Technical Support Makes or Breaks a Successful Software Implementation

 
CMMS Technical Support
 

Software solutions are purchased because they solve an issue and / or offer significant business value. When you find the one that’s right for you and your company, it’s time to celebrate! But wait, don’t get too excited just yet. Before you sign the dotted line, make sure that the software provider also provides amazing technical support. Why? Because once you and your team have been trained and your team of training and implementation consultants leave (if you were lucky enough to have had them), the burden of making the software a success is left to your end-users to shoulder. If additional training is not available, the only lifeline that they have left is technical support. When considering the purchase of a software solution, don’t only look at price and features, also look at the software’s technical support reviews because it can break or make the success of a software purchase.

Good technical support promotes a positive and efficient customer experience, matching the complexity of the support case to the appropriate resource to effectively resolve the issue. Support representatives solve technical issues and provide advice to end-users through multiple channels, such as knowledge bases, live chat, emails, phone calls, and more. It also helps when support representatives are friendly, take the extra step, and quickly understand the issue at hand. When issues are quickly remedied, end-user confidence in both the software and its developers increases.

Kevin Taylor, CMMS Data Group’s technical support manager, says excellent service requires critical thinking and dedication to customers and their problems.

“Great technical support is the combination of the right attitude and a nuanced approach to problem-solving. Every second counts and every step and setting matters. But what matters most is that the users feel that we truly care about their use cases and the issues they encounter,” said Taylor.

Effective technical support is a critical consideration for a software purchase. Frustrating technical support user experiences affect adoption and longevity, forcing companies to spend considerable resources attempting to realize the benefits of their investment.

Ruth Hughes, founder and CEO of CMMS Data Group, says excellent technical support is exceedingly important to end-user happiness because in the long run, end-users are the ones who make a company realize the return on its software investment.

“Quality technical support is key to maintaining a successful software implementation and realizing the full potential of the software and investment. Quality technical support (easy ways to submit issues and enhancement requests as well as quick response times and resolutions) leads to end-user customer satisfaction and long-term software success,” said Hughes. “While working as a training consultant at another software company, at the end of each class, I would call Technical Support and submit endless bugs and enhancement requests. Unfortunately, they ended up in a black hole and I said to myself, if I ever started my own software company, this would never happen, especially since this feedback is invaluable.”

CMMS Data Group has invested in market-leading technical support systems for MVP Plant, its award-winning CMMS, to track active cases, allowing for case routing, resource allocation, and resolution. In addition, this intelligence provides the product team with potential enhancements, bug insights, and trends, serving as an important connection to the software development team, ultimately improving the software and user experience. Additionally, MVP Plant offers in-app live chat support with an average response time of under 30 seconds, enabling customers to realize the value of their CMMS investment while ensuring quality results.

If you are evaluating CMMS solutions, please be sure to give MVP Plant, CMMS Data Group’s flagship software, a look. Customers are more than pleased with MVP Plant and its technical support and its technical support team is more than pleased to help MVP Plant customers achieve success.

Contact us today to learn more.

CMMS Data Group Welcomes Bill Mountjoy as Vice President of Reliability Engineering

 
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CMMS Data Group (CDG) is proud to announce that Bill Mountjoy, CMRP, has joined its team as Vice President of Reliability Engineering. This is CDG’s first-ever reliability engineering employee.

Bill has spent over 25 years implementing best practice methodologies in maintenance and reliability excellence for several Fortune 100 manufacturing companies and supporting over 150 manufacturing operations around the globe. He has worked with Ocean Spray Cranberries, Frito Lay, Kroger, and Kerry Ingredients & Flavours. Mountjoy’s no-nonsense approach to reliability consistently brings more value to businesses and its customers.

Mountjoy will create and manage a reliability-focused department, providing strategic guidance to CMMS Data Group by aligning its new reliability engineering services with its current services and software solutions. He brings a practical perspective that delivers valuable results at both a tactical plant level and strategic corporate level.

Bill says he is looking forward to helping companies Make Reliability a Reality™ by sharing knowledge and ensuring quality results. He says that achieving this goal means creating a gateway between applying current best practices and reliability concepts and effectively leveraging their CMMS software to produce real results. This ensures that businesses maintain a healthy return on their CMMS software investment, such as MVP Plant, CMMS Data Group’s award-winning CMMS software.

“You have many companies only offering CMMS software and other companies only offering reliability consulting services. Businesses often struggle with fully integrating the two while implementing the necessary cultural changes required to achieve success. The real value is in helping customers effectively utilize their software to apply reliability best practices to achieve their business objectives. This turns maintenance into a profit center. That’s the new dimension we’ll be creating to set CMMS Data Group and its flagship CMMS software apart in the marketplace,” said Bill.

Ruth Hughes, founder and CEO of CMMS Data Group, says Bill Mountjoy is vitally important to helping customers take their maintenance and reliability program to the next level. Many companies realize that for every dollar spent in training, processes, and mechanical efforts to improve reliability, there is typically a $5-10 dollar return to the bottom line.

“We’ve enabled MVP Plant customers to collect precise data with MVP Plant’s Mobile CMMS and OData APIs. Now, customers can use this precise data to achieve their desired level of Maintenance Optimization and Reliability Excellence! (MORE!) with our new reliability engineering offerings that Bill will develop, manage, execute, and oversee. And it doesn’t stop there. Even if a customer uses a different CMMS or doesn’t have a CMMS, they can still benefit from the new reliability engineering offerings. Regardless of the software being used or not used, we can help companies Make Reliability a Reality,” explained Hughes.

