Is one third of a CMMS enough?

Editor's note: This is the second of a two-part series. In the eyes of some employees, a CMMS is a source of extra work for maintenance staff that is already struggling to do more with less. That's why it is vital that the CMMS is portrayed, not as a source of additional tasks, but as an opportunity to increase job security while demonstrating the value of a strong maintenance team.

10/10/2003


In the eyes of some employees, a CMMS is a source of extra work for maintenance staff that is already struggling to do more with less. That's why it is vital that the CMMS is portrayed, not as a source of additional tasks, but as an opportunity to increase job security while demonstrating the value of a strong maintenance team. By documenting every corrective action, preventive task, emergency repair, and system overhaul in the CMMS, maintenance employees and managers can obtain the data needed to generate reports that show management the link between their efforts and increases in product quality, as well as reductions in production costs.

In addition, most plants have standard operating procedures and monthly reports that are displayed for the entire plant — downtime is a classic one. Some of these reports can be pulled from the CMMS. They document the department's contributions and show the positive impact of its work to people who may not always understand what maintenance does.

Another way to draw attention to the department's contribution is through implementation of a rewards program that celebrates the improvements charted using the CMMS. Begin by assigning goals to individuals or teams, publicly recognizing the team that makes the most significant impact on downtime or overall maintenance costs for that period of time. Using the reports generated by the CMMS can raise the department's profile and reinforce the benefits of using the system, which will encourage further usage.

Generating commitment from top management

Organizations that realize the full benefits of their CMMS have a culture in which everyone up and down the chain of command truly understands the importance of CMMS. Maintenance is often viewed as overhead — a necessary evil. There can be the perception and misconception that maintenance employees do nothing all day but wait around for something to break.

Your goal should be to educate top managers about the return their CMMS investment yields, and, conversely, the consequences of failing to use it. Help managers understand how downtime costs can escalate if the loop isn't closed. Show them the decision-making value of having information about the plant's equipment, inventory, and work history at their fingertips.

This insight is rarely gained without effort. It occurs when steps have been taken to quantify downtime costs for each major piece of equipment or assembly line. It is vital that everyone understands and agrees with these costing values. By using these figures, the costs involved in carrying a particular part can be proven to be negligible compared to the cost of downtime. In the fight for more resources, this is the best ammunition.

One process for measuring downtime costs could be: