Dan Hounsell: Data Dilemma — Who Controls Your Department
If you answered that question quickly and confidently with, "I do", I hope you're right. I hope all maintenance and engineering managers in institutional and commercial facilities have the ultimate say-so when it comes to department matters.
That question occurs to me whenever I come across information about the level of CMMS use by departments and talk with managers about their experiences specifying and using a CMMS.
One takeaway from these interactions is that fewer departments than one might think have a robust, full-fledged CMMS that can help managers control costs, improve technician productivity, and identify long-term opportunities.
Many use some other software that was developed to handle one specific task, such as inventory management or work-order tracking. Beyond that, many departments that do have a robust CMMS do not use it to its full capacity or anywhere near it. They use some modules and functions, but they fail to put the full power of the software to use.
In my mind, the real problem goes beyond missing out on the benefits a fully operational CMMS can deliver. The central issue is control — specifically, the control of data. As more organizations seek to tap into the power of data, they look for ways to integrate all kinds of software — CAFM, EMS, BAS — that store valuable data, and maintenance and engineering data is no exception to these efforts.
Managers can choose to focus their efforts somewhere other than on a CMMS, and that is somewhat understandable, given the host of constantly evolving challenges facilities present. But failing to take control of a CMMS opens the door for someone else to take control of its data — and your department.
Dan Hounsell offers observations about trends in maintenance and engineering management and the evolving role of managers in facilities.
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