Bill has worked closely with CMMS Data Group since 2002 while working at Kroger as the manager of engineering & maintenance excellence. Bill is also quite familiar with MVP Plant. In 2014, he successfully implemented the software at over 40 manufacturing facilities while working as the director of engineering & asset optimization at Kerry Ingredients & Flavours.

Click here to connect with Bill on LinkedIn or contact us today for more information.

About CMMS Data Group

CMMS Data Group, founded in 2000, is the market leader in CMMS software and services, providing time- and money-saving solutions to maintenance, facilities, reliability, and inventory professionals to not only increase reliability, productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction, but to make their jobs easier. Led by MVP Plant™ CMMS software and its mobile CMMS app, the company's portfolio also includes MP2™ CMMS software services and MVP Capture™, an online / offline mobile CMMS solution for MP2.

CMMS Data Group Forms Alliance with Integrationworx

 

CMMS Data Group (CDG) is pleased to announce its newly formed alliance with Integrationworx, a market-leading supplier of services and solutions for data integration (cloud and on-premises), analytics & business intelligence, master data management, and data security. Integrationworx is a Premier Partner of Informatica which, according to Gartner, is a market leader, providing a variety of cloud integration and data management software designed to achieve digital transformation and business optimization.

CDG began collaboration with Integrationworx in 2018. The objective was to create a tool to connect MVP Plant, CDG’s award-winning CMMS software, to the Informatica Intelligent Cloud Services (IICS) platform enabling MVP Plant to seamlessly integrate with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems such as SAP, Oracle, JD Edwards, Microsoft Dynamics AX, etc. or any other major software packages available using connectors on their platform.

The partnership resulted in MVP Plant’s Informatica Connector. Via the Informatica Cloud Platform, the connector allows a flexible integration by connecting MVP Plant to other major applications using powerful business logic and real-time capabilities from the industry leading data integration platform. This centralized Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) allows users to transfer and modify information, ensuring that accurate and relevant data can flow back and forth between systems. The Informatica Cloud Platform allows users to concentrate on the business side of the integration and less about the impacts to existing integrations caused by ERP changes or upgrades. This iPaaS solution boosts workplace productivity, efficiency, and security while scaling business operations to handle new applications, initiatives, and strategies as organizations grow.

Integrationworx provides services that help companies deal with data collected from all over their organization, including trusted partners and third parties, integrating it and providing actionable insights for performance and financial efficiencies. Mark MacIver, the President & CEO of Integrationworx, says the power of the MVP Plant Informatica Connector integration is flexibility and reusability.

“The platform makes everything regarding data easier to use, manage, and integrate. Once you create your solution with a solid design, you can easily add logging and notifications to ensure your teams can manage the integration. Making changes and maintaining from there is quite simply testing and pushing out the updated code. When you consider pre-built integrations to industry leading ERP systems, this makes integration a lot more affordable and easier to implement and maintain, especially when ERP systems and supporting applications are changed or upgraded,” said MacIver.

MacIver says the partnership with CMMS Data Group is constantly evolving in terms of the products and services they extend to MVP Plant customers.

Integrationworx also offers custom integrations for users seeking to connect MVP Plant to their desired ERPs using APIs outside of the MVP Plant Informatica Connector. Additionally, Integrationworx provides an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) solution called Machine 360. The service addresses the challenges of data integration with mass data generating assets by using both new and proven technologies like machine learning and master data management to gather and analyze information.

In addition to these products and services, both companies plan to establish a joint presence in the marketplace. CMMS Data Group and Integrationworx will help customers use the MVP Plant Informatica Connector to overcome the barrier to integration, eliminate double data entry, and achieve an efficient software ecosystem. Integrationworx will incorporate CMMS Data Group’s solutions at future tradeshows and will participate as a speaker and exhibitor at MORE! 2019, demonstrating the MVP Plant Informatica Connector.

Select the button below to learn more about the MVP Plant Informatica Connector available from CMMS Data Group & Integrationworx:

Software Hardening is Key to the Continuous Improvement of Software

 
Illustrations by  www.Vecteezy.com

Illustrations by www.Vecteezy.com

 

Just as continuous improvement is important to the success of businesses, it is also important to the success of software development. To continuously improve software, updates need to be made to address the evolving needs and challenges of end-users and to support new platforms in an environment of rapid change. Software updates are made with the intention of optimizing both the functionality and performance of the software to keep it cutting edge, resulting in more productive businesses and happier customers. However, the intention is not always the result. Sometimes, software updates are worse for the end-user, not better. Current functionality may get lost along the way or become more difficult to use.

To ensure quality software updates, software developers employ software hardening. Software hardening optimizes an application by addressing program inefficiencies and vulnerabilities. Its tools and techniques stress-test and strengthen the software by attempting to poke holes in it and uncover opportunities for improvement. Hardened software has fewer bugs, streamlined features, and leaner code.

Successful software hardening practices equip both internal and external parties with tools to identify inefficiencies or vulnerabilities within the software. End-users are given external reporting options to submit bugs and enhancement requests. Developer tools enable internal auditing to identify and remediate bugs.

Wayne Stewart, director of software development at CMMS Data Group, says bug reports help strengthen MVP Plant™, the company’s flagship CMMS, by uncovering system flaws.

