8 Important Steps to Successfully Implement Your CMMS

Find out the best way to ensure a smooth transition, as well as making sure all your maintenance and facility needs are met.

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Webinar Transcription

As Adrian mentioned, my name is Marty De Los Santos. In today’s webinar, we are going to be focusing on the eight steps to successful CMMS implementation.

A little bit about who we are. Again, the organization that we are, we are MicroMain. We are headquartered down in beautiful Austin, Texas. We’ve been providing software in this space since 1991, so over 23 years in this particular space, developing, providing and supporting maintenance software and facility management software. We also offer offer a specialized version for healthcare related to our maintenance management solution as well.

Here are just a few of our customers that are currently utilizing MicroMain solutions. We do have over 3,700 customers worldwide. The majority of those, of course, are in the United States and Canada, but we do have some clients around the world where primarily English is spoken.

So, a little question for you guys. What is your primary concern? Please check the appropriate box and click submit. All right, just a few of your results, preventive maintenance and work order maintenance management, typically what I hear as well when speaking with different organizations. So, I fully understand that those are very hot items, but not to make light of responding to corrective maintenance and reporting on maintenance activities are very important items as well. The MicroMain solution does address all those items.

If you’re looking at implementing a new CMMS, things to think about. Today, we’ll look into best practices and CMM use, implementation process, eight important steps that you need to take to ensure successful CMMS implementation.

Starting off, CMMS review, define requirements including what are your goals as far as implementing a new CMMS. What are you looking to accomplish out of that? What are your expectations from a CMMS application? What are your expectations from functionality that you’ll have available to you, as well as the output that you’re expecting, based on the data that you’ll be providing?

System configuration, hardware and software – that could also come into play into whether or not you’ll be implementing a system that’s going to be installed locally or have it be hosted system as well. Of course, think about training. Who needs to be trained and what kind of training will you require? If you’re a current user of another application or you’re coming from a manual process, that may help to determine how much training and what kind of training would be relevant for your organization.

The hard part, again, is finding a CMMS that meets your requirement. As you’re evaluating different systems, thinking about your goals, your expectations, your system configurations, training options that are available, thinking about how those correlate and can accommodate your requirements when selecting the appropriate CMMS system.

What is your current maintenance process? It looks like the majority of the folks that are online are currently utilizing a CMMS system, some looking to change or have a homegrown and a few of you that are currently not using a CMMS. I understand. We do talk to folks that maybe it’s Excel or maybe it’s Outlook combination with Excel, or Outlook and paper, and that is the process that’s available to you now but, of course, what we are talking about today is making that jump to an actual software application for the management of your maintenance.

So, using a CMMS, effectively manage your day to day maintenance, creating and getting work orders, performance of preventive maintenance, managing your assets, and the assets could be equipment. It could be the building. It could be rooms, offices, so, space assets as well. Managing your parts inventory, making sure that you have parts and your inventory levels are at levels that you won’t run out of an item that could a productive-related part, creating purchase orders, inspection performance -including inspection failures – managing fleets. From a long-term perspective, being able to create reports to acquire the data to help make future business decisions, as well as be able to understand your performance and your processes internally as well.

So, implementation process, and part of it starts with your evaluation and research, understanding what your needs are, defining, as I mentioned in the previous slide, defining your goals, your expectations, knowing whether or not your organization requires a locally installed system or a hosted, or if your open to either option. Obviously, contacting vendors like MicroMain and researching and going through product demos, getting pricing information.

Within that step there, as far as contacting vendors, having the understanding that, although a vendor may be able to research your organization and know who you guys are and what you guys do as an organization, we are not familiar with your internal processes, internal decision-making. Those may be questions that you’ll hear from vendors as well because they want to understand what is it going to take for your organization to move forward with a solution if you guys are serious about implementing a new product. There may be some questions that vendors may ask. They want to find out a little bit more just because they don’t understand and we don’t understand your internal processes.

Selecting at vendors, finding a vendor that matches your requirements, your goals, your expectations, their solution to accommodate those items and, of course, that it’s cost-effective. Then, getting ready for implementation. There are some steps that take place once a selection is made to go from research mode to implementation mode. Making sure you have your right team assembled and available, make sure the vendor knows who is going to be part – not only users – but who is going to be part of your implementation team. In implementation, what’s involved there? It could be installing software on your own servers, creating a database in a hosted environment for you, getting your users defined and getting those credentials, getting data transferred, especially for those that are currently utilizing another CMMS system. How do we get that data transferred over from your current system into a new application? There are processes there that each vendor will have to get that data in a clean format, so you’re not bringing over corrupt data into a new application.

