Practical Steps to Getting your Baseline Right: the CMMS

In Asset Management, Best Practice, CMMS by Jason Plath

The Computerised Maintenance Management System (CMMS) is a critical baseline upon which other business systems –  including your Enterprise Asset Management (eAM) system – are built. So when was the last time you stepped back to ensure these systems are set up to enable you to do what you, and other systems, have been bought to do?

The CMMS is usually the central repository of data and that enables the wider enterprise management platforms. Yet, despite its critical role in broader asset management performance, the CMMS is often deployed with little or no regard for some essential factors that enable long term success and continuous improvement.

For this, you need to step back, and take a look at enterprise objectives – what are you trying to achieve? 

Within the Maintenance Organisation, this requires the system to be optimised as a platform for all critical work management processes (identify, plan, schedule, execute, reschedule, close out, monitor and control), and embedded with measurement and management tools that can be a baseline to drive further enhancements and maturity.

While anytime is a good time to review your CMMS set up if you see symptoms of poor asset management, it’s usually that the system was never effectively set up to start with. Some of the most common downfalls in configuring the CMMS are: 

  • Business Processes: That is, setting up your system to facilitate optimal processes and nominate authority: who does what and when – at a transactional, monitoring and management levels; 
  • CMMS Data Requirements: what are master data, transactional object requirements or minimal data standards required to complete business processes;
  • Management Indicators: This refers to both preventative management indicators, like flagging a gap in information before it creates issues in process efficiency, in addition to performance indicators that allow you to review and manage performance; 
  • Continuous Improvement & Change Management Functions: systems should be set up with lean management tools that allow you to leverage management indicators in ongoing monitoring and refinement of processes. This will help the organisation remain agile in response to changing internal and external influences or transition improvement plans; 

So, what can you do to ensure your CMMS is optimised for work management success and continuous improvement?

Start Small: APS always recommend you start with granulated business objectives that you’re currently using your CMMS to accomplish. A basic objectives example: you want to get a work plan to supervisors for execution. Architect the processes to a step by step level and clearly articulate the RASCI Responsibility Matrix. This is extremely important information that will be utilised for a number of drivers to embed into the CMMS, including:

  • System Role Security: Who is responsible in the process of developing a work plan, what systems do they need access to?
  • Organisational Structure: Are rosters, roles and system access effectively set up in the CMMS to complete the process?
  • Business Rules: Are forms and quality rules set up to ensure master data and transactional data is captured at the right point of a process to prevent issues and streamline processing?
  • Reporting: Can we set up the system to flag threats to processes before they occur (preventative management indicators) in addition to assistance with ongoing monitoring and control?
  • Training Needs: Review each role within the organisation and the transactional training material required.

In most cases you will quickly identify gaps within current systems and/ or the Organisation. It’s very important to register these gaps because they will provide you with an opportunity to crystallise your improvement roadmap and develop a transition plan. 

Make sure you demonstrate how the gap you’ve identified poses a threat to achieving higher business objectives or corporate strategy. This is an important step in helping justify the cost and resource commitment to the change with your organisation’s Management Team.

A robust Business Process Management (BPM) software package such as Qualiware can help streamline business process development and continuous improvement initiatives.

APS highly recommend a BPM software package. This will enable you to align business functions with business needs, and help executives to deploy, monitor and measure company resources with defined reports. When properly executed, BPM has the ability to optimise results by helping to design, execute and monitor processes to enhance efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and meanwhile minimise errors and risk.

APS have a number of pre-built models and change management activities that have been tested across Asset Management organisations large and small that include:

  • Work Management
  • Shutdown Management
  • Engineering and Reliability Management

APS also have a 5-day workshop package that can deliver a comprehensive, custom business process management and systems review. 

Get in touch for a no-obligation conversation about developing a CMMS solution that can adequately sustain your Organisation.