What is involved with getting a CMMS software package up and running? Should this be something that is done in-house? Two of the major components are implementation and training. These areas are critical especially if you are about to win a free CMMS or are considering installing a CMMS software package.

What is CMMS Implementation?

Professional CMMS quality software is not something that you purchase online or normally get for free. Getting the most savings from your CMMStakes more than just downloading cheap software, entering selected information into a few data fields and hoping that you are off and running. For effective CMMS software, it takes an understanding of the processes (workflow) which make your facility run as well as an understanding of what information is important to your business (management reports).

Businesspeople raising hands in meeting at office

“The method is a set of rules and views to cope with the most common issues that occur when implementing a software product: business alignment from the organizational view and acceptance from the human view…. the implementation of (product) software consumes up to 1/3 of the budget of a software purchase (more than hardware and software requirements together).”

Source: Wikipedia

The value of implementation is often misunderstood, especially if you are wondering why you should enter to win a free CMMS contest that includes implementation and training. Doing this yourself doesn’t make a lot of sense since the end user is not the software expert and vice-versa, the CMMS vendor, does not know your business as well as you. It should be a collaborated effort.

Good CMMS Implementation Practices

Parts of good CMMS implementation a company can expect are:

  • Pre and post install conferences to define the scope of the implementation as well as the plan of action.
  • Pre and post install conferences to make sure the workflow is understood not only by you but by the CMMS vendor.
  • Setting up new procedures to accomplish desired goals.
  • How data should be collected.
  • Benchmarks and measurements.

What is CMMS Training?

The second major expense component of a quality CMMS is training. CMMS Training on software should be done by the people who know the software the best. Failure to be properly trained will only result in maintenance staff and management not using the system correctly and the company not achieving the desired results.

Because of the expense, too many executives think they can skip the training or limit training to a very few and then conduct training themselves. However, training is more than someone explaining how to use the CMMS features. Training includes teaching people how to use their knowledge to create templates, reports, schedules as well as best practices that can be established to ensure work request, work order and asset details are all filled out completely.

If You Are Going To Do CMMS training, Do It Right.

What CMMS training should include:

  • How to use the CMMS features properly (setting up and using; work requests, work orders, scheduling, report generation).
  • End user training on how the system will make their life better and how they can improve facility MRO.
  • Lots of time and encouragement for questions and answers, before during and after training.
How CMMS Training Should NOT Be Done
  • Limiting training to a selected few users or designated in-house trainers.
    • Unless they have a photographic memory, trainees will only remember between 10 to 30% of what was said, presented or read.
    • As they teach others, those users will only remember 10-30%. With turnover or growth it does not take long before the CMMS is only being used for a small fraction of its capabilities.
    • Corporate trainers do not have the same experience base with the CMMS as the CMMS vendor trainers. Without this knowledge of the software, updates, problems and changes may not be communicated to end users effectively.
  • Never make CMMS training optional.
  • On the job training which may be better known as “We don’t need no stinking training disease”
Quality of CMMS Input = Quality of CMMS Results

Implementation and training are the glue that will make a CMMS work for your maintenance management. Without them, your CMMS can only achieve limited costs savings results. We have written before that a CMMS is only as good as the information that is input into the database. Make sure your CMMS is set up correctly and that your staff has been trained to use the system properly.