Posts Under: IBM

January 28, 2013

CMMS Best Practices and Optimization


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CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems) Best Practices and Optimization

Working on laptop computer image on CMMS Best Practices and Optimization page at Provista www.provista.com

Facility and engineering management has come a long way during the last 30 years. Once regarded as strictly a reactive, resource-intensive cost center, facility and engineering departments now run more like a business. They collect and analyze data to access, plan and make important decisions aimed at preserving facilities and assets in the most efficient and effective manner possible.

Computerized Maintenance Management Systems have become invaluable tools in a manager’s arsenal. However, implementing a CMMS requires work, resources, and planning. When properly implemented, a CMMS will provide an organization with benefits for years to come.

Evaluation and Selection

The process used to evaluate and select a CMMS that meets an organization’s needs should be based on a well-documented and well-executed plan. The process should define the flow of maintenance work at the organization. It should be developed using internal resources or by utilizing independent third party resources. It should require that work flow be documented as a reference guide, and as work flow processes change, these should be reflected in this living document. This document will ultimately be the main source of reference for keeping processes in place and on track. It is important to document all departments that will be impacted, not just facility and engineering. In addition, senior management should be one hundred percent committed to the project if it is to be successful.

An important part of the CMMS selection process is to keep the users informed as the process moves forward. This keeps them informed about changes that are imminent and should help reduce their fears.

In the final evaluation, you will need to be certain that all costs have been included: hosting fees, servers, workstations, database licenses, software and hardware support, and future upgrades. This is in addition to the cost of the CMMS and implementation services necessary to install the system.

Tools and Processes

Once a CMMS has been selected you will need to make an assessment of the tools that will be used to gather the data efficiently throughout the organization. In addition, you will need to inventory the hardware to determine if any funds will be necessary to upgrade equipment.

Documenting and managing the work flow processes is critical for a successful implementation. The evaluation stage should already include most of this information; however, facility managers should be open to changing current work flow processes to take full advantage of the CMMS, and thus provide a higher return on the investment of time and money. It is important to identify work flow processes for managing at least emergency, preventive, and routine maintenance work orders. The processes should provide a measure of time, resources, and materials used to complete work orders for each of the three categories.

People and Technology

To be successful, you will need to form a team of dedicated individuals to implement the CMMS. They will set the overall tone, build a plan, and execute on that plan. Include individuals from the various organizations that have a stake in the success of the project. Maintenance staff, operations, finance, IT, HR, and management should assist where needed. Try and keep the team small and efficient to streamline the decision-making process. It is also important to have an individual on the team who is committed to the project’s success and can be the flag bearer for the project.

The heart of a maintenance organization lies in the events that happen in the field. Problems arise when an organization doesn’t take the necessary steps to ensure its data management strategies accurately describe these activities. Managers

must make certain that they thoroughly plan and execute this key process if they want to make decisions based on valid and reliable information. Despite advances on the business side of facility and engineering management, it still takes people to develop and execute procedures, conduct training, and perform review functions that reliably regulate data collection to produce legitimate results.

Another critical factor is the technology employed by the software vendors being considered. This relates to an organization’s overall technology roadmap and includes architecture (e.g., Web-based versus client/server), database (e.g., MS, IBM, Oracle), operating system (e.g., Windows versus UNIX), network (e.g., standalone versus LAN/WAN-based), and hosting (e.g., internal versus externally hosted or ASP).

Goals, Objectives and Project Definition

Facility managers should clearly define the goals and objectives they want to accomplish with a CMMS. Once the team is fully aware of these goals and objectives, these parameters should drive the project from start to finish. Do not be too concerned about a timeline. The CMMS software vendor can assist with a project plan that outlines a specific timeline based on your goals and objectives.

When defining key functionality in a CMMS, focus on the basic tasks. Organizations will find there is usually more than enough functionality in the software. Do not get bogged down creating a feature list that may never be implemented or used. Define the software platform and configuration requirements with the help of the IT representative. Break the implementation into manageable stages that can be completed in a timely manner. Start with basic features that will allow the organization to realize goals and objectives quickly. Provide adequate training to end users and do not cut corners on services – this will cause supporters to lose interest if the project gets bogged down.

important to manage people’s expectations to streamline the project. Remember, the software is only one component of a facility and engineering program. Trying to customize the software to do something it was not designed to do will create long-term adverse effects and should be discouraged. One of the main goals is to centralize the data into one CMMS. This allows you to streamline data collection and business practices, while increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your maintenance organization.

Conclusion

Implementing a CMMS application is not an easy task even when done correctly. The success of the project will play a critical role in the success of the facility and engineering department. By investing some time and effort into evaluating the organization’s real needs and taking the opportunity to re-engineer work flow processes, facility managers will greatly increase their chance for success.

In the end, a CMMS is only one part of the equation. The benefits of an all-encompassing maintenance and operations program will not only provide financial benefits but will create better communication between internal departments. This can result in greater cooperation and increased efficiencies. All of these benefits provide a greater return on investment. Finally, look at the project as an opportunity to improve maintenance and operations processes. Do not hesitate to compromise if it means greater success in the long run for the entire organization.

August 28, 2012

Provista First Partner Worldwide to be Recognized as Smarter Cities Capability Authorized


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IBM Business Partner Provista is Smarter Cities Authorized

Provista first in the world to be recognized as Smarter Cities authorized

City collage image on Provista First Partner Worldwide to be Recognized as Smarter Cities Capability Authorized page at Provista www.provista.com

Smarter Cities drive sustainable economic growth and deliver citizen centered services by:

  • Leveraging information to make better decisions
  • Anticipating problems to resolve them proactively
  • Coordinating resources and processes to operate effectively, increasing the value to the citizens they serve in a rapidly changing economic and urban world.

The IBM Software Value Plus (SVP) Smarter Cities Capability Authorization recognizes Business Partners that have an approved Smarter Cities Solution, have  passed a minimum of five rigorous technical certifications, and have a minimum of three Smarter Cities references. Provista, an IBM Premier Business Partner, is the first company worldwide to have met these objectives and to be recognized as Smarter Cities Capability Authorized.

“Once again, we have demonstrated that a small business with a great solution can accomplish great things, and I am extremely proud of everyone who worked hard to make this happen,” said Joanne Taylor, President and CEO, Provista Software International Inc. “This designation recognizes our commitment to provide real world solutions for Public Safety.” 

August 28, 2012

Provista chosen as Finalist in IBM 2012 Beacon Awards Based on Evidence Management Suite


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IBM Beacon Award Finalist

Provista chosen as Finalist in IBM 2012 Beacon Awards

Beacon award image on Provista chosen as Finalist in IBM 2012 Beacon Awards page at Provista www.provista.com

Reinforcing its commitment to industry leadership, Smarter Cities and customer service, IBM Corporation today announced the finalists of the 2012 Beacon Awards. Provista Software International Inc. is proud to be named a finalist in the category of Best Industry Solution for Government.

This prestigious honor is awarded each year to a select number of IBM Business Partners from around the globe and recognizes an innovative industry solution delivering the key value propositions of Smarter Planet and industry frameworks to Government clients. Judged by a team of leading experts, these Beacon Awards recognize the best solutions and services IBM Business Partners have delivered to clients throughout the world.

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