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Special ReportsWork Execution ManagementComputerized Maintenance Management System

CMMS Best Practices Study - A Perspective

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by Julie Rampello

Selected graphs are taken from the CMMS Best Practices Study and are consistent with report's figure reference.

Reliabilityweb.com produced a CMMS Best Practices Study in July 2011 demonstrating the value computerized maintenance management systems add, as well as areas for future growth and improvement. The report was based on a survey of users conducted earlier that year which focused on implementation, use and sustainability.

As a marketer, this report is important as it provides an opportunity to better understand the user experience with CMMS in general and, for the Maximo brand specifically, the CMMS that Projetech provides. From this report, we see there is much that is changing in CMMS and the details summarized in the report provide us with opportunities to address the evolving needs of our customers. It is my pleasure to provide a perspective on the results of the survey and report.

Are Capabilities Being Fully Utilized Despite Aggressive Growth?

The importance of CMMS has been growing exponentially since 1990. Maximo and SAP achieved 100% growth between the 1990s and the 2001 and 2010 timeframes. Reliability-centered maintenance is a serious topic today and I am not surprised with the continued growth! Yet with that growth, the satisfaction levels are not as high as I anticipated. Generally speaking, I am surprised to see the sub-excellent satisfaction levels for all CMMS categories, from the most popular SAP, Maximo and Infor EAM systems to in-house and one-off systems. This raises two questions: Do users fully understand the capabilities of a CMMS system and are they utilizing those capabilities? And do users feel their CMMS systems do enough for them or do their CMMS systems cause more headaches in addressing their needs?

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A Strong Implementation Foundation Leads to Sound Business Decisions

As stated in the report, "How the CMMS is implemented has far-reaching effects on the organization far into the future. A good implementation provides a strong foundation on which to build value-added processes, procedures and an asset information system upon which sound business decisions can be made by all levels of management." There are a couple of areas to be noted regarding implementation. One area I've noticed in the marketplace is that users love to be able to touch their servers. Looking at Figure 7, it's no surprise that for any given satisfaction level, the majority of respondents have a corporate server environment. However, due to resource constraints in the future, I do expect that more organizations will switch to outsourcing the hosting and maintenance of their CMMS. And with the increasing frequency of outsourcing, I would expect satisfaction levels to be high, perhaps outperforming the current corporate server satisfaction numbers.

In the near future, I expect Web-based training to surpass third-party training, as noted in Figure 11. Internal maintenance resources as a resource for implementation will always be the most important as in-house experts understand the system more fully and completely. In general, as applications for knowledge tend to become more cloud- or Internet-based, Web training will slowly become more important.

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Use: Value Increases When Used to Improve Effectiveness and Efficiency

The next section of the report focused on how CMMS is used and the value it delivers to the users to drive improved effectiveness and efficiency. Consistent with the findings in Figure 17, my studies in the past have also shown that work order management, reporting and inventory functions are very important to users. Figures 19 and 20 show the Top 50% and the Bottom 50% of CMMS features. With the proliferation of smartphones today, it is surprising that wireless functions are not very important to respondents. That number should rise in coming years, especially as wireless functionality becomes more available in all systems. Perhaps the lower ranking of the wireless feature is due to the lack of availability on some of the lesser known systems. In Figure 21, respondents indicated the Top 10 features of CMMS versus satisfaction with CMMS. This area requires additional analysis; satisfaction numbers cross-referenced to each CMMS system would be helpful in further understanding the opportunity to improve the differences between feature/function level of need and user satisfaction.

As previously mentioned, increased satisfaction comes with complete adoption. Only 23% of respondents are logging 100% of their work orders in the CMMS as noted in Figure 22. I'd be curious to see if satisfaction and adoption are closely correlated and the impact of those numbers.

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Sustainability: Good Implementation Sets the Stage for Optimum CMMS Use

One area of concern in terms of optimizing the use of CMMS is the level of complacency among users. The annual spend by company is fairly low, as shown in Figure 26. With low spending levels, companies are failing to see the opportunity to better utilize the system and benefit from the latest features, often developed at users' requests. In many cases, they feel the system is just good enough and may not seek any new knowledge to improve implementation. Continued communication from CMMS providers should be improved to reinforce the importance, as well as the sustainable and effective use, of CMMS in the 21st century.

Overall, satisfaction levels would be higher with greater corporate investment. Not only would users gain more knowledge of the effective use of the system, the investment would also show the importance in the product and increase user buy-in and satisfaction. This investment, according to the report, includes post-implementation training and upgrades, all critical components of high satisfaction levels.

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authorJulie Rampello has worked for Projetech for eighteen years with three years serving as Director of Sales and Marketing and previously as a Maximo Project Manager and Trainer. Julie was awarded the IBM Champion designation earlier this year for her role in the education of the Maximo user community using Social Media. Projetech was awarded the prestigious IBM Application Specific License Partner Award in 2012 in recognition of its best-in-class Maximo hosting bundled solutions. www.Projetech.com