Seven benefits of investing in CMMS training

Implementing a CMMS doesn’t have to be an uphill battle. But it likely will without a proper training program.

The importance of training can’t be stressed enough when setting up a new CMMS. It’s the key to ensuring employees actually use the software and use it the right way. If everyone is onboarded to the CMMS correctly, you will not only see increased efficiency, productivity, and performance improvements, but you’ll see it sooner.

Let’s explore why implementation fails in the first place, how CMMS training can help, and the different ways your organization can participate.

Why implementation fails

Approximately 70% of all CMMS implementations fail. We’ve identified some common ways that software implementation fails. Further down, there are some strategies for avoiding these common problems with training.

  1.  Lack of support
    Execs usually provide the budget to purchase new software, but aren’t always committed to the implementation process. If the decision-makers aren’t fully invested in the project, things like training often get pushed down to the bottom of their priority list, and it becomes harder to convince fence-sitters that this is a good solution.
  2.  Unclear goals and priorities
    Without clear goals, teams are bound to fail. Missed targets are huge morale killers, and teams who lack that motivation are less likely to want to learn new skills or adopt new software.
  3.  Poor training and engagement
    Not knowing and not wanting to learn how to use a CMMS often result in failed implementation. Everyone impacted by the new software should be consulted or offer input when assessing vendors or purchasing the CMMS software. This eliminates the risk of choosing software that is too hard to use or an unwanted solution.

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Benefits of CMMS training

Increases adoption

It doesn’t matter how great your software is if nobody learns how to use it properly. Training increases user adoption, which is critical when implementing software. Being properly trained means your team will see the value of the software, understand how to use it, and be more likely to adopt the system.

Saves time and money

If not properly trained, your team will waste valuable hours on trial and error just to learn the system. Skipping training also means your users risk developing bad habits or not knowing the best practices for using the software. Training ensures everyone gets off on the right foot and helps everyone learn the best practices when setting up and configuring the system.

Creates consistency

Proper training ensures everyone on your team is on the same page, following the same best practices, and working together instead of creating work for one another. When training, use the same tools and resources for every department so your whole team will be equally skilled and successful. Make sure the resources are referenceable and accessible should your team need to access them later. (This will make training and onboarding new techs easier).

Accelerates adoption

It can take hours to figure out how to perform some parts of your job with CMMS software, especially if you don’t have previous experience with CMMS software or if you’re switching from a system where things are done differently. Save yourself endless hours of guesswork with training sessions.

Collect valuable data

Training helps you understand the best practices for entering data. Good data is the foundation of a productive CMMS. It doesn’t matter how efficiently you use your CMMS, if the data is bad, you’ll never see accurate, positive results. Good data and data entry habits can improve productivity, reduce downtime and save money.

Flexibility to explore features

Training ensures you are using the system in the best way for your business’s unique needs. Even the most experienced CMMS users might miss helpful tips and insights if they skip training.

Strengthens commitment

Training reinforces management’s commitment to making the CMMS work within the organization. It’s a way to show maintenance that you’re investing in their success and giving them all the resources they need to achieve their individual and organizational goals.

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CMMS training resources

Training isn’t a one size fits all solution. Most vendors provide onsite or online training. Others offer video tutorials, training workshops, or recorded webinars. And the level of hands-on training depends on the unique needs of your team. Consider surveying your team to get an idea of their learning style and build a training plan based on their answers.

Whether you choose free or paid training options, invest the time upfront to get your employees properly trained because training makes the difference between CMMS success and failure.

Keep in mind that training is an ongoing process throughout the lifetime of the CMMS. Send your maintenance team to refresher webinars and knowledge-transfer workshops to help reinforce best practices. Also, make it a habit to use help centers and video guides to supplement your teams training. This way, your team can stay up to date with new features and updates without having to relearn the entire software again.

Source: https://fiixsoftware.com/blog/do-i-really-need-training-for-my-cmms/

How many CMMS users should you have?

If you’re looking to implement a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), one of the first questions you should ask is, how many people should be using the software? It would be great if there were a simple answer, but unfortunately, there isn’t. In this article, you’ll learn the key considerations for determining how many users you should have in your CMMS based on your unique situation.

