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5 indicators of an inefficient CMMS and how to overcome them

22 July 2020 by Add Energy

People working on effioA computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a critical element to efficient maintenance management. It is used to help meet production demands, reduce OPEX costs, increase profits, and minimize risk of incidents. In particular, an effective CMMS can provide better management and control of: 

  • Planned and corrective maintenance execution 
  • Inventory 
  • Planning and scheduling of maintenance 
  • Reliability analysis and reporting for the purposes of continuous improvement 
  • Cost reporting and budgeting 

A CMMS has the capacity to unlock a world of benefits for the maintenance and operations teams...

However, there are some common pain points associated with these systems that prevent efficient maintenance management of operating assets. These include:

  • The data quality within a CMMS is often very poor, out of date or inaccurate, causing the CMMS to be unreliable, which, exposes the asset to increased risk, due to a lack of assurance that equipment is being managed and maintained 
  • It is usually quite difficult to obtain budget for fixing issues associated with poor base data because the ROI is not fully understood or communicated 
  • Users often receive very little or no training on the CMMS utilization or very often pick up bad habits which leads to inefficiencies, poor data and a lack of understanding on what they are doing further down the line in the process. Quite often the only training provided is at roll-out of a new CMMS system with all the training budget spent and nothing set aside for sustainable development of employees 

At Add Energy we frequently witness symptoms and indicators of an inefficient CMMS, and our experts work with companies to enhance the data within the CMMS, to enable asset stakeholders to fully realize the benefits of the maintenance management system they are paying for.

In this blog, we asked 3 of our maintenance management experts to share insights on symptoms that indicate an inefficient CMMS and to provide helpful tips on how to overcome these.

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Indicators of an inefficient CMMS 


Mike Meen, Learning Delivery Lead, Add Energy

“During my 35 years+ of experience working with oil and gas operators, I have seen and experienced a number of symptoms that indicate the CMMS is not being used to its maximum capacity, meaning that companies are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars into these electronic systems and not experiencing the benefits that the CMMS has been designed to unlock. These symptoms include, but are not limited to: 

  1. Equipment deterioration leading to more breakdowns that absorb huge amounts of time and resources to rectify 
  2. Equipment outage is longer than planned, causing excessive maintenance backlog 
  3. Wasting money buying the wrong spare parts 
  4. Over expenditure on the maintenance budget 
  5. Staff seem demoralized”

“The causes of these symptoms vary, but in almost every case, the cause can be linked back to the CMMS utilization, set up and the data that is available.”

Why should you invest in enhancing the CMMS?

AL_Photo_Stuart_MurrayStuart Murray, Technical Manager, Add Energy

“There are a number of benefits that can be unlocked through an optimized CMMS, in my opinion, here are the top 3 cost saving and efficiency gaining opportunities: 

  1. Accurate Maintenance Preparation and Scheduling 

The discipline to prepare an activity and properly schedule work has been overtaken by the requirement to react to breakdowns. The essence of the activity is the ability to prioritize all work for long term predictability of output. Sticking to the plan whilst dealing with emergency outages needs strong governance. In addition to this, maintenance can be packaged, routed, and nested to enable maintenance execution to be more efficient and for equipment downtime to be minimized.

  1. Improved Failure Analysis

All failures need to be analyzed to identify the root cause and corrective actions should be communicated to the staff systematically. This then creates the basis for improving the preventative program increasing availability and optimizing costs. Feedback is crucial to any program and having this information at your fingertips allows for efficient analysis for effective results. 

  1. Access to Critical Spare Parts 

Enriched spare part data is imperative for ensuring you have the right part, in the right place, at the right time and reducing expenditure associated with sourcing, stocking, preserving, and installing spare parts. Having all key information about the spare part, including the make, model, manufacturer, location, criticality, material master number, etc is crucial for efficient maintenance execution, that will save you money and time.”

Tips on how to enhance your CMMS functionality 

Sheila Buchan1

Sheila Buchan, Data Analyst

“Having worked with multiple maintenance management systems over the last 14 years, I have seen my fair share of issues caused by incomplete and inaccurate data within a CMMS, as well as poor utilization of the CMMS. Here are my top tips on initiatives that are proven to help you enhance your CMMS for better reliability and results: 

  1. Competency Assessment and Assurance 

Assure your people have the right knowledge, skill, and behaviour to get your organization back on track or indeed ready to face the next challenge. Knowledge and skill are both quantifiable and can be acquired through education, training, and a host of other events formal or informal.

It is the behavior element of competence that can cause the biggest headaches in any change program. To understand the complexities of this, the works of Fisher, Kotter and Tuckman should be considered. This collection gives us a rich menu to choose from in understanding what happens in change programs. 

It is important to define the competency and behavioral requirements in relation to the business needs, assess your team against this criteria and develop a training program that will close the gap in order for your team to be using the CMMS in the correct manner.

  1. Update and maintain your data within the CMMS to ensure it is current

In the first instance, it is beneficial to conduct a desktop asset verification (DAV) to identify the extent of the gap before investing time and money into walking the line to collect data from source at site. 

A remote DAV of the asset register and engineering drawings will: 

  • Provide a list of equipment that is not included in the asset register
  • Identify where engineering drawings need to be updated
  • Indicate where (e.g. which systems) a physical asset verification (PAV) is required to plug data gaps from source 

To maintain good quality and up to date data, a robust management of change process must be implemented and adhered to so that changes on the plant are reflected in the CMMS. This is critical for assuring all tags are accounted for and are therefore managed to reduce risk, assure reliability, and avoid money being wasted on ordering spare parts for equipment that has been decommissioned. 

  1. Structure your data so you are able to optimize 

“Data structuring is key for enhancing performance, assuring safety, and rationalizing costs. For starters, it is imperative that the asset register is built into a functional location hierarchy, with all parent and child relationships defined, so that the interdependencies of equipment are known. During the planning phase, having this information available will help planners to group maintenance by system, which allows you to minimize system outage by taking it offline once to carry out all the maintenance of equipment within that system, in one campaign. 

In addition to this, standardizing the planner groups and work centers, and allocating them correctly will direct the work to the correct discipline for planning and preparation purposes, and ensure that subsequent costs are captured within the right budget/bucket.

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