3 Telltale Signs You Have A CMMS Data Maintenance Problem

Whether the industry is oil and gas, chemicals, manufacturing, or healthcare, the equipment and associated data you have set up in your CMMS will atrophy without dedicated data maintenance.

Over time, part of your plant equipment will change, whether from obsolescence, reengineering, or project and process upgrades. Without maintenance, your equipment hierarchy will not reflect the physical assets which will increase the cost of your operation: your preventive maintenance program will become less effective, introducing unnecessary risk to the business and safety of the crews maintaining the facility, materials will not be readily available for work orders, and the overall planning process will take longer as Planners and Technicians will have to do more research to plan a job. Ensuring that these changes to the physical equipment are captured and updated in the CMMS is essential to maintaining the health of your data asset.

Here are the 3 telltale signs you have CMMS data maintenance problem

No Metrics on Record Updates

The easiest measure that indicates you have a problem is that you have no measure that indicates the number of CMMS Master Data objects you’ve changed. If your plant and facility are relatively new then changes will have been minimal (but probably more than zero) but as the facility ages the number of locations, equipment, and spare parts changes will increase significantly – it stands to reason then that even if the process has not changed, the equipment will have been updated or replaced.

At one Sullexis client,  we saw 600 MOCs in 2019 of which 100 MOC were found to require updates to the CMMS data. These MOCs impacted 611 unique records (included maintenance plans, task lists, bill of materials, and associated new material master records. Of these, ~20% addressed updates to regulatory or safety-critical locations.  

Limited MOC Process

Having worked with CMMS data for 10+ years in a variety of industries, we see a poorly understood or inadequate Management of Change (MOC) process is a significant root cause for CMMS data atrophy. 

Assuming that you have a documented and functioning MOC process (if you don’t then that’s a very different topic), then having a part of the process that routes the MOC for review by a CMMS data specialist is critical to the success of maintaining the accuracy and completeness of your data.

Reviewing the MOC process at another client, we saw that the engineering review and approval process was extremely robust, and all the physical documentation associated with the changes were updated correctly. However, the CMMS team was not integrated into the MOC process and as a result, none of the engineering changes were being reflected in the CMMS. Over a five year period close to 900 separate MOCs that should have resulted in CMMS master data updates had not been made.

Best practice would ensure that all MOCs get reviewed by an individual, dedicated to this process to examine the change being implemented, assess its impact on the CMMS data and work with colleagues within the maintenance and engineering teams to make sure that the right data changes (inserts, updates, and deletes) are made to all the affected objects (Equipment, PMs, BOMs, etc).

No Dedicated CMMS Data Specialist Review

For the MOC Process to be successful, this data specialist must have knowledge of the engineering system, the CMMS, and its data. Specifically:

  • CMMS Data Model Knowledge – Need to understand the MOC request which can be related to adding new records or changing/deleting existing records. These records can include Locations (FLOCs), Equipment, BOMs/Spare Parts, Preventive Maintenance Plans and associated tasks, and Object Lists. Any change must also take into consideration open work orders and whether changes must apply to them as well. BOM/Spare Part updates may include the creation of new material masters.
  • Engineering Knowledge – Ability to read and review P&IDs, datasheets, and electrical one-lines is important to understanding any change request and subsequent update to a CMMS. 

It is also important that this individual must be a trusted member of the broader maintenance and engineering team. Having a strong relationship with this team is just as important as managing change. Understanding how people think or react to a request for review helps obtain the correct information quicker which, in turn, will have a positive impact on the CMMS.

A recent example showed that this type of specialist knowledge was essential in identifying updates to safety-critical equipment that was missing in the original change request. The data was updated and regulatory maintenance PM records were added to the CMMS.Without a data specialist involved in the MOC process, it is highly likely that these updates would not have been made.

Let Sullexis Help… Determine whether your CMMS data has atrophied. Sullexis has a week-long engagement that will deploy a small team of experts to review your existing processes, highlight what works and what doesn’t and leave you with actionable steps to improve and maintain this vital data asset, to enable safe and reliable operations.  

For over a decade, Sullexis has been helping its clients build, create, and maintain their CMMS systems, processes, and data.