The big question: How many CMMS users should you have?

The answer to this question depends on the size of your organization and how many people are using the maintenance software. If your company has fewer than 20 employees, a basic CMMS is likely sufficient for your needs. However, upgrading to an enterprise-grade solution may be necessary if you have more than 50 employees in a single location or multiple locations who need access to the same data at once (for example, field workers).

There are some questions you can ask to evaluate whether or not you need more CMMS users for your company. Ask yourself these questions:

  1. How often will the employee use the CMMS daily?
  2. How will using the CMMS benefit the employees’ day-to-day tasks?
  3. Does the employee need to access data from the CMMS regularly?

The answer to these questions will help you determine whether to include the employee in question on your CMMS.

What are the advantages of having fewer CMMS users?

There are several advantages to limiting the number of people with access to your CMMS. It’s easier to manage, works better for small businesses, and is less expensive. If you’re just starting out or if your business is small, having fewer users will make it easier for everyone in the company to get up to speed quickly because there won’t be as much data generated by each person using the system. In addition, training new employees can be done more efficiently since they will have less data at their fingertips when they first start using the software.

What are the disadvantages of having fewer CMMS users?

The disadvantages of having fewer CMMS users include:

  • Less flexibility for employees. If you have a small number of users, each one will have to be able to use the software to complete their tasks. This means that if one person goes on vacation or leaves the company, it could take several days before another person can take over their responsibilities and get back up-to-speed with how things work with your CMMS (and even longer if they’re unfamiliar with how it works).
  • More work for maintenance departments and administrators. In addition to being more difficult for employees who need to become more familiar with using your CMMS, more calls will likely come in asking how things work within the program. This could lead some people in these roles to be overwhelmed by requests within their department and external requests from people who need help navigating certain features.
  • You get trapped in a hybrid work model. One common strategy for maintenance departments is to keep CMMS users to a minimum and print paper work orders for technicians—creating a hybrid work model. The problem with the hybrid approach to maintenance is that you’re taking one step forward by getting a CMMS, then two steps back by not using it to its full potential. This creates a host of problems. For example, your team might still print work orders and enter them into the system at the end of the day. In this situation, you don’t have a full picture of what’s happening in your facility. On top of that, your team isn’t getting real-time updates when the status of a piece of equipment changes.

What are the advantages of having more CMMS users?

The more CMMS users you have, the more projects can be worked on simultaneously. This is especially important if you’re working in an environment where projects are always changing and being updated. It also means that when one person is busy with something else, another user can jump in and get something done while waiting for them to return.

Another advantage of having more than one user is that they can share knowledge and experience. This will help improve everyone’s skills and create a better understanding of how things work within the CMMS.

Having multiple users also makes it easier to train new employees because other people already know what they’re doing (or at least have some idea). Plus, there’s less pressure on just one person having all this responsibility placed upon them. Instead, there’ll likely be several people looking after various aspects of training, so there’ll always be someone available if questions arise during training sessions.

Logging information in your CMMS immediately means you have a much fuller picture of the state of your assets. And when it comes time to generate reports, your historical data will be much more precise. Working with a CMMS lets your team provide detailed updates and information on all your assets as they go, so no information gets lost.

Learn how to justify the cost of a CMMS to management

What are the disadvantages of having more CMMS users?

The disadvantages of having more CMMS users are as follows:

  • More data to manage. If you have too many users, it will be difficult for them to keep track of all the information in their system, and it can lead to errors.
  • More problems with the CMMS. If you have too many users, there is a greater chance that someone will make a mistake when entering data into the system or running reports—causing problems like inaccurate reports or missing data points in your CMMS database.

The number of CMMS users you have is based on the size of your business

The number of users you should have actively using your CMMS depends on your company’s needs and resources. We recommend you consider each scenario’s advantages and disadvantages before making a decision.

Source: https://fiixsoftware.com/blog/how-many-cmms-users/

Why do I need a maintenance work order system?

