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"The Web Work CMMS
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browser based Computerized Maintenance Management system(CMMS) available today."
Source : Tero Software
Developing an Effective CMMS Implementation Plan
Implementation Plans is also known as :
Implementation Business Plan,
Implementation Plan Chart,
Implementation Plan Checklist,
Implementation Plan Components,
Implementation Plan Concept,
Implementation Plan Definition,
Implementation Plan Development,
Implementation Plan Document,
Implementation Plan Example,
Implementation Plan Format,
Implementation Plan Guide,
Implementation Plan Guidelines,
Implementation Plan Project,
Implementation Plan Samples,
Implementation Plan Schedule,
Implementation Plan Steps,
Implementation Plan Template,
Implementation Plan Timeline,
Implementation Work Plan,
Acquisition Implementation Plan,
Annual Implementation Plan,
Assessment Implementation Plan,
Assistive Technology Implementation Plan,
Change Implementation Plan,
Company Implementation Plan,
Construction Implementation Plan,
Contract Implementation Plan,
Define Implementation Plan,
Detailed Implementation Plan,
Diversity Implementation Plan,
Engineering Implementation Plan,
Evaluation Implementation Plan.
Todays maintenance staff is tasked with doing more with less. The challenge here is that their
efficiency ratings when measured can be as low as 10% to 40%. So where does your
maintenance department stand in terms of these statistics?
Although CMMS software has been around for more than 20 years, and the adoption rate
continues to climb, many companies still struggle with creating an efficient centralized
maintenance and operations program. By program, we are talking about an all-encompassing
maintenance plan that includes;
- A centralized software package to collect and distribute data,
- A set of business rules to create a proactive approach to maintenance
- A team of dedicated people to execute effectively.
Having assisted hundreds of organizations both big and small across North America over the
past 25 years, we have had the opportunity to be part of some great CMMS
implementations and we have also seen where corners being cut reduced the results
The ideas and concepts shared in this paper should be considered when choosing a program
that will meet your short, mid and long-term maintenance goals, from both a software
infrastructure point of view and an organizational behavior standpoint.
Step 1. - Where to Start
As with any need for change, the place to start is by doing an inventory of your current
maintenance practices. Here you will define three key areas;
Here it is a good idea to inventory all of the various software tools used to input maintenance
data from across the organization. We have seen companies with multiple locations using
different software tools at each location. Each location stores their data independently and then
reports to corporate in different formats. This lack of efficiency means that if you are not
reporting on all of your cost centers properly, you may be asking for accounting issues later on.
A centralized CMMS can begin the process of collecting important maintenance data in one
central repository and share this data with the affected departments. Data collection is by far the
largest waste of human resources for any company due to disparate systems. By standardizing
data entry and collection into one program, you can see immediate benefits when it comes to
reporting and sharing of data. This data can then be used to more proactively plan future
projects and initiatives that can result in huge savings.
Another eye opening reason for this exercise is to determine your costs for software licensing,
support and upgrades. You may find that this cost alone will outweigh the investment in
procuring a new software package and the ensuing implementation. You may very well find out
that you already have a software package that is doing a good job and perhaps it is time to sit
down with the vendor and discuss a corporate wide roll-out.
So to review:
- Inventory the tools currently used to manage, collect & distribute data
- Determine the costs associated for licensing, support and upgrades
- Identify common software tools used in multiple locations
- Get a consensus of what tools may be working and what are not
You may very well already know that the maintenance practices used across the organization
vary from location to location. Using different software programs or different leadership styles
can cause this, but regardless it is a good idea to determine some benchmarks so you can
identify strengths and weaknesses.
If you want to get a full-fledged audit of your maintenance practices, you can always hire a third
party to come in and review your practices. If you go this route, ensure you get them to interview
more than one location.
As identified early on, if you're using many disparate systems to track maintenance, you can be
sure your business practices differ as well. If you want to do a high level review yourself, you will
want to identify the required workflow to manage an emergency, preventive and routine work
In the emergency and routine maintenance workflow, review each step of the process from the
time a request for maintenance comes in through to the time the work is completed. Measure
the time, resources and materials used to complete a work order in each of the resulting
categories: emergency, preventive, routine.
The resulting outcome of this exercise may bring you to the conclusion that you need to look at
reengineering some business practices. This is a good thing and as we will discuss later, it is a
great opportunity to unify the way you do business across the organization.
The next challenge will be in getting your people to buy in.