Part of the implementation phase as well is training. What kind of training? Is it in person, where a trainer is going to your site and walking around your facility? Is it where you come into the vendor’s location? Is it online training? So there are different options to think about.

Once you’re up and running, whether it be a few weeks down the line, a few months down the road, doing the review as the set up that we set up initially. Is that the most appropriate for your organization, especially if you’re coming from a very manual process. So, you can always revisit those items, make corrections as needed because understand, the decision you make is typically a long-term. Most organizations are usually going to be with a CMMS application minimum four to five years before they think about making any other changes. So, again, things to think about when you’re selecting and going through an implementation process.

So, again, step one, you take inventory. Do your homework. Review the properties, equipment, parts, labor, vehicles – everything within your organization, and then consider unique situations and understand how does this correlate with us looking into different CMMS applications. As the bottom line states, a lot of implementations fail because the database is improperly set up. I’ll show you, from a MicroMain standpoint, what we are talking about from a set-up standpoint. Your organization will have a hierarchy of information that is very key to the success of future use of your CMMS system.

I’m assuming the most response is yes, but just to ask, are you currently performing preventive maintenance? Overwhelming yes. I do see a no in there. Preventive maintenance is probably the biggest item that we hear, whether it’s an issue with scheduling preventive maintenance or we want to make sure your system can accommodate the scheduling of our preventive maintenance.

Here comes a step two, outlining critical preventative maintenance. PM’s, especially in Micro Main, could be numerous things, whether it is actual PM’s that, hey, this the quarterly, the monthly, the weekly, the 500 hour or 500 mile maintenance on this piece of equipment or maybe it’s a reminder to do inspections, like every three months we have to do these certain inspections on our equipment. Maybe it’s a reminder for other activities that you may need to have occur. Maybe it’s a reminder that it’s time to recharge our fire extinguishers that are in the facility, or to do other items. So, a lot of ways to utilize the PM aspects of the CMMS solution.

Cost savings from a CMMS is a direct result of effective PM and inspection management reducing your failures or emergencies, reducing the number of corrective maintenance that occur but also helping to keep costs down of possible corrective maintenance by utilizing PMs.

Consult with your IT department. I have mentioned before, does your organization require that the solution live in house on your own server, or is your organization open to having it be hosted? Oftentimes, your IT department may have some requirements related to either of those options. Sometimes organizations, because of proprietary information, only want a solution that lives in-house. So, make sure you understand what is the organizational requirements or what is your IT requirements. Making sure, if it is going to live in-house, do you guys have the appropriate system requirements to accommodate a locally installed solution.

Preparing data. If you’re currently utilizing a CMMS system now, even if it’s just Excel and you would like for that to be imported into a future CMMS system, make sure you have clean data. You want to avoid duplications or any other kind of corrupt data. Start with a clean slate. Start with something that’s going to be clean and effective for you moving forward. Eliminate that bad data prior to getting that imported and, oftentimes, consulting with your CMMS vendor, we can assist you with making sure that your data is clean via consultations, understanding what data is going to be coming across and really take into consideration that we’re going to make this as clean as possible. So, when you look at equipment number one, two, three, there is not equipment dash number one, two, three that also lives in the system that’s the exact same piece of equipment.

Testing the system before you go live. Again, another very key item here as well. You don’t want to waste valuable time on training on a new system until the data is imported and the system is really tested. All vendors have stories about arriving on site to train and having to start by taking the server out of the box, or helping with the initial installation. If you’re doing on-site training and the trainers arrive and part of their time is spent just getting the application implemented under your server or onto the appropriate laptops, PC’s or wherever the system is being used, that takes up valuable training time. I hear from trainers here at MicroMain, oftentimes – especially if there is an import involved – wait until the import’s done and we can even train on a test site, so create a test environment after the import that’s going to be separate from your live environments. So, during training, you can do all kinds of tests that does not affect actual data or actual dollars that your organization may be looking at from a maintenance standpoint.

