4 FM quick reads on software
1. CMMS: The Role of Custom-Report Generators
This is Chris Matt, Managing Editor of Print & E-Media with Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's tip is the role of custom-report generators in computerized maintenance management systems, or CMMS.
Once specifiers are certain a new CMMS will ensure proper data entry and timeliness, the next step is making sure it allows managers to analyze the data to make continuous improvements.
Reporting is probably the most important functionality in any CMMS. Companies spend a great deal of money to ensure they can get appropriate information to consider when making meaningful decisions. The ultimate goal is to see the investment in a CMMS return in the form of operational savings, such as reduced labor costs.
An important reporting feature is the ability to quickly and easily generate custom reports. Too often, managers find they cannot get the exact data when they want it and in the format they need it, and they find they need reports the CMMS was not set up to produce initially. But as managers use the system, they realize the type of information they need, and custom reports become an important function.
Some CMMS lack the functionality to produce custom reports, while others require a third party's complex software and programming knowledge. An effective CMMS features a custom-report generator that relatively inexperienced CMMS users can employ to easily write custom reports.
Getting the Most from a CMMS
I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is, maximizing a CMMS.
The process of maximizing the power of a computerized maintenance management system involves identifying and focusing on the software’s most important modules and functions and ensuring technicians in the field use them as effectively as possible. The process often starts with a return to the original goals of a CMMS and the software features that addressed those goals.
Says Susan Deane, CMMS database administrator with the facilities management department at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., “We go back to ground zero, like we’re at the beginning of the process again.” The department is responsible for the campus’s 124 buildings.
The work-order module generally receives the most attention during specification, so it tops the list of priority modules when departments need to refocus.
Rick Storlie, director of administrative services with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, stresses this module’s central role in gathering accurate data for the department, which maintains 120 buildings with about 4.5 million square feet of space.
“We’re firm believers that technicians ultimately run a maintenance organization because their work out in the field is the critical component to success or failure,” Storlie says. “It’s up to managers to train them how to submit proper closing comments, readings and other feedback so it can be quantified into meaningful data.”
By reviewing how well front-line technicians use these modules, managers can reinforce the reasons the department originally invested in a CMMS. The process can help the entire department refocus its approach to using a CMMS, which tends to narrow over time, from meeting big-picture goals to targeting short-term needs.