Besides determining the number of people tasked with doing the physical work, there is also the
need to identify roles and responsibilities. Since you're going down the path of centralizing your
maintenance tools and reengineering some or all of your maintenance practices, it goes without
saying that human resources need to be identified to make all of this happen.
Besides your maintenance staff that does the day-to-day work that keeps things running, you
will also be affecting other departments when it comes to running a centralized CMMS. So,
before spending time, effort and ultimately money on the software, let us identify who will be
affected by this change.
- What is the corporate requirement for the software platform?
- What other programs may need to interface to the CMMS?
- What role will they play in supporting the new software?
- What are they currently spending for existing software and support?
- How does finance interact with maintenance currently?
- What financial information is currently shared and how is it shared?
- What financial information should be shared that currently isn't?
- Is there any duplication of effort?
- How do customers interact with maintenance currently?
- What is their level of satisfaction?
- How do we track all customer requests?
- Can we make improvements to better serve their needs?
With this inventory list, there will also be different sets of issues that will arise. Categorize every
issue that comes up under the three aforementioned categories to ensure that when you
address an issue, you can clearly identify if it is a Tool, Process, or People issue.
The reason for identifying these categories is that often when issues arise, they are much larger
than the software package alone. Do not get bogged down trying to reengineer the software
when some simple process changes may suffice. So now what?
Step 2. Put the Team Together
Now that you have a clear idea of where you are at, it is time to begin the process of setting
some goals and objectives. Before doing this, it is usually best to get a team of dedicated
individuals together to assist in setting the tone, build a plan, and then finally execute.
This is the perfect time to get buy-in from all of the stakeholders. Your team should encompass
affected members from different business units across the company. Maintenance staff,
Operations, Finance, IT and HR all have a stake in a unified system and should assist where
needed. Their initial job is to review software functionality, identify current business processes
and gaps as well as determine how and if the CMMS will integrate with other internal systems.
Part of your team should include the software vendor or a maintenance consultant to assist you
in your initial fact finding. Let's face it, in today's "do more with less" environment; it is often
better to get an outside opinion with the appropriate expertise to assess your current business
practices and internal systems.
A maintenance assessment or benchmarking study will assess your current maintenance
practices. The resulting study can include recommendations on an implementation plan as well
as the necessary short, mid and long-term budget requirements.
Keep your team small and efficient to streamline decision-making. It isn't necessary to create a
large committee to get involved in this process, it is more beneficial to use a smaller, more
focused team that can gather the required information, identify and make recommendations and
report back to the committee in a timely fashion. Once you have completed the selection
process, you may also wish to involve some of these people within the implementation team to
Step 3. Define Your Goals and Objectives
With your inventory list, you have now identified areas of strength and weakness. From here,
you should now be ready to set some goals and objectives that will drive the program from start
to finish. Do not worry here about time lines, it is better to focus on setting the tone and rely on
your vendor or consultant to assist you to scope out the project time lines.
Step 4. Project Definition
Now that you have set the tone by defining your goals and objectives, it is time to define the
project then begin the software and vendor selection process. So, what does this checklist look
like? Let's look at the list of things to do.
- Gain agreement on the key functionality requirements for the short, mid and long-term
implementation. In your initial fact finding venture, you should probably have already
identified a wish list from many of the affected users. Do not get bogged down here in
creating a feature list that may never be accomplished. Focus on doing the basic tasks
well and you will often find there is more than enough functionality in the software.
- Define software platform and configuration requirements to other legacy software
programs. This area also includes defining your IT platform requirements. As CMMS has
evolved from client server to web based, you may want to identify this facet first. Your IT
team may have already set a company standard, and this needs to be considered to
ensure your long term IT requirements are met. Remember you're going to live with this
investment for many years, so measure the over all costs to maintain any software
package long term.
- In dealing with legacy systems, you will need to define what systems need immediate
integration and what systems can be phased in. Again, your vendor can speak from
experience and much of this will be determined by how fast you wish to move.
- Define training and personnel requirements to introduce the new program.
One of the issues we run across is with larger organizations that have multiple staff
across the country. The ensuing training logistics can make or break your
implementation. Regardless of where your people are, they need to be trained.
Technology has allowed us to create virtual training programs, so identify logistics early
to avoid budgetary shortfalls later on.
- Break the implementation down into manageable chunks.
Start out with basic user training on work orders, PM's and Asset data, the next step
may be interfacing to legacy data (financial systems etc...) then move to inventory
etc...Again, your vendor is a valuable asset here and they have a vested interest in
seeing the project succeed, so rely upon their experience.
