If you approach a plant manager who has recently experienced the installation of a CMMS and is asked, “How did your project take place?”. There is a good chance that he will answer you, “The system is finally operational, but it cost more than expected. It does not yet interface with our other systems and several management reports are missing.” It is not uncommon to encounter this kind of responses.
Although there are many advantages to installing and using CMMS, there are some constraints to its implementation. Whether from hardware, software or human, they need to be analyzed upstream in order to avoid these various pitfalls.
Simplicity in design
Beyond the visual aspect, it is also necessary to take into account the overall design of the product, in terms of ease of use of the interface, as well as adaptation to different users. The tool must be user friendly, easy to access and respond to major work orders with minimal clicks. How many actions are needed to point out a maintenance task? What is the response time of the software to do this action? All this do matter. Imagine your technicians reproducing work orders 5-10 times a day over a year, based on this you need to decide on the choice of your product!
CMMS implementation time
Between the acquisitions, installation, training, base supply and use phase, it can take from 1 week to 2 years depending on the project. While it may be easy to keep the staff involved over a period of 2-3 months, it is not the same over 2 years. Once the project is initiated, it will be necessary to carry it out as quickly as possible, based on your supplier who will offer adequate training within a reasonable time.
Lack of gateway interconnect
Several times the CMMS is required to communicate with an existing information system (SAP, ERP or other) to and fro. Gateways can be developed by your supplier, but these come with an added cost. It will be necessary to estimate if such an additional investment is needed or not.
Constraints of use
Badly designed software, lack of connectivity between gateways, heavy functionality and non adaptability to your working environment will put you in a problem. Cost is not the only factor which must be compromised, it is absolutely necessary to choose a product which adapted to your needs.
Underestimated product cost
When we talk about price of CMMS, we should not only consider cost of acquisition, but also related costs such as updates, training or inter connectivity of gateways cost. It is therefore essential to take into account these different costs when studying your project and pay attention to the different “hidden costs” (paid updates, data management costs etc.).
Culture of Change
We all have our habits whether good or bad and it is often complicated to change. Installing or changing CMMS software means completely revising your standard work procedures along with bringing a behavioral change in users. It is therefore necessary for total support and the involvement of management and users at all costs for making this implementation a success by effective use of the tool.
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