CMMS Data Group Achieves Microsoft Gold Application Development Recertification

Microsoft.png

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

English
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)

If you missed Part 1, please visit http://blog.cmmsdatagroup.com/compared-to-asset-and-facility-maintenance-spinning-plates-is-easy-part1.

  1. Purchasing
    1. 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. 
  2. Preventive / Predictive / Condition-Based Maintenance
    1. 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.
  3. Reporting
    1. 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.
  4. Uniqueness
    1. 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.
  5. Minimizing Costs
    1. 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 "Calculate Your 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)

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
    1. 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. Equipment Personalities
    1. 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
    1. Power
      1. 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.
    2. Lubrication
      1. 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.
    3. Spare Parts
      1. 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
    1. 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. 

Please come back soon for “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.

Paperless Software Solutions are Changing the Maintenance Game

In the forty years since information scientist Frederick Wilfrid Lancaster first envisioned a “paperless society,” astonishing advances in business technology have brought his vision  closer and closer to reality.

While many companies still rely on print and paper for recordkeeping and information storage, in another forty years we may look back on this era and be amazed by the fact that our businesses once ran on piled stacks of dead trees.

Equipment Management Made Simple: A Three-Step Path To Productivity

Equipment management is a complex field. If you’ll forgive the pun, there are a lot of moving parts involved when dealing with expensive equipment. While there’s a seemingly endless amount of variables and potential problems one must stay on top of to effectively oversee a facility’s equipment, a simple three-step path could be the key to increasing productivity, reducing downtime, and cutting costs.

How Fleet Management Software Can Supercharge Savings, Safety, and Sustainability

By now, you may already be aware of the enormous benefits a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) brings to the table. From planning maintenance and reducing downtime to meticulously tracking inventory, efficient use of data can have a big impact on your bottom line. Beyond manufacturing and plant maintenance, your CMMS platform can bring the same financial and productivity benefits to your vehicle fleet. As advanced features like GPS trackers and “smart” diagnostic sensors are increasingly integrated in today’s automobiles, it’s never been a more opportune time to make the most of the mountains of data your vehicles generate every single day.

How the Internet of Things Is Changing the Maintenance World

The Internet of Things (IoT) is a phrase we’re starting to hear more and more. As bandwidth and connectivity costs drop and apps to connect devices flourish, we’re bound to hear of many breakthroughs in the area of device-to-device or machine-to-machine (M2M) connectivity. Smart apps will surely fuel tremendous change and provide eye-popping capabilities.

SaaS vs. SaaP: The Difference Between Owning and Leasing

One of the more interesting developments in enterprise technology is the emergence of “software as a service” (SaaS) as a viable alternative to the conventional concept of “software as a product” (SaaP). The SaaP philosophy is one most readers should already be familiar with: when you purchase software, be it Microsoft Office or Super Mario Bros., it’s theoretically yours for life. SaaP programs are paid for at the point of purchase and subsequently installed on or run from your own computers, servers, or other on-premise hardware. While most vendors offer a separate technical support agreement for purchase, providing access to updates, bug fixes, and other support, generally once you buy a SaaP solution the responsibility is on you and your IT department to ensure it runs smoothly.

Reduce Downtime and Increase Profitability with Preventive Maintenance

Too many facilities choose to operate at the mercy of their equipment, running for as long as possible until the system fails instead of performing routine, planned maintenance. Abiding by the phrase “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” many plants around the world consciously decide to run to failure (RTF) and even more simply don’t plan effective preventive maintenance. Reactive, unplanned maintenance can have a huge impact on your bottom line and leave the operational and financial stability of your plant in doubt.

Save Time and Money with a CMMS Maintenance Program

CMMS programs have been a valuable asset management tool since the 1980’s, but despite their widespread proliferation, many facilities and maintenance professionals still haven’t realized the full potential that modern CMMS programs bring to the table. It’s not uncommon for companies to mistakenly see their existing CMMS as just a work order printing press.

5 Facility Maintenance Tips That Every Maintenance Manager Should Know

Investing in a Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) will result in a swift ROI. Scheduled maintenance, managed inventory, inspections, predictive tasks, and other capabilities can prevent and preempt problems before they become costly break-downs. Downtime is costly, but you can avoid it if you are using your CMMS software to it’s full potential.

These 5 time and money-saving tips will help you maximize the ROI on your CMMS software: