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How To Ensure You Are Running A Successful CMMS

Ensuring Successful CMMS with ManagerPlus

To ensure anything is running correctly in your life you are going to need to check in on it often, James Cash the founder of JC Penney said:  “Growth is never by mere chance; it is the result of forces working together.” A CMMS program is the same way. For it to work everyone who has a touch with the program must work together. With a plan, running a successful CMMS program is attainable for everyone.

If you only plan to check in on a CMMS software once a quarter how do you know you are getting the most out of it? How do you know you are running your equipment efficiently? Remember “Planning brings the organization together.”  If you wait too long and mistakes are made it is a lot harder to go back and fix it rather than making small adjustments weekly. Before you even purchase a CMMS system, set company standards as well as best practices. Put a plan in place for when your check-ins will be accomplished. Complete regular checks on your CMMS system as well as checks on how well employees are using it. Just like when we go to the doctor for a checkup to ensure we are healthy, we also need to check in on our CMMS to make sure it is running properly.

Adoption and Usage For a Successful CMMS

Training employees who use the system only in infrequent training sessions can be intimidating and probably not an ideal learning situation for most. Depending on your staff size you may need to hold multiple training sessions to make it a more personalized one-on-one experience. Find ways to correct mistakes when they occur. By conducting a short weekly audit any issues should become quickly apparent, making them a lot easier to fix. By creating short periods of time between audits, it allows for any mistakes made to be fresh on the mind of your managers and employees. At the time of occurrence, it is best to correct actions that may have caused a problem. If you wait until later then your chances of letting it slide could increase.

Start with a plan

The plan should be announced throughout the company, it should also be written down for all employee’s reference and for future review. This should be done well before the new software is announced to employees. In follow-up training meetings, small sections of the plan can be reviewed in greater detail. The other key is to never stray from what has been laid out. When you notice that you or your teams begin to deviate from your set plans stop, and correct it as soon as possible to ensure you are meeting your team goals. By working this way, it sends a message to your entire team about how important staying on track and following the plan is.

Employee Hierarchy

Everyone should know who will be following up and auditing your teams. It should be clearly stated to all employees who will be overseeing and maintaining your CMMS business plan.  A good reason to argue for this is it helps to guarantee quality assurance. Decide for your company what process might work in your best interest. Make sure that with whatever structure you decide works best for your team that you regulate and test it before you roll it out. Nothing is more frustrating for an employee than being expected to do something and to not have the correct permissions or tools to fully succeed in their job. Having a foolproof process doesn’t necessarily mean it is lengthy, but it does need to be accurate.

Plan for change

There will come a time when the current plan doesn’t make sense because it has run its useful life and your CMMS process needs updating or modification. This is appropriate and expected. Just be sure that you begin defining the plan and creating documentation early on. Plan for training before and after the changes take place and continue to audit. An excuse of “this is the way we’ve always done it” is not a good enough reason to stay the same. You can see how quickly technology changes, so wouldn’t it make sense to try to replicate with urgency that change within your own company?

In the end, the most important thing you can do is to remain consistent! If you allow employees to stray from the processes defined and trained on, you are inviting room for error. Stay consistent in utilizing your CMMS system.

Be sure to check-in at the appropriate times decided for your business. Do what works for your team and what makes the most sense for your day to day workflow. If it makes sense to start slowly and work on one process at a time that is fine. The goal is to be moving forward with some progress, rather than none at all.

 

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Don’t let the Growth of Technology Derail Your Business

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There has been and continues to be a rapid transformation in our job roles that is directly correlated and driven by the growth of technology. Tech advancements leading to organizational and role change have proven to be boundless and in overabundance can complicate our lives, jobs, and give us an information overload. So much change can become a significant threat to your business. Learning to control how you view and accept/reject new technologies is vital to survival.

The question needs to be asked — How do I review and recognize industry challenges, changes, and trends? Most organizations will conduct an annual audit, to review the prior year’s results.  Through this annual practice, organizations identify new business opportunities, compliance failures, new regulatory mandates, required process improvements, department goals, all while aligning themselves with the company goals, strategy and mission. By participating in this formal process at least yearly one can evaluate to see if a technology is helping or hindering goal achievement. To one extreme, some have come to believe this mandatory exercise is meaningless and ineffective, and on the other end of the spectrum, some may be guilty of over auditing. As technology evolves, you can understand how regular assessment is critical. If there is something that is giving another company a competitive advantage over your, why wouldn’t you look at adopting a similar program?

