Initial Data and Coding

Entering data is a key part of CMMS implementation. It's not the only part—there's also planning, training, and reviewing your current work methods in light of your intended use of the CMMS—but you simply won't be able to use your CMMS until you've recorded fundamental data about your working environment.

In addition to recording data, you usually have to assign ID codes to various types of information. For example, most CMMS packages require you to specify codes for equipment, spare parts, personnel, and many other elements of your operations.

Codes are meant to make things easier and more uniform. For example, you wouldn't use a code like BX59-1234 to refer to a building (unless that kind of code was obvious to everybody). Instead, you'd use codes like 400 MAIN ST. or MECH SHOP: short but descriptive names that everyone can recognize quickly.

Don't assume that codes should just be short versions of something's full name. Codes can include all kinds of information. Ideally, you should choose codes that follow a pattern everyone can understand. For example, you might have the codes for all your forklift trucks start with FLT. The codes might continue with a location identifier or some other kind of ID. For example, the first forklift truck in the South Building at Plant 1 might be given the code FLT-SB-P01-1.

By using codes that mean something, you make it easy to pick out the right code when you're looking at lists that might contain hundreds or thousands of items. Good codes can also make it easier to use any search facilities in the CMMS to find what you want quickly. Finally, a good code can convey selected information about an object. The code mentioned previously (FLT-SB-P01-1) isn't just an arbitrary identifier; it tells the type of equipment and its location.

Next: Equipment Specifications