Implementing a new computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) product or relaunching your existing one?
This could be a crossroad that many organizations face at least once in their lifetimes as many CMMS products are evolving to more complex enterprise asset management systems (EAMS), or even asset performance management systems (APMS).
There are many considerations from the product perspective and the organizational side, but the focus should be about the goal of using CMMS. Giving meaning to the utilization of such a powerful tool is paramount to compare your current reality to a future state.
A solid asset management strategy goes beyond maintenance and work management; it encompasses multiple disciplines, including finance, supply chain, inventory control, data management, management of change, quality control, operations, human resources, and every other department. Each will have a role to play in a well-established asset management plan. Having the big picture of an organizational operation, where all departments work together to achieve a common goal, definitively gives a clue about the data requirements and integration flexibility of the CMMS.
Establish a CMMS utilization policy based on your asset management strategy needs, as it will also highlight any strengths or weaknesses of your current product. This policy should list what the fields in the CMMS that are key to obtain the indicators that measure your performance, based on the value that your assets add to your organization. It should also include the information landscape, where you define the different software needed to integrate or interact with your CMMS, to achieve the maximum interoperability of information and technologies.
User feedback certainly is important, so consult your staff to gain firsthand likes and dislikes, functionality reviews, and ratings of the current user experience. Users are the cornerstone of your project; it is people who will embrace or reject the changes. Involving them from the start will give them more sense of ownership over the decisions made and will up the chances of success.
Take your time and include a multidisciplinary team to draft a solid CMMS requirement to evaluate your options; and do not rush the decision. Get your organization ready, and make sure you have change management support in either decision (new or improved) to get the right processes in place to ease the implementation.
Erika Mazza – CMMS Specialist – Regional Municipality of Durham, Duffin Creek WPCP