Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) can increase your maintenance department’s efficiency by leaps and bounds. The biggest challenge facing a maintenance department with a newly acquired CMMS is the prospect of implementation. Many larger corporations will bring in a consultant to take care of the implementation of their preventive maintenance software. This is the fastest way to get your software up and running, but it is also the most costly. For maintenance departments looking for a more economical approach to implementation, they must take on this challenging task themselves.

It is important to start with a goal of what you would like your maintenance software to achieve and how you would like your CMMS to operate. If you begin with a vision of how your software will work once it goes live implementation will be a much simpler process with a greater probability of success. Remember; do not lose sight of your initial goals as the implementation process progresses. Losing focus on your end result may result in a system that is too complex for your users, meaning failure for your maintenance software.

The importance of selecting a CMMS that is simple to use is often underestimated. Massive features and complexity may be ideal for seasoned users, but will most certainly distract a new user from his initial goals. A simple solution to this problem is to select a system that offers enhancement modules for program expansion once you get the initial system up and running. This not only offers users more flexibility but also allows users to first become acclimated to using the maintenance software before expanding to a more complex version.

Implementation will be easier for a maintenance department that already has some sort of manual preventive maintenance system in place. If you do not have a manual system you may want to consider setting one up as a template before you begin implementing your new CMMS. At the very least, a coding system will need to be set up for your equipment and preventive maintenance tasks. When setting up a coding system, try to use meaningful codes that will be easy to remember, codes that make sense within your industry that everyone will be able to recognize. Many times the machine codes chosen for your CMMS implementation will be set up to conform to the accounting systems at the facility. Do this only if necessary. Again, do not forget your main objective for your CMMS implementation. Keep it simple. You do not want your maintenance technicians hunting through lists of codes that mean virtually nothing to them. Remember, ease of use is the key to success.

Once you have decided on an appropriate coding method your next step will be to enter your Equipment. This may be an arduous task if you have a large number of equipment. The process may be finished more rapidly if you have chosen a program that contains a copy function. A copy function will allow you to swiftly enter similar equipment with the click of a single button. Innovative features like this will allow you to have fully operating preventive maintenance software within just a few days or even hours after installing the software.

The most important part of the implementation process is entering the preventive maintenance tasks for each piece of equipment. Once preventive maintenance work orders are being accomplished, the speed of the rest of your CMMS implementation will increase as a result of a reduction in emergency work that will allow more time to devote to the system. Fewer breakdowns and unscheduled tasks mean more time for constructive progress with your CMMS and maintenance management routines. Again, there are some features that you may look for in your CMMS that will help with this portion of implementation. A comprehensive library of industry-standard preventive maintenance tasks already compiled and ready for you to use is an invaluable tool that some maintenance software systems include. A quick scan of these included tasks will allow you to delete those, which do not apply to your equipment. This review of tasks will also identify what you need to add for tasks. This way the task library is adjusted to your needs.

The entry of inventory and purchasing data will be the next step of CMMS implementation. In most cases, this data can be entered on the fly as you are using the software, as it is not as critical to immediate successful CMMS operation as the equipment and preventive maintenance tasks.

A system administrator or maintenance manager should be appointed as the individual in charge of training all of the other users of the CMMS. If your maintenance department does not believe in and understand the system, you may hear the familiar excuse that “there was no time to do preventative maintenance.” Even the simplest preventive maintenance tasks can prevent minor problems from developing into major breakdowns. Get your maintenance department involved from the beginning! Keep them informed. Even if you do use a CMMS training consultant, they can play a part in the initial setup of the system, but do not expect them to fully implement it. You are what makes the system work!

Now you are ready for your system to Go Live! It is time for you to start using your CMMS on a daily basis and start measuring increases in your efficiency and seeing results on your bottom line.

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