Asset Maintenance software implementation : a step-by-step guide

Jun 6, 2024

In 2024, businesses around the world are set to spend a whopping $5 trillion on IT, with $1 trillion of that just for asset management solutions aimed at boosting organizational efficiency. Despite 84% of companies adopting predictive maintenance methods for critical assets, a sense of hesitation pervades, with many rating their readiness for the digital leap at a modest 7.6 out of 10 as per the latest McKinsey report.

It’s clear that while many businesses, including machinery manufacturers, know digital asset management tools can help, making the switch feels overwhelming. But stepping into the future of asset maintenance management software doesn’t have to be hard. Let’s explore how to make this transition smooth and why it’s worth it. The allure of a quick fix is strong, but let’s be honest – digitization isn’t magic. It’s a strategic journey that takes time and effort. However, the rewards are substantial when it comes to asset maintenance.

Currently, your valuable data is trapped in a labyrinth – scattered across emails, complex ERP systems, ticketing platforms, and even casual communication channels like WhatsApp. Critical knowledge might reside solely in the minds of service engineers, documented in countless pages of manuals. Digital asset maintenance software isn’t a one-click solution, but it’s a powerful tool to transform this data chaos into a streamlined system. Imagine the possibilities: informed decisions based on real-time data, optimized maintenance schedules, and a future where repairs become predictable, not panic-inducing.

Step 1: Defining goals and objectives

What do you hope to achieve by implementing asset maintenance software? Here are two common goals for machine manufacturers:

A. Enhanced efficiency: Poor maintenance strategies can decrease a plant’s overall productivity by 5-20%. Preventive maintenance, such as the one offered by asset maintenance software, can help reduce downtime by up to 45%, according to Deloitte.

Reduce downtime, streamline preventive maintenance tasks, and optimize spare parts inventory are some examples of efficiency improvements that you can achieve with the help of asset maintenance software. This translates directly to higher production output and cost savings.

B. Accelerated After-Sales revenue: Asset Maintenance Software can help create a recurring revenue stream and foster stronger customer relationships. Some of the most common after-sales goals are:

  • Additional preventive maintenance events generated
  • SLA contracts with digital after-sales portal
  • Re-engaging with old contacts

Step 2: Evaluating business requirements

A successful asset maintenance software implementation begins with a thorough examination of your current maintenance practices. Here are key areas to explore:

  • Identify bottlenecks in production caused by equipment downtime. Where do delays have the biggest impact?

  • Are preventive maintenance schedules followed consistently? Is a reactive approach to repairs leading to costly emergencies?

  • Do you struggle with keeping spare parts readily available? Are there unnecessary stockouts or overstocking of components?

  • Can you easily access service history, repair manuals, and maintenance schedules for each machine?

Identifying these challenges helps you identify where asset maintenance software can have the most impact.

A. Considering equipment diversity: The types of machinery and equipment you manufacture play a crucial role in software selection. Asset maintenance software should be adaptable to handle a variety of equipment complexities – from basic tools to intricate production lines.

B. Stakeholder Collaboration: Involving key stakeholders in the needs assessment process is critical for a smooth software implementation. Here’s why:

  • Their firsthand experience with equipment provides valuable insights into current pain points and desired functionalities.

  • Their expertise helps assess software compatibility with existing IT systems, ensuring seamless integration.

  • Their input on budget constraints and overall business objectives guarantees the chosen solution aligns with the company’s strategic vision.

By working collaboratively, all stakeholders contribute to a comprehensive picture of your business needs, paving the way for a successful software implementation.

Step 3: Choosing the right Asset Maintenance Software

While understanding your business needs is a crucial step, a successful transition to asset maintenance software requires careful consideration of additional factors. Below are some important points to consider in this regard:

A. Compatibility with Existing Systems: Modern manufacturing environments often involve complex software ecosystems. Choosing an asset maintenance software that integrates smoothly with your existing relevant systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), is critical. This can:

  • Eliminate data silos
  • Reduce manual data entry tasks
  • Streamline overall workflow

Cloud-based solutions are generally easier and more viable to integrate with other systems, avoiding the need to duplicate data entry efforts. By selecting such a solution, you can ensure a more streamlined data flow and reduce the risk of inconsistencies that can arise from siloed systems. This makes it easier to establish a single source of truth for your data.

B. Scalability: As your business grows and your product range expands, your maintenance needs will evolve. Choose asset maintenance software that can scale alongside your company. Consider software that can:

  • Accommodate the increasing number of machines
  • Manage more complex equipment types
  • Integrate with potential future services like remote monitoring

C. User-friendliness: As the saying goes, “the best software out there is the one your team is actually using.” Even the most powerful asset maintenance software is ineffective if your team struggles to use it. Prioritize user-friendliness throughout the selection process. Look for software that has:

    • Intuitive interface
    • Clear navigation
    • Readily available user guides or tutorials

Cost: Budgetary constraints are a reality for any business. While cost is an important factor, it shouldn’t be the sole deciding element. Focus on finding software that delivers a high return on investment (ROI).