The chaos due to rapid technology transformation can connect or disconnect you from new and evolving business practices.  As business leaders, you need to decide what it will be for your organization. Which technologies should you grasp on to and which should you ignore? It can be tempting to leave best practices behind as we get caught up in mundane and daily business processes. In today’s global economy, ignoring best practices just isn’t an option. Just because there is a new technology doesn’t mean it is right for you. Always review new technology with your companies’ best practices as a guide to see if it could be a fit.

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Adopting a new technology if anything should give you more reason to follow and understand the best practices of your chosen software and industry, especially if it is new to you. You will most likely want to follow some sort of guidance so look for a Customer Success Manager that should be assigned to you throughout your purchasing and onboarding process. Let their expertise guide the way. Don’t be afraid to get help. By allowing a Customer Success Manager to guide the way, you can be assured they have the knowledge and commitment to help you on your journey of discovery that will ultimately lead to the correct business decision.

Overseeing maintenance is a big responsibility. There is asset management, including maintenance, WO, PM, inspections, scheduling and other related maintenance protocols. The cloud CMMS applications that are available today are powerful, simple to use and very affordable when you evaluate the ROI. Anytime you are adopting something new ask yourself these questions; is this helping the bottom line, improving worker productivity, improving employee morale and will it make the organization more successful?  As you explore your options, you will come to recognize what most industry leading organizations have already known and that is that you can’t afford not to have a CMMS.  While there are many choices out there don’t fall victim to Analysis Paralysis. In an article by Julian Birkinshaw a Professor of strategy and entrepreneurship at London Business School, she says “You’ll learn more by launching a minimum viable product than repeatedly revising a clever business plan”. It is important to be aware of what is out there, but if you wait and wait for the next big thing you may just continue to use your old software and be left even further behind as you are distracted deciding on all the shiny new options.

When you do find a technology that meets the best practice needs for your company, get your teams on board to help articulate and make arguments for what this year’s annual budget should be spent on. As a business leader, be sure that a cloud based CMMS system is your top priority. Of course, there is always going to be some new glitzy technology, but why not spend your money on something that is a proven?

Don’t have budget currently available? Start building your case for purchasing a CMMS system now, that way when there are changes or new products out there you have the best information available for when you are ready to purchase. Remembering the times when you could have utilized it is great info to pitch to the boss. Driving Transformation Changes and Getting Management on Board with your purchase decision may be difficult at first, but after you do, it makes the next part so much easier, because everyone feels ownership of the project and see’s the need for complete organizational adoption; including onboarding, implementation, and ongoing training.

 

 

 

 

 

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The Extreme Importance of an API with CMMS

API

The era of software communication is here. Enter the API, which stands for Application Program Interface. Just like the title implies it assists a variety of different programs to interface and communicate with one another. For your organization, CMMS is critical to your success, but what about some of your other software programs? Can you get them all to communicate properly? The answer is usually unknown, but with the growth of technology solutions in today’s world, it is most definitely a yes, through an API. With an API two distinctive programs can become enabled to communicate back and forth and as an organization, you benefit by harnessing the results.

A lot rides on selecting the right CMMS software provider and we get that.  You must consider how it might affect the other software applications your organization is currently using or might be considering to purchase. Before making your CMMS purchase, you’ll want reassurance that it is a perfect fit for your company, and no matter what other software programs you buy or currently and continue to use, you’ll have the opportunity to integrate.  If you knew that no matter what your decision might be that an API would bridge the gap for you, then wouldn’t your decision become a whole lot easier?

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Importance

An API is central to today’s software economy. Gone are the days of having one or two software applications to run your entire organization. If you are manually entering and recording maintenance data and other critical asset information into two separate programs today, know there is a better way. Through an API your data need only to be entered once and then that information will be transferred to your CMMS database. When connecting through your CMMS API you can share information into your system quickly and efficiently. Because there are numerous ways to streamline your data, you will see an immediate transformation in business processes and will observe your company growing quicker than ever before. Imagine being able to pull all your GPS or other critical data directly into your CMMS. This repository of data will become invaluable and directly impact future business decisions.