You’re a maintenance manager, and you’ve got more on your plate than just keeping the lights on. You’re in charge of keeping a facility running smoothly and safely for your employees, contractors, and visitors—and that means making sure everything is up to date and working correctly.

But how do you get it all done? How do you know when something needs fixing?

Fortunately, there’s an easier way for maintenance managers to keep track of their team’s work orders: a maintenance work order system.

What is a maintenance work order system?

A maintenance work order system is a computerized database of equipment and parts. It’s used to track when maintenance needs to be performed, what work should be done, and where it needs to be performed. Maintenance work orders are also known as PMRs (planned maintenance reports), MOTS (maintenance operations technical standards), EPRs (engineering change proposals), or preventive/corrective action plans.

Do I need a work order system?

If you think your operation is too small to need computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), think again. Everybody has maintenance needs, whether they ignore them or not, and work orders are what get maintenance done. If work orders aren’t planned and executed properly, you might as well give your money away. The secret to cutting maintenance costs is a good work order system, and here’s why you need one:

1. Reduce equipment failures

Whether you manage a large factory or run a community center, you buy insurance. Traditional insurance protects you from unexpected problems but sometimes doesn’t cover the cost of extensive damage. The best kind of insurance to buy is the kind that prevents the problem from happening in the first place. The problem, in your case, is unplanned asset downtime, and the insurance is a work order system.

Work order system software ensures preventive maintenance gets done on schedule, saving the most expensive maintenance issue of all: Downtime. It reduces equipment failures by:

  • Helping you keep track of maintenance tasks and schedules
  • Identifying equipment failures
  • Prioritizing repairs, so repair work is done in a timely manner and with the right parts
  • Keeping records of equipment failures and their causes can be helpful when it comes to preventing future breakdowns or other problems with the same piece of equipment

2. Extend asset life

Every piece of equipment or infrastructure you own is an asset. Every asset has an annual operating cost, which includes purchase financing or cash outlay spread over its lifespan. Although you don’t see that cost every day, you still pay it and feel it at the end of the year. A work order system extends asset life by helping you:

  • Conduct preventive maintenance. Regular inspections and service help to prevent expensive repairs, which can extend the life of your assets.
  • Improve quality control: The data collected through a maintenance work order system gives managers insight into how much time is spent on each asset at each location, helping them identify areas where they could improve efficiency.

3. Save money on parts and supplies

In a CMMS, the work orders are linked automatically to your parts inventory. You save money because it helps:

  • Reduce the number of parts purchased
  • Cuts inventory in your storeroom
  • Reduces the number of parts that are returned unused
  • Minimizes the amount of time spent on ordering parts

4. Boost maintenance productivity

No doubt about it, maintenance requires an investment. A maintenance work order system can help boost productivity by:

  • Reducing the time spent on paperwork. Keeping track of all your maintenance tasks, scheduling them, and updating them is very time-consuming. A good maintenance work order system will automate this process and make it easier for you to manage your assets in one place.
  • Helping to prioritize work. If you need clarification on which asset needs attention first or if any safety issues need immediate attention, then using a CMMS can help identify these things quickly so they don’t get overlooked.
  • Identify equipment that requires repair or replacement by looking at its history of service requests over time (e.g., this machine broke down last week versus this machine has never broken down before).

5. Improve health, safety and compliance

A maintenance work order system is a critical component of any facility. It’s the single source of truth for all maintenance tasks, providing a clear picture of what needs to be done and when. This makes it easier for managers and employees alike to know their responsibilities, making them more efficient at their jobs—and safer.

A work order system can also help you improve compliance with safety standards by making sure that all necessary inspections are being conducted regularly and on time. This reduces the risk of accidents or other hazards taking place.

A good maintenance work order software can help your organization efficiently manage all your equipment

This is just a short list of the many benefits that can be gained by using a maintenance work order system. It’s important to remember that these are not just theoretical benefits—they’re real, tangible results that will help your organization run better and more efficiently every day.

source: https://fiixsoftware.com/blog/need-maintenance-work-order-system/

CMMS software vs. maintenance excel spreadsheets

Companies taking their first steps toward preventive maintenance often start with homemade maintenance spreadsheets. A maintenance spreadsheet lets you log work orders, document upcoming maintenance cycles, and use filters to manipulate the data and produce lists of work completed. The issue is, spreadsheets don’t talk to each other and can’t send notifications to technicians in the field. This means that maintenance managers and technicians must rely on other systems like email, phone, pagers, offline trackers, or even sticky notes to get a full picture of the work that needs to be done.

While they add more value than just pen and paper, spreadsheets have obvious limitations.

On the other hand, maintenance software like computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) lets facility managers, technicians, and customers track the maintenance status of their assets and the associated costs of that work in one system.

CMMS vs. maintenance Excel spreadsheets

A CMMS and maintenance excel spreadsheets share some basic similarities but are used differently. Below is a table that illustrates some of the differences:

 CMMSExcel
DefinitionA CMMS automates the collection and analysis of data to optimize maintenance operationsMaintenance spreadsheets log work orders and document upcoming maintenance
Used toManage preventive maintenance activitiesManipulate data and produce lists of completed work
DisadvantagesIt may be more difficult to customizeIt may be susceptible to cyber attacksLimited access that lives on personal drivesUsually leads to a physical paper trail

Nine advantages of a CMMS over a maintenance spreadsheet

1. Automated preventive maintenance triggers.

Preventive maintenance software helps reduce human error by ensuring PMs are triggered when they are due in compliance with regulatory or manufacturer requirements. A good CMMS system can also activate PMs based on a number of maintenance triggers including time, meter, and event.

2. Auditing and compliance.

A CMMS digitizes your paper trail. Work orders are documented electronically as you go, even if you are working offline. This simplifies things in case of an audit.

3. Analysis and reporting.

A CMMS will report on maintenance key performance indicators (KPIs) such as MTBFMTTF, and availability with little effort. KPIs are used to evaluate current operations’ effectiveness, make organizational and personnel decisions, and determine whether assets need to be repaired or replaced. Built-in reports enable you to refine maintenance processes and improve asset availability, ultimately improving your bottom line.

4. Access.

Maintenance spreadsheets live on a personal drive on a desktop computer, with limited access. With a cloud-based CMMS, the data is stored on a remote server and can be accessed from anywhere over the internet. Most modern CMMS software also comes with a mobile app so you can access your CMMS via your phone or tablet in the field.

5. Centralization.

Plan, control, forecast, measure performance, evaluate, and report all from one system.

6. Real-time information.

See your organization’s maintenance activities in real-time. Managers can see which assets are offline, who is working on what, and what still needs to be done.

7. Communication.

Work requests submitted into the system can instantly be sent to the correct people. Technicians receive notifications automatically so they know what work is due.

8. Centralized database.

Your CMMS is a database of all equipment information, documents, manuals, schematics and images, and materials. No need for your technicians to carry around bulky schematics or manuals. Over time, this becomes a repository for historical data on your assets, giving you a fuller picture of an asset’s performance.

9. Supply chain management.

A CMMS will automatically track parts inventory, manage suppliers and vendors effortlessly and help you keep inventory costs optimized. When parts are consumed during work orders, the CMMS depletes stock levels in real-time. There’s no need to go back to the desk and update those stock cards. If the stock falls below minimum levels, the system will notify the required users or suppliers to start the reordering process.

Spreadsheets might be cheaper in the short term, but a CMMS will save you costs in the long run

While a maintenance spreadsheet is the cheaper option in the short term, it’s inflexible and doesn’t react to what is going on in your facility. Its ability to minimize the costs associated with downtime, stocking parts, and management reporting time is low, at best.

A CMMS streamlines and automates all of this, and many solutions can be customized to suit your maintenance processes, no matter the size of your organization. Any business can effectively deploy a CMMS in any market sector for efficient asset management.

Source: https://fiixsoftware.com/blog/cmms-spreadsheets/

Four Barriers to Adopting Maintenance Software

Switching to new maintenance management software can be a daunting task for so many reasons. There’s always a learning curve, it can be expensive, and there’s no guarantee that everyone in your organization will be on board.

