Achieving Maintenance Excellence with CMMS Best Practices
CMMS solutions have proven their worth. From manufacturing plants to hospital chains, thousands of businesses have optimized maintenance, enhanced productivity, and minimized downtime by implementing CMMS into daily operations. According to FutureMarketInsights, the global market revenue for CMMS solutions will reach an impressive $4,215.1 million by 2030.
In this article, we will unravel the CMMS best practices that will help you make the most out of your solution. By following these guidelines, you can maximize the benefits of your chosen CMMS without wasting your resources. So, without further ado, let's dive right in.
We can define CMMS as purpose-built solutions that aim to streamline maintenance management processes. They store crucial data related to equipment, vehicles, and other assets, and allow for efficient scheduling and assignment of maintenance tasks. Also, CMMS software helps you track spare parts and materials and ensure effective inventory management.
Here is what a CMMS solution can do for your business:
- Make your assets visible and trackable
- Simplify maintenance scheduling
- Improve safety and compliance with regulations
- Eliminate unnecessary tasks
- Improve equipment reliability
- Reduce equipment downtime
- Save costs on maintenance
- Improve work productivity
- Improve communication between team members
You can read about CMMS benefits in more detail here and here. For our purposes, the point is that these benefits are not automatically guaranteed. Purchasing a subscription from a well-known provider is not enough to succeed – the real efficiency depends on the way you implement and use the CMMS of your choice.
Lots of businesses face challenges when trying to implement a CMMS solution into their business processes. Some of the most common difficulties include:
- Software complexity. Certain CMMS solutions have less intuitive interfaces than others, which makes them more difficult to use. If your employees struggle to grasp the software's functionality effortlessly, there is a risk that they may become frustrated and revert to familiar, outdated methods.
- Lack of buy-in. Both high-level executives and regular employees should be motivated to implement the software. If your team members don’t understand the business value of the software, they won’t be motivated to use it.
- Unrealistic deadlines. CMMS implementation can lose support from both top management and employees if the implementation is continuously delayed. A digital transformation project without good planning is set for a failure.
- Poor data quality. CMMS efficiency is based on the quality of data entered into the system. If the technicians are not trained well or the data transfer process is mismanaged, you end up with incorrect data and an ineffective system.
- Failure to adapt workflows. Even the best maintenance software won’t work perfectly if you fail to adjust your workflows. The efficiency of CMMS will be stunted if workflows remain unaligned with new software, and if obsolete procedures remain in place.
Below, we discuss the CMMS best practices that will help you avoid these pitfalls and make the most out of your solution.
How to Choose The Best CMMS Software
The first step is to choose the software from a reputable provider that aligns with your business needs. Here are the key aspects to consider:
Top CMMS software solutions offer similar core features like work order management, asset inventory, preventive maintenance scheduling, and maintenance reporting. But you also need to look through advanced features like lifecycle cost tracking or data integration tools. Keep in mind that not all providers offer advanced functionality, and the price can vary significantly. You can read more about CMMS features here.
Choose a financially secure provider with positive reviews and real-life case studies. Look for experience in development of solutions that can expand as your business grows.
Training and support
The best vendors provide various opportunities for CMMS training, such as demos, online classes, and video tutorials. The vendor of your choice should also provide you with continuous customer support by phone, e-mail, or chat.
According to McKinsey, 70% of digital transformations eventually exceed their original budgets. So you need to evaluate your budget realistically. Customization, integration with existing platforms, training, and full-scale implementation all take time and money. Prioritize your spending and avoid overpaying for features you don’t need.
Now, when the first step is done and you’ve chosen a reputable provider that offers a solution with all features you need, it’s time to start the implementation.
How To Implement the Top CMMS solution
Here are some of the CMMS best practices for the implementation process.
- Establish clear goals and evaluate your needs. Collaborate with production, IT, operations, and other affected departments to set measurable and attainable goals. Determine the type of data needed for collection, such as equipment type, workflows, SOPs, spare part information etc.
- Assign roles and responsibilities. Determine who will be responsible for the implementation process. Having a dedicated manager in charge greatly increases your chances of success. A change manager will define the direction of the transformation, explain the process to employees, and oversee the entire implementation process.
