A review of “Implementation and benefits of introducing a computerized maintenance management system in to a textile manufacturing company: Lessons for other companies planning an introduction of a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS)”
by C.D. O’Donoghue and J.G. Prendergast, in Journal of Materials Processing Technology (2004)
O’Donoghue and Prendergast documented the experience of a mid-sized manufacturing company with 110 employees as they transitioned from a paper based maintenance strategy to a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS). This transition increased business profitability: production increased significantly, and the cost of spare parts fell substantially. This was all attributed to the implementation of the CMMS, which was calculated to have a payback period of less than half a year.
This was all attributed to the implementation of the CMMS, which was calculated to have a payback period of less than half a year.
Key points for transition to CMMS
There are several key points that were highlighted as being critical for the company to successfully transition from paper based maintenance management to computer based maintenance management.
- Both the company management and maintenance management acknowledged that the previous paper-based system could, and should, be improved. That is, there was buy-in from relevant personel.
- A task-group was established with people from across the company to develop a plan for implementation.
- An audit of the current status of the maintenance procedures of the company was done and the major concerns were highlighted.
- The desired capability for the CMMS was accurately specified.
- The maintenance practices and spare part stores were modified to adapt to the value adding strengths of the CMMS.
- Suitably qualified staff members (student engineers) were employed, and carefully managed, for the sole task of uploading data ready for use. And
- The performance of the CMMS was tested against the Key Performance Indicators developed by the task-group.
Analyzing the transition
The company had the motivation to implement a CMMS and backed this up with a clear list of specifications and plan of action to ensure that an appropriate one was brought online. They achieved this using task-specific additional staff, when necessary, so that regular business was not hampered by its initialization. Their clear plan and its systematic execution enabled the system to be profitable acquisition very quickly.
Reasons for the profitability included increased equipment availability, reduced unscheduled maintenance and an improvement in maintenance scheduling.
The reasons for the profitability included increased equipment availability, reduced unscheduled maintenance and an improvement in maintenance scheduling. This, in turn was noted to improve moral amongst the maintenance staff.
The CMMS solution that was adopted required dedicated hardware such as servers and computers. Since their implementation, there are various options for SaaS (cloud based) CMMS solutions, that do not require this hardware infrastructure. Eliminating the cost of this infrastructure may have further reduced their payback period.
It is the method for implementing a CMMS solution, not just the impressive results, that should be the take home message for most readers, however. The method they used could be easily adapted and used as a template by other companies and organizations seeking to undergo the transition from paper or spreadsheet based maintenance management systems to a fully capable CMMS.
The method they used could be easily adapted and used as a template by other companies and organizations seeking to undergo the transition from paper or spreadsheet based maintenance management systems to a fully capable CMMS.
Before the transition a plan should be constructed based upon the known conditions of the organization and the desired outcomes. This should then be used to provide adequate resources – staff, money and equipment – necessary to achieve the desired outcomes. For a smaller company, this process may be able to be completed quickly, and some CMMS solutions will allow it to occur with a minimum of cost. For larger organizations, a more considered approach is likely to be necessary to get the most value out of the transition.
As is demonstrated in the article, adopting a CMMS can have significant paybacks with a rapid return on investment. In order to achieve this, however, the process must be undergone with an appropriate level of planning and oversight.