Asset Management Software

6 steps to implementing an Asset Management Software

Step 4: Collecting enriched data for integration of Asset Maintenance Software

This involves granting access to relevant data points across your existing systems. This might include:

  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems:

    This data can include machine purchase orders, warranty information, and spare parts inventory levels.

  • Cloud Storage Platforms (e.g., Google Drive):

    These platforms might house equipment manuals, service history documents, and maintenance logs.

By providing the software vendor with secure access to these data points, you create a holistic view of your machine assets and their maintenance needs. Software vendors play a crucial role in transforming raw data into actionable insights. Here’s what you can expect:

  • The vendor will analyze your data to identify inconsistencies or missing information.

  • Relevant fields will be added to your data, making it more comprehensive and easier to utilize within the new software.

  • Data will be categorized and standardized, ensuring a consistent structure for efficient analysis and reporting.

  • The enriched data will be uploaded to the asset maintenance software, readily accessible for your team.

This process of data enrichment unlocks the true potential of your information, empowering you to make data-driven decisions and optimize your maintenance strategies. The amount of historical data needed for a successful transition varies depending on the specific circumstances. While decades of data might seem ideal, it’s not always necessary or practical.

Here are some key considerations:

  • For complex machinery with a long lifespan, a longer historical data set (e.g., 10 years) might be beneficial.

  • For rapidly evolving technologies, recent data (e.g., past 5 years) might be more relevant for predictive maintenance purposes.

Ultimately, collaborating with your chosen software vendor can help you determine the optimal timeframe for historical data inclusion. A successful data integration process requires collaboration between machine manufacturers and software vendors. This includes agreeing on a minimum threshold of data to be included in the new system. This is important because including only relevant and recent data ensures the software functions efficiently and delivers the most valuable insights. A smaller, well-defined data set streamlines the integration process and minimizes potential delays.

Step 5: Training staff for successful Asset Software implementation

70% of maintenance transformations fail, often due to employee resistance and leadership behavior.

A successful transition to asset maintenance software hinges not just on powerful features but also on a well-trained team. Most software vendors offer comprehensive training programs designed to equip your internal teams with the knowledge and skills needed to leverage the software’s full potential. These programs typically cover:

  • In-depth training by asset management professionals on core functionalities like creating work orders, scheduling maintenance tasks, and managing spare parts inventory.

  • Understanding how to generate reports, analyze data, and utilize these insights for informed decision-making.

  • Best practices for data entry, ensuring accuracy and consistency within the system.

Training programs can be delivered in various formats, including:

  • Interactive sessions led by experienced trainers who can address specific team questions and concerns.

  • Self-paced learning modules offering flexibility for team members with varying schedules.

  • Access to online knowledge bases, video tutorials, and other resources for continued learning and reference.

Software vendors often understand the importance of building a robust machine history from the outset. During the training period, they might collaborate with your team to:

  • Capture details of your initial interactions with customer machines, including equipment details, service calls, and spare parts used.

  • Utilize this captured data to populate machine profiles within the software, providing a valuable historical record from the very first day of using the asset management system.

Following a successful internal software implementation, the next step is to extend the benefits to your customers. This section offers a roadmap for a phased customer rollout strategy, ensuring a smooth transition and maximizing value for all stakeholders.

Step 6: Start rolling out to customers in batches

A strategic approach to customer rollout minimizes disruptions and fosters positive experiences. Consider starting with a select group of customers for initial implementation. These customers can be:

    • Early Adopters
    • Clients with SLA contracts
    • Clients with SLA contracts

By focusing on a smaller group initially, you can:

  • Allow your internal teams to gain experience and refine their use of the software before scaling up.

  • Collect valuable customer feedback and create successful case studies to showcase the software’s value to future customers.

This targeted approach builds confidence and demonstrates the software’s capabilities before a broader rollout. Once your internal teams have mastered the software, you’re ready to expand the customer rollout. Here’s what ensures a smooth expansion:

  • Your team should be confident in their ability to manage customer inquiries and provide support related to the software.

  • The chosen software should seamlessly accommodate an increasing number of customer machines.

This phased rollout strategy allows machine manufacturers to build internal expertise, gather valuable feedback, and create successful case studies. This paves the way for a successful customer rollout of asset maintenance software, ultimately boosting customer satisfaction and strengthening long-term business relationships. Makula is a next-generation solution designed to empower businesses like yours to:

    • Maximize uptime and reduce costly downtime through predictive maintenance strategies.
    • Optimize maintenance tasks and resource allocation with a centralized platform.
    • Boost technician efficiency with real-time data and mobile accessibility.

Ready to unlock a new era of intelligent asset management? Schedule a free consultation with a Makula expert to see how we can help.

Wrapping up

While digitizing maintenance isn’t instant magic, this guide empowers you to make a strategic shift. By following this step-by-step guide for asset maintenance management software, you can navigate the process efficiently.

From defining goals to training your team and rolling out to customers, this plan ensures a smooth transition. Investing in digital asset maintenance management software empowers you to transform your data into actionable insights, optimize asset performance, and ultimately achieve long-term success.

The only CMMS offering 3D capabilities for businesses involved in selling, servicing, using, or operating machinery and assets.

With Makula’s digital solution, streamline communication and simplify operational tasks in maintenance activities .

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