Heather and Ross continue to talk about best practices in the industry and the purchase and use of asset management software.
Often, communities get caught up in the 50,000 things that this tool can do. And you don’t really need to do them all if you’re a small to a medium-size utility.
Some of that stuff, you don’t even have the data to make it work. So, you have to think about, would you actually use that?
Yes, it can have 50 bells and whistles in it, but if you’re not going to use any of them, you are paying for stuff you will not use.
And the other promise, technology moves so quickly that you invest in a system; we just talked to somebody very recently who said:
“I invested in this asset management software, and two years later, they are not supporting the software anymore.”
So, now I’m stuck where I’ve got the software I can’t even use, and they have told me I’ve got to buy new software and to pay money to get that customized to me because that software is obsolete two years later; a horrible position to be in.
So, what you want to be careful about is thinking maybe 20 years from now I would like those functions, but I don’t think I can use them now.
Well then, don’t invest in today’s technology for something you might do 20 years from now because technology would have moved on, and maybe that’s something you don’t want to do at all. Or perhaps it could be done so much better with some other piece of software.
So, don’t get caught up in stuff you are not going to do today and buying this really grandiose system for 10, 20 years down the future.
Keep it more focused on what it is you want to do today and then build into your future over time.
Two necessary steps to consider in buying and using an asset management software
Ross stressed the importance of considering these steps before deciding to buy the software.
In the International manual because I wrote that section. I put this minimal simple guideline in there.
And the first part for any CMMS and implementing it is you’re going to have your management and governance sign off on the purchase, the ongoing maintenance, and the resources needed to run it.
And that they’ve got to give you a clear direction about what they want out of that.
And if you don’t have that, the temptation, I’ve done this myself several times. The temptation will be like, hey look, these guys don’t know what they are doing, let’s get on with it.
You’re running the resources; you are running the money even if you source it out from other places.
The second thing, once you’ve got that sort of an organization agreement where you’re going, the essential thing is what do I want out of it?
So what outputs do I need from that system? And you can make a list of those quite quickly.
It could be tracking your maintenance. It could be monitoring your inventory. It could be doing some analysis or some description but be clear about what outputs you want.
Once you’ve done that, so I’ve got the signed off, for the resources and money from governance and we’re clear about that, we’re on an agreement as an organization about what outputs we want out of the system, then work out the inputs that you need to put into that system.
- So, to get my outputs, what do I need?
- What information do I need?
- What data do I need?
- What inspections do I need?
- What other information?
- Have I got it?
- Where am I getting it from?
- Can I reliably get it?
- Have I got those sorts of things?
Then after that, you go, hey, well we’ve got the business processes in place to get those inputs into the system. Or do you even get the inputs in the first place, and the quality system around that, understanding the consistency of input?
Once you have all that sorted, then go, look for some software. That’s the last step.