The Success of Maintenance Programs Lies In More Than Just Tech
It doesn't come as a surprise when you see high-level executives complaining that their newly adopted maintenance management program just didn't work out. With 90% to 95% of all CMMS implementations failing to deliver the desired results or are forsaken or underutilized there must be something we are not doing right!
We live in the age of technology, where every decision is led by data-driven insights and every operation flows through a series of automated processes before it is finally completed, and makes its way to the historical records folder.
This makes it only natural to see technology as the answer to all our woes. But here’s the catch: technology is as good as the people who are using it. Without an end goal in mind, you are just driving with a blindfold on, hoping to get to your destination, without an accident along the way.
We’ll look at some of the top reasons why maintenance management programs don't live up to deliver the expected results and how successful executives can break free from this repetitive cycle of failures, to ensure a solid CMMS ROI.
Top reasons for CMMS implementation failure
Many maintenance managers return from the deployment warzone, injured and defeated. Each one has its own reason why it failed.
Adopting Technology for the Sake of It
Implementing maintenance management software just because your competitors are also doing it or because it's the next trending thing in the market, is a sure-shot recipe for failure.
When the implementation is more of a result of what the vendor is touting, rather than what the business needs, managers end up wasting resources, time, and money and are left with a void of unfulfilled expectations.
Not Getting Your Team Onboard
The success of any software implementation largely depends on user adoption. If your team doesn't understand the benefits of the software or how to use it, they're unlikely to adopt it. This can lead to resistance, low usage rates, lots of confusion, and ultimately, a failed implementation.
No Control Over Your Own Data
Data is a critical asset for any organization. However, most often than not, maintenance companies find their data on multiple disconnected systems, rendering it useless for running analytics and obtaining insights. More systems, also mean higher costs, more time spent swapping between each platform and before you know it, you end up managing your CMMS rather than the system doing the work for you. This can limit the effectiveness of the software and lead to a failed implementation.
Choosing a too-complex, one-size-fits-all solution
Most CMMS platforms market themselves as comprehensive solutions that cover every aspect of maintenance management under the sun. However, your needs might not be as complex as the solution you have chosen. The problem becomes even more real when you are unable to tailor it to your needs. Every organization is unique, with its own set of challenges, processes, and needs. A CMMS solution, that cannot be customized to fulfill your precise business needs can lead to poor performance as well as lower adoption rate.
Endless Experimentation with No Actual Deployment
While it's important to test and experiment with the software before full-scale deployment, most businesses get stuck in the never-ending cycle of getting one feature and a few team members on board at a time, so much so that the benefits of actual deployment never materialize. This can result in wasted resources, frustration among team members, and a lack of progress.
5 Things Successful Maintenance Managers Do to Ensure CMMS Success!
Those who come out as conquers, know that a CMMS deployment is meant to strengthen their internal capabilities and is not dependent on any single factor. Hence successful managers ensure the following before selecting and implementing CMMS.
Understanding the cause rather than the symptom
Successful maintenance managers take the time to understand the challenges their organization is facing and the root causes of these issues. This could be anything from frequent equipment breakdowns (symptom) due to the unavailability of real-time data (cause) to inefficient work order management (symptom) due to delayed communication between the maintenance teams (cause). By understanding the problem and the extent of the impact it is making on their maintenance outcomes, they can identify the features and capabilities they need in a CMMS to address these issues effectively.
Engaging Key Staff When Choosing New Digital Tools
Involving the people who will be using new technology in the selection process is crucial for successful CMMS implementation. Maintenance managers engage key staff members to understand their needs, get their input on key specifications they are looking for, allow them to suggest potential solutions, and ensure they are on board with the new system. This not only helps in choosing the right tool but also promotes user adoption and buy-in.
Ensuring the New Software Integrates Well with Existing Systems
The last thing you want is to be spending money on yet another system, to oversee all your existing systems. Hence, a good level of integration is another key factor for CMMS success. Successful maintenance managers ensure that the new software talks to platforms that have already proved their business effectiveness, such as your existing ERP or accounting software. This allows for smoother workflows without having to jump between apps, provides data consolidation, and improved overall efficiency.
Going for Incremental Gains, Rather Than a Complete Overhaul
Instead of trying too complex solutions, such as predictive or prescriptive maintenance, that seem to be the new buzzwords in the maintenance world, sometimes going back to the basics and fixing the wrongs, might end up giving your great returns on your investment.
Moreover, rather than overhauling every process at once, successful maintenance managers focus on achieving incremental gains. They choose easy-to-implement solutions that can provide immediate benefits to their exact needs. Over time, these small improvements can add up to significant gains in efficiency and productivity.
Implementing a System That Can Grow with You
Successful maintenance managers choose a CMMS that can maintain its effectiveness as they add new team members and more assets to their maintenance portfolio. They understand that their needs will evolve, and they need a system that can adapt and grow with them. This makes scalability a critical factor in ensuring the success of CMMS implementation. Look for a flexible platform that offers customizable features, and keeps on innovating as technology evolves to cater to the emerging needs of the market.
The success or failure of implementing a CMMS hinges on many factors. Adopting a solution merely because it's trendy, without involving key staff or considering long-term adaptability, will likely result in disappointment and wasted resources.
On the other hand, those executives who take the time to diagnose the root causes of their challenges, involve their team in the selection process, choose systems that fit their specific needs, and aim for incremental improvements rather than complete overhauls, experience successful CMMS deployments and meaningful ROI.
Thus, a thoughtful, well-planned approach to CMMS implementation can break the cycle of failure and lead to effective maintenance management.