In today’s economy, Information Technology has become essential to organizations for business growth. Evolving software can help streamline and simplify many processes of an organization, including more hands-on roles such as maintenance management. A good CMMS (computerized maintenance management software) will ultimately result in higher efficiency and keeping critical business assets running longer, but it will take some planning to make it operational.

The following checklist of items outlines what is necessary to get a maintenance management system fully functional. The steps included in this list are strategic and should occur to assure that the detailed implementation is successful.

1. Management commitment

Going from a manual system or from one automated maintenance management system to another will require the full support of everyone who must interface with the system. Inclusion of everyone, and making them feel a part of the implementation team is necessary. It is the responsibility of management to make sure all workers using the system understand its benefits. This is especially true in a union environment. If outside vendors/contractors are going to be expected to provide reporting through the system, it is equally important to get their input and make sure expectations are understood at the worker level as well as the management level. Decide if you are going to use an outside consultant or the chosen vendor to assist with this step. Repeating a bad process in an automated system is an automated bad process.

2. Determine if the organization has the discipline to support an automated maintenance management system

Automated systems work well with structure and discipline. If you have workers or supervisors that like to shortcut things before you implement a system, your success in getting the results you want from an automated system are diminished. If “close enough is good enough,” it will ensure your benefits realization from automation are diminished accordingly.  Discipline and structure are key trademarks of an organization that embraces best practices. Just because an automated system requires discipline, doesn’t mean it should or will make the job more difficult. It just means it requires consistency.

3. Before Beginning any implementation 

Identify realistically, with the assistance of the selected vendor, the project team, readiness of the IT requirements and infrastructure, organizational culture, and economic constraints.

4. Document what better looks like

Before work actually begins, define and document what success looks like. What are the expected benefits, how are they going to be realized and who is responsible for realization? This should be clear and concise and must be communicated to the company and all people responsible for the implementation and use of the systems and processes.

5. Develop the Tactical Plan for Maintenance Software

Working with the implementation team, identify how the plan is going to be implemented. Will it address a certain type of equipment first, will it be phased in location by location, how is information going to be maintained, is a new asset identification system necessary, do the assets need to be tagged, does this re-tagging have to correlate to other systems like fixed asset systems, can information for vendors be obtained from another system, will the vendor ID scheme work, will a physical inventory be required, will the system have to interface to a purchasing system, what additional interfaces are planned or required, and who has the technical information to make them work, are they necessary to implement at the beginning, or can they occur at a later stage and what benefits are delayed? Try to identify all the variables and the impact of each decision on the implementation time frame and budget.

6. Begin the detailed implementation planning for CMMS

Every aspect of implementation must be planned in detail. Field naming conventions, work processes, identification of where data is stored, access rights, training, impact analysis, decision on what data is necessary for implementation operational success, what data can be added later, when does the switch get turned on, and hundreds of little decisions that will impact the time, resources required and the ultimate success of implementation must be planned. There are outside consultants who can assist with this phase who brings experience in the implementation phase. What reports are going to be necessary, and are custom reports needed. Plan, Plan, Plan and then execute the plan.

7. Track and Report

All plans have holes and they need to be tracked, monitored and communicated. Document any decisions or changes so the success of the project can be tied back to the original goals.

Implementing a new system can be a big undertaking, but with the right tools, planning and mindset in place, it will ultimately result in measurable benefits to your resources and employees.

Watch or schedule a demo to learn more about Proteus MMX!