Webinar: 8 Successful Steps to Implementing CMMS
We are going to discuss the eight steps to finding maintenance software that fits your needs and then going about implementing it. First of all, a little bit about MicroMain. We are headquartered in Austin, Texas. We’ve been providing facilities and maintenance software since 1991.
Whether you’re looking for maintenance management software to manage work orders and preventive maintenance and inventory, or facilities management software for space planning and moves, we offer both programs. And as you can see, it says we offer CMMS and CAFM software.
We also have a special CMMS version for healthcare. Here are just a few of our customers: Rubbermaid, Best Buy, so on and so forth. We are across all verticals, and we are worldwide. First, before we get started, we have a quick slide. Are you currently performing preventive maintenance? Yes or no. And I’ll give you another second here, and we will skip to the results. I always like to know who my audience is.
Everyone, at least who is in the audience here today, is currently doing preventive maintenance, and that is a good thing. All right, so implementing a new CMMS. We’re going to look at, as I said, the best practices for implementing a new CMMS. Whether you’re starting from scratch or whether you are moving from a current program to a new program, these steps will be helpful in your identifying exactly what it is that you need.
When you’re looking for a CMMS, first thing you need to do is obviously define what your goals are, what are you looking for, and then what are your expectations? Your goals, are you looking to do preventive maintenance? Do you want to be able to track all of your work orders? Is managing all of your parts inventory important to you? Is being able to do preventive and predictive maintenance important? What kind of reports do you expect out of it?
These are all things that are important before you even start out looking. Or if you’re thinking about moving from one to another, why are you considering to move? What are your goals in making this move?
What kind of expectations do you have out of that new system? Also, system configuration, important. What kind of hardware and software requirements are there? Do you have the IT staff infrastructure to support it? Do you need to go host it? These are all things we’ll look at. What kind of training is necessary?
I can tell you from 15 years in the business, training is essential if you want to have a successful implementation of a software. Then obviously, at the end the day, you’re going to choose the CMMS that meets your requirements. Okay, so another little quick survey here. What is your primary concern? If you take a moment. Work order management, response to corrective maintenance, reporting on maintenance activities, or PMs.
We’ll see where we’re at here. Okay, so work order management is really what we’re looking at here, 100% of you. So, good. Any CMMS worth value is going to allow you to track all of your maintenance. And of course to a lesser extent here now – the answers are coming in – in response to corrective maintenance, reporting, and of course PM’s.
Okay, so I have a good idea of who is out there and what you’re looking for. Let’s talk just briefly about what is use of a CMMS? Effectively manage your day-to-day maintenance. Creation and execution of your work orders. Do you have something in place that allows you to efficiently create work orders? Maybe you have a request module. Maybe you don’t. That’s something you ought to consider.
Rather than people shout at you in the hall that something is “broken, come fix it,” maybe they send you an email which you either see or don’t see. Maybe it gets lost in the shuffle. You have to copy and paste it into the work order program. Or maybe you’re getting phone calls from tenants or whatever type of business it is. Maybe you need a work request module.
That might be something of value to you so that you know you’re tracking all of your maintenance. Obviously, performance of PMs. Everyone here said PMs was primary interest. Again, when you’re looking for maintenance software, make sure that it supports PMs in the way you do it. Do you do calendar based? Do you do meter based? Is it all hours of run time or odometer readings?
You have to consider all these types of things. Can you attach documents and schematics too of PMs? So that everyone knows what the work plan is and they can actually access a document to look at maybe a diagram of a piece of equipment. You’re going to be able to manage assets. When you setup your program, there’s a variety of ways to set it up.
You want to make sure you can setup all your buildings and your rooms, and your offices, and then of course all the equipment, whether it’s a facility equipment or production equipment. Do you have the appropriate parts inventory? If you’re using it to manage your inventory, you want to always, of course, make sure that you can manage your inventory, see what’s available, build parts lists for equipment, set min-max and reorder amounts so that you don’t get caught short.
Timely creation of PO’s. Again, you want to be able to create purchase orders and to replenish your parts and maybe even to get new services. Or also possibly just order new materials or a new piece of equipment. Can you do inspections? Do you want to be able to go out and inspect things and take readings and measurements, and pass and fail them, and create corrective maintenance work orders from failed inspections? Do you manage fleet? Or as they say in this slide, “fleets.” And then long term, you want to be able to create the reports so that you can report on everything that you’ve done and get out the reports that you need.