Reporting needs. What kind of reports will help you manage daily activities and long-term process improvements? This is a key item as well. Keys for using a CMMS and while a lot of organizations have a CMMS. Sure it helps with reminders when it’s time to perform certain activities. It helps to be able to look at equipment and say, “Okay, here is the history of what we’ve done on equipment one, two, three over the past year,” but the data that you’re putting in, having a key way to get that data out when necessary, whether it’s within your own maintenance department or maybe it’s your control or CFO or VP of finance that’s looking for some key cost information, being able to quickly grab that information and provide them with an output, or even allowing them to generate those report on their own, is very key. So, the data going in is clean. You want it to be precise. You want it to be accurate, so data coming out allows your organization to say, “Hey, do we need to bring on another maintenance technician to support Steve in the maintenance environment? He’s operating with three, and we are realizing these three guys, looking at the numbers, are really overworked, and there’s definitely room for another technician to be added to Steve’s department.” That could be a future decision that could help with efficiencies within your own department. So ask around. Ask how many users in your organization would typically need access to manage the system. This is typically excluding requesters, people putting in requests for work.

It looks like one to ten is probably where most folks will lie. We find that to be pretty normal, at least with many of the organizations with whom we work. We have some large organizations that do fall in the 26 to above levels as far as how many actual users, be it technicians or other key stake holders that do need access to the application.

So, getting trained. Again, as I mentioned before, think about your current environment. Think about your current functionality, what you have available to you today from a maintenance standpoint. Are you using the system? Are you familiar with software in that aspect? Who else within your organization is going to play a role in managing and entering data into your applications? So, think about key folks that do need to be trained. What kind of training will they need? Is it better to have somebody in-house with that one-to-one interaction, or is it having it online with that kind of interaction. Is that the most appropriate for your organization as well?

Moving forward, I mentioned earlier, there is a review step. Three months from now, six months from now, whatever that time frame could be, do we need to do a review and maybe schedule another training? Maybe you become a user that’s gone from, hey I’m doing it now, I’d like to know a little bit more and get a little deeper in the application. So, maybe I need some more advanced training to become more of an advanced user with my CMMS system.

Auditing your CMMS. Are you on the latest version of the software that you’re using? Are you getting the reports you need? Are you fully utilizing the software’s capabilities? Are you a beginner or intermediate level user? Do you want more advanced functionality? Do you need more reporting capabilities? The vendor you’re currently utilizing, are you on their most recent version with the most recent feature assets and bug-fixes, whatever your vendor is currently doing? Check with your other users within your organizations. Is any of them have any questions or need additional training or feel that they are lacking in certain functionality? That could even be something as simple as hey you need to turn on these kind of rights for this user because they need this kind of functionality as well that already exists in the system. So, performing those periodic audits of your CMMS protects your investment and maximizes the maintenance savings for your organization.

Would a hand-held mobile device help you to improve maintenance performance and manage work flow? This has become much more popular here as of late because we are in a digital age and it’s more than that. We are in a mobile age. A lot of folks are carrying phones or tablets and there’s different sizes of phones, different sizes of tablets. For the organizations that are using that, they are finding a couple of key things there. They are finding it to that it allows for their technicians to be more readily available to work orders and to manage their work orders and it helps eliminate the paper usage as well. You’re not having to print out paper work orders and inspection items. So, mobile functionality is definitely where all lot of folks are going. Smart devices,. For MicroMain, for example, it is just a mobile for web solution. So, it’s not device-specific, whether it be a phone or a tablet. It’s not make specific. It’s not limited to Apple or Android because it is just a URL that you would be utilizing to log in into the application to manage your work orders. If you are on the far end of your facility, away from your office, you see an issue, right there on the spot, you can start a work order and close it out without having to go back to your office to create the work order, or even go back to your office to reconcile what’s done. You can manage all of that from your mobile device.

So, CMMS implementation checklist. Take inventory, do your homework. Look at the makeup of your facility, your different buildings, different rooms, different floors. What kind of assets are you maintaining? Not just equipment, do you have fleet assets? Is there space assets that you guys are maintaining as well? The parking lot, commons area. Outline what are your critical PMs, so making sure that items that do have to have those PM’s, whether it’s manufacturer required, or just something, “Hey, we know we need to do this maintenance from time to time to make sure this is in good working order.”

