You have been given the responsibility of purchasing a Computerized Maintenance Management Software (CMMS) or Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system AND making sure the software is installed and implemented correctly. If you proceed without “Buy-In” from senior management, your peers and staff, the probability of a successful change fall like a rock. For some people, it seems knowing what to do is not always enough. Perhaps if we look at what NOT to do it will help.

Ten EAM CMMS Mistakes

  1. You don’t know how the details of how your assets are currently being managed. If you don’t understand the work-flow how will you be able to identify the opportunity for savings? A lack of understanding of the opportunity will not convince the key people needed to support the decision?
  2. Seek out the cheapest product you can find. Being too cheap is an indication that you like to cut corners. Buy-in will be hesitant as the idea is to find the tool enabling maximum savings. You get what you pay for and buying the cheapest product will not integrate with hand held devices.
  3. Don’t integrate hand held devices and other technologies. You must change the paradigm from a paper based system into an automated wireless system capable of being as mobile as your staff.
  4. Don’t ask anyone if they will use it until after you buy the SaaS. Forcing change on staff will always meet with great resistance. Better if they tell you what they need and would like and then purchase with their input.
  5. Don’t do your due diligence on the product and the company that supports it. Will the company be in existence in 3-5 years, are they stable, how good is there tech support and training? What happens if they go out of business? Is the product scalable? Will the product interface with our other systems? Is the EAM system hosted?
  6. Don’t establish benchmarks and other measurements of success during the planning stages. If you can not measure your success or failure as you progress, you will not be able to make adjustments on a timely basis. Adoption chances fall as employees and management become uneasy about success.
  7. You expect instant results. Defining your assets (locations, naming and organizing) requires time. Good CMMS and EAM also systems require training and a scheduled for roll out if you have in multiple locations or are of a certain size. Implementation may take from 6 weeks to 18 months or more. Although some results maybe almost immediate, insisting on results immediately after purchase is not realistic. In addition, morale and buy-in may suffer as staff have a tendency to be more resistant to change if expectations cannot be met.
  8. Don’t plan enough time for training. You can self teach yourself a lot of things, but a qualified and knowledgeable trainer will shorten the learning curve and increase the speed at which ROI is obtained. The time until ROI is achieved is decreased if the appropriate levels of the company all learn  to use the system to its fullest extent. See how training impacts EAM/CMMS.
  9. You fail to clearly define your assets. From location to naming conventions it is important that you follow the same guidelines for naming the assets throughout your company. Asset tracking and maintenance are the core of a CMMS. The output you expect is only as good as the input you provide.
  10. You fail to recognize that the installation of an EAM/CMMS is a function of change management. Buy-In is easiest to achieve when you involve other people in the decision making process right from the beginning. Allowing others to provide input and sharing control empowers authorship and a pride for see the project through to fruition. Read “Change Management with EAM Systems” for additional insight.

It does not matter if you are a government organization, hospital or a utility company seeking a hosted maintenance solution. Avoiding these mistakes will help you make the right decisions regardless of the industry you are in.

Do you know of or have experiences with other mistakes in developing buy-in? Please share your thoughts with us.