Those are all important things to consider before you even start looking. You want to identify all these things. All right, so the CMMS implementation process. At least MicroMain has identified that, one, you want to identify the needs – those things we were just talking about. And we’ll revisit them in a moment. After you identify your needs, you’re going to research and contact vendors.
There’s a number of ways to do that. There are services that have done some of the work for you, or you can go online and of course just start looking. Once you identify the vendors, obviously schedule a web demo. That’s an important step in the process. It’s one thing to take and say, “Call these vendors and tell them to send you material,” or to request a demo you want to look at on your own.
But it’s very difficult to do that on your own. It’s far easier to schedule a CMMS demo, pick a few vendors, maybe on site demos where they take you through the process, you get to ask questions, make sure it does everything that you need it to do and so that you understand it completely. After that, of course, they can send you demos to further review on your own.
Once you schedule the demos, you’re going to narrow it down or perhaps you’re just going to then choose a vendor. Often times, you’ll narrow it down to a top two or three and then reschedule another demo for maybe a larger group, and then choose that vendor. Once you select the vendor, now you need to prepare for your implementation.
This is where a lot of work needs to be done as well, and we’ll discuss that. It’s one thing to buy the software or to have it hosted. It’s another to get it up and running and running accurately and in the way that you need it to work for you. There’s a lot of homework that needs to be done. And then of course once you prep for your implementation, then you implement it.
And then eventually, you need to review. You need to make sure that it’s doing what you wanted it to do, what its intended need was. Again, you need to review it periodically, make sure you’re getting out the information that you need it.
Okay, we have another slide here. My current maintenance process: I’m using a CMMS, considering a change, home-grown system, or not using?
If everyone takes a second here just to click on that, and we’ll skip to the results in a moment. Okay, so we have 30…well, about a 50-50 split here of using one and not using one. That’s okay, because as I mentioned earlier, whether you are using a program or perhaps you’re just out there searching, you’re going to go through the same process at evaluating and implementing a new program.
Let’s take a look at these eight steps. That was the name of this webinar. First, take an inventory, do your homework. You want to review the properties, your equipment, your parts, your labor, your vehicles. What is it you want to manage with a maintenance management software? We say properties. It doesn’t have to be properties per se.
You could have a plant. You could have a facility, just one manufacturing facility. That’s your property. And then what equipment in there, both facilities equipment and production equipment that you want to manage. Do you have a parts inventory that you manage, and do you have all that information? Again, what is it that you want to do? Do you have any unique situations?
You may be regulated by the FDA, or JHACO if you’re a healthcare facility. Are there any unique situations where you need extra functionality over and above your typical CMMS? First thing, take an inventory of what you have, what you want to manage. Do you have any unique situations? What is it that you want to get out?
As it says there, “Many CMMS implementations fail because the database is improperly set up to manage daily activities and report on the items critical to success.” As you’re setting it up, before you put the first piece of information in there, you need a blueprint as to what it is you want to get out of there. And that will determine how you set things up. You may want to set things up by departments, by floors, by groups, by properties, by plants.
Again, consider what it is you want to get out of there, do a lot of work on the front ends to ensure that you have a successful implementation. Two: critical PMs. Outline those PMs. Every one of you said PMs is something that is absolutely paramount to your wanting a maintenance software package. Again, make sure you outline what your PMs are, especially your critical PMs.
You want to schedule these because they’re going to keep your equipment up and running. Obviously, I think everyone here knows the value of having a good PM system. It’s going to extend the life of your assets and is going to reduce the failures and emergencies. If you’re in the production, if you’re a plant, a manufacturing facility, and a piece of equipment goes down, that’s lost production.
So, not only are you spending money on maintenance but you’re also losing money on lost production while your piece of equipment is down. Having PMs setup on a regular basis and one that makes sense so that it not only keeps you from the failures and shut downs but also increases the life of your asset.
As it says here, a primary source of cost savings. One of the major cost savings from a CMMS is your result of effective PM and inspection management. Inspection just means you can go out and do your monthly PM and maybe it’s an inspection of a piece of equipment, where you have 10 different inspection points you want them to check. They can pass and fail them. They can take measurements and readings.
You can even track these measurements in a graphical or report form. Again, before you even start, you want to outline what PMs do we want to do, especially those critical PMs. And then make sure that when you go out and you’re accessing various software, that they handle that. If you do a lot of meter based PMs, hours of run time, you better make sure that the CMMS you’re looking for does not only calendar base but meter based.
Third, you want to consult with your IT as well. No sense looking at a system if you don’t have the structure, the IT’s backbone to implement it. Maybe you need to go to a CMMS hosted solution versus on-premise. On-premise being, you purchase it, you install it on your own network versus a hosted solution which is hosted by the vendor and accessed via the net and built on a monthly or annual basis.