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Innovation

Design and implement all of your relevant software applications so they communicate directly with your CMMS. Pushing your data to your CMMS will absolutely improve your asset maintenance program. You will be more precise with your vehicles- mileage, hours of usage, other meter tracking, PM programs, inspections, inventory, asset tracking and accounting just to name a few. Once you select your CMMS provider, it is important to understand that this will be your central hub for your maintenance operation.  You should immediately decide what software applications need to be in constant communication with your hub. It will differ for every company, but It makes sense to funnel all your critical maintenance and asset business data into one program. When all your data is stored in one place it makes for more powerful data available at your fingertips. For example, you would be able to utilize the ManagerPlus |BI (Business Intelligence) application easily if you had all your data directed into your CMMS.

As the correct information is gathered and shared with the appropriate employee’s, image how resourceful it will be for them. Don’t add another software and process to your policies and procedures, simply access the power of the API with your CMMS to see it all come together.

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Future

A bonus to using cloud software is the industry standard for many companies having their own API’s. Moving to the cloud has its perks, and those are essential in the evaluation of cloud-based platforms. Transform your business by allowing your CMMS Company’s API to do the heavy lifting for you. By eliminating the outdated and laborious process of manually entering critical data, you can see how through an API you will gain precious time.

Utilizing an API is a great forward-thinking way to reduce cost. When utilizing an API, you are on track to become even more tech-forward by being set up to utilize the IoT (internet of things) – connecting devices, smart devising and for your preventive and predictive maintenance. An API can unlock the door to many advances for your company.

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Ask how we can help with an API

With our exclusive Developer API, ManagerPlus can assist you in making your required software connections become reality. Check out our ManagerPlus | Connectors as we have many API connections already built, ready for you to plug in. If you don’t see the software connection you need, we can utilize our developer API to connect any other SaaS based applications you are currently running. The possibilities of what our API can connect with are virtually endless. As your company transforms its asset management program, remember to check out our API connection to see how you might be able to streamline and connect all your data.

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Considerations To Ensure CMMS Success

Purchasing a CMMS software is a big step for any organization and it places you on the path to improved operational efficiencies. Using a CMMS extends the life of your assets, lowers your equipment costs, eliminates paperwork, and reduces downtime. Consider yourself on the fast track for greater employee accountability pointing your company in the right direction for elevated success.

In evaluating CMMS solutions, you may find that many of the potential solutions appear very similar in functionality and might provide an adequate solution. Before making this critical purchase give serious consideration and due diligence to identifying your organizational challenges and specific goals and measurement of success. Have clear understanding of your company needs, research multiple possible CMMS solutions and participated in several software demonstrations. Many times, evaluation criteria comes down to personal preference. Though various software solutions are similar, it is often the unseen that merits additional consideration before the right decision can be made. This is where the years of experience and expertise of a CMMS partner takes valuable precedence. Your trusted CMMS partner must showcase their Proven Plan of Success for onboarding prior to any purchasing decision. This is critical for proper implementation, employee adoption and organizational acceptance. It should be a major consideration point when selecting a CMMS partner and ultimately a major key to ensure CMMS success.

You will put a lot of effort and time into selecting your CMMS solution, but once that major decision has been made there is no time to relax. Take charge in the relationship with your software provider and formalize your onboarding and implementation plan. This will require an adequate amount of time and discussion for discovery, scoping, planning, data importing, and goal setting. The most important thing that must happen after purchase, and is vital to ensure success is the onboarding and implementation planning process.

Know your onboarding point of contact - Ensure CMMS Success

Know Your Point-of-Contact

 

  • Get to know your onboarding CSM point-of-contact. Please note: in most cases, this will not be your Sales Rep
  • Commit to your success well beyond the initial purchase. Get to know your point-of-contact immediately post sale or earlier if possible
  • Your onboarding specialist should become an extension of your company during the crucial period. Draw upon their experience, expertise and insights for a successful onboarding
  • Allow their vision along with your specific goals set the pathway to success

Be goal driven throughtout the onboarding process - Ensure CMMS Success

 

Be Goal Driven

 

