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12 Best Practices for CMMS Software Implementation

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12 Best Practices for CMMS Software Implementation

This simple CMMS software implementation guide is an ordered process created to help maximize the rate of success of implementing a CMMS software package into your organization. Each point has been hand selected based on a number of pitfalls organizations often face during a CMMS software implementation. The CMMS software implementation guide has been designed to help get you and your organization get up and running quickly and effectively.

On CMMS installation and setup maintenance manager Robert Irwin at Windset Farms put it best: “The more you put in, the more you get out.

It is tempting to dive right in, but there are some important steps to follow.

1. Get buy in and commitment from management by outlining the benefits of moving your maintenance activities from paper to digital. A good CMMS system lets you track information related to the maintenance, cleaning or planning of buildings. They also provide a scheduling facility for maintenance or planned preventive work on maintainable assets and offer a one-stop database for information about assets and equipment. Management buy-in is important to ensure you have the necessary resources and authority to roll out the new plan.

2. Define requirements including goals, expectations, hardware, and timelines. With clearly defined requirements, the organization is more likely to achieve its CMMS software implementation objectives on time, within budget, and without any disruptive surprises.

3. Gather a list of all assets to be entered in the CMMS (can be done via plant walkaround or accounting records).  Choose an intuitive asset labelling convention. Instead of “generator 1 in the basement of office 2” use “Of2BGen1”.  Keeping asset labels unique means there is no confusion when you have two of the same part in multiple locations.

4. Document all planned, preventive maintenance procedures. Usually this can be found in equipment manuals, warranty information, or the manufacturers website.  It is important to know your scheduled maintenance ahead of time so you can choose CMMS software that has all the necessary inputs to return the proper preventive maintenance schedules.

5. Now you are ready to choose a CMMS software suite that suits your needs.  Steps 1-4 help determine exactly what your CMMS needs are so you can make an informed decision.  Steps 6-12 ensure the CMMS has everything it needs to start saving you time, money, and headaches.

6. Sign up for some CMMS software training. Training can be one of the most important investments during the CMMS software implementation phase. It can sometimes take hours to figure out how to perform one simple function within a CMMS software program. Training speeds up onboarding, outlines best practices when entering data, and increases user adoption.

7. Import any data you have from existing systems using spreadsheets.  Data entry is the most time consuming part of the CMMS software implementation process, so the more automated imports you can do, the faster you will be rolling… As the saying goes: “Time is Money“.

8. Add users and user groups to the CMMS (Who will be using the system and what will they do).  Make sure you have everyone’s qualifications and certification, as well as contact info.

9. Add your assets to the CMMS – this includes parts, buildings, equipment and tools. Our support page has all the videos and procedures you need to get your data into the CMMS quickly.

10. Add scheduled maintenance and set triggers. This automates work orders for tasks that must be completed on a regular basis, and is one of the major advantages of implementing CMMS software.


12. Continuous improvement: Review, renew, refine, and customize.  The longer you use the CMMS the more it can do for you. With historical data you can begin to plot trends (good and bad), resource allocation, and asset utilization; all of which help make your operations more efficient, effective, and green.

A CMMS software implementation program for an organization should not be an arduous task that ruins your week.  It will require an investment of time, but the returns are almost guaranteed. Don’t forget to involve your technicians in the process. Without their input, you could risk missing a critical maintenance process that only they know about.

Reactive maintenance costs between 3-9 times more than proactively taking care of assets, and a CMMS starts off by providing those preventive notifications.  Eventually there is enough historical data in the system that breakdowns, inventory replenishment, and worker utilization can be planned in advance in order to optimize operations.


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