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July 23, 2009 -
I'm Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today's topic is maintenance management software:
One essential step in preparing to upgrade a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is to determine the specific needs of the organization, its facilities and the maintenance department. To determine these needs, as well as how much up-front time and money the upgrade will require, maintenance managers can consider the answers to these questions in the following areas:
* First, assessing strengths and weaknesses. What are the organization's information technology capabilities? What is the computer literacy of the maintenance staff? Can a manager add employees or change the staff's configuration? Is the staff ready and willing to take a different approach to maintenance and repair operations? Does management believe in the benefits of a CMMS?
* Next, determining the status of maintenance. Is the maintenance department properly tracking work being done in the facility? Is there a preventive maintenance plan in effect? If so, how is it monitored?
* Finally, evaluating department operations. Is the department staffed properly? If an organization is implementing a CMMS, chances are it has deferred maintenance due to low staffing levels, a situation that will become a major problem. Is the department prepared to deal with this workload? Does it have the time and money to allocate to this project? This question might be the most important. The successful implementation of a CMMS requires a top-down commitment from management and the support of the entire organization.
Managers need to define the goals of both the department and the organization well before purchase and installation. By doing so, managers are more clearly defining the conditions of success for the upgraded CMMS.
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