Highly functional data

Mike Bacidore says software is a tool to manage personnel and procedures.

By Mike Bacidore, chief editor

Properly trained people and properly conceived processes are the backbone of a world-class reliability program. To manage scheduled downtime and optimize plant equipment operation, everyone must be pulling in the same direction, and that requires well-defined strategies and procedures at the core.

Whether your “people” are internal maintenance or reliability professionals, equipment operators, contracted service providers or OEM supplier personnel, their execution of the plan is what keeps the plant humming. If only there were a tool available to help manage all of this.

Enterprise asset management (EAM) software and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software have been around for decades. But their functions and features have changed just as dramatically as the maintenance practices that have evolved to encompass not just maintaining, repairing and overhauling equipment, but proactively monitoring physical assets to ensure maximum plant reliability and aligning maintenance strategies with the overall objectives of not just the facility, but the organization as a whole.

Yes, that’s pretty huge.

Although asset management software has expanded to the point where it can track asset lifecycle from design to disposal and can track sustainability efforts by calculating carbon footprints and thermal mapping, its effectiveness still hinges on the data that’s entered and a company’s ability to leverage that data.

Whether your “people” are internal maintenance or reliability professionals, equipment operators, contracted service providers, or OEM supplier personnel, their execution of the plan is what keeps the plant humming.

We’ve recently relaunched the Plant Services CMMS Review, encompassing a variety of new features and functions and making it easier for facilities to compare only the ones they need. Take the revised database out for a spin at www.plantservices.com/cmms_review/software_review.html. Let me know what you think or how we can improve it. The tool is there for you to use.

Also, in an effort to get a better handle on how you’re using the software, we’d like your help with a new survey we’re conducting in conjunction with ARC Advisory Group (www.arcweb.com). We’re trying to get a better understanding of your ever-changing needs for EAM and CMMS. If you’re a software user or involved in maintenance and reliability at your facility, this survey of trends could use your input.

The 20 questions look at current and future expectations regarding topics such as mobility, functionality and maintenance practices. By participating, you’ll also receive a free copy of the final report, and you will remain anonymous to other participants.

You can take the survey at www.plantservices.com/softwaresurvey, and be sure to click on the Finish button when you’re done with the survey.

The three-legged stool that is people, processes and technology only stands when all of the supports are astutely measured and properly aligned. You’re not in this alone. Take advantage of the maintenance community at large and the tools that are available to help you make better-informed decisions.

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