Getting the Most from a CMMS

Getting the Most from a CMMS   May 3, 2009

I’m Dan Hounsell, editor of Maintenance Solutions magazine. Today’s topic is, maximizing a CMMS.
The process of maximizing the power of a computerized maintenance management system involves identifying and focusing on the software’s most important modules and functions and ensuring technicians in the field use them as effectively as possible. The process often starts with a return to the original goals of a CMMS and the software features that addressed those goals.
Says Susan Deane, CMMS database administrator with the facilities management department at Chapman University in Orange, Calif., “We go back to ground zero, like we’re at the beginning of the process again.” The department is responsible for the campus’s 124 buildings.
The work-order module generally receives the most attention during specification, so it tops the list of priority modules when departments need to refocus.
Rick Storlie, director of administrative services with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, stresses this module’s central role in gathering accurate data for the department, which maintains 120 buildings with about 4.5 million square feet of space.
“We’re firm believers that technicians ultimately run a maintenance organization because their work out in the field is the critical component to success or failure,” Storlie says. “It’s up to managers to train them how to submit proper closing comments, readings and other feedback so it can be quantified into meaningful data.”
By reviewing how well front-line technicians use these modules, managers can reinforce the reasons the department originally invested in a CMMS. The process can help the entire department refocus its approach to using a CMMS, which tends to narrow over time, from meeting big-picture goals to targeting short-term needs.


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