“It may be uncommon for a software engineer to say they like bug reports, but I do. It means two things. One, it’s nice to know the software you wrote is being used and someone cares enough to want to make it better. Two, it gives us an opportunity to harden the system against errors so they never happen again,” said Stewart.

Software hardening is an essential practice that proactively improves software by optimizing features and correcting flaws to ensure that a program can adapt to unforeseen business and customer requirements. This leads to stronger, more efficient software, and a better end user-experience.

Ruth Hughes, founder and CEO of CMMS Data Group, says hardening is vitally important to the continuous improvement of MVP Plant.

“We want customers to test MVP Plant to the nth degree so it can be as reliable, secure, and efficient as possible,” said Hughes.

MVP Plant was built from years of customer feedback and is updated every quarter. It delivers powerful decision-support to maintenance / facilities teams enabling them to increase reliability and save time and money. Learn more about MVP Plant™ by selecting the following button:

MORE! 2019 Takes Place Next Month!

CMMS Data Group is hosting its annual MVP Plant user & training conference, MORE! 2019, from May 21 to May 23, 2019, in Chicago, IL. MORE! stands for Maintenance Optimization & Reliability Excellence! and is the focus of the conference.

Maintenance and facilities professionals, from new hires to seasoned experts, will gather at the Palmer House (Hilton), the oldest continuously operating hotel in the USA, to learn how to increase asset utilization, save time and money, and take MVP Plant and their maintenance and reliability program to the next level. Attendees will benefit from listening to live case studies and attending sessions and panels led by today’s leading companies. End-user feedback will be collected during the daily MVP Plant user forums and attendees can take the CMRP, CMRT, and CAMA exams on the last day.

Mr. Terry Harris, a world-renowned reliability expert and founder & CEO of Reliable Process Solutions, leads the Reliability track which covers various reliability concepts (Preventive Maintenance, Asset Criticality, Reliability Centered Maintenance, etc.). Attendees learn about best practices and are given the tools they need to achieve world-class maintenance at their own facilities.

To view the full agenda, select the following button:

Willie Mena, CMRP and CMMS Data Group consulting manager, and other MVP Plant experts conduct the MVP Plant track which covers both the fundamental and advanced topics of MVP Plant. Attendees can choose from a variety of classes focused on different aspects of MVP Plant. Additionally, the classes are designed with reliability in mind, teaching attendees how to use the tools within MVP Plant to support reliability initiatives that will save their operations time and money and increase overall plant efficiency.

Daily user forums provide attendees an opportunity to provide feedback on specific areas of MVP Plant and suggest features to add in future releases. This feedback continues to make MVP Plant the best CMMS available on the market today. Additionally, MVP Plant experts will lead a Q&A session during each forum so that users can get their questions answered in a live setting.

MORE! 2019 will also feature customer success stories from companies from various industries. Customers will share their story and describe how they use MVP Plant to overcome maintenance challenges and increase reliability and provide a platform to discuss their story with other customers.

In addition to many learning opportunities, registration also includes activities designed for networking and having fun. At the end of each day, happy hour at the Palmer House gives attendees a chance to meet and talk with their peers. There will also be Chicago-themed evening events, such as an invitation to watch the Chicago Cubs play the Philadelphia Phillies from Fannie May Bleacher Sweet, Wrigley Field’s largest private, enclosed suite.

To register for MORE! 2019, select the following button:

Visit MORE-Con.com for additional details and we look forward to seeing you at the conference!

CMMS Data Group Renews Its Women’s Business Enterprise Certification

 
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CMMS Data Group successfully renewed its Women's Business Enterprise (WBE) Certification. As a woman-owned, operated, controlled, and managed business, the maintenance and reliability software company is one of over 14,000 WBEs certified by the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), according to the council’s 2017 annual report.

The WBE certification is one of many initiatives and resources the council offers. By supporting female entrepreneurs and business owners, WBENC hopes to promote equality in the workplace while also stimulating economic growth.  

Ruth Hughes worked for years as an MP2 CMMS software training consultant before founding CMMS Data Group in 2000. As the software company’s CEO, she says she is proud WBENC has recognized CMMS Data Group for the diversity of its leadership.  

“The WBE certification is important to me because it shows everyone who is interested in doing business with us that a woman really does have the majority ownership and control of the company,” said Hughes.  

By implementing customer-requested features, Ruth helped make the company’s flagship CMMS software, MVP Plant, one of the best in the maintenance and reliability industry. Most recently, Plant Engineering named MVP Plant the GOLD winner for the 2018 Product of the Year Award in the Maintenance Software category.

The council's WBE certification is one of four initiatives that support the company's mission. WBENC‘s most recent annual report details its “CORE Platform,” which provides female-owned businesses with networking opportunities to connect, educational resources to learn, and motivational programs to succeed.  

About CMMS Data Group  

CMMS Data Group, founded in 2000, is the market leader in CMMS software and services, providing time- and money-saving solutions to maintenance, facilities, reliability, and inventory professionals to not only increase reliability, productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction, but to make their jobs easier. Led by MVP Plant™ CMMS software and its mobile CMMS app, the company's portfolio also includes MP2™ CMMS software services and MVP Capture™ add-on, an online and offline mobile CMMS solution for MP2.

