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Implementing CMMS Helps Streamline Maintenance


Smartware Group Inc.


Whether the issue is a snowplow that breaks down during a winter storm or chillers that stop working in summer heat, malfunctioning equipment can cause major headaches for maintenance and engineering departments.

Searching to remedy such headaches, Tim Lewerke, facilities maintenance supervisor for Gilpin County, Colo., says his department found relief in Bigfoot, a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) from Smartware Group Inc.

"I was getting 15 to 20 calls a day, and my beeper was going off constantly," Lewerke says. "There were only two of us working at the time, and there was no way to keep up with all the repairs. In the end, we chose Bigfoot CMMS because it was easy to install and brought us value almost immediately."

Web-based Bigfoot automates asset maintenance operations with capabilities that include preventive maintenance (PM) scheduling, ad hoc work-order and repair scheduling, history and analysis reporting, and asset-life-cycle management.

"Now that we have Bigfoot to track maintenance of all county assets, we catch problems with our equipment before it fails, and that has resulted in a 15 to 20 percent savings in maintenance costs," he says.

Bigfoot's PM scheduler helps managers input and track important information on individual pieces of equipment. The software also produces alerts through a PM calendar, so Lewerke's staff can service equipment before performance is compromised or fails.

The team maintains systems in eight county buildings. On a typical day, Lewerke will review data in Bigfoot and incorporate it into his maintenance plan before dispatching team members.

"I periodically use Bigfoot to look at each building and figure out what needs to be done from a preventive maintenance standpoint," Lewerke said. "That could mean stockpiling inventory parts, servicing equipment, or checking with other departments, because I'm trying to get ahead of problems."

When Lewerke appears before Gilpin County Commissioners during annual budget meetings, he now has clear-cut information provided by Bigfoot to corroborate financial needs for his department. Having an automated system for maintenance requests also can reduce stress for staffers throughout various county departments. Instead of making verbal requests or numerous phone calls for service, county employees can submit repair requests into Bigfoot from their desktops.

"Requestors love it," Lewerke said. "After they submit their information through Bigfoot, they can log in on their own and check the status of their request. They don't have to call us."

posted:  12/7/2011

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