Buy In

If you want your CMMS to be a success, you need commitment from everyone involved:

All these people have to buy into the idea of making your CMMS work. If they don't, you're in trouble.

For example, management has to support the effort by allocating time and resources. Too often, we've heard stories where management gives lip service to the idea of using a CMMS, but won't set aside time for people to get the CMMS up and running. Maintenance personnel are supposed to set up the software in their spare time, while still performing all their regular duties.

We've also seen situations where management didn't want to assign first-rate people to setting up their CMMS because the best workers were too valuable to spare from their usual jobs. Setting up the CMMS was assigned to the department's least competent personnel—the ones who messed up their normal work and would be no great loss if they were put on something else. Needless to say, this is not a recipe for success!

Management has to show it's serious about making the CMMS work. That means putting good people on the job, and allocating them the resources to do things properly.

But management can't do it alone—they need cooperation from the workers. Your personnel have to understand that CMMS can make their lives easier. If they see the CMMS as a pointless level of red tape, or a management scheme to play Big Brother and micro-manage everything they do, you can't expect good results. Therefore, the workers have to be brought on board by showing them how the CMMS will avoid time-wasting mix-ups and frustrating searches for crucial information. A good CMMS doesn't just eliminate headaches for management; it also solves problems for workers too.

The last set of people who have to buy into the CMMS are those who'll use it outside the maintenance department. For example, department secretaries may use the CMMS to submit problem reports. It's important to remember these people in your planning—you want their willing participation in using the software, and they may have valuable suggestions to make during implementation.

Next: How much will it really cost?