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How Do I Choose The Best-Fit CMMS Software?

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One of the Asset Management processes is maintenance … indispensable to get installations in top form. Indispensable to keep those same installations in top shape. The challenge lies in supporting this maintenance in all its forms, and with a good system.

Selecting a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or an Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) support system is one of the most challenging projects for a maintenance organization and / or operational organization. We haven’t talked about asset performance metrics like MTBF and MTTR. What is a good MTBF? What is a good MTTR? Actually, choosing a suitable system is about how we understand the production process that we are dealing with.

Stork Asset Management model

A large number of software suppliers and the amount of information about their products makes it difficult to get good, objective information. It is also important that there is a good picture and good understanding of the own processes and the own needs to be able to make the right decision. Whether you are looking for your first system or a replacement for your current system. A correct, well-founded and accepted choice is extremely important. The associated investments should not be lost sight of here. Good work is important, because the choice for a system is a choice for many years. If you have made the right choice in the selection process, the implementation will be relatively quick and the new system will already provide benefits and support for the organization in the short term.

Maintenance engineers, work planners and planners ensure that the maintenance work can be carried out at the right time with the right materials. Technicians carry out the work and repairs and provide feedback on the work carried out and on the state of the installation. Operators support this with the actions they can do themselves on the installation, such as carrying out checks, minor repairs and small daily maintenance. Asset owners receive an up-to-date insight into the performance of their assets. The traditional form of maintenance has evolved to asset management, or managing the entire life cycle of an installation (or asset). EAM supporting systems, including CMMS, contribute to this.

Which system is the best?

But how can you find a “best fit” solution that can support all your needs? Which system is best for you? How can you find the best CMMS system?

The first important step is to see if the Asset Management processes are in order. Because a system supports the processes, one can’t expect the one-on-one introduction of such a system to improve the processes.

If the processes are not in order, we have to put them in order in the first phase of the implementation of a new system. Only then can the choice for a correct system that fits the organization and the processes, have a great added value in the execution and control of the defined processes.

Needs and Requirements

Furthermore, outside the existing pain points, we also need to look at the other needs and requirements that may be imposed on a new system:

– Should other processes be represented or supported outside of maintenance, such as purchasing or logistics?
– What kind of assets do we want to manage? Installations, buildings, rolling stock, etc.
– What future information and reports are needed or are expected to guide the process. The required data and information for this must be present within the system.

The size of the organization, and the number of assignments to be completed plus the nature thereof, can also influence the choice. And then you also have the kind of users: maintenance, production, engineering, outsiders, etc.

Selection process

Only when we have all this clear can we proceed to the selection process. This is a complex part of the entire process; emotions and feelings also play a role here. The number of suppliers and the complexity of the systems on the market is so diverse that a good, objective assessment is not easy. In order to get a good short list and selection you must have an objective overview of the needs in relation to the possibilities of the different systems.

Here it goes wrong regularly. A wrong choice due to missing system knowledge, or incorrect matching of the needs is a risk, and causes a lot of pain in the implementation and certainly in later use. A good choice, on the other hand, can simplify implementation and greatly promote the final acceptance and use of the support system.

The implementation work begins after the selection. But the selection itself should certainly be taken seriously. This is where the foundation is laid for a long time for the sound support of the asset management process organization. It is important to choose a structured approach and to gain independent advice, for example from organizations that already have experience with the systems you are considering. They can give a good picture of the strengths and weaknesses of their chosen system and indicate whether it fits your needs.