5 Highlights from the 2015 Mountain West Maximo User Group Winter Meeting

1. It doesn’t matter if you use Maximo or not: User groups are about maintenance.

It doesn’t really matter if you are using Maximo, SAP, MP2 or any other CMMS system, the focus of the user group has been, is and will continue to be maintenance centric and open to new ideas, solutions, and practices. For example, at this year’s event there were people who were using Maximo, people in the middle of a Maximo implementation, as well as people who had a different CMMS system. It even surprised me to see an SAP presentation and an SAP sales rep giving a pitch, which says a lot about how open the event was to other applications.

2. Maximo 7.6 is now available!

Since Maximo 7.6 was just released this past December, there was discussion around differences between 7.5 and 7.6, implications of upgrading, and other related topics. One of the presentations walked through some of the new functionality of Maximo 7.6. The presentation demonstrated the integration of Google Maps to show the locations of equipment. We were also shown many of the UI changes, including the display of additional information when hovering over an Asset record and configuring that same display. The demonstrations in the presentation were all shown on a private version of Maximo 6. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Maximo 7.6 demo available yet, or at least, no one in the room knew if there was one available. I do hope IBM makes a 7.6 demo available soon!

3. Managing with things outside of Maximo.

It was interesting to hear that although Maximo has HSE (Health, Safety and Environment) and Safety Plan functionality, there are very few people that use it. This does not mean organizations do not focus on HSE; it just means that either they do not know Maximo has this functionality, they haven’t used it or they just don’t think Maximo functionality meets their needs. This led to a good discussion regarding how each organization manages their HSE and how they integrate it with Maximo.

4. Integrating your work schedule with a constantly changing employee schedule is possible.

At the beginning of the event, there was a presentation regarding tips, tricks, lessons learned and benefits of doing time management in Maximo to improve planning and scheduling. Time allocation is never as simple as setting an 8 hour day per resource; vacations, sick days, holidays and other events all have to be taken in consideration. To make things a bit more complicated, these are not dates that can be updated just once a year. There has to be a process or system in place that integrates these dates with the work schedules so that work can be allocated accurately. With minimum Maximo configurations, the presenting company was able to keep track of the vacation hours in the same system that they kept their actual working and scheduled hours in. Having all their time data in a single system helped make their reporting easier and more consistent.

5. You can’t base your equipment reliability on a non-reliable system!

During one of the presentations, the presenter talked about how he wanted to justify why his company needed more resources to upper management. To do this he built a report to show the required working hours compared to available hours, only to see that his company actually had the right amount of resources. Well, yes, if all of your resources work 8 hours a day with no vacations, sick days or holidays and 100% of their time is productive, then you would have the right amount of resources; but that’s not the reality of things. You need to make sure you have a reliable system so you can work on it, and a reliable system is based on the trustworthiness of its data (and the system working properly, of course).