Note - "Manage Peoples Expectations"
For many of our clients, the decision to procure a new CMMS means they can finally have one
system to meet everyone's needs. Remember, the software is merely one piece of an all-
encompassing maintenance and operations program. Once you begin this process, you will find
that managing people's expectations early on will help streamline the project.
During the project definition process, maintenance and reliability issues that arise can be
categorized in the three key areas first assessed including, people, process (business practices)
and tools (software & functionality). By categorizing issues under these three headings, you can
then help your team to understand that there may be issues that are greater than just the
software. This will allow you to create separate teams that will be tasked with managing each
area of the procurement and implementation process.
For companies moving from multiple standalone software packages to one centralized CMMS,
there is often a great deal of time spent managing end user expectations of the new software
package. These users usually expect the new software to have the same functionality as their
current systems, and it should be able to do it faster and with fewer resources. Many of their
issues will fall under the process category and not software functionality. Manage their
expectations by assessing these issues within the appropriate category.
Another common expectation that arises is the desire to customize the software to replace other
multiple internal homegrown systems. Customizing software to be what it is not can create long-
term adverse affects. More often than not, the new CMMS software functionality will give you
the desired long-term benefits and the vendor should be able to determine if it is a viable feature
that can be added on now or will become part of an upgrade path later.
Any suggestion of customizing the software before any end user training takes place should be
discouraged. All software packages are designed to follow a workflow that may require changes
to business practices; this is not a bad thing. Walk before you run, you'll often find this will
eliminate problems later on.
If you're like most organizations we deal with, your main goal is to centralize on one CMMS
package in order to unify and streamline data collection and business practices. You cannot
move from multiple disparate software packages into one unified corporate CMMS without
affecting the business process. To manage your team's expectations, set the tone early to
ensure the focus remains on the end goal in mind. This will eliminate the need to stray off path
and prolong the decision making process.
The steps to procuring a CMMS/EAM can be lengthy and often confusing. There are three
major criteria that make up any project;
Results are what make us all successful. By clearly defining your goals and objectives, you can
then create measurable milestones to show results and prove an ROI model. This will set the
tone and determine the success of the project and allow you to maintain focus throughout.
A clearly defined time frame allows you to determine the priorities and plan a phased approach
to your project. Be very careful to set realistic timeframes based upon the resources available
and remember, it may be better to under promise and over deliver.
Budget is always an issue regardless if you have $5000 or $500,000 to work with. Areas of
consideration should be given to software, training, professional consulting services and on-
going support and maintenance of the software.
To manage and accomplish all three of the aforementioned criteria, you should focus on any
two and let those criteria drive the third factor. I.E. if time and quality are of the essence, then
budget will surely be affected, as you will require more resources sooner to ensure a speedy
implementation of all of the required functionality. More often than not, companies choose to
make budget and quality the key driving force allowing you to spread the implementation cycle
over a longer period of time.
Utilizing a phased approach allows your end users to master the basics of the system first as
well as keep them more focused. As with any software implementation, it is always better to
walk before you run for maximum results.
The success of a CMMS project usually plays a critical role in the future of the company as a
whole. By investing some time and effort into evaluating your real needs and taking the
opportunity to reengineer your internal business processes, your chance of success is greatly
In the end, CMMS applications are only one part of the equation. The benefits of an all-
encompassing maintenance and operations program include not only financial gains; they
create greater communications amongst internal departments resulting in greater cooperation
and increased efficiencies. All of this equates to a greater return on investment.
By doing the necessary research and planning before hand, you can shorten your selection
process and streamline your operations. Look at this as an opportunity to improve and unify
your maintenance and operations processes by incorporating new business practices. Most
importantly, keep an open mind and don't be afraid to compromise if it means greater success
in the long term.
Tero Consulting Ltd. provides Maintenance Management software solutions to reduce maintenance
and operating expenses through our proven Web Based CMMS, Web Work,. Combined with our 25
years of CMMS consulting and implementation experience, we can assist with project planning, no matter
how big or small.
The prime focus of our business is the pursuit of improved maintenance practices. Serving clients in a
broad range of industries, Tero's experience and expertise enables our clients to achieve their objectives
and, in doing so, realize dramatically improved value from the dollars they spend on maintenance of
facilities and equipment.
To learn more about our solutions and consulting services go to www.tero.ca
By Rob Saare
Tero Consulting Ltd.