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Q: Do you own a Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS)?

A: Yes is the most likely answer.

Q: Are you getting the true value of the CMMS and does is support your asset management goals?

A: No in most cases.

Many utilities either already have a Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS) or are intending to purchase one in the near future. In many cases, the utilities that already have a CMMS may not be getting the true value of the system and are not aligned with the organizational objectives such as asset management and performance management. No one is really to blame for this except that it may be time to reevaluate these utilities' CMMS to determine how they can further advance the system to support dynamic utilities with evolving asset management and performance management objectives.

Five steps to get more out of a CMMS to support performance based asset management

1. Identify asset management objectives

In recent years, asset management philosophies such as risk based decisions, criticality and risk costs have really altered utilities' perspectives on how they should manage their assets and develop capital improvement projects. This step would visit the big picture asset management objectives, which drives the configuration and reporting requirements of the CMMS.

2. Develop system integration strategy

From the defined asset management objectives, what type of systems and system integration are required to support them. Whether they are linking the Geographic Information System (GIS), Customer Information System (CIS) and mobile technology with CMMS, an integration strategy needs to be identified.

3. Optimize existing business processes

Many utilities would like to optimize their current business process and set up the CMMS to support how they do business. Often this effort was overlooked in the initial CMMS implementation and as a result, the CMMS drives the utilities' business processes, which is not preferred. Current and optimized business processes need to be identified to help configure the CMMS.

4. Configure the CMMS to support objectives

Once the desired objectives, integration strategies and business processes have been identified, the CMMS needs to be configured to support those objectives. The configuration must support the utilities' asset management performance metrics and reporting requirements. This is an important step to make sure that they new configuration is set up correctly and tested prior to roll out.

5. Train and implement changes

To successfully implement these changes with the CMMS, adequate training is required to effectively roll out the system and processes to the utilities. A pilot implementation prior to system wide roll out may be useful in identifying issues early.

This paper will present several case studies where they are further advancing their CMMS to support their asset management goals. This paper will share their approach, results and lessons learned from their process in advancing CMMS to support their performance based asset management program.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2007-01-01

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