Round Table – CMMS: Taming the Beast

Jul 12, 2019 12:23:40 PM

What are the biggest problems with how sites set up and use their CMMS? 

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS) are integral to maintenance and asset management. They’re also the biggest source of frustration for maintainers, engineers, planners and leaders alike. Although disciplined work management practices are essential, in many cases the problems start before Day 1 of operation. We asked a few of our Bluefield AM specialists the following question: 

What are the biggest problems with how sites set up and use their CMMS? 

James Owen 

Poorly defined Master Data Standards from the start. This causes forms, fields and standards to be inconsistent or incomplete across the CMMS/ERP suite, which can be very difficult to retrospectively add, update or correct. 

Stefan Van Der Linde 

A bit of a tangent but in my experience, especially with getting new equipment, is that the priority is getting the equipment/site online as soon as possible and to "sort out the rest later". Comes back to short term wins for long term pain.  

With respect to Master Data Standards and the like, I think a lack of understanding is a huge factor. Reminds me of when a previous CMMS implementation went live several years ago, and the nightmare "catchup efforts" that followed (still to this day) because very few understood it and even less were prepared for it. 

Gerard Wood 

One of the biggest problems that I see from a maintenance manager’s perspective is the structure of the accounts system. If the accounts system is not structured to capture the costs in line with how the equipment budgets are prepared it is a very difficult task for the maintenance guys to track their costs. An example of this might be engines. If the accounts system only captures the costs of engines but does not report to which machine, then it can be difficult to track the costs based on how they were budgeted. This may seem not possible, but I have seen this many times and there is a lot of work done in the background to put the costs back into a format that enables visibility against the budget. 

Another problem that I see is that the maintenance plans for the equipment are created in a way that is too complicated. Specifically, what people often do is create many maintenance plans in the system. Each maintenance plan requires someone to schedule it and close the work order. The number of plans should be minimised or optimised and use the PM checklists or procedures in the maintenance plans to manage the details. In one project after the setup of the mine they had so many maintenance tasks coming out of the system they shutdown more than 50% of them as it was not manageable.