By the way, MicroMain offers the same solution both ways. Whether you need a hosted or an on-premise, we have it – same program, same functionality, just different delivery method. But on your part, before you get into this, you need to consult with the IT and make sure you have what’s necessary.
Is it sequel? Do you have a sequel server? Do you have enough server space on your current server or maybe you need a new dedicated server? Also, determine who’s going to provide support when issues arise. Do you have someone in IT who can handle if you’re purchasing it on premise? Do you have someone in IT who can install it, who can provide all the backups and can help you out if there’s an issue?
Again, you need to know all those technical components, and that will help you decide also on what CMMS to go with, and of course how you’re going to implement it, on-premise versus hosted. Four: prepare your data. I talked about that earlier, but again, very, very important.
If you are starting fresh and you have a lot of information – you may have it in Excel spreadsheets; you may have it in Word documents; it may be in an Access database; it just may be on pieces of paper, or in your head – make sure you know what it is you want to put into the program and what the best way to start putting it into the program is, to ensure that you get out the results you want.
So you want to clean up your data. And if you’re going to import it – and we do data import and data conversion – or have it converted, clean up the data. Make sure that there’s not a lot of miscellaneous characters and bad information, maybe pieces of equipment that no longer exists. You want to prepare it, so either you’re going to put it in manually or prepare for us to import into the program so that it’s effective and that you get the results you expect.
Obviously, you’re going to want to consult with your vendor. Any CMMS vendors can add significant value and help you prepare the data to import. You may be coming from another program. You call something X, we call it Y.
You want to make sure that when we move it over, that everybody knows exactly what everything is called so it gets over there and it’s in the right order and there’s no surprises when you go to do something, or when you go to run a report and you can’t get the information out because you put in incorrectly. Or worse, we put it incorrectly because we didn’t have that conversation.
Again, it says, “CMMS implementations are delayed when parties don’t fully consider data import requirements.” I’ve seen it time and time again. You got to take time on that front end to make sure you get it right and that the data is put into the system correctly.
Five, test the system before you go live. Maybe we have done the data conversion or import for you. As it says, “Don’t waste valuable training time on a new CMMS until the data is imported and the system is tested.” You want to make sure, as I said, that everything in correctly and that it works, things are linked; if you have a work request module, that’s linked to the database and that when you create a work order, that it goes in correctly.
You want to make sure if you do something, that you can get a report out. You’re going to want to run a lot of tests to make sure everything is working according to plan. That’s important because if you get up and running and things are put in incorrectly and all of a sudden you start using the program, it’s very difficult to go back and clean all that up later on.
As it says, “All CMMS vendors have stories about arriving on site to train and having to start by taking the server out of the box.” You don’t want to waste valuable time doing that. You want the software installed, or if it’s hosted, already setup with the log in so that everyone has access to it, everyone has tested it and at least has seen it. You want to make good use of your training dollars.
Complete the installation prior to the scheduled training. Now, it doesn’t have to be. The training can be with a test environment or with your database but in a test environment as well. We have demo databases that we use often to do the training. But make sure that it’s up and running and that the data is in correctly, especially if we’ve done some sort of conversion or import.
Number six: determine your reporting needs. One of the biggest reasons that you’re looking to have a maintenance software package is, typically, to be able to run reports at the end of the day so that you can see what is going on in your maintenance environment. How much money are you spending? Where are your failures? Are there particular types of work orders that are constantly late?
Or maybe you have maintenance people who are constantly over budget, or so on and so forth. Determine those reporting needs. You want to discuss what types of reports are going to help you manage your daily activities and long-term process improvement goals.
Again, if you’re running a report of “here’s all my maintenance cost, what are my highest maintenance issues,” that helps you identify trouble areas. If you run reports to see your mean time between failure and you find out that you have pieces of equipment that are failing every three weeks and you have a PM setup for it every two months, maybe you need to move that PM to every two weeks so that you’re not having these failures.
Again, determining what your reporting needs are will determine how you set things up and your process as you go along. You’re going to want to get input from your staff, you managers, accounting. This will all determine what kind of reports that you need. Here it says, “Thinking about reports ahead of time will help ensure that the system is set up, configured, and used in a way that will get the information you need.”
Again, at the end of the day, you can only get out the kinds of reports if you’ve put in the information correctly on the front end. Get trained. I can’t stress this one enough. I know when people are evaluating maintenance software packages either for the first time, or perhaps you’re thinking about making a move and budgets are tight.
