Deane’s goal is to develop a CMMS that meets the ever-shifting needs of the university and to produce data and reports that managers can use to make informed decisions about department activities and priorities.
“In terms of benchmark data, a conscious effort is made to ensure that data entered to the CMMS will provide dependable data available for management decisions through requested reports,” she says. “The old terminology of garbage in/garbage out continues to be relevant today on how and what type of data will provide real value on management decisions.”
In some cases, managers dip into the CMMS database to track work order requests for a specific area, such as a certain trade or building.
“Last year, the university purchased a large apartment complex,” Deane says. “To better understand the types of maintenance requests being submitted, I was asked to generate a weekly work order report that grouped task types for the facility.”
In other cases, managers will notice an emerging trend in technician activity and use to database figure out if a potentially larger, more costly problem is emerging.
One year, I noticed there were a lot of clogged toilets in one particular room in one of our dorms,” she says. “I ran a report to find out how many times we were there, and we were able to use that information.
“Rather than just react every time a work order came in, we found out there’s a larger problem here. As a result of being able to pull out that information, it elevated that particular problem. So instead of just going to unclog the toilet, let’s find out why it’s clogging all the time. Is this systemwide, or is it unique to this room?”
A concentration of work orders for one area or building highlights the need for a deeper analysis and evaluation as to the cause.
“The solution may be to replace the toilet or if there are similar clogged toilet work orders located nearby, to elevate the solution to include review of potential repair to the main sewer line to the apartments,” she says. “A simple explanation might be discovery of items being flushed by the resident that repeatedly results in a clogged toilet. The solution might then be to discuss with the resident ways to avoid a clogged toilet by eliminating the flushing of the types of materials that have been clogging their toilet.”
Analyzing work order data also can help managers foresee problems on the horizon and take steps to avoid them. Take graffiti, for example.
The key to a CMMS that meets the current and future needs of the department and the university is flexibility, Deane says.
“We have developed a mindset that is always ready to modify, if needed, the use of the CMMS to match changes in university and departmental business practices,” she says. “All new implementations to the CMMS, as well as modifications on use of the CMMS, include a focus of managing the CMMS for changes that will not only work for today but will also position the CMMS to be successful many years into the future.”
University Taps into Facility Data To Improve Maintenance
Maximizing CMMS To Meet Evolving Needs