Implementing any CMMS application requires a dedicated team of individuals, including key decision-makers, projected power users, IT, and end-users or technicians.
However, what happens after all of this heavy lifting is done? Organizations can spend days, weeks, months, or even years getting their CMMS off the ground, discussing and agreeing on how to migrate copious amounts of data, finalizing process design, establishing configuration and best practices, and training others to live within this new data ecosystem.
Once they are done, though, the mistake far too many organizations make is to take a victory lap and consider their hard work to be complete. Yes, properly implementing a CMMS is a significant accomplishment – and it should be celebrated as such – but it is not the end goal, and thinking of it as such can cost companies like yours dearly in the form of both financial and labor losses.
Here, we will explain the importance of maintaining your CMMS after implementation and explain how a designated CMMS administrator can help.
What Are the Benefits of a CMMS?
As you likely already know, a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is a business system used to manage work orders, inventory parts and preventive maintenance, thereby saving your business time and money.
A CMMS system can track assets, physical equipment like machinery and vehicles, supplies, work orders and workflows, and related information such as service schedules, budgets and invoicing.
Some of the benefits of a centralized, real-time CMMS solution - if it is properly run and maintained - include:
1. Reduced Downtime
According to one study, 98% of corporations say that downtime can cost their business over $100,000 – so it is something that should be avoided at all costs. A CMMS system reduces this downtime by giving users full trackability of parts inventory and work orders, complete visibility into work order history, and accountability for maintenance technicians.
2. Decrease Maintenance Costs
Maintenance costs are estimated to range between 15-40% of total production costs for many businesses, and this cost is even higher for companies that run their equipment to the point of failure. A CMMS system directly cuts costs by streamlining maintenance processes and helping you maximize your maintenance resources.
3. Improve Labor Efficiency
Businesses can better manage teams with the help of key CMMS software features – like mobile access, technology ticketing, and QR and barcode-enabled workforce tracking –that improve labor efficiency and reduce labor-related costs.
4. Lower Inventory Expenses
Many companies face inventory inefficiencies and increased costs due to things like emergency orders or obsolete parts. A CMMS can give key personnel access to key inventory management information they need to decrease these inefficiencies and make better-informed inventory decisions.
5. Extend Asset Life
Reactive maintenance is a common — and costly — practice in companies that rely on legacy systems, as these companies usually have important asset data recorded on paper or stored in outdated, disparate systems. A CMMS can centralize this data, thereby allowing for preventive maintenance, improved asset insight, and extended asset life.
Learn more about the capabilities and benefits of a CMMS in our blog post, "What is a CMMS?"
CMMS Selection & Implementation Is Only Half the Battle
One thing that should be abundantly clear at this point is that a robust CMMS is a complex, multifaceted tool that requires consistent and knowledgeable interaction, management, and maintenance if it is expected to remain accurate and helpful.
And many organizations simply do not put enough emphasis on this fact. As previously mentioned, organizations traditionally put a significant amount of time and effort into selecting and implementing the right CMMS solution. This is crucial, as a proper CMMS implementation is necessary if you expect the tool to extend asset life, reduce downtime, improve labor efficiency, lower inventory expenses, and ultimately increase revenue and ROI.
Unfortunately, this time and these resources are typically not matched over the lifetime of usage, and the CMMS maintenance ends up falling onto the shoulders of employees that are using the system and balancing its maintenance with other roles and responsibilities. And there is a lot that is required over the system’s lifetime, including:
- Data development and long-term data management
- Metrics and KPI management
- Training new hires or new-to-department employees
- Ensuring business process compliance
- Ongoing, advanced system training
- Consistent CMMS upgrades
- Report development, management, and distribution
Putting all of this into the hands of your existing employees can make your CMMS less powerful, as much is sure to fall through the cracks. This can lead to inconsistent data, a loss of system integrity, and – ultimately – a return to reactive maintenance and the associated issues of higher costs, lower efficiency and increased downtime.
Hiring a dedicated CMMS administrator can address these concerns and ensure that you benefit from your CMMS system for years to come.
The Power of a Dedicated CMMS Administrator
A dedicated CMMS administrator can:
Drive Process Improvement
If you want consistent, productive use of your CMMS throughout your organization, you need detailed process flows and descriptions with clearly defined roles and responsibilities. That way, all relevant employees can be on the page as they use the system.