And you’re thinking of ways to cut the budget, and a lot of people say, “We have experience with this,” or, “We think we can get by with a couple of tutorials.” I can tell you from experience over 15 years, training is number one in my book to implementing a successful, maintenance software package.
Or for that matter, almost any kind of software. It doesn’t have to be maintenance. If you don’t get trained by somebody who has intimate knowledge of how the program works, not only show you how it works but how to set it up and how to get the best results, you will probably not have as successful an implementation. MicroMain offers train anywhere from online training with a MicroMain trainer.
Do CMMS training in our office here or onsite training, two and three and four onsite training, depending on the complexity of your system and of your setup. Whether it’s online training or whether it’s an in-depth onsite training, some sort of training is absolutely paramount to getting your system up and running. A lot of times, you want to have enough people trained so they can help each other.
You can have different people trained in groups, depending on their roles. Or often times, people send someone, one or two people, to our Austin office, who will get trained and then they’ll go out and train everyone else. You may also want to consider purchasing a follow-up training we recommend six months after implementation so that you have some people – what we call power users – who really know the system.
Also, once you’ve used the system a while, that’s when you really understand what some of your issues are and where you need further training. We recommend, obviously, that you get trained on the front end and then on the back end you do a follow-up training.
That’s going to make sure that you’re getting the best use out of your maintenance program. Last but not least, audit your CMMS. You’ve got it, you’ve made your selection. Are you using the latest version? Are you getting all the reports you need? Are you utilizing your software’s capabilities? Perhaps you need a work request module or maybe it’s time to add mobile functionality for all of your users.
Check with all your users to see if anyone has questions or needs additional training. A lot of people just buy the software, they implement it, and they don’t really evaluate how they’re doing, auditing, what’s going on, what their results have been. Performing a periodic audit protects your investment and also maximizes your maintenance savings for the organization.
Because let’s face it, at the end of the day, you’re buying a maintenance software package to automate what you’re doing, and also, hopefully, to reduce your expenses related to failures, breakdowns, extending asset life.
If you’re not auditing your results and seeing how you’re doing and periodically looking at it to see if there’s new enhancements, new improvements and or any functionality that you realize that may be lacking, that possibly your CMMS vendor offers that you just haven’t discussed, you’re short changing yourself. Audit your CMMS, make sure you’re up to speed. We’re always releasing a major and a minor upgrade twice a year. We’re always trying to add new functionality.
Again, audit your CMMS, make sure you’re getting everything that you need out of it. Last slide, just to go over those. Again, this checklist. Take your inventory, do your homework. Again, the most important step is to figure out what in heck it is you want to do and get out of a CMMS. Then take an inventory of what you have and what you want to track.
Of course, outline your critical PMs, but I say all your PMs. Start with your most critical and work your way down. And make sure that what is it that you want do? The programs you’re looking at, do they handle calendar base? Do they handle meter base? Can you do pass and fails and create corrective maintenance work orders, so on and so forth? Three: consult with IT. Again, do you have the internal IT to handle it, on-premise install?
Or maybe you have to go with a hosted solution. And what are the cost differences from the two, obviously a big factor. Then prepare your data. Make sure you have everything setup the way you want it to go in so that you can get the reporting out that you need. Make sure there’s no illegal characters if you’re coming from another program. You might have a lot of characters that represent bad data, corrupt data.
Test the system before you go live. There’s no sense in going live if you haven’t at least run it to make sure everything’s in the proper order and that you understand it. Determine your reporting needs. Again, very, very important. You want to know what you’re going to get out of that program. Get trained. Again, I can’t say enough. Get the training, make sure everybody is trained and knows how to use the program.
I’ve seen countless customers over the years where they buy the software, we do all this work. They skimp on the training and the software sits in the corner, so to speak. They say, “Well, these CMMS don’t work.” It doesn’t work because they didn’t get any training; they don’t know how to use it. Again, make sure they get trained. Then audit periodically, audit your CMMS. Again, I can’t stress enough.
If you just buy it and use it, that’s fine, it’s great. If you have every other step here, that’s wonderful. But if you’re not continuously auditing your performance, seeing how you’re doing, seeing if you need additional functionality, maybe your vendor has some new thing that they’ve put out and you’re not taking advantage of it, you’re shortchanging yourself.
That completes the webinar. As Adrian said, everyone will get a copy of this, a link to this if you want to listen to it again. We are also happy, of course, at MicroMain to schedule a personal web demo of the program for anybody who is further interested.