Congratulations! You have decided to implement Computer Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) to enable your employees to use maintenance data more effectively. You are now looking forward to seeing a rise in your bottom line. Consider the following hints and tips to ensure the successful CMMS implementation and to ensure the whole process rolls out as smoothly as possible.

Select the Right Package

Let’s start right at the beginning. Define your scope before you purchase your CMMS package, determine which modules you need immediately and which can be added on later, and consider how your company wants to use the software in the future. Be clear about what you want your system to do and what information you want reports to show. Communicate these to ensure you get what you need.

Data Gathering

Gather the data needed for your CMMS database. Data gathering is absolutely crucial to the success of your CMMS and most failures can be attributed to inefficient procedures for data entry. Formulate a solid plan to determine exactly what data you need, how it will be entered, and who will take responsibility for it. Starting with data that is fresh, free of anomalies, clean, and ready to use, will help to minimize any potential problems.

Involve and Train Your Employees

It is a good idea to get employees onboard from the outset; send regular updates, encourage their input, and invest in training. Employees will need initial software training from the CMMS vendor, and ongoing training, particularly with relation to terminology or nomenclature when new employees join the organization. Make sure employees know and understand the full functionality of a CMMS, how it can help them spot trends, analyze data, identify specific failures, and so on, so your organization can get the maximum benefits from your software.

Clear, Detailed Procedures

Establish procedures for entering ongoing information, including whose responsibility it will be and when it will be entered. For example, if your CMMS will be used to maintain plant equipment, then the following information could be included for preventive maintenance: equipment name and number, location, department job number, account number, craft, work-time estimate, action code, and frequency that the work must be performed. You would also need to determine a schedule for the work and enter a description of the work to be performed, as well as the parts and tools required.

Key Points of Contact

A solid relationship between your supplier and a point person, or a small select group, will maximize efficiency and smooth communication. A team of dedicated employees will ensure consistency across the business. Include members from departments that will be affected, such as  production, planning, purchasing, operations, and IT, and ask them for their input as to which business processes need improvement. Don’t forget to keep in mind at all times how your streamlined processes will look, feel, and impact your customers.

Communication, planning, and ongoing technical support with fine-tuning will be essential throughout the implementation process to ensure success. Once everything is up and running, however, you can look forward to more efficient, streamlined, cost-effective procedures across the business.