Knowing who should have access to your CMMS software is a key part of making sure it runs smoothly and benefits your operation. Failing to give the right access, or giving access to too many people, can lead to everything from inaccurate data to safety lapses, overspending, and more.
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What is a user?: Understanding different levels of CMMS access
Not all CMMS users are created equal. Knowing which levels of access are available and determining who to place at each level is critical to setting up a CMMS and optimizing its use.
- A user’s level of access determines the features they can use, the information they see, and the level of control they have.
- Most CMMS vendors charge by the number of active users. Discuss your goals and processes with them so they can recommend who needs access and how much.
- Different levels of access ensure the accuracy of information and efficiency of tasks.
- Each operation can have customized levels of access depending on the work they’re doing. The CFO of a small company may want access to the reporting feature, while a larger company might leave that job up to someone else in the finance department.
Even though someone may not have access to the CMMS, they can still submit and track maintenance work requests. Joe in finance or Jane in marketing can still tap into the power of a CMMS without being user. Just make sure you choose a CMMS with a work request workflow that allows people to submit, search for, sort, and track their requests without having to log in.
Failing to give the right access [to your CMMS], or giving access to too many people, can lead to inaccurate data, failed audits, safety lapses, missed work orders, downtime, and overspending.
The case for having multiple CMMS users
In some organizations, there are only a handful of CMMS users, usually maintenance managers. Although this can save you money in the short-term, it can cause two big problems over time:
- Fewer users puts more work on those users. They become responsible for everything, including logging work orders, running reports, and more.
- It limits the effort and impact of everyone from technicians to senior leadership. When they don’t have visibility into maintenance operations, it leads to confusion, missed work, low morale, misinformed decisions, and a lack of accountability.
On the other hand, giving CMMS access to a variety of people within your organization is beneficial for two big reasons:
- It makes maintenance a shared responsibility across your business, freeing the maintenance team to find ways to improve and grow.
- You can capture information from all corners of your business, analyze it, and use the data to make more informed decisions.
Who should have access to a CMMS
Maintenance manager/system administrator
It’s a no-brainer that system administrators should be a core user in a CMMS. These are the people who oversee the daily use of the software and are heavily involved in the selection, implementation, and optimization of a CMMS. Most aspects of maintenance run through managers, which is why they should have administrative access. This way, they can create, schedule, and prioritize work orders, while managing assets, creating reports, and more.
In some organizations, there are only one or two CMMS users, usually maintenance managers. Although this can save you money in the short-term, it causes several inefficiencies that get worse over time.
Facility manager and/or operations manager
Maintenance is a key part of how a production facility functions. That’s why facility managers and operations managers need access to a CMMS. They need to be able to see maintenance information, schedules, metrics, and performance across different facilities to improve efficiency, determine budgets, prepare for audits, buy inventory and more.
Reliability engineer, TPM manager, and/or manager of continuous improvement
The people in these roles should have administrative access to your maintenance software as they need to be able to take the data collected with the CMMS, crunch the numbers, and turn it into actionable information. Being an administrator in the CMMS allows them to access all the necessary data, run reports, and create processes within the CMMS that can reduce downtime, boost efficiency, and cut costs.
Giving inventory managers administrative access to your CMMS allows them to log information on spare parts, view historical data, set minimum quantities, and send purchase requests. When you add all this up, it leads to better inventory tracking and purchasing so the maintenance team has the right parts, in the right place, and in the right amount for every job. It also results in more accurate records and spending, and better coordination between departments.
Health and safety personnel
Health and safety are critically important to cutting down on accidents and passing audits to stay compliant. Administrative access to a CMMS gives these personnel the ability to put all health and safety information in one system, like certifications, policies, checklists, and audit results. This is a great way to reduce safety risks at work and ensures the organization stays compliant.
Technicians should be instantly included as users in your CMMS. They will be the ones using the CMMS and its features the most to conduct maintenance. Although few technicians will have administrative access, they should be able to view work orders, receive notifications, add information to asset profiles, and do other tasks essential for the repair and inspection process. This allows them to be efficient, accurate, and safe, while ensuring data is logged in real-time.
Line supervisors, machine operators, and other production personnel work with equipment every day, which means they can often detect signs of failure early and are onsite when a breakdown occurs. Having access to a CMMS allows production personnel to submit requests or add details to work orders so issues are caught early and the repair process is more efficient. Operators can also be assigned basic maintenance tasks in a CMMS, like cleaning equipment, which saves time, keeps equipment healthy, and frees up technicians for larger, skilled jobs.
Contractors and third-party technicians that aren’t always on-site or directly affiliated with your organization should have guest access to your CMMS so they can view work orders, task lists, and resources while also being able to add notes and complete tasks. However, they don’t need to be full-fledged users as they will only be occasionally accessing the CMMS.
Having access to a CMMS allows production personnel to submit requests or add details to work orders so issues are caught early and the repair process is more efficient.
Executives and senior leadership
Executives and other senior leaders make the big decisions about the company using all the data they can. Having access to your CMMS keeps them in the loop about the performance of the maintenance operation, including key achievements, challenges, and KPIs, so they can make informed decisions and view maintenance as crucial to organizational success. Senior leadership only need limited access to the CMMS as they won’t be using it on a daily basis.
The IT department
The IT team oversees your company’s entire digital infrastructure, including the CMMS. Giving your IT team access to your CMMS allows them to monitor any integrations, software updates, and data storage and security tasks undertaken by the software provider to ensure proper policies and procedures are followed.
Who shouldn’t have access to your CMMS?
The short answer is, whoever isn’t on the list above probably doesn’t need access to your CMMS. Employees in other departments often have little to no contact with production or maintenance. The cost and effort to give these employees access and train them would outweigh the benefits. While some maintenance requests come from these personnel, CMMS integrations allow staff to use systems they are comfortable with, rather than having to adopt a CMMS.
How to help CMMS users be successful
Knowing who should use your CMMS is just the first step— those employees also need to use the system consistently and appropriately. A successful CMMS implementation often hinges on user adoption, which relies on making staff comfortable with the new technology.
Get everyone’s feedback before selecting a CMMS
If a CMMS doesn’t have the features that suit your team or users are unwilling to adapt to new processes, your investment will be for nought. It’s important to decide who to talk to when selecting a CMMS, ask them how they feel about adopting new routines, consider what they need, and make sure it’s addressed when purchasing and implementing software.
Create an asset management policy
An asset management policy provides a set of guiding principles, intentions, goals, and methods for asset management so everyone feels confident in their choices and contributions to the facility. An asset management policy helps empower CMMS users by giving them a set of clearly defined processes and boundaries. When users can make informed decisions, they are more likely to feel comfortable with a CMMS and adopt new software quicker and easier.
If a CMMS doesn’t have the features that suit your team or users are unwilling to adapt to new routines, your investment will be for nought.
Select a CMMS champion
A CMMS champion coordinates with vendors, upper management, and users to ensure a CMMS is implemented and lives up to its full potential. They fuel user adoption by building an implementation strategy, an onboarding program, and a training plan so every user knows why the software is important, how it impacts them, and how to use it effectively. A CMMS champion also keeps everyone engaged with the transition to new technology by being the main point of contact for users who have questions, challenges, or suggestions about the CMMS.
The final word on CMMS users
Every facility will define a CMMS user a little differently. However, there are a few key users that are central to the success of maintenance software, such as maintenance managers, technicians, and reliability engineers. It’s also important to focus on how these users can be encouraged to use the software properly and consistently. Finding that perfect balance will create a foundation on which a CMMS can thrive and maintenance operations can contribute more value to a business.