The importance of an effective CMMS handoff

Aug. 11, 2020
Thomas Wilk says your CMMS design may be sound, but effective use proves out the value.

In mid-May, after taking a break from long-distance running for the past several years, I committed to running a marathon this fall. This was something I had been considering for a while, but after eight weeks of quarantining at home with three boys under 10, spending huge blocks of time outdoors – alone – felt a lot more urgent.

From the Editor

This article is part of our monthly From the Editor column. Read more from Thomas Wilk.

The first step was to research and build a training schedule, so I checked in with to find a plan that matched my current state: medium experience, completed a few long races, no runs longer than 3 miles since 2016, and carrying a few extra pounds. “Novice 1: Gentle and Low-Mileage.” Check.

Next step was to order some new running shoes, as the treads on my pair from 2016 were now worn down enough to serve as house slippers during the quarantine. Then it was time to recalibrate my diet and load up the MP3 player. Check, check, and check.

The first few runs were an exercise in hope. Seeing other people out early to get a run in was comforting; clearly I wasn’t the only one with cabin fever. Also it was an effort to start slow, shake off the rust, regain my old running form, and not eat all the food in the pantry after each run.

I think you know how the story ends, at least this year. In June, exactly 18 days into my exercise program, the word came down from marathon officials: the race had been cancelled for 2020, due to COVID-19 concerns. Ugh. It was back to the drawing board.

For this issue, we’ve chosen a relay-race theme to capture a key element of our August cover story: the importance of an effective handoff between the time when a CMMS solution is specced and implemented, and when all users hit the ground running.

George Williams of ReliabilityX contributed the cover story this month, in which he argues that the cornerstone of any effective asset management and reliability strategy is the CMMS. Part of the reason I find this article compelling is that Williams focuses on the world beyond system design and implementation. Utilization is where most people will spend the most time with their CMMS systems, whether through daily usage, integration with other systems (like ERP or MES), or adding new modules, and Williams identifies five best practices that are the basis of effective CMMS utilization.

Regular contributor Steve Tuttle also returns this month with another tale from the maintenance front, one in which effective use of a CMMS system help him and his team save an estimated $12 million on a 10-foot-diameter O-ring seal replacement job. In fact those savings got passed down the line in the form of a new job plan and recurring PM, now stored in the CMMS, to make future jobs go more smoothly.

As for my own running plan, it looks like an April 2021 marathon is a reasonable target to aim for. The design was fine, and with another year to prepare, the implementation will be even better.

About the Author

Thomas Wilk | editor in chief

Thomas Wilk joined Plant Services as editor in chief in 2014. Previously, Wilk was content strategist / mobile media manager at Panduit. Prior to Panduit, Tom was lead editor for Battelle Memorial Institute's Environmental Restoration team, and taught business and technical writing at Ohio State University for eight years. Tom holds a BA from the University of Illinois and an MA from Ohio State University

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