News: 10 Steps to a Successful CMMS
We are always asked about what it takes for a successful CMMS implementation. Given RGC’s extensive experience across many sectors, varying from Food Production to Windfarms, we wanted to share what we believe it takes to be successful.
None of this is rocket science, but it does take some planning, coordination and effort.
And every implementation is a little different, but the core items always remain the same.
I have tried to summarise them in 10 simple steps, and without (too much) jargon.
- It is critical to have one person responsible for the overall implementation. This person is responsible for managing the overall plan, confirming what is included in each stage, and communicating with and scheduling the users.
- We recommend to have an initial ‘all hands meeting’ with everyone who will eventually use or be affected by the system (business users and IT). This will be their system, and their knowledge and experience and input is invaluable from day 1.
- The CMMS will take some time and effort to implement, and different team members will need to be scheduled to be available (to provide their knowledge and information) at different stages during the implementation.
- Plan, Plan, and Plan again
- Make a plan – initially a high level plan, with milestones and dates. Then refine and add detail to your plan.
- We recommend to take a ‘step by step’ approach. Consider starting with one or two modules/functions first (e.g. Asset Management + Job Management), and let those settle down within your organisation before adding more modules (e.g. Stock & Parts).
- Remember that trying to implement too much new software initially and introducing too much ‘change’ can cause issues, delays or failures.
- Cloud or On-Premise ?
- Decide if you want the CMMS on a server within your company, or on the Cloud. There are benefits to both. Discuss the pro’s and con’s with your business users and your IT department.
- You may want to integrate to another system (in the future), and you may want to install the CMMS where it is installed
- Asset Register
- Start with your Asset Register. What Assets do you want to track ? Where are they located on your site ? How do you want them categorised? Do you have associated documentation?
- Gather, clean (eliminate obsolete assets etc.) and organise this data.
- This, in our experience, can be the most time-consuming effort with any CMMS implementation. RGC provide templates to rapidly gather and structure the Asset Register.
- Job Management
- Consider whom in your organisation can create a job (relating to an asset), what information is required. Who then assigns that job to an engineer / contractor ? What is the business process, and what are the stages of a job ? Are photographs and signatures required? Include Risk Assessments / Health & Safety processes ? When is a job confirmed as complete ?
- Walk through the end-to-end process of managing a job. RGC provides configurable templates for the job management process.
- Mobile / Website / PC
- Consider how users will access the system – using their office PC, a website, or on a mobile phone or tablet.
- Put mobile at the centre of your CMMS decision, even if you don’t implement mobile from the beginning. Mobile phone and tablet apps are the future. Start planning for them now (consider phones, tablets, Android, Apple, Windows, scanners etc).
- CMMS Workshops
- Once the system is installed, schedule a number or workshops / meetings to walk through the business processes, review the data, and show it to the key users.
- Have relevant data already loaded, categorised and cleaned. Review with the key users and refine as required, to ensure the CMMS supports the processes of the business.
- It is an iterative process.
- Training is key. We recommend a ‘train the trainer’ approach, whereby RGC train key users in your organisation, and they in turn train the wider base of users. That makes it cost effective and relevant to your business.
- In addition, we recommend to take the training in stages (rather than all at once), so that users get to use the CMMS, and then get some additional training to expand their knowledge.
- Pilot to Go-Live
- It is advisable to ‘Pilot’ the CMMS with a small audience of users, and refine the solution based on their ‘real life’ feedback, until you are happy to roll it out to all of the users (‘Go-Live’).
- Start reviewing the CMMS reports and tracking the benefits.
- Continually Improve
- Audit your CMMS every 6 months. Get feedback from your users.
- Tweak or re-configure the data and settings as required (additional categories etc).
- Continually improve your processes.
As Albert Einstein said “Make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.”