MVP Plant Wins the GOLD Award for Plant Engineering 2018 Product of the Year

 
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MVP Plant, CMMS Data Group’s cutting-edge Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS), won the GOLD award for Plant Engineering 2018 Product of the Year thanks to newly implemented cloud features that increase productivity and efficiency for maintenance, facilities, reliability, and inventory professionals.

Representatives from CMMS Data Group accepted the distinguished award at the annual Engineering Awards in Manufacturing Dinner in downtown Chicago on Monday, April 8, 2019. 

The Plant Engineering Product of the Year program celebrates new software releases and features across a variety of manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries by awarding the yearly honor and featuring the winner on the manufacturing magazine’s website.  

Ruth Hughes, founder and CEO of CMMS Data Group, says Plant Engineering’s recognition of MVP Plant is a testament to the software’s success.  

“To ensure that MVP Plant remains cutting-edge, the release is based on mobility, today’s technology, and customer feedback. Customers get to experience first-hand our development team’s expertise and dedication to excellence and technology,” said Hughes.

New features include in-line and batch editing, custom fields, OPC UA integration, an Informatica connector, an Excel OData feed, and multiple languages also available on the Mobile CMMS app.

These features increase the level of customization in the system and further facilitate automated data collection. The Informatica connector allows for a near-seamless and user-friendly integration to other major platforms, including SAP, Oracle, and the rest of the Informatica cloud integration ecosystem.

“Better data gives you better reports and as a result, better decisions can be made to increase reliability, productivity, customer satisfaction, and bottom-line profits,” explains Ruth Hughes.

Of the new version, Wayne Stewart, director of software development, said, “Due to the technologies used in our next-generation user interface, the latest version delivers new functionality, a record number of customer enhancements, and turnkey solutions for integrating with other critical systems.” 

About CMMS Data Group

CMMS Data Group, founded in 2000, is the market leader in CMMS software and services, providing time- and money-saving solutions to maintenance, facilities, reliability, and inventory professionals to not only increase reliability, productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction, but to make their jobs easier. Led by MVP Plant™ CMMS software and its mobile CMMS app, the company's portfolio also includes MP2™ CMMS software services and MVP Capture™ add-on, an online and offline mobile CMMS solution for MP2. 

MVP Plant Named Finalist for Plant Engineering’s 2017 Product of the Year

 
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CMMS Data Group’s flagship product, MVP Plant Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software, has been selected as a finalist for Plant Engineering’s 2017 Product of the Year. MVP Plant’s largest and most expansive release will compete in the Maintenance Software category.

The Product of the Year program focuses on new products which have been released or had a new release within the last year. The program opens voting to qualified readers, who ultimately determine the winners from each category. Plant Engineering will announce the winners online (April 2, 2018) and feature them in their May 2018 print issue. They will also be recognized at the annual Engineering Awards in Manufacturing Dinner which will take place on May 16, 2018, in downtown Chicago.

“Our priority is listening to customers and as a result, the biggest-ever release of MVP Plant was created to not only to fulfill their requests, but to take advantage of the latest, most powerful technologies. Today, MVP Plant remains cutting-edge and customers experience, first-hand, the technological expertise of our Development Team and the exceptional support of our Professional Services Group,” says Ruth Hughes, Founder and CEO of CMMS Data Group.

Released on June 25, 2017 (for cloud-based users), MVP Plant’s new version capitalizes on the latest browser technology, including responsive web design, to provide users with increased functionality on all devices. Bigger text, larger buttons, and checkboxes make it even more touch-friendly. Additionally, the new version boasts faster speeds, increased user-friendliness, multi-language capability, unlimited scrolling, and many other enhancements.

About Plant Engineering’s Product of the Year Program

Plant Engineering's Product of the Year (POY) program is the premier award for new products in the manufacturing and non-manufacturing industries. The annual reader-choice program provides Plant Engineering's audience with information about the top new product in their fields.

About CMMS Data Group

CMMS Data Group, founded in 2000, is the market leader in CMMS software and services, providing time- and money-saving solutions to Maintenance, Facilities, Reliability, and Inventory professionals to not only increase reliability, productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction, but to make their jobs easier. Led by MVP Plant™ CMMS software, the company's portfolio also includes MP2™ CMMS software services and add-ons, and MVP Capture™, an online and offline mobile CMMS solution.

Welcome to the Future of CMMS. Welcome to the Next Generation of MVP Plant.

Happy New Year! I’m excited to let you know that for the last year, we’ve been hard at work developing the next generation of CMMS software, MVP Plant v2.0. 

In 2008, the 1st version of MVP Plant was released. Since then, we’ve listened closely to our customers and as a result, each new release (occurring 3 times per year) reflected their ideas and enhancement requests. This feedback, along with the latest development technologies, has made MVP Plant what it is today...the best CMMS software available on the market today!

“A CMMS system design with the end-user in mind; they listened to the voice of the customer!”
-Stephen Lord, Maintenance Planner, Oberto Brands

Fast forward 9 years and we’re still closely listening. To support growing customer demand, CMMS Data Group is creating the next generation of MVP Plant and continues to fulfill its promise of using the newest and most powerful technologies in our software development process. As such, MVP Plant remains cutting-edge and customers experience, first-hand, our development team's expertise and dedication to excellence and technology.

Using customer feedback and the latest development technologies, the following MVP Plant v2.0 benefits will surpass customer expectations:
  • Faster
    MVP Plant v2.0 is now even faster with quicker page response times. Additionally, its new layout enables actions to be performed faster than ever before.

