What Do You Want to Accomplish with your CMMS?

To get the most from maintenance management software, you have to start with a plan. You have to decide what you want from your CMMS and how you're going to achieve your goals.

To begin with, look at your current practices. Ask yourself the following:

Ideally, you want concrete measurements of your current performance levels so you can tell if you achieve improvements. For example, you might find it helpful to have personnel make detailed breakdowns of what they do over the course of a week. How much time do they have to spend searching for information that's hard to find? How often do they have to wander from one storeroom to the next in search of a spare part? How much time is lost through miscommunication and other simple problems (e.g. not having the correct key for a door, or not being able to find the person who submitted a complaint)?

Objective measurements like this can show the current state of your operations. Once you install your CMMS and get past the inevitable shakedown period, you can take the same kind of measurements to see if things have changed. Comparing the two measures can help determine the Return on Investment from your CMMS. Other before-and-after measurements might include:

Many other measures are possible. These are just a few to get you started. The important point is to think about your priorities, state them explicitly, and come up with before-and-after tests that will measure your degree of success.

Next: Getting buy-in from those involved