When it comes to a company’s assets, data has the potential to revolutionize the business. Computerized Maintenance Management Software / Enterprise Asset Management (CMMS / EAM) solutions are the technology that records and manages this asset data, so management is able to make smarter decisions that drive continuous improvement and success.
Accurate equipment history records provide insight into equipment wear and tear, enabling maintenance teams to preserve the assets even longer. Properly maintained equipment assets deliver a higher return on investment (ROI) and greater profits in the long run. Additionally, a more transparent maintenance scheduling process provides more organization for technicians and reduces overtime.
Connecting the dots on data
Maintenance data isn’t the only data today’s businesses should care about. Enterprise solutions of all kinds are designed to store and manage specific information and tend to vary depending on what department is tracking the information. While a maintenance department may track data with a CMMS / EAM solution, a human resources department may use a talent management solution, or a finance department may use a payroll solution.
Each software suite stores relevant information so that management can generate the right reports and gain a holistic view of operations. Departments are also able to collaborate more effectively when they have a sense of shared ownership influenced from the top down.
The benefits of enterprise solutions are clear: The more you know, the better, but this also raises a big concern.
When each system is maintained by different people and departments, all company data is stored separately, and many decisions must be made by combining data between these “siloed” solutions.
While investing in a CMMS / EAM solution benefits maintenance teams day-to-day, it can also make an even greater impact on the company’s big picture, if data is collected and connected without silos.
3 Steps to solve the silo problem
Coming up with a built-to-last strategy coincides with CMMS / EAM implementation. Breaking down silos across a company is both a technical and a managerial process. It takes cooperation from personnel across departments but ensures the business is set for future growth.When introducing a new CMMS / EAM solution and integrating it into your business, follow these three steps:
- Clearly set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
It’s critical that employees are aware of the KPIs that matter to their roles and how the solution evaluates them. The solution gathers the metrics that technicians and managers are accountable for, so when these metrics are prioritized and well understood, the team can improve on the processes that most affect the business.While evaluating a maintenance team’s goals and setting KPIs, it’s important to gain their support for the new solution. Employees must be onboard with significant changes in order for implementation to go smoothly. This process is often referred to as gaining “buy-in” before the investment, and it’s too often an afterthought that complicates adoption down the line.
- Establish a data governance policy
Data governance is at the heart of becoming a data-driven organization. Keeping track of the lifecycle of a company’s data means tracking its value from the moment it’s created through to all the times it’s shared. Specific users will need access at different times, and IT investments should be made to upkeep a reliable source for the data.If too many people have access to unnecessary data, it will cause problems with efficiency and security. Putting together a data governance council helps establish accountability, and the integrity of this data will come down to how it’s entered into the system and passed on for reporting purposes.
- Base decisions on a holistic understanding
Many decision makers will get so far as to have established KPIs and a reliable data governance policy, only to ignore the information that comes to light. One APT study found that while most executives claim to base decisions on data, only one out of ten relies on data that contradicts their ideas or views. These executives have relied on gut instincts for so long that when the data goes against their intuition, they still base decisions on prior beliefs.This is why the final step is to apply the insights appropriately, from the bottom up. In order to guide the business with data, executives must depend on information gathered from the shop floor.
During the CMMS / EAM implementation, the maintenance team will need time to adjust to the new system. Then, reports will become more accurate and information will be shared easily. In response to these reports, management should be open to change by considering the impact of these new insights. Tying maintenance insights into other data across the business will have a revolutionary impact on the company’s future.