  • Make timelines and milestones your focus
  • Implementation is not a quick process, but well worth taking the time to do it right
  • Correct software set-up will drive acceptance, adoption, and usage within your organizatoin
  • Stephen R. Covey author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People taught that one must “begin with the end in mind”. Share your CMMS vision internally with your team and externally with your onboarding point of contact
  • Set goals and deadlines. Create an intense focus on small goals. By accomplishing the smaller goals your larger goals become attainable

Be systematic in your rollout and onboarding process- Ensure CMMS Success

Systematic Training and Roll-out Program

 

  • Share the company’s goals for the new CMMS. Get buy-in and acceptance from employees by creating excitement and enthusiasm for the new tools and resources
  • Implement internal training for all employees, and specialized training for those whose jobs will be impacted through usage of your CMMS
  • Utilize the materials provided to you such as a customer portal or learning center
  • If budget permits, leverage onsite training or live webinars for continuing education of your employees
  • Institute dashboards for tracking KPI’s, utilization, and keeping up on today’s best data practices

 

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Mobile CMMS Applications


Mobile CMMS

Can your Mobile CMMS work in an offline or disconnected state?

Just because you’re not connected to the internet does not mean your employees must stop using your maintenance software.  If your CMMS has a mobile application, being without a cellular connection or Wi-Fi doesn’t mean you have to stop working. Work anywhere and anytime with an on the go mobile app solution. Don’t let your connection limitations stop you from conducting your business. Make sure your Mobile enabled CMMS works when you need it to and how you need it to.

No connection? No problem with the correct mobile functionality.

When looking for a modern SaaS Asset Maintenance Management Solution, know what you are getting before you purchase.  First, verify the company offers a mobile solution.  Some companies claim to offer a mobile friendly CMMS. In actuality, they are providing a mobile responsive design solution only.  A browser option eliminates your ability to work in the software when you are not connected to the internet.  Next, confirm that the CMMS is accessed through a mobile application. A mobile app is essential if you want to work in a disconnected state.  When your cellular connection is lost or Wi-Fi is unavailable your employees can still work. When finished employees can then sync the data they’ve collected once connectivity is reestablished.

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The Power of the palm.

A mobile CMMS enabled application puts the power of maintenance into your palm. In the office, the field or on the road you need to rely on your maintenance solution. Implementing a CMMS with a mobile app can give you peace of mind so you can say goodbye to downtimes, lost data, and lack of employee productivity by ensuring your maintenance management program is accessible anywhere, anytime.

 

Ask us about the additional business advantages of the ManagerPlus Mobile CMMS App. See how it can work for you!

Posted in Advanced Maintenance, CMMS ROI and Best Practices, Construction, Facilities, Fleet, General Maintenance, ManagerPlus How-To Guides, Manufacturing, Mining, Product News, Safety and Regulations, Uncategorized, Waste Management/Recycling | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Why ManagerPlus Bi Advanced Reporting and Dashboards is a Maintenance Game Changer

ManagerPlus Maintenance Dashboard

Basic reports are great. They can provide a top-level snapshot of various aspects of your operations to help you identify important trends.

But, they can also be limited. Sometimes you need to visualize your data in charts and graphs to fully understand what’s driving certain trends, and sometimes you need to interact with that data in real-time–drilling deeper into the numbers to find the answers you need.

That’s why we’ve spent the last year building our new, game-changing data visualization and dashboard tool: ManagerPlus Bi. After a lot of hard work, we’re ready to put this powerful new tool into the hands of new and existing customers to help them manage their maintenance work faster and more efficiently than ever before.

So, what’s the big deal?

More than reporting–much more. The ‘Bi’ in ManagerPlus Bi stands for Business Intelligence. It’s more than a way to look at data: it’s a completely new way of working in ManagerPlus. Continue reading

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Five Effective Storage Solutions for Equipment on your Construction Site

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Guest blog by Madina Azamy

Equipment and material theft is an increasing problem in the construction industry – specifically good quality, expensive tools and machinery that are easy to conceal once stolen. Companies are incurring the loss of equipment and materials and also the costs required to replace tools and make insurance claims. There is also the issue of downtime that which results in lack of revenue and industry reputation.

The market for construction equipment and material theft is driven by multiple factors including; the lack of surveillance on sites, particularly at night and during weekends, the easy accessibility thieves have to sites, and the value of materials, machinery, tools and equipment left on sites.