  • Increased User-Friendliness for Touch Interface
    With bigger text, bigger buttons, and bigger checkboxes, MVP Plant v2.0 is now even more touch-friendly.

  • Jump-To Sections
    The tabs at the top of each page have been replaced with anchored sections, allowing for jump-to speed and unlimited growth for each section.

  • Maximized Screen Real Estate
    MVP Plant’s screen real estate has been optimized, permitting more information to be seen on the screen. (The original layout was designed when the most common screen size was 1024 x 768, before response design and high resolution monitors were the norm.)

  • Multi-Language
    Select your preferred language and voilà, menus and pages are automatically translated. The initial release will support Spanish, with other languages to follow. (Other software companies use overlays such as Google Translator which is prone to improper translation.) CMMS Data Group does it right, hence, languages are translated by technical language experts and stored in MVP Plant’s database to deliver correct translations.

  • Next Record Button
    The Next Record button has been added, making it faster and easier to advance through records one at a time.

  • Responsive Web Design (Dynamic Sizing)
    Dynamic sizing allows menus, forms, and the number of columns to automatically adjust (collapse, expand, and resize) regardless of the device (TV, HD Monitor, Tablet, Phone, etc.). The larger the screen, the more columns will be seen, optimizing the real estate on any sized device.

  • Unlimited Scrolling
    Paging (in the List view) has been eliminated, making MVP Plant feel more like an application and less like a website. New rows quickly and automatically load as you scroll down a list.

  • Zoom Feature
    Use your browser’s zoom feature to scale the page (enlarge or shrink text), making pages easier to read.

Why MVP Plant 2.0 was Developed
Jason Armalis, CMMS Data Group’s Director of Software Development, was recently asked this question and his response follows:

“We decided to create MVP Plant v2.0 to take advantage of modern browsers (latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge) and newer development frameworks (Bootstrap, ASP.NET Core). By redesigning MVP Plant for modern browsers, we are able to give users a better experience on devices such as desktops, tablets, and cell phones. MVP Plant will not only look better, but it will be fully functional and easier-to-use on all devices."

To maintenance and reliability success!

CMMS Data Group Achieves Microsoft Gold Application Development Recertification

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Good news! As of 10/24/16, CMMS Data Group was recertified for Gold Application Development by Microsoft in the Microsoft Partner Network.

"By gaining this recertification, CMMS Data Group will continue to fulfill its promise of using the newest and most powerful technologies in our software development process. As such, MVP Plant, the best CMMS software available on the market today, will always remain cutting-edge," said CMMS Data Group Founder & CEO Ruth Hughes. "Customers experience first-hand the expertise, and dedication to excellence and technology, of our amazing development team."

How is Microsoft Gold Application Development certification achieved? First, MVP Plant is put through rigorous Microsoft testing and has to pass the Gold Competency Test for on Windows Server.

Second, CMMS Data Group successfully completes exams (qualifying us as Microsoft Certified Professionals) to prove our level of technology expertise. Then, Microsoft designates us uniquely to one Microsoft competency, ensuring a certain level of staffing capacity.

Third, "To qualify for a Microsoft competency, Microsoft partners must demonstrate their experience by providing customer references for recently completed projects. We recognize partners who achieve Microsoft silver or gold competencies according to proven capabilities, or skills in delivering specific industry solutions. This enables customers like you to easily identify solution providers whose experience and skills best match your business needs," says Microsoft.

Microsoft received rave reviews of MVP Plant from our customers and recertification was granted.

"By achieving a gold competency, partners have demonstrated the highest, most consistent capability and commitment to the latest Microsoft technology,” said Phil Sorgen, corporate vice president, Worldwide Partner Group at Microsoft Corp. “These partners have a deep expertise that puts them in the top 1 percent of our partner ecosystem, and their proficiency will help customers drive innovative solutions on the latest Microsoft technology.”

Earning the Application Development competency helps CMMS Data Group differentiate itself as trusted experts to our customers through development and deployment of our applications built using core Microsoft technologies like:

  • Windows Server
  • Windows 10 Operating Systems
  • Windows Azure Platform
  • Microsoft Visual Studio Development System
  • Microsoft BizTalk Server
  • Emerging Cloud-Based & Web Business Models

By gaining access to a comprehensive set of benefits through the Application Development competency, CMMS Data Group helps customers become more productive and profitable through deployment of business applications, advanced web portals, or rich client user interfaces that run on-premises or in the cloud.

The Microsoft Partner Network helps CMMS Data Group strengthen its capabilities to showcase leadership in the marketplace on the latest technology, to better serve customers, and, with 640,000 Microsoft partners in their ecosystem, to easily connect with one of the most active, diverse networks in the world.

Click here to learn more about CMMS Data Group.

Click here to learn more about MVP Plant CMMS Software.

To maintenance and reliability success!

Equipment Reliability Training is Back

CMMS Data Group is excited to welcome back Terry Harris, reliability expert and CMRP, for Equipment Reliability Training.

My 1st exposure to reliability was in college when learning about Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEAs) and Edward Deming, the father of Quality, at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT). I found it all fascinating and couldn’t wait to graduate and apply it to real-world situations. 

When I first entered the world of maintenance, facilities, and CMMS Software as an MP2 CMMS Software training consultant for DataStream (now Infor) in 1998, the concept of reliability was not at the top of anyone's list.

