Industry Views: Maximize CMMS, EAM Use
Gary Parr | February 16, 2018
Experts say focus on stakeholder buy-in and strong data management to get the most out of your software investment.
At the heart of just about any reliability-based maintenance program is regular and widespread use of CMMS (computerized maintenance management software) and/or EAM (enterprise asset management) systems. Organizations that leverage these systems find it easier to be proactive at scheduling maintenance tasks, tracking work orders and logging results and feedback to apply to future situations, managing backlogs, communicating with management, and staying on top of spare parts and consumables and the potential runaway costs they can generate.
Safety, though, is probably the most important benefit of effective CMMS/EAM usage. Better planning, organization, and scheduling allows workers to approach tasks in a calm, organized manner, fully equipped to do the job properly. In other words, there are fewer, if any, rushed, pressure-filled situations that can lead to workplace mistakes and accidents.
CMMS/EAM systems really shine in operations that have moved to a reliability-based culture that is driven by predictive/prescriptive asset management. Lifecycle management, analytics, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) data, and compliance are just some of the factors that are effectively handled.
To help you maximize your CMMS/EAM use, we asked industry experts two questions this month:
• What is your top tip for CMMS or EAM implementation?
• What is the one benefit everyone should be getting out of their CMMS or EAM software?
Whether you’re at the entry-level end of the spectrum or your CMMS/EAM system is part of the fabric of your operation, it never hurts to take a moment to assess if you’re truly benefiting from your investment.
Team Buy-In is Critical
Paul Lachance, senior manufacturing advisor, Dude Solutions, Cary, NC, dudesolutions.com
Top Implementation Tip: Get “buy in” from the entire team. A CMMS will impact and benefit many people, often in different ways. For example, if you are looking to improve efficiency, asset reliability, and profitability, a CMMS can be a big help. But, before you take on a project such as this, form a team and ensure they are ready, willing, and able. No one likes to have software forced on them.
It’s also better for all, and usually much more effective, if the entire team is involved at appropriate levels. What does management want in terms of metrics and reporting? What problems are the maintenance/operations managers trying to solve? How can a CMMS simplify the day-to-day battles for the technicians? You won’t know unless they are all involved at the appropriate levels. Full team buy-in ultimately allows a more effective, efficient, and quicker implementation.
Primary Benefit: A CMMS should enable everyone do their job better and look great while doing it! A reactive-maintenance culture can be toxic and downtime is a killer to operations, profitability, and morale.
A CMMS will improve uptime, create a more predictable production environment, and reduce the “fire fights” often found in a non-CMMS environment. Ever see a production supervisor the moment they find out their critical asset is down unexpectedly?
When unplanned downtime becomes habit, it creates a toxic, unwelcoming environment. A CMMS changes all of that, and makes you look good doing it!
Focus on Quality Master Data
Tara Holwegner, CPLP, PMP, CMRP, learning and performance subject matter expert, Life Cycle Engineering, Charleston, SC, LCE.com.
Top Implementation Tip: Our subject-matter experts publish extensively on this topic, and two themes surface repeatedly: the importance of including all stakeholder groups early in the design process and a focused effort on quality master data. ISO 55000 details a formula of people and physical assets creating value for the organization. In this spirit, when planning to implement a CMMS or EAM system, it is critical to understand how information passes between and through organizations so you can identify stakeholder groups and design requirements to meet the needs of different workers.
How do people work with and interact with each other and assets? Early involvement encourages user buy-in, influences functional requirements, and can identify training needs early in the process to promote proficiency in the system’s use. Regarding master data, in LCE’s four decades of experience working with organizations striving for reliable operations, we’ve seen around 30% data accuracy in CMMS/EAMS systems. Making sure that an organized asset hierarchy is in place and establishing standards for asset types, naming conventions, and additional necessary data, such as replacement asset value, provides the foundation for pulling reliable information to make data-driven decisions.
Primary Benefit: I discussed this question with colleagues, and although our discussions yielded different perspectives, each agreed on a few general assertions: CMMS and EAM systems should provide valuable data for better decision making, the systems should provide an enterprise approach to asset management, and ideally, companies should see 20% to 40% maintenance-cost reduction through its use. For work and materials management, reliability engineering, and operations, the history kept in a CMMS/EAM tells a story that supports troubleshooting and problem-solving activities to reduce downtime, increase productivity, and ultimately increase profitability.
Management Support is Critical
Steve Wigton, training coordinator/consultant, Mapcon Technologies Inc., Johnston, IA, mapcon.com
Top Implementation Tip: Management support is needed, especially beyond the original purchase. It is imperative to have full engineering and operations involvement to gather equipment items and other data to correctly implement the system for future use. These days, the only honest hands-on commitment there is are the front-line technicians and supervisors actually entering daily transactions. While this is important, it is typically post-implementation and is often too late at that point. Without other departments involved in the implementation of a CMMS, systems can stagnate and fail. Involving all stakeholders in the implementation will greatly increase the chances of CMMS success.
Primary Benefit: The main benefit of a CMMS is definitely the delivery of meaningful reports. Generally speaking, a CMMS is just a large database, so being able to run reports using that data can be a huge advantage. It can even help with business-intelligence analysis. For example, if a maintenance manager needs to determine whether it is more cost-effective to repair a machine or replace it, they can look at the machine history and run a report that details the cost and time spent on repairs for a given amount of time. Additionally, the ability to run reports within a CMMS allows users to quickly and easily gather information that can be used for audits. EP