Among the earliest considerations for the department’s new CMMS is how the system’s users, front-line technicians, would respond to it.
“Before we jumped on board with this particular company, (the developer) set up a pilot program, a test for us,” Lozo says. “We put (the CMMS) in the hands of a couple of tradesmen to play around with and see what they thought of it.
“In addition to a wireless device, which we had not gone out and purchased in mass quantities at that time, they set up a test program for us. We put it on the wireless and let a couple of people play around with it just to get their feedback and see if it was user friendly on their end.”
Reid and Lozo selected a small group of technicians from the 42 tradespeople to test the CMMS and mobile devices.
“We selected three people who were good employees that we could count on giving us good feedback but who were not necessarily real computer literate,” Reid says. “That way, we could get a good feel for how they were going to be able to operate it. That (process) went on for several months, and we got really good feedback from them — mostly good in terms of understanding it. But they also brought up a couple of good ideas that we hadn’t thought of. That’s been invaluable.”
At the same time the department was selecting the new CMMS, Lozo and Reid also were trying to determine which mobile devices technicians would use to access it in the field.
“We had narrowed it down to the iPad, but at that time, our IT department gave us their opinions, but they really didn’t support anything at that time,” Lozo says. “Then just before we were going to sign the deal with (the CMMS developer), the university went in the direction of the iPad. So all of a sudden, we had the IT department’s support in helping us maintain these things. That helped us in selecting the iPad.
“Because that happened at the same time that we were going to roll out the new software, we decided to go all in at once. So with the technicians and work-control staff and the folks in the office on board, not only did we roll out the new CMMS. We also rolled out the wireless devices at the same time. We figured, 'Let’s take our lumps all at once’ and implement this all in one fell swoop.”
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