving its preventive maintenance (PMs) and work order standardization for equipment plant-wide. A core team met regularly to examine where the PMs needed more details.
“We’re tightening up on PMs and reviewing the like equipment at our plants and saying, ‘Hey, this needs to be more detailed,’. We are seeing what we’re doing with our downtime on certain equipment,” said Robison. “We go back, and we review the PMs and find out if we’re missing something by doing a root-cause analysis on it and verifying that we have enough information.”
One of the missing details they found was that some plants weren’t accounting for the time it took to gather parts to carry out a PM work order. Identifying and correcting erroneous work-hour estimates enabled better planning and maintenance scheduling, and detailed PM criteria helped boost asset availability and reliability.
Optimizing the CMMS inventory feature quickens ROI
The CMMS inventory management feature is one of the most powerful tools when optimized. Unfortunately, many times it is either overlooked or undervalued. It takes time and effort to gain control of inventory, but the payoff is substantial.
Monogram Foods chose to maximize the feature to control purchasing, reduce excess inventory levels and costs, and ensure spare parts availability. When initially trying to capitalize on its benefits, one of the first struggles was getting the plants to enter critical data.
Some of the organization’s larger plants have as many as three people to manage parts details, including the vendors, reorders, and receiving. Once plants started validating parts, estimates and counts began to improve.
“We have reorder points on our inventory,” said Robison. “The inventory controller has to put in a lead time, bin location, cost, vendor information, and reorder points. Now that we’re validating, we’re getting a more accurate count of what’s on our shelves. We’re not underestimating or overestimating as much, and we don’t run out of the parts that we need should there be a breakdown.”
Accelerating the reliability journey with condition monitoring sensors and power BI
Monogram Foods accomplished several objectives by consolidating maintenance of its nine plants, including standardizing PMs and work orders, controlling purchase orders, and managing inventory and parts expenditures.
In addition to adding vibration monitoring sensors to some of its critical equipment to track asset health continuously, the company is also using a power business intelligence (BI) tool and integrating it with its CMMS. The result is an all-up dashboard for visualizing many data sources on one screen enabling comprehensive KPI reporting and the ability to see and close gaps more effectively.
Article provided by Fluke Reliability.


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