Then in 2006, I met Terry Harris at a tradeshow, Enterprise Asset Management (EAM), and we started talking reliability. He basically told me that ANY piece of equipment can last forever. Not only was I was amazed with what he was sharing with me, but I was in complete shock that no one (with one exception) had ever talked to me about reliability since entering the world of maintenance, facilities, and CMMS software.

The one exception occurred when I was going through training at DataStream. The instructor glossed over the book, Reliability-Centered Maintenance (RCM), by John Moubray. I was so excited about the gloss over that I asked to borrow the book. After reading some of it that 1st night, I was even more enthusiastic, and talked about it with the instructor the very next day. He said not to think about it too much because reliability only applies to the aircraft industry or industries where failures are life-threatening. I was crestfallen and I thought to myself, “How could reliability not be important and significant to all industries?”

After meeting Terry and learning about his vast knowledge and experience with equipment reliability and what he had to offer, including his successes at Cargill, a leader in maintenance and reliability, my enthusiasm for reliability was reignited. I immediately asked Terry if he would be interested in sharing his knowledge with our customers by teaching equipment reliability classes. He said yes and I was elated. Now, I could share his amazing knowledge with all industries, not just life-threatening ones.

Our 1st Equipment Reliability training class took place on May 8, 2006.  Many customers have benefited from it since then and some of their feedback follows:

  • The class was great and I learned a lot.  It's hard to find guys (Terry Harris) like that...someone who not only knows everything by the book, but has the experience with everything that he teaches!

  • Very informative...I plan to adopt many of the techniques that I leaned and implement them at my plant.  I'm going to have Terry Harris come to my plant to train the rest of my staff on this valuable information.  THANKS!

  • Very detailed.  I have attended other similar courses that didn't deliver, however, this was not the case with this class.  Terry Harris is one of a kind.  He covers everything in full detail and more!

  • I have attended other reliability classes, however, I have never gained as much as I did from Terry's class.

And just last week, I talked to a director of engineering and asset optimization of a major food corporation who recently took one of Terry’s classes and he said that was quite impressed with Terry. And if I may add, this director is a tough cookie to please.

Then, with the success of Equipment Reliability training, we then offered Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) training.

Somewhere along the way, as both of our companies were experiencing amazing growth and Terry’s travel schedule was quite full and hectic (traveling all over the world to share his knowledge), somehow, the training classes stopped, but we never lost touch. Also, during this time, MVP Plant CMMS Software was released and Terry’s feedback is reflected throughout. When it comes to reliability, Terry says MVP Plant is the only CMMS software package that truly supports reliability and recommends it to all of his clients.

Well, super hero forces have united once again and Terry will be back after a hiatus to share his reliability knowledge with you. He’ll teach you how to make equipment components (motors, bearings, couplings, etc.) operate 2-5 times longer, increase uptime, reduce costs, and maximize your plant's overall profitability.

A list of equipment reliability topics follows:

  • Predictive & Proactive Maintenance
  • Lubrication Excellence
  • Equipment Life Extension

For a detailed training agenda, please click here.

Space is still available for November's training sessions in Chicago. Click here to reserve your spot today!  

Thank you Terry for allowing CMMS Data Group to offer your classes and share your knowledge with the world, once again.

To maintenance and reliability success!

Spanish Speaking Training and Consulting Staff Ready to Assist

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CMMS Data Group now has resources available to support Spanish speaking clients. Since 2000, when CMMS Data Group first started, customers consistently asked us for Spanish-speaking trainers / consultants.

Good news! Starting in 2015, customers have taken advantage of our Spanish-speaking trainers / consultants and we've traveled to countries such as Costa Rica, Mexico, Dominican Republic, etc. Additionally, our Spanish speaking clients have traveled to our offices, here in the USA, to work with our Spanish speaking resources. During this time, we performed MVP Plant and MP2 training in Spanish and translated training documentation from English to Spanish, leaving end-users comfortable and confident with their newly gained knowledge.

Did you know that 13% of the US population speaks Spanish? Additionally, Spanish is the majority language in 21 countries and territories, totaling around 442 million people.

Today, we have fluent Spanish-speaking consultants and native Spanish-speaking customer success and office management personnel. I am pleased to be able to work with our Spanish speaking clients and all that I can say to our valuable Spanish speaking resources is “Muchas gracias!”

Click here to learn more.

To maintenance and reliability success!

Español
CMMS Data Group ahora tiene recursos disponibles para apoyar a clientes de habla hispana. Desde el año 2000, cuando CMMS Data Group inició por primera vez, nuestros clientes siempre nos pedían instructores o consultores de habla hispana.

¡Buenas noticias! A partir de 2015, nuestros clientes han aprovechado nuestros instructores y consultores de habla hispana y hemos viajado a países como Costa Rica, México, La Republica Dominicana, etc. Además, nuestra clientela de habla hispana ha viajado a nuestras oficinas, aquí en los EE.UU., para trabajar con nuestros recursos. Durante este tiempo, hemos realizado capacitación  en MVP Plant y MP2 en español y traduciendo nuestra documentación de capacitación de inglés a español, dejando a los usuarios cómodos y confidentes con su conocimiento recién adquirido.  

¿Sabías que 13% de la población de Estados Unidos habla a español? Además, el español es la lengua mayoritaria en 21 países y territorios, totalizando alrededor de 442 millones de personas.

