A computerized maintenance management system or CMMS is a long process that involves a hefty investment. That is why companies are wary of considering it in the first place. Add to it, a study by Oxford University and McKinsey states that on average a software project has a 66% cost overrun and a 33% schedule overrun. More specifically, around 70% of all enterprise asset management systems and CMMS software implementations fail. The reasons: incorrectly installed systems, insufficient employee training, and inadequate support from the vendor.
To avoid these pitfalls, it is necessary to have a robust CMMS implementation plan. To help you get started, we’ve provided 8 easy steps that you can follow:
1) Management Commitment
Like with any other software implementation, the commitment has to come from the top-down. For the successful deployment of a CMMS solution, you need to have the management buy-in and manage their expectations. Since CMMS is not a magic wand that provides instant results, it is crucial to clearly communicate goals, access real-time CMMS data required to see the results and returns, and other relevant information to the stakeholders.
2) Project Planning
With the management on board, it is time to consult everyone who will be involved in the deployment to create a project plan. This management solution should be as detailed as possible and should have a timeline of anywhere from six months to more than a year. It should include important dates along with all the milestones such as identifying customization needs, data entry and cleaning, finishing user training, and conducting CMMS audits. The project plan should have explicit, attainable goals, and everyone involved should agree on them to prevent ambiguity later and increase accountability.
3) Prepare Employees
It is not enough to get only the management on board; you also need to prepare your employees who will be involved in the process, such as the IT department. Don’t assume that all employees will welcome the new software since people are either resistant to change or feel that technology will replace them. Ensure the maintenance team has mobile devices they can use to track their maintenance activities using a mobile app. Therefore, it is critical to remove all these misunderstandings and educate people with reading material and Q&A sessions. Communicating the benefits of a CMMS will help full adoption of the technology and avoid any unnecessary problems that may crop up later.
4) Train Employees
When creating a project plan, be sure to include training sessions in it. After all, CMMS software is a sophisticated application that requires training for everyone using the system. Provide training to as many people as possible so that they can help each other during routine work while training a few people on all aspects of the system and its administration. Also, include training sessions for at least six months after you go-live since it will allow users to seek solutions to the problem they face while using the system. Therefore, get the most out of your cloud based CMMS investment by providing enough training to all users.
5) Gather Data
One of the most common reasons for CMMS implementation failure is the insufficient gathering of the required and usable data that employees will enter into the system. That is why effectively collecting maintenance data is important and needs up to 12 months of commitment from employees. Regardless of your data history, it needs to be clean for faster deployment of CMMS. Helping you prepare for and then importing data is an area where your CMMS vendor can offer additional value. Before committing to a go-live date, understand the needs of your new system, and fully communicate data import requirements.
6) Enter Data
Once you have the plan in place, finalized the system, and gathered data, it is time to decide the best possible method for entering data into the new CMMS application. Identify the resources, internal or external contractors, spare parts, who will be responsible for this job. You will also need to determine the best method to enter the data that the CMMS will manage. Do you need an administrative assistant or, should maintenance technicians enter the data on their own? Get answers to all these questions to determine the best way to complete this mammoth one-time task.
7) Reports and Analysis
Create four-to-five usable reports that will be analyzed daily. These reports will be critical to base all your decisions across your management program. Before you set up your systems, determine what it will do for you, and then create the reports accordingly. These reports should help you understand short- and long-term trends in maintaining operations.
8) Improving Operations
When you implement a CMMS, look beyond its major capability of keeping records of assets and their parts. Use the wide range of functionalities of the maintenance management software to look at large volumes of trackable data. Setup predictive maintenance or preventive maintenance strategies to improve. This data can be analyzed to further improve your existing maintenance operations by providing useful trends that can be further used to take corrective actions.
Success is a Few Steps Away
CMMS is a huge cost for any organization considering implementing it. Therefore, deploying it right in the first attempt is imperative. Our eight simple and easy steps can help you prepare a well-thought-out CMMS implementation plan and help you be on the road to success.