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How to Implement a CMMS to Enhance Your Maintenance Program

Last month, we explored that in order to set the foundation for more predictive maintenance, it is critical to identify when the cost of replacement is greater than the cost of repair on your machines. This process involves gathering critical data points such as the total quantity of machines (that match your machines) that have been manufactured in recent years, a critical spare parts list, lead times for parts (especially for critical spare parts) and storage cost for parts.

Now that you are familiar with this data gathering process and the benefits it can provide you and your company, let’s take the process a step further by analyzing all of this data in a structured system of reporting known as a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS).

CMMS is software that centralizes maintenance information and supports maintenance operations processes. This database organizes information about the machines and machine parts that allow maintenance managers to perform a number of tasks from conducting materials and inventory management to automating work orders to reviewing machine statuses and tracking downtime to recording planned and actual costs.

When used properly, a CMMS can be extremely beneficial to your organization. According to the 2021 Benchmarks and Best Practices Maintenance Management report by Accruent:

Organizations that successfully implemented maintenance management technologies achieved the following benchmarks:

  • 57% Improved system reliability and reduced downtime
  • 53% Extended equipment lifespan
  • 59% Improved customer satisfaction
  • 60% Improved work scheduling and labor efficiency
  • 41% Improved parts availability and time to fix
  • 61% Improved visibility of maintenance and performance metrics

Although a CMMS can greatly benefit you and your team, our NTT trainers caution that the “garbage in-garbage out” rule applies here, such that if you are allowing bad or vague maintenance action reporting, you will have inaccurate information to review and not be able to schedule precise machine repairs to keep ahead of the repair cycle.

To prevent “bad” information from infiltrating your CMMS, NTT trainers recommend that when you are implementing the CMMS at your company, that you first conduct a detailed and thorough reporting of all of your machines and machine parts. Reports need to drill down to the specifics beyond just marking a machine “broken” or “fixed.” For example, you can capture:

  • Which part of the machine is actually broken
  • Time of day when the machine shut down
  • How long the machine had been running prior to failure
  • Where the machine is located in the building, and
  • How much output the machine was able to produce prior to failure.

NTT trainers also recommend creating a standard of nomenclature that is consistent throughout the documentation process and to use proper names of machine and machine parts so that a maintenance manager can compare apples to apples so to speak. Documenting all of these details accurately for each machine, will help the CMMS identify patterns of machine failure, and help maintenance managers uncover the “weak” spots in their manufacturing plant.

Once you have gathered and now inputted detailed data points for all of your machines into the CMMS, the next step is to produce machine maintenance reports. Although there are hundreds of different reports you can produce, our NTT trainers identified these four critical reports to run via your CMMS which include:

  1. Scheduled Downtime Report
  2. Unscheduled Downtime Report
  3. Catastrophic Breakdowns Report
  4. Complete Parts Listing Report

Having this essential information at your fingertips allows your CMMS to function as a “one-stop shop” that contains all of your machine manuals, parts inventory, work orders, and machine history.

Once you have implemented a regular reporting system, the next step is to analyze these reports to help uncover the root cause of the machine’s failure. Electrical and mechanical engineers read over the CMMS maintenance reports to find patterns of repeatability as to why a certain machine is not performing efficiently and what the next steps should be for a more predictive maintenance schedule.

The value of a CMMS depends on the amount of data you have collected, the accuracy of that data relevant to your machine’s actual use, and how the reports are analyzed. Although our NTT trainers admit that you can start to see the benefits of a CMMS from day one, be aware that a CMMS is still dependent on people accurately inputting and interpreting the information.

Unsure where to get started on implementing a CMMS at your company? Contact our NTT staff to learn more about how to find the right CMMS for your particular needs and more best practices on how to make the most of your CMMS.

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