Change Management & CMMS, Part I

We can all agree that if you have equipment that needs servicing, has value, and depreciates – you need a structure to keep up with maintenance.

For one Canadian salmon producer, this structure was fairly basic. The maintenance team was able to keep track of smaller tasks on paper.


For many organizations, employee buy-in is crucial to securing the right CMMS. Working with all maintenance operations personnel to prioritize CMMS requirements, such as ease-of-use for a simple and intuitive user experience and modern functionality, can go a long way toward building team relations and making the best software selection for your organization.

“We started small and were able to give a lot of attention to each piece of equipment,” according Snow Island’s Vice President, Bryan Bosien.

But as the company grew, a maintenance structure with flexibility became compulsory. “If we needed to change the oil on our fishing boats, it was easy to look after two boats. But if you have 10 boats, you can no longer rely on manual maintenance.”

Equipment maintenance tasks can slip through the cracks as companies grow. But if you’re at the point of needing a more efficient maintenance system and are considering CMMS, you’ll need to get buy in from your team, especially if, as in the case of Bosien’s crew, they know how to operate a fishing boat and clean a fishnet grid, but lack computer training. You’ll also need to prioritize CMMS requirements accordingly, such as placing greater emphasis on ease-of-use for a simple and intuitive user experience while not sacrificing modern functionality.

As with any CMMS, time is required to set up equipment records before the system can start generating preventive maintenance items and work orders. Users may not be inspired by the promise of time and money saved when they’re doing tedious data entry.

But, Bosien says, after all the equipment was set up in Bigfoot and the structure was in place, the number of breakdowns experienced before implementation and after going live with Bigfoot CMMS was like night and day. “With Bigfoot, my team could easily learn on the job… and they could see the results at the end.”

Robert Bourman, the operations manager of a dietary fiber food processing plant, also had to get his team on board with a new CMMS. The previous system was difficult to work within, and none of the technicians wanted to use it. Instead, the team relied on one user to do all the data entry, print and hand out the work orders, input the details once the job was completed, then start all over again.

Because Bigfoot CMMS was much easier than its predecessor, Bourman didn’t need a huge effort to get his team on board. The team could pull up equipment to check preventive maintenance and complete their own work orders. “Basically Bigfoot gave my team everything they needed to manage repairs in the most efficient way possible.”


CMMS, like any new software, involves a learning curve that can be shortened through on-site training, as pictured, or virtual training.

But regardless of how intuitive your CMMS is, shifting from reactive to proactive maintenance mode will require some orientation and training during the transition.  Even the iPhone has a learning curve.