Consult with your IT. Do you have the ability to bring a system in the house, or does it have to be hosted? Does your organization have a requirement one way or the other that it has to live in house, or no, we have to have it be hosted? Preparing your data. Is your data clean? If you’re coming from very manual efforts, is that data being stored in an Excel document? That can be utilized for importing, but is it clean data? If it lives in another solution, is it clean or has there been a lot of free text entry where you have duplications and corrupt data?

Testing the system before you go live. So, even though you’ve gone through training, let’s test it. Let’s make sure it’s going to work correctly. You can do it in a test environment, even though you have a live environment as well. Create some different scenarios that you know come into play, and that are real scenarios that come into play to make sure it’s working properly.

What kind of reporting needs do you need? What kind of reporting needs does management need, does your CFO or controller need? Making sure that whatever system you go with can accommodate those as well. Getting trained. What kind of training is needed, depending on your environment, depending on how complex your environment may be may determine whether or not you need a trainer in-house, face to face, looking at your facility, really getting very comprehensive with your kind of environment and what may come into play in your environment as well.

Then of, course, auditing our CMMS. Is it the most current version? After you’ve implemented, a few months down the road, go back and do a review. Do we need to change anything? Do we need to add training? Is there something else, other functionality that you need? Do you need up the ante on some user security rights to allow them to have more functionality or maybe you left functionality the one you’d initially given them?

One thing we always typically do, again we are MicroMain, we are a vendor as well. As I mentioned, we’ve been around for over 23 years. I’m going to do a little bit if a walkthrough of our solution as well. We’re looking at the MicroMain maintenance premium solution. Starting off, dashboard, some critical information right on the dashboard, some links to be able to move you through your application. PM’s, a big item we hear is PM’s. We want to make sure your solution can accommodate them or we’re currently not doing it. How do we make sure that we’re not going to forget to do items? That’s managed under tasks in MicroMain. Define your task. So a task could be actually equipment PM. It could be a reminder to do inspections, reminder for calibrations, reminders to do something else, light bulb changes. Again, this would be your system. You define what you want done, how often you want it to be done. If I just click on one of these items, I’ve given it a name, I’ve given it a frequency. These are difference frequency options that are available, including meter and if you look at meter, whatever meter you’re measuring, whether it be hours, miles or something else and you can even throw in or statements, or every x-time frame. If it’s a quarterly item, select the monthly option, say this is going to be done every three months versus one month.

Description. What are we doing? So, every time this PM is generated, what do we want done. Summary is keeping track of cost information, assets. You can assign multiple assets to each of the tasks you create in MicroMain. So, in this case, I have six air handlers. When these are generated, I’ll have six unique work orders, whether I’m printing these off or I’m picking these up on mobile device, keeping in mind that each one of these assets has its own unique history as well.

The option to predefine who is going to do the work, whether it be a single person or multiple folks. What parts may come into play? What other cost elements, if it’s not parts or labor related. Maybe you typically throw this out to a third party or you know you have to rent certain pieces of equipment to manage this. Are you also performing any inspections? Maybe this could be an inspection only reminder that you have scheduled. What other activities you have done? In this case, there are some other things that I want done to these assets that don’t happen monthly. So, I’ve got every three months, I want this to occur. Every six months, this item and every 12 months this item, and the system knows, based on these timeframes, when to include these activities to these PM work orders.

You can to attach documents to your PM as well. So, what else do you want to be associated with this PM that your technicians have access to? Maybe it’s an instructional guide of certain schematics or some other helpful information that you feel your technicians need when performing this task. So, you defined your task and, in MicroMain, we give you a couple of options as to how do these work orders then be created. One, the more popular choice is to have the system automatically do that for you. So, after you’ve created each task, the system will automatically get these scheduled and automatically create these work orders when their due dates are coming up. A second options was to be more manually control these. I worked recently with an organization that, every Monday, they print their PM’s for that week. So, they want that manual control, and that’s fine. In that case, they would utilize our task scheduler to manually control the generation of these PM work orders.

All work orders will ultimately live under our work orders tab here, whether they are your on demand work orders that you can start from here or start from your mobile device, or maybe it’s generated from a work request feature that allows your other employees to let you know when they have experienced some kind of issue, but all of our PM work orders will ultimately reside here as well, initially coming in as requested work orders and whatever status you call them, type you call them – preventive PM’s, inspections. It’s your choice.