In order to minimise theft from your site, it is important to invest in secure storage that ensures your equipment, tools and material are under lock and key.

Effective storage solutions include: Continue reading

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Cutting Maintenance Costs and Improving Efficiency: Envirosystems Inc. Case Study

Envirosystems Inc. Logo

Paul Beauchamp, Regional Maintenance Manager for the Canada division of Envirosystems Inc., has a simple phrase to sum up the value of ManagerPlus to his operation:

“Collect data once, use it many times.”

Beauchamp is responsible for a wide variety of assets–including a fleet of 840 vehicles–that must be maintained properly and kept compliant with regulations. Asset reliability is critical for Envirosystems to achieve their central mission: to clean up hazardous wastes and chemicals for a range of heavy industries, including oil and gas, and government entities.

“For us, the main purpose of ManagerPlus is about being able to determine what we own and where it is. We need to be able to pull work history on trucks and say, ‘this truck was used for this many hours and it cost us this,’” Beauchamp said.

Within his first year of implementing ManagerPlus, Beauchamp has already seen his maintenance costs reduced: tow truck bills have been virtually eliminated because he’s more on top of preventive maintenance. He can now easily monitor critical data on costs and asset location, helping him ensure that he’s sending the right vehicle to the right job, and determine which vehicles require DOT inspections and which don’t. 

Check out our full case study on Envirosystems Inc. to learn more about how ManagerPlus helps Beauchamp run a better maintenance operation.

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How to Create Maintenance Log Types

It’s pretty unusual for a maintenance department to track just one type of equipment. And even on the rare occasions when they do, they still have to track different makes, models, etc. (think about a fleet of vehicles, for instance).

This is why ManagerPlus allows you to set up different “Log Types” for different types of assets. For instance, you can set up miles as a maintenance log type for your vehicles, and create a log to track hours for your forklifts. That way, when you create a work order for a vehicle, only the maintenance log for miles will appear (rather than both hours and miles, which could lead to data entry errors and confusion).

Before I walk through the steps of setting up a log type, let’s define a few of ManagerPlus’s maintenance log related terms you’ll need to understand first.

Metered Log: this is a log taken from an odometer or other type of meter. Each log value you enter replaces the previous entry (each entry is tracked separately, so you can always go back and see each submission, nothing is erased or over-written). Meters can be set as “Descending” meaning they begin with a higher value and drop lower with each log entry (this way the system knows whether to expect a lower or higher value for each subsequent log entry).

Allow Meter Reset: Turning on this option will ‘save your place’ in the event that a meter is reset or replaced. For example, if you’ve been recording miles for a given vehicle and have to replace the odometer, this option will save your place and add subsequent log values to the last reading from the odometer before it was replaced.

Calculated Log: this type is dependent on another log – it will automatically, with no additional entry, take each log entry and calculate an average, max, min, or sum for a period.  Calculating the “average temperature over 30 days” or “total weekly hours” would be examples of these types of logs.

Uses Log Warnings: you will want to turn this option on if you are concerned about data entry errors. If, say, a log value of 2,250 is entered when the previous log entry was 20,000, the system will create a pop up alert and highlight the entry so that you can further review it and make any corrections that may be necessary. Continue reading

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The Importance of Configurability in Maintenance Software

 

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ManagerPlus offers customization options for each module. This example is taken from the Assets Module.

This week, American Machinist ran an article titled “Why Configurability Matters for Manufacturing Enterprise Software” (form fill required). In it, author Katie Hilyar details the importance of flexibility in enterprise software solutions, citing the substantial differences between the processes that companies of different sizes use to meet their objectives.

At the conclusion of the article, Hilyar outlines the following set of criteria for determining whether a particular enterprise-level software is sufficiently configurable:

– “Ability to extend your application with new functionality (e.g. business processes) not just changing the presentation of existing functions.”

– “No requirement to write or maintain software code – this is one of the key hallmarks of configuration vs. customization.”

– “Drag-and-drop modeling and design tools to rapidly define your processes.”

– “Built-in workflow automation (BPM) to save you time and improve productivity.”

It’s not often that you see a broad concept like configurability addressed in such specific terms, so we thought it might be interesting to assess ManagerPlus maintenance software solutions using these criteria to see how we stack up.

Here’s what we found: Continue reading

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