- Make a data gathering and data entry plan. Usually, companies have duplicated and scattered data in various locations. Gathering and entering it all into one system can be a lengthy and laborious process. Define who will gather the data and create a realistic plan to complete the implementation on time. You can assign this task to current employees or outside contractors.
- Write down user responsibilities. Create a clear and concise document that will explain duties and permissions of the CMMS users. This will help your team members understand what they’re supposed to do.
- Opt for gradual implementation. Start the transformation from a single department that will benefit the most from the CMMS software. After it succeeds, you can show the effectiveness of the solution in practice and get everyone else onboard.
Once the implementation process is successfully completed, the next step is to enhance the efficiency of day-to-day operations using the CMMS system. These maintenance best practices will empower you to maximize the potential of your system.
CMMS Best Practices
Here are some of the best maintenance practices to follow when using a CMMS in your day-to-day operations:
- Use EAM tracking. EAM (Enterprise Asset Management) tracking allows you to monitor the health of your assets in real-time. If your CMMS allows you to track asset performance in meters (and not just schedule preventive maintenance), always use this feature for more accurate planning.
- Track maintenance KPIs. Define measurable goals and use specific metrics to track your progress. For example, if you want to reduce unexpected downtime by 40% in the next year, you can use metrics like planned maintenance percentage to evaluate your progress. Top CMMS platforms often have dozens of metrics to track. You will gradually improve along most of them, but the crucial metrics for maintenance data analytics are the ones that align with your business goals.
- Set up long-term cooperation with the vendor. Keeping an open line of communication with the vendor is the best maintenance practice. Many vendors establish dedicated teams for their clients, and having an open and dynamic communication with the vendor will ensure that you’re using the capacities of the solution to the fullest.
Now, let’s see how real businesses have managed to implement maintenance technology into their daily operations and reach their business objectives.
One American company that provides subsea services for diverse projects has been reliant on spreadsheets and checklists for maintenance management, but this proved to be unsustainable for a growing business. Implementing a CMMS solution allowed the company to get a real-time view of the condition of their valuable assets, boost maintenance efficiency, and minimize downtime.
For another company, a leading supplier of aviation engines, maintenance automation saved around 4000 man-hours a year. By implementing CMMS solution, the company boosted the productivity of technicians and improved maintenance planning and enhanced the quality of their services.
As you can see, CMMS solutions are tried and tested by businesses in multiple industries. However, the world of technology is constantly evolving, and CMMS developers are now pushing boundaries to introduce cutting-edge solutions that surpass current expectations.
A Glimpse To The Future
The advancements in CMMS technology are moving businesses into the future. By leveraging these technologies, you can take maintenance optimization and asset management to a new level.
- IoT. According to McKinsey, Internet of Things will enable $5.5 trillion to $12.6 trillion of value by 2030. When implemented into CMMS solutions, IoT sensors gather more accurate data about the condition of equipment and increase the quality and efficiency of maintenance tracking.
- AI. AI is already changing the world as we know it. Within CMMS solutions, AI can smoothly integrate with IoT, delivering high-quality predictive analytics and more actionable insights.
Now, when you’ve got all the information you need, the final decision hinges upon choosing a vendor to cooperate with. There are two main options: purchasing ready-made maintenance software, or partnering with a software provider to develop a custom solution. Which one is a better choice?
Custom vs ready-made CMMS solutions
Both custom-made and ready-made solutions come with a set of pros and cons. We’ve summarized them into a table for convenience.
In the end, purchasing a ready-made solution might initially cost less but can give you quite a lot of headache with alignment to your current systems and slow response to your problems. Working with an established provider on a custom solution, on the other hand, ensures that you get consistent support and that your software is perfectly aligned with your business needs.
In the end, CMMS best practices are about clearly stated goals, realistic planning, and good cooperation with the vendor. By understanding your objectives, you can align your strategies, resources, and actions accordingly, and find an optimal and cost-efficient solution for your business.
If you're ready to experience the benefits of a CMMS for your organization, don't hesitate to take the next step. Contact us today to explore the specific features and capabilities of our CMMS solution and discuss any questions in more depth.