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Maximizing Your CMMS and Other Technology Systems

Turn your organization from corrective maintenance to preventive maintenance

Maintenance engineer

The facility management industry has grown by leaps and bounds the past few decades; the most significant being the advance of technology in the built environment. One's inner geek cannot help but get excited when considering the capabilities available at our fingertips in today's facilities.

Expand that purview to include the latest in web-based management systems, building automation, wireless monitoring, and 3-D modeling, and this explosion is all the more exhilarating. However, that mood is quickly dashed with the realization that while such power and efficiency lie at our doorstep, most facility organizations have yet to truly embrace or leverage them. The FM struggles that have existed for decades, encumber us still today; it is as though we are stuck in a time warp, while technology has blazed light years ahead.

In this video session — which can be used to earn continuing education credits — John Rimer, President of FM360, encourages facility managers to grab hold of these tools and wield them to deliver value to their organizations, mature their respective facility programs, and grow the profession. Rimer highlights some of today’s technological advances and how they could be put to work for the betterment of FM programs.

Here’s a preview:

Your CMMS, I’m going to equate it to your nervous system of your facility management program. And I tell folks that at FM360, we do overall facility management consulting helping out in the CMMS arena. It has really become a niche for us just because of the need for a system and really to me CMMS is not the be all. It is a tool for you as a facility manager director to have in your belt that really should drive your business processes as a facilities organization.

And I guarantee you, if you do not have a robust system in place, your facility management program will never be successful. It won’t happen. You cannot live off a spreadsheet, you cannot live off of email, you can’t piggyback off of a service request system. It won’t happen.

So that said, I want to hopefully broaden your understanding of what a CMMS can do beyond managing the day-to-day, which we’ll look at. I mean that’s also important, but there is that bigger picture. As facility managers and facility professionals, we generally manage the second largest asset and expense for most organizations. As such, we should not be seen as a Mr. or Mrs. Fixit. As wrench turners, that’s part of what we do, but really we should be business managers and in order to manage a business, I must have a tool to help me do that. That’s where the CMMS comes into play.

That’s why I’m so emphatic about having this software and making sure it is operating very robustly for you. Let’s look at our day-to-day use of the system. Many folks will look at a CMMS of, “Yes it’s great. It keeps equipment information and we can schedule work orders.”

That’s true but please do not limit the use of your system there. It does far far more. I mean, even something as looking at these simple daily tasks, prioritize your work. Most organizations are running in a highly reactive mode. Based off of recent surveys that we do, when we actually get to meet face-to-face and when we ask these type of questions, you know that PM to CM ratio, it’s improving, but I still see over half of the organizations are still more than half reactive.

Meaning that they’re doing more corrective maintenance than they are preventive maintenance. That’s still a problem. Ideally we want to be at that 80 percent schedule, 20 reactive. Or, if you’re in a critical environment, you should be at 90/10. When it comes to 90 scheduled maintenance versus that 10 reactive, we’re trying to switch that around some ways to dig out of that. It is prioritizing the work, making sure that yes, the corrected maintenance we’ve got to get done, service requests we have to perform — those take care of the customer moments. But I’ve got to make sure I’m juxtaposing the criticality and priority of our preventive maintenance to ensure it is getting accomplished. Otherwise if we don’t do our PMs, all we’re going to do is continue to do that downward spiral of having to perform more and more corrective maintenance and do more and more firefighting. We’re trying to dig ourselves out of that pit.

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