Book Review

CMMS - A Timesaving Implementation process
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CMMS - A Timesaving Implementation process

By: Daryl Mather

Hardcover: 160 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.57 x 9.04 x 6.84
Published by: CRC Press
Publication Date: October 2002
ISBN: 0849313597


  • Chapter 1 - Introduction
  • Chapter 2 - Defining the Implementation Requirements and Scope
  • Chapter 3 - The Key Areas of Maintenance
  • Chapter 4 - Key Maintenance Processes
  • Chapter 5 - Controls and Standardization
  • Chapter 6 - The Maintenance Store
  • Chapter 7 - Reporting and KPI Development
  • Chapter 8 - Role Definition and Training Requirements
  • Chapter 9 - Compiling Requirements
  • Chapter 10 - The Project

Our Review

In the introduction to this book, Daryl writes:

"The aim of this book is to share some of the learned experience of a consultant in this field to enable you to make decisions on the use of the (Computerised Maintenance Management) system with global view of its benefits in mind. In short, this book will give you an implementation template, the ability to apply learned principles to the implementation of a CMMS in any operation."

Does this book live up to this lofty aim? Mostly it does, but the promised "implementation template" is a little weak, as discussed later in.

The book starts by discussing some fundamental Maintenance Management principles, and outlines the differences between Computerised Maintenance Management (CMMS) software, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software, and Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software.

Chapter 2 then discusses the implementation requirements, and suggests a broad range of questions that should be asked, as part of the CMMS selection process. This includes such items as:

  • What return on investment will be required?
  • What equipment details will be required to be stored in the system?
  • What equipment statistics will you wish to store (run hours etc.)?
  • What are your requirements for Equipment Cost recording?
  • What are your requirements for Technical History recording?
  • What will be your business rules, and Maintenance Management Processes?

Moderately detailed questions/checklists are provided in each of these areas, as well as others.

Chapter 3 suggests that there are 3 "Key Areas" of maintenance that will need to be managed through the CMMS:

  • Operational Maintenance
  • Technical Change Management (or Modifications), and
  • Shutdown or Maintenance Outage planning

This is then expanded on in Chapter 4, which goes into more detail regarding three key Maintenance Management Processes, namely, Backlog Management, Planning and Scheduling, and Data Capture and Analysis. While there is much general discussion of these processes, there are no suggested process maps, and the link between this discussion and the selection and implementation of the CMMS is not clearly made.

Chapter 5, Controls and Standardization, discusses the use of codes to analyse data, and suggests codes for Work Order Type, Maintenance Type, and Work Priority. But there are several other codes that could have been discussed (in particular, there is no discussion of any codes that might apply to anything other than Work Orders), and there are several other Work Order codes where template codes could have been suggested (as the title of the book suggests), such as Failure Codes, Work Order Status Codes etc.

Chapter 6 discusses the Maintenance Store, but the discussion is somewhat superficial, and the inventory techniques discussed have largely been superceded in most well managed Maintenance Stores.

Chapter 7 discusses KPI Development, and suggests a number of Key Performance Indicators, and makes a good point that exception reporting is generally under utilised in most CMMS implementation as a means of monitoring compliance with predefined processes and procedures. It suggests several such reports that could assist.

Chapter 8 attempts to discuss some of the organisational and training issues associated with CMMS implementation, but, once again, the discussion is superficial, and clearly not one of the areas of expertise of the author.

Chapter 9 provides a (very brief) list of questions that could be asked of CMMS vendors when selecting a CMMS system, and Chapter 10 attempts to pull the whole book together by discussing 6 (in my view, incomplete) reasons why CMMS implementations often fail.

So why does this book not quite meet expectations in delivering a template for CMMS implementation? First, it really does not discuss the implementation of a CMMS at all, but rather focuses on CMMS selection. And second, it does not deliver the promised template.

It makes the very good point that the key to successful implementation is to select the CMMS that will best meet your needs, and that a very important (probably the most important) element of that is fully understanding the Maintenance Management processes that you will wish to implement. However, I would have expected, in a true EAM/CMMS implementation template, to have seen, as a minimum:

  • A template implementation plan, outlining all the implementation activities to be performed.
  • Template work management processes, to be modified to suit client requirements
  • Template table files/codes - some of these are in the book, but there are many that are not.

There are also quite a few important elements of CMMS implementation that are not discussed in the book at all, or scantily. The Equipment Register is dismissed in one paragraph, but I have seen many CMMS implementations where getting this wrong has created endless problems thereafter. There are a few key principles in getting this right that should be covered in this book. Data cleansing and migration (and the decision about what, if any, data to bring across to the new system) is also a major implementation activity that is not covered in this book. System testing and the use of test scripts is also given little emphasis. There are many alternative philosophies and approaches - discussion of this would also have been useful.

However, as a book about CMMS selection (rather than implementation) it covers the ground pretty well, even if it doesn't deliver the promised template. This is a worthwhile addition to the field.

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