Transitioning to CMMS with Steve Ricard

CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System. These systems have been in existence since somewhere around 1965. They have, however, seen a dramatic shift from punch cards to the modern architecture we see today.

Steve Ricard of Fiix joins in this episode to share his insights on how organizations can make a successful transition from older to more modern CMMS.

The focus areas for the episode are:

  • How to know when to transition?
  • What drives organisations to make the shift?
  • Key considerations to make an effective migration
  • Should you take historical data with you?
  • What role do people make in the transition?

How to know when to transition?

Older generation CMMS face the risk of no longer getting technical support from manufacturers. This risk means that the security of the data being handled in these systems is also unpredictable.

Some of the questions to point out outdated CMMS are:

  • Is the user interface friendly, or modern-looking?  With today s design tools, there is next to no room for clunky interfaces. Old CMMS directly reflect on low productvity and adoption by the end users
  • Does it have a robust mobile solution? 
  • Does it have advanced features like meter based and /or condition-based monitoring?
  • Can it do integrations with other platforms using features like an open API?

What drives organizations to the the leap with a new CMMS?

It is necessary to take take a keen account of the current system to decide on an upgrade.

Managers and operators need to look at what worked for them, what didn t and how the new system best fits their realities. A useful acronym is the 5Ps:

Proper planning prevents poor performance

Additionally, you can also look at whether the software can be accessible from the internet. This makes your system accessible from anywhere as long as there is a connection. Consider how your technicians on the facility floor can take advantage of the new system. Can they do a better job with mobile solutions, or would workstations be more appropriate?

How about training, is it a key consideration?

Traditionally, decisions like upgrading CMMS have been from top management. However, the end-users who are key implementers are sometimes left out. 

For the successful adoption of these upgrades, the input of operators should get weighed in. Training programs before, during and possibly after system implementation, need to also get factored in.

Without inclusion, the organization risks having inconsistent data entry which makes retrieval and reporting cumbersome. 

Should we move historical data to the new system?

In order to decide on moving old system data, you should be clear on one thing:

Can the data be readily accessible even after the upgrade? 

If yes, then only consider moving crucial items like asset records, parts, project management schedules or open work orders. If no, then moving your historical data to the new system should be the best option to secure your information. This is a likely case when dealing with proprietary databases.

But even so, the old system data might have been populated by people who are no longer working with you. The data might also need additional processing to clean it so as to fit the new system.

What can you do to make people adapt to the transition?

We know that change is not always easy, especially with technical tools that took weeks or months to perfect. To help your organization have the backing of its people:

  1. Communicate. Right from the start, involve both end-users and managers in the decison-making. It also helps to use difference forms of communication like training or making videos to ensure everyone knows exactly what s coming
  2. Stay involved. You want to keep the team members updated on the roll-out of the CMMS. Create a sense of confidence in the system by using avenues like webinars and calls to walk the team through adoption. Also, recognize the informal leaders in the team and make sure they are empowered enough to back the rollout.

Additional steps to help with the end-user preparation involves creating and updating a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). As new changes occur with the system, these updates shoudl reflect on the SOP. 

How you can get started on the transition

Two major considerations you can make are:

  1. Look at your system. Does it do what it is supposed to? Is it easy enough for people to increase their productivity with it?
  2. Listen to the people. What are they complaining about your system? Can you do something about it to make their job easier?

Eruditio Links:

Steve Ricard Links:

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