EAM & CMMS Systems, 10 times more data in the system or 10 time less done with the data available?


The road to success in using information systems is a difficult one to navigate. When an implementation of a system is started some assumptions are made about what is needed from the system, how it will help with decision-making, how it will help with execution  of maintenance activities and many other factors. The maintenance environment is a complex environment to begin with, then on top of that it is an environment that is constantly presenting itself with new challenges and changing operational conditions. The markets change as well as many other external factors, the knowledge is leaving from the manufacturing environment because of aging workforce as well as more competition for the remaining workforce with knowledge and experience and the list could go on and on.

At the core of information systems is the gathering of data, it needs to be reliable data so that the decisions from that data are based on solid foundation. Without reliable data the decisions made can not be reliable. The way data is collected is extremely important, wherever there is manual input you are introducing an element of risk for mistakes being made. Wherever the data is collected automatically there is an element of failure or calibration error introduced in the collection process. There are also many other factors that are necessary to remain vigilant about.

To answer the question headed in the Blog, today we have the capabilities to store extreme amounts of data in our systems and databases. So too much data is probably not an issue in most cases. Navigating through that data can be challenging but the most important thing about the data should be that it needs to be reliable and accurate! If there is too little done with the data, probably in most cases it is possible to improve how the data is being used. In helping with good quality decision-making it takes time and a lot of thoughts to develop, it is an investment that can be quick to return a profit.

I hope that you have enjoyed the read and if you have any comments or questions please don’t be shy to post them below or contact me directly. Thank you for reading and hopefully sharing.

8 thoughts on “EAM & CMMS Systems, 10 times more data in the system or 10 time less done with the data available?

  1. Too much data and too little information. Saw this first hand in a bottling plant – hundreds of sensors capturing data. They didn’t really know what to do with the data so used a simple average (MTBF) which completely obscured the decreasing failure rates over the length of the run. They knew it intuitively, that runs got better over time, yet couldn’t ‘see’ the information for the data. Switching to a two parameter distribution let them ‘see’ what was going on over the duration of the run.

    They also spotted a way to track elements that had wear out behavior, thus timing repairs/replacements to minimize downtime and not replace elements that had plenty of time left (cost savings).

    They had the data, just didn’t know how to ‘look’ at it.



    • Hi Fred,

      Thank you for your comment, always great comments and thoughts as usual.

      I am happy they found the “trees in the forest” in the end.

      Collecting data just for the sake of having it is not best practise but once the practical application is found sometimes it is good to have the legasy and unused data, however it can be difficult to rely on the accuracy of data that has not been used or verified.

      Have a great rest of the weekend Fred.

  2. in myu experiences, the important issue is tio have a Maintenance bussines model with the data required in each process, that information mus be converted in specific KPi to track and analize the process from the begining to the end

    • Absolutely helpful as you say, however I find that there are oportunities to improve on KPI’s that companies use. Companies often follow surtain KPI’s and measure them very well, however it often seems that they wonder how to react (or pro-act hopefully if they are using good KPI’s) to KPI’s that are not showing the desired results.

      This makes me think that not enough thought has gone into the selection of KPI’s. Companies need to understand why they are mesuring KPI’s, then they will have a clearer direction to take if they need to react (or pro-act) when undesired results are measured.

      Thank you very much for your comment and please keep them coming, I like to interact with all of you readers of my Blog. I think interaction is a valuable feature that we can all benefit from!

  3. If we agree that we have too much data, and too little information, then shall we blame the CMMS systems? Frankly, the hardest part is to tell our CMMS which information we want, and then it will provide us a list of required data. I think when we introducing CMMS for users, we start to explain it as Documentation system (which is easy to explain for them), however introducing the decision support capabilities are much harder and complicated. thus, the user like to use CMMS systems as documentation system rather than decision support, which means the system has input and no output (expect reports and routine analysis), that also mean very slow motion toward improvement, or even it act as delay function for improvement.
    I will propose something!! actually, such situations require some changes in the user perception from being looking to the CMMS systems -or all other maintenance technological products- as a ‘add-on-sub-system’ to the whole system, more like ingredient that forms part of whole production system. Then I would see CMMS as catalyst (if it is right to say that??) that means the CMMS shall be used to accelerate /enhance the performance of maintenance department and whole production system.
    I just want to share with you that, I’m not sure about this catalyst idea, but I feel as we see the CMMS as catalyst in documentation function, it could be seen in the same way for decision support function.

    • Hi Idriss,

      First off I would like to thank you very much for your comment.

      In regards to your question about blaming the systems, in my experience the systems are rarely to blame. The “blame” if we need to issue it is usually focused on culture in companies, people using the systems incorrectly, the system’s automatic data collection is set up in a wrong way and does not support the decisions needed to be made, etc.

      Even bad systems can be made to work well if the culture of the company supports using them well. Once you have a improvement focused culture in the company that rather then a culture that fights change, expects it and encourages it, nurtures change and focuses every day on improving then you have the success factor you need. At least one of them.

      You are correct if CMMS systems are only used as documenting systems and used as doing things the same way as always you can not expect them to improve your business. A CMMS system is a tool, like a hammer for example. That tool can be used to build something great, break it down or even the tool can just be on the table not doing anything at all! It all depends on how you apply it how effective it will be in improving your business!

      Thank you for sharing.

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