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    Will A New CMMS Solve Your Problems?

    Are you considering buying a new CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) to help you “get organized”?

    I have some bad news for you. If you are not already “organized”, a new system will just help you do all the wrong things a lot faster. It can’t help you, in and of itself, do things better.

    A CMMS is simply a tool to help collect data in an organized fashion. There is nothing that it can do that you couldn’t do manually given enough man-power. If you are not “organized” it means that your business practices and processes are not appropriate to meet your needs.

    I would suggest to you that the first step in buying a new system is that you must clearly define your desired business practices so that you can identify what you want from a CMMS. Then you can establish your system requirements. Failure to do this in the proper order could result in buying a system that is either:

    1) Too powerful for your needs (which means you spent too much and probably have a system that is overly complex to use), or

    2) Is not powerful enough to accomplish your requirements

    Another need is an understanding about how many transactions you will be handling and how much data will be residing in the system. For this you will need to know things like; how many pieces of equipment you have on site, how many work orders you are going to process daily, and how many people are going to interface with the system and how.

    Finally, you will have to have some understanding about what kind and how many management reports you want the system to generate for you. This is important because the whole point of having a CMMS is to enable your team to manage it’s business better. This means getting information (not data) out of the system.

    Before you buy a CMMS, take the time to define your business practices and processes, and separate your needs from your wants. It could save a lot of money and wasted effort in the long run.

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