A CMMS administrator can help define and enforce these processes as they relate to work management, materials and storeroom management, asset management, and more.
Upgrade Your CMMS
Another key job of a CMMS administrator is to keep an eye out for the latest features and releases so your organization can expand your CMMS usage. This is important, as your business’ needs are constantly changing based on factors like changing customer demands, evolving best practices, changes in technology, or updated compliance guidelines.
A stagnant CMMS system will be unable to meet new demands as they arise, and it will open your business up to security concerns and IT issues over time.
Evaluate and Monitor Data Quality
A CMMS administrator can also monitor data quality to ensure consistency, integrity, and standardization. This, in itself, can be a full-time job.
With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIOT), the idea is that you can have all of your machines connected to one another – and the data from all of those machines automatically updated into your CMMS so you can use it for insight. When this is running as it should, it can reduce downtime, lower the number of emergency repairs, increase technician efficiency, and resolve inventory issues.
That said, this data can be easily compromised. If a technician uses the system improperly, for example, it can result in inaccurate data and reporting. On the administrative side, similarly, a newly adopted system can be incompatible with your CMMS, and its data could remain unintegrated.
A designated CMMS administrator can quickly catch and resolve such errors so your CMMS can continue to house high-quality data and yield actionable, comprehensive reports and metrics.
Ensure Ongoing Compliance
Maintaining ongoing compliance can be a difficult task, and a dedicated administrator can stay on top of the various aspects of this job, including:
- Keeping an accurate and searchable record of all tasks so inspectors can quickly verify actions and maintenance history can be audited stress-free
- Helping to maintain employee compliance and safety by making sure that relevant training videos are uploaded and ensuring that each employee’s certifications are up-to-date
- Easily providing the proof required to achieve ISO certification with archived work orders, task lists, and photos attached to work orders
- Using automated reports and searchable audit logs to track key metrics and quickly pull up any necessary information about a particular asset
Provide Training Oversight
A dedicated administrator can also monitor training and determine how key users can get better use out of the CMMS system.
This is crucial: your CMMS is going to be run by people, and if those people do not know how to make the most of the system — or why they need to use it to begin with — it could lead to costly mistakes and errors in your data. This is fully counterproductive, as your CMMS is meant to make employees’ lives easier and your data more transparent. This is not possible if users are wrestling with a system that they cannot fully navigate or do not buy in to.
That is why not only initial training but also recurrent training and knowledge evaluations are important, particularly as you update your system or introduce new features.
Additionally, you may need to use new CMMS functions or features as your business scales. Ongoing training can help ensure that relevant personnel can adeptly navigate those functions as they are introduced. This can lead to ongoing benefits, including:
- Smoother facility operations
- Employees will be able to use all the features of the CMMS, thereby improving ROI
- Lower costs due to fewer flaws or mistakes
- Increased accountability and ownership over the system and the data
- Better understanding of employee performance
- Lower costs over time (contrary to the popular belief that training is more costly)
Act as a System Advocate
If you do not have a strong positive culture surrounding your maintenance management system, it can be difficult to get company-wide buy-in and consistent use. Additionally, many key decision-makers may not know about important features that a CMMS might offer or questions that it could answer. A CMMS administrator can share the relevant information and education so these do not become larger concerns.
Ensure That Your CMMS Aligns with Larger Strategies
Is your CMMS supporting your larger corporate objectives, goals, and values? Are those larger goals and practices still relevant and considered a priority?
A CMMS administrator can make sure that your CMMS is helping meet those goals and strategies — and he or shethey can even help evaluate and improve those strategies themselves.
Ultimately having someone in this role can lead to much higher efficiency, transparency into the system, comprehensive connectivity, and increased ROI. In other words, it can help your business truly use your CMMS as it should.
A Properly Maintained CMMS Will Provide A Modern, Scalable Maintenance Solution
A properly maintained, comprehensive computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is crucial to solving many of the primary challenges faced by organizations today. It can serve as a single source of truth for all information that maintenance team needs, and it can help companies like yours plan, track, measure and optimize everything to do with preventive maintenance and work order management, allowing you to develop better maintenance practices, stay organized and ultimately save time and money.
Modernize your maintenance workforce with the management of work orders, enterprise asset management, equipment inventory, preventive and predictive maintenance – all in a multi-site CMMS.