At this point, again, if I’m operating on mobile, I can grab these, take my mobile work orders, make my edits and move from there, or I can print each one of these out and then close up these work orders by logging in and reconciling these work orders. So, if I grab one here, for example, here is a work order that came in form a work request. Here is the issue. Each one of these can be printed and previewed. This is an example of a printed work order, a place to put in labor parts and other information as well. I could email this work order. Maybe I have a third party contractor coming on site to do the work. You want to get this in their hands prior to them showing up. So, let me email this to them.

When it comes to time of closing up the work order, coming in, adding your labor, if you’re doing this manually. So, I can add a technician or multiple technicians just holding the control button down. Defining my time. Maybe it took me three hours to get this done. What kind of parts came into play? When I click add, I’ve got it pre-filtered to only show me parts I’ve associated with the asset. You can create the part to asset relationship. Didn’t need an air filter, did need a widget and maybe I had to use two widgets to get this done. No other costs. No other inspection items. I can close out this work order. So, it’s been issued. I’m going to complete it. It gives me another option to assign it to an account if we haven’t already done so. We already updated our actual hours, but it took me three hours. Maybe this was down for five hours. We updated our parts.

If we’re managing failures, what was the failure? This is your own unique drop-down list. If it’s a metered asset, what meters are you maintaining? You can make those updates here. Click okay. This work order is now completed and if this did come in form a request, usually like in this case, George was my requester that let me know about this issue, George then gets an email notice once I close out this work order letting him know that the work has been done.

Under resources is where we manage your parts. So, define your entire part list, upload a picture, keep track of your suppliers, the order page, what kind of costs are you incurring with your parts. You can define your minimum inventory levels and set up alerts that remind you whenever you have parts that have fallen below your level. With which assets have you associated these parts? With parts, as well, there is a full audit history of what’s happening. What kind of transactions are occurring, whether you use the part on a work order, received a part, ordered a part, issued a part, all of that’s being managed here as well and if, this particular part, I have it in three different inventory locations. I need to supply more to my main stock room. So I can transfer parts between storage locations as well.

As we mentioned, examining your own facility. So, under facility is where the hierarchy of your organization will be created, the overarching sight of your organization. How many properties does your organization have? Then, under each property, what buildings exist under each property as well? Then we get into assets – area assets, equipment assets. We have fleet as its own unique tab because there are some additional items that are managed related to a fleet. We have a lot of folks that want to track fuel and fluid usage, tire usage and so they’ll manage that under the fleet asset here.

We talked about reporting. Over 600 reports are available out of the box with the MicroMain system. We break them down into different groupings, assets, building and so forth. Just to touch on one here, completed work orders group. How long has it taken for us to complete work orders, whether it’s our unscheduled work orders or our scheduled work orders? What kind of costs are we incurring? So, for example, I can do a cost summary report. Filtering, we offer standard or advanced. Standard utilizes an and statement. So, as I start adding elements here, maybe I’m looking at everything in this building, and of a certain asset group.

If you have assets that are similar, we recommend placing them into groups. That really becomes helpful when it comes to a reporting standpoint versus having to look at each individual asset. In this case, in individual air handler to add them to this report. I can put them in my date range. In this case, it defaults to show me the last year, but maybe I just want to look at year-to-date, for example. What kind of costs have we been incurring? I can print this report, preview it, export it to Excel. If I just do a preview, it’s going to run that report. It shows my filtering and because we are tracking labor parts and other, it breaks that out by those three items, and gives me my grand totals as well, for each of these work orders for air handlers that are in building one. I’ve got like 22 pages here. If I go to the very end, I can see my grand totals as well.

So, if I’m the CFO, the controller or somebody else that’s involved with looking at the cost elements related to your maintenance department, here is an example of a report that they can see to understand financially, hey, what’s it costing us to maintain, in this case, our air-handlers? If you wanted to run that for a single air handler, you could to understand, hey what’s it costing to maintain this air handler one? Is it time to replace that air handler? That’s information you can manage in MicroMain as well, because each equipment has what we call a details page where you can determine when did we buy it, how much did we pay for it, what is its useful life? Using this information related to the cost to maintain this piece of equipment can help you determine are we at a point where it’s better to replace than to continually maintain this piece of equipment.

So, that’s just a little bit of insight into our system. We also offer mobile functionality. It’s available. That work request module that allows for other folks to be able to submit work orders as well.