Hoy en día, contamos con consultores de habla español, nativos hispanohablantes a la gestión de éxito al cliente y de oficinas. Tengo el placer de ser capaz de trabajar con nuestros clientes de habla hispana y lo único que puedo decir a nuestros valiosos recursos de habla española es “¡Muchas gracias!”.

Haga clic aquí para aprender más.

Para el mantenimiento y la fiabilidad éxito!

We’re Now SSAE 16 Certified

More exciting news!  Earlier this year in April, CMMS Data Group successfully passed the services organization controls (SOC) 1-SSAE 16 audit and was granted SSAE 16 Certification by The Moore Group.

"Successfully completing a SOC 1-SSAE 16 Type II audit is a significant accomplishment for any organization. The controls you have in place and continue to maintain are an excellent indication of the suitable control environment you've developed to properly serve your customers."
Jack Moore, President, The Moore Group

Because of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation, SOC audits have become a "must have" for both public and private companies that provide outsourced data services. 

The SSAE 16 attestation and review process is most-often applied to applications such as ERP and other financial systems provided to customers via a SaaS (cloud) platform. The SSAE 16 process ensures that your SaaS provider has in place all of the proper controls required for your data – and the overall system - to be protected within a SaaS environment.  While CMMS / EAM systems such as MVP Plant are not normally considered financial systems, one of our customers requested that we go through the SSAE 16 process.  So we did.  And passed with flying colors.

Click here to view our certifications.

To maintenance & reliability success!

Compared to Asset & Facility Maintenance, Spinning Plates is Easy (Part 2 of 2)

Compared to Asset & Facility Maintenance, Spinning Plates is Easy (Part 2 of 2)

(If you missed Part 1, click here to read it.)

5. Purchasing
Not only do you need to have spare parts ready and available, managers are responsible for overseeing the entire inventory and purchasing management processes. Who sets the min. / max. quantities, who creates purchases requests, who approves them, who sets up vendor relationships, who negotiates better pricing, who sends purchase requests to vendors, who receives purchased items, who puts them away, who checks out, returns, and counts parts, who notifies Maintenance that a part that they have been waiting for has been received, who analyses consumption, etc.?  Spinning plates do not require inventory or purchasing management. 

6. Preventive / Predictive / Condition-Based Maintenance
To keep plates spinning, all you do is spin them. With maintenance, equipment needs to be maintained on a regular basis (oil change every 3 months), failures need to be predicted, and equipment conditions need to be analyzed in order to prevent failures.  As a result, multiple preventive maintenance (PMs), predictive maintenance (PdMs), and condition-based monitoring (CBMs) tasks and schedules need to be created, perfected, and managed for every piece of equipment.  Plates require none of this.  They just need to be packed safely away until the next show.

7. Reporting
Not only do managers have to keep equipment running and customers happy, they have to report the cost of making this happen by account, cost center, department, expense class, equipment, location, repairable spare and / or system. With spinning plates, costs aren’t tracked.

8. Uniqueness
In the world of maintenance, you never only work on one equipment or asset type. You work on many (boilers, chillers, compressors, conveyors, rooms, etc.).  Additionally, within a type, there can be many different models.  With spinning plates, you only have to deal with one type and model of plate.

9. Minimizing Costs
And if all of the above isn’t enough, costs need to be minimized. With spinning plates, costs aren’t tracked.

Welcome to the World of Maintenance!

Managers not only have limited time, they have many more variables to deal with other than the nine variables listed above and they need a tool to help them oversee, track, and manage these variables.  That tool is EAM software.  For those departments still not using an EAM, can you imagine what your company’s accounting department would look like if they ran it without accounting software?  If you’re struggling to convince upper management that you need a EAM, for a starter, please share this article with them.  For dollars and sense EAM justification with return on investment (ROI), complete the "CalculateYour EAM Return on Investment Now!" form at the bottom of this blog post.  If you are ready to start looking at maintenance tracking software, buyer beware because all CMMS / EAM / FMMS software are not alike.

On a side note, I used to use the following scenario to help managers explain to their bosses why EAM software is needed…

Ask your boss how many cars does he or she own.  Then, talk about maintaining those cars.  Then, compare that number of cars to the number of assets and buildings that you need to maintain to paint the picture of why a maintenance tracking tool is needed.  Let’s say that your boss has 3 cars and you have 1,000 assets to maintain.  Yes, you can maybe keep track of maintaining 3 cars in your head, but how in the world can you easily keep track of 1,000 assets without software?  If paper is used, how much time is wasted processing all of the paperwork. If Excel is used, how much time is spent creating reports? If nothing exists, how in the world can new hires be trained or improvements be made if nothing is tracked.

What does not get measured does not get managed.”

This scenario starts to describe the magnitude of what needs to be maintained, but it doesn’t detail the intricacies of maintenance.  This article begins to paint the picture and I hope it helps.

To maintenance and reliability success!

Calculate Your EAM Return on Investment Now!

Compared to Asset & Facility Maintenance, Spinning Plates is Easy (Part 1 of 2)

Compared to Asset & Facility Maintenance, Spinning Plates is Easy (Part 1 of 2)

CMMS / EAM / FMMS Defined

Respectively, CMMS, EAM, FMMS are acronyms defined as computerized maintenance management software (CMMS), enterprise asset management (EAM) software and facility maintenance management software (FMMS). Even though they have different names, they all mean the same thing. Oranges, apples and bananas have different names, but they all are fruit. Hereinafter, CMMS, EAM and FMMS will be referred to as EAM.

