Tie best of breed CMMS with your ERP and reap the business benefits

Most corporate departments think of maintenance when they need the thermostat adjusted in the conference room. But maintenance management and CMMS are an integral part of ERP, which runs 80% of Fortune 1000 companies

07/02/2013


Most corporate departments think of maintenance when they need the thermostat adjusted in the conference room. But maintenance management and CMMS are an integral part of ERP, which runs 80% of Fortune 1000 companies. CMMS is an essential tool for managing operations and maintaining assets across the enterprise. CMMS drives quality production, ensures regulatory compliance and controls operating costs.

So how do you run a smooth maintenance operation, keep assets humming and integrate with the company’s ERP system? Before you start coding a new ERP interface, weigh the issues. Is the CMMS integration a desire for the maintenance department or a directive from the COO? How can CMMS and ERP integration reduce operating costs and contribute to business performance?

Once you answer the big picture questions and decide to move forward, consider these guidelines from someone who’s been there, done that…

First, make sure you think through your points of integration. Synchronize part quantities vs. share a completed purchase order (PO)—this is an important debate. Some ERP systems make it difficult to share a whole purchase order, so perhaps synchronizing spare parts in your CMMS with the ERP POs is a better approach.

Do you have internal expertise, or at least affordable consulting on the ERP side? These costs can add up. It is likely your ERP system will need configuration support to make this interface work.

Don’t rush into the integration. Get to know your CMMS first, for a few weeks or even several months before finalizing your integration plans. Product experience will influence interface approach/design, and is a safer, less expensive endeavor than building the interface in advance.

Assess your CMMS needs. Understand that although a CMMS vendor may have interface capabilities off-the-shelf, the interface will always need to be configured for the organization’s environment—either on the CMMS or ERP side, or both. Configuration depends on the IT environment, ERP system and version, desired integration points, in-house ERP expertise, etc. Automated interfaces should be considered semi-configured (in some cases total custom) projects.

In theory, a quality CMMS vendor should have the technological capabilities to allow any information to be passed to and from an ERP system. Most common interfaces I have developed are related to spare parts. Others include sharing “finished” purchase orders/requisitions, asset information (status, location, costs, etc.), and employee data, typically labor rates or department information.

Most importantly, have the discussion with your maintenance team. Define the business goals. Identify the integration points. Your CMMS vendor won’t be able to discuss development costs unless you have thought through the project. Do your homework upfront so CMMS and ERP can make the connection a lasting one.



No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering and Plant Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners in three categories.
2017 Lubrication Guide; Software tools; Microgrids and energy strategies; Use robots effectively
Prescriptive maintenance; Hannover Messe 2017 recap; Reduce welding errors
Safety standards and electrical test instruments; Product of the Year winners; Easy and safe electrical design
Infrastructure for natural gas expansion; Artificial lift methods; Disruptive technology and fugitive gas emissions
Mobility as the means to offshore innovation; Preventing another Deepwater Horizon; ROVs as subsea robots; SCADA and the radio spectrum
Future of oil and gas projects; Reservoir models; The importance of SCADA to oil and gas
Diagnostic functions for system safety; Specifying industrial enclosures; Effective decision support for a crisis
Transformers; Electrical system design; Selecting and sizing transformers; Grounded and ungrounded system design, Paralleling generator systems
Natural gas for tomorrow's fleets; Colleges and universities moving to CHP; Power and steam and frozen foods

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
The maintenance journey has been a long, slow trek for most manufacturers and has gone from preventive maintenance to predictive maintenance.
Featured articles highlight technologies that enable the Industrial Internet of Things, IIoT-related products and strategies to get data more easily to the user.
This digital report will explore several aspects of how IIoT will transform manufacturing in the coming years.
Maintenance Manager; California Oils Corp.
Associate, Electrical Engineering; Wood Harbinger
Control Systems Engineer; Robert Bosch Corp.
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me