But making the switch doesn’t have to be painful as long as you have the right software provider. At Fiix, we spend a lot of time talking to maintenance managers about why they do and don’t want maintenance software. From those conversations, we’ve collected the four biggest concerns for anyone adopting a CMMS, and paired each concern with solutions and resources to help navigate the transition.

Four barriers to adopting a CMMS and how to overcome them

1. Cost

Budget and cost are the number-one barriers for anyone considering switching to maintenance management software. It’s an investment, no matter which way you cut it. But modern, cloud-based software is far less expensive than on-premise software.

On top of the relatively low cost of the software itself, a CMMS can have a huge impact on your bottom line. It can help turn your maintenance department from a cost center into a value center since the software helps you gather data on assets, and make more educated decisions about where and when to use maintenance resources.

Here are eight ways a CMMS helps you save money:

  1. Fewer equipment breakdowns and product scrap
  2. Fewer overtime costs
  3. Longer asset life
  4. Better inventory management
  5. Better compliance with international standards
  6. Better energy use
  7. Streamlined budget
  8. Helps identify problem areas

2. Getting buy-in

Outlining the financial benefits of maintenance management software helps get buy-in from senior executives. But oftentimes, the people who really see the benefit of maintenance software—the maintenance managers and technicians who use it on a day-to-day basis—don’t have the time to build a really compelling business case.

First and foremost, do your research. You know your company and your maintenance team, so you’re in the best position to choose maintenance management software that will help, not hinder daily operations. Resources like Capterra and G2 are great for comparing different vendors and will help you ensure you get a solution appropriate for your company size and technical know-how.

Luckily, this is an easy problem to solve. We went ahead and created a resource to help you sell maintenance management software to the higher-ups at your organization.

3. Installation and setup

In terms of installation, cloud-based software is relatively straightforward because there’s no on-site installation. Once you buy your software, it’s just a matter of logging in and you’re good to go.

But how easy it is to import assets really depends on your specific maintenance management software. There are a lot of CMMS vendors, and their products run the gamut from very simple to requiring dedicated IT help to set up.

With Fiix, you can easily import existing assets and data from CSV or Excel, which makes setup really straightforward. We also have a huge number of resources to help you navigate the first few days and weeks with your CMMS, including an amazing team of customer success specialists who are here to support you along the way.

Getting the maintenance team on board

You can’t just drop new software on your maintenance team and expect them to adapt. Bad change management can lead to resistance, which can delay or even halt software implementation.

We’ve addressed this particular challenge before. Basically, there are three simple ways to help manage resistance to change which are detailed below:

  • Keep your people informed throughout the process. No one likes being told things are changing once the ball is already rolling. Get input from your maintenance team right from the start, so you can get a CMMS with features that bolster your team’s productivity. Be sure to stress that it’s mostly business as usual, and be clear about what parts of the routine will change to help people adjust to the transition.
  • Be specific about the benefits of maintenance management software. A CMMS can have a huge, positive impact on the day-to-day job of maintenance technicians and on how your facility runs as a whole.
  • Never skip training. There is nothing as good as hands-on experience to help a new system seem a lot less daunting. Check out our training page and support center to see what kind of support we offer both during and after implementation.

Although there are barriers to adopting maintenance software, they’re well worth facing for the long-term value the software adds to your team

Although there may be a bit of a learning curve when it comes to implementing maintenance software, the long-term value for your organization is unmatched. Purchasing a CMMS for example can result in fewer equipment breakdownslonger asset life, better compliance standards, and much more.

Source: https://fiixsoftware.com/blog/barriers-to-adopting-maintenance-management-software/

4 questions to ask for an effective technical postmortem

A technical postmortem is a retrospective of a failure. It’s a preventative step that can help you quickly identify and address issues with your assets, systems, or other technology platforms so they don’t happen again. They are commonly used in maintenance but also have applications in software development and design as well.

What is a technical postmortem?

A technical postmortem is a retrospective analysis of events that resulted in a technical failure.

The purpose of a technical postmortem is to:

  • Find out what went wrong and why
  • Identify trouble areas
  • Determine what can be done to prevent future failures
  • Create best practices for your business
  • Inform process improvements, mitigate future risks, and promote iterative best practices

4 questions to ask during a technical postmortem

This postmortem outline is not meant to be comprehensive but to serve as a starting point for your technical postmortem. These questions generate discussion about what went well, what the team struggled with during the failure, and what the team would do differently moving forward.

Here’s what you and your team should be asking during a technical postmortem:

1. What happened?

You can’t analyze what you don’t understand, so establishing a clear understanding of what went wrong is crucial.

2. Why did it happen?

Identify the major events that led to the failure and try isolating the root causes for the failure. Determine if the events are the underlying causes of the failure, or if they initiate a process that leads to the technical failure. Some underlying causes can include defects in design, process, or poor maintenance practices.

Look strictly at the technical causes of the failure and examine the underlying management and team environment. Sometimes team members ignore warning signs of impending failure due to the organizational culture, time crunches, and budget pressure.

3. How did we respond and recover?

How your team responds to failure can determine how quickly you identify the root cause and fix it. A major technical failure can have a direct impact on shareholder value, revenues, market share, and brand equity, so a quick recovery is paramount.

A useful technical postmortem requires a reasonable level of honesty, insight, and cooperation from the organization. The outcome of the postmortem should be to recognize what worked and fix the processes that didn’t. Remember, the idea is to learn from your successes and failures, not just to document them.

4. How can we prevent similar unexpected issues from occurring again?

Unexpected technical issues do arise in mission-critical or complex hardware systems. However, the key to prevention is technical planning to prevent problems from affecting the entire system. Each of the failures uncovered in step two represents a risk going forward, so schedule regular inspections or system checks in your maintenance management software.

When a risk is detected, certain actions should be triggered immediately to prevent similar failures. Planning must also consider the business process and management responses the team initiates when a failure occurs. A complete postmortem addresses both technical and management issues.

Don’t turn your postmortem into a blame game. Instead, management has to develop a reputation for listening openly to input and not punishing people for being honest. A well-run postmortem can help a maintenance team create a culture of continuous improvement.

The benefits of conducting a technical postmortem

As we can see from our example, a technical postmortem has a series of positive benefits including a detailed analysis of why an asset failed. It can help you avoid future problems by identifying issues that are present before any kind of launch.

A technical postmortem can also benefit you by:

  • Identifying potential problems with an asset
  • Improving the way your team approaches new projects
  • Learning from mistakes so they don’t happen again
  • Gaining insights into how other teams have handled similar situations

Some next steps after your technical postmortem is completed

After a technical postmortem is conducted and the project is concluded there is a postmortem meeting. This meeting is intended to understand the project from start to finish and determine what can be optimized and improved for the next postmortem. Generally, the project manager and team attend these meetings, but it’s open for anyone part of the project to join.

Tips and tricks to keep in mind during and after your technical postmortem

  • A postmortem can help you become more effective by learning from mistakes and focusing on what worked best, but it’s up to you to structure the meeting to get the most out of it. A way to structure your meeting is by setting a clear agenda, beginning with a recap of the project objectives, reviewing the results and whether or not the project met the set objectives, and lastly, analyzing the successes and failures and why they occurred.
  • You can ensure that your technical postmortem is successful by carefully preparing in advance, analyzing the failure systematically, producing actionable findings, and actively sharing the results.
  • Don’t let the momentum fade with your team. Schedule the postmortem right after the end of the project. A technical postmortem should occur within one to two weeks of the technical failure.
  • Make sure to store your postmortems in the asset record in a CMMS so they can be easily found in the future to prevent similar failures going forward.

A technical postmortem is an important tool for maintaining and improving your systems

A technical postmortem is a tool that allows you to learn from mistakes, identify the root cause of a problem, and improve your systems. It may sound like an abstract concept, but it’s actually quite simple: you document what went wrong and use that information to prevent the same issue from happening again.

Source: https://www.fiixsoftware.com/blog/4-questions-effective-technical-post-mortem/