Who uses EAM software and why? 

Any company that makes, stores, entertains, or takes care of things or people (manufacturing plants, warehouses, NASA, airports, airlines, cruise lines, oil rigs, golf courses, retirement homes, amusement parks, movie theatres, hospitals, schools, cities, governments, etc.) use EAM software to see a clear picture of their maintenance or facilities department.  If you’re not familiar with asset or facility maintenance, hereinafter, referred to as maintenance, this may not seem like a daunting task, however, it is.

As Prentice Cawley, Site Engineering Manager of Unilever in Independence, MO, explains, “Maintenance is a game of chess.  Everything else is checkers.”

What does this mean?  It means that it takes a lot to effectively manage and oversee a maintenance or facilities department and to track its activities because there is a lot to track and to juggle.  To me, it’s like spinning plates.

Each spinning plate needs constant attention to prevent it from falling.  In the world of maintenance, this is known as predictive or condition-based maintenance.  If a plate falls down, it’s unfortunate, but the show goes on.  However, if a machine fails, the show stops because either production halts or customers are unhappy, both of which can be devastating to a company’s bottom line.  If you think spinning plates is difficult or even impossible, let me share additional variables that make it exponentially more difficult and complex for managers to see a clear picture of their department:

  1. Dependency
    A piece of equipment may be dependent on one or more pieces of equipment and vice versa (if equipment A fails, it will make dependent equipment fail). With spinning plates, you only have to worry about plates as individuals, not systems.
     
  2. EquipmentPersonalities
    I would have never thought this before, however, after years of working in the maintenance and facilities industry, I have come to learn that each piece of equipment has its own personality and can have really good or bad days. Many times, equipment is named for its personality.  Spinning plates don’t have personalities.
     
  3. Feeds
    • Power
      Equipment needs power to run. Because the flow of electricity is not constant, equipment runs differently as the current varies and maintenance has to respond to these variations.  Spinning plates don’t require power.
       
    • Lubrication
      Everything that moves needs lubrication or friction will occur, wearing down bearings, leading to equipment failures and downtime. Many times, equipment is either under- or over-lubricated.  Then, for some equipment types, oil changes are needed.  Spinning plates don’t require lubrication.
       
    • SpareParts
      If equipment is unreliable, it will consume lots of spare parts. Regarding the complexity of having readily available parts on hand that are easy-to-find, I can write a book about this subject.  The bottom line is that it takes a lot of setup and ongoing support to keep the inventory beast tame and to prevent it from eating up bottom-line profits.  Spinning plates do not require spare parts.
       
  4. People
    Maintenance and facilities managers are responsible for staffing their department to take care of equipment and buildings. Again, this may sound easy, but it is not.  Certain equipment requires certain certifications and skills to perform maintenance and sometimes, those requirements are difficult to find.  Additionally, when managing people, you have to manage salaries, payroll, sick time, vacations, personalities, etc.  With spinning plates, one person runs the show. 

Continue Reading: “Compared to Asset & Facility Maintenance, Spinning Plates is Easy! (Part 2 of 2)”...

To maintenance and reliability success!

We're Now WBE Certified

Exciting news!  In February of this year, CMMS Data Group was granted National Women’s Business Enterprise Certification.  This means that we successfully met the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s (WBENC’s) standards as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE).  This certification affirms that CMMS Data Group is woman-owned, operated and controlled. 

Click the to download our WBE certificate or here to view our certifications.

To maintenance & reliability success!

CIOReview names CMMS Data Group one of 20 most promising Asset Management Solution Providers of 2015!

Exciting news!  This month, CIOReview Magazine recognized CMMS Data Group as one of the 20 most promising enterprise asset management (EAM) solution providers of 2015.  CIOReview Magazine compiles an annual listing of 20 companies that are in the forefront of tackling EAM challenges and impacting the marketplace.  Click "CMMS Data Group: The Road to Growth is a Plan of Effective Maintenance” to read our article and let us know what you think.  To maintenance and reliability success!

Why CMMS / EAM Software is Needed

Companies make significant investments in equipment and that equipment needs to be maintained on a regular basis, just like your car, every 3 months or every 3,000 miles. Most people have a car and know that the oil needs to be changed every 3 months or 3,000 miles.  They either change the oil themselves or take it to a service shop.  That’s something they can remember to do on a regular basis or they can reference the sticker on their windshield placed there by the service shop.  Most people don’t need software to remember this. 

Now let’s turn to a manufacturing plant or a facility where maintenance and facilities departments are required to maintain not only one car (piece of equipment), but 100s if not 1000s.  And, all of that equipment is not the same equipment type (car) - most of the equipment is unique.  And, even if the equipment is of the same type, each piece of equipment has its own personality and runs differently.  And, not only do they have to maintain equipment on a regular basis, they have to:

The Beauty of Spare Parts Lists in Your CMMS / EAM

A beautiful feature of CMMS / EAM software is the ability to display an equipment’s spare parts list in it. This is important because so many times, when a piece of equipment goes down, there’s a mad rush to find the equipment manual to determine what part is needed to correct the issue. Hopefully, the equipment manual hasn’t been checked out and is where it is supposed to be. If the equipment manual is available, then you have to page through it to find the spare parts lists. With CMMS / EAM software, just point and click to quickly find the parts information that you need.