Computerized Maintenance Management Software » 5 Steps to CMMS Success

If you’re tired of grabbing repair binders with half the pages falling out and scanning work order receipts into the abyss perhaps it’s time to take the CMMS plunge.  Finally every piece of equipment, every spare part, every vehicle, invoice, leasing agreement, outside maintenance contractor…essentially any maintenance-related information has a home in CMMS.

Now, instead of dropping everything to fix a malfunctioning machine, a mechanic can calmly turn to his CMMS system, look up the machine, see any pertinent history, generate a work order, make the repairs, enter time and materials and close it out.  It’s all good.

Wait… not so fast…CMMS isn’t “plug ‘n play” like your Apple iPad…

A successful CMMS implementation takes a bit of planning and patience.  What do you want out of the system?  How will you get the maintenance team to adapt?  If you downloaded the Bigfoot CMMS demo you may have tested a work order or two so you have a taste.  Before you fully implement the software and start entering all your assets, follow the guidelines below to get the most out of Bigfoot and the fastest ROI.

Step 1: Invite your maintenance team to be on the CMMS planning committee.

Feedback  from  the  people  in  the  ?eld  combined  with  the  reporting,   analysis   and   other   goals   of   management   will   give   you   the   best   results.   Plus,   if   people at   all   levels   are   involved   they   will   accept   the   change   more   easily   and   work   in   common   toward a successful implementation. No one wants  software  forced  on  them  when they have not been involved in the planning process – especially any keyboard-phobic technicians.

Step 2: Identify your needs, wishes and goals.

What and where are your biggest maintenance headaches?   Do you want better control of requests for repairs?  Preventive maintenance schedule?  Want to analyze employee repair time to get better performance; machines that are frequent flyers?  Thinking through your goals will pay off in the end.

Step 3: Orient yourself on the bene?ts and features of Bigfoot CMMS.

While Bigfoot is easier than putting together a piece of Ikea furniture it makes more sense to dig into the product once you’ve had training. Go through the orientation. Use the startup kit. The documentation will help you set up basic and detailed information on equipment, work order types, etc.  Make sure these items are reviewed as a team; map it out on a white board.

Step 4: Now you’re ready to start entering your equipment, parts, PMs, etc. 

Data entry can get kind of tedious.  Perhaps try a small subset of your operations to work out the kinks. Get to know the Bigfoot replication features to make this go as painlessly as possible.  Smartware Group can also assist with this process by importing items from other systems, in any file format. Ask your account rep about that, or e-mail

Step 5: Experiments/test run/go live

Now try generating some work orders. Set up some PMs. Start using the system.  Make the necessary tweaks. Get comfortable, and get to ready to “go live.” With increased usage comes increased maintenance productivity!