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. Equipment Personalities
    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.

    • Spare Parts
      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.

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:

MVP Plant / MP2 / Barcode Training - This April - May! (Chicago & San Diego)

  • MVP Plant: Save your company time and money by unleashing the power of MVP Plant.

  • MP2: Learn how to save your plant time and money by unleashing the power of MP2.

  • Intro to Barcoding: Learn how paperless work orders and inventory transactions increase productivity while ensuring accurate maintenance data (parts, work orders, meters, etc.).

To register online, click one of the following cities:

MVP Plant / MP2 / Barcode Training - This January - March! (Chicago & San Diego)

  • MVP Plant: Save your company time and money by unleashing the power of MVP Plant.

  • Report Builder: Design, manage and deliver winning MVP Plant reports.

  • MP2: Learn how to save your plant time and money by unleashing the power of MP2.

  • Crystal Reports: Learn how to design, manage and deliver winning MP2 reports.

  • Planning & Scheduling: Learn how to use either MVP Plant or MP2 to effectively plan and schedule work. Each hour of effective planning typically returns three to five hours in mechanic time or equivalent savings (measured in the cost of material and production downtime) (Nyman and Levitt 2001).

  • Intro to Barcoding: Learn how paperless work orders and inventory transactions increase productivity while ensuring accurate maintenance data (parts, work orders, meters, etc.).

To register online, click one of the following cities:

Join us at the INT'L DAIRY SHOW & PROCESS EXPO 2013 next Month - Register for Free!

Be sure to visit us in Booth 764 where we’ll be highlighting MVP Plant* and other products and services designed to help maintenance and facilities teams save time and money. *MVP Plant software is a computerized maintenance management system (CMMS), also known as an enterprise asset management (EAM) system or a facilities asset management system (FAMS).

About CMMS Data Group... CMMS Data Group is a market leader in CMMS software and services, providing time- and money-saving solutions to maintenance and facilities professionals. Led by MVP Plant CMMS software, the Company's portfolio also includes MP2 Add-Ons, MVP Capture barcode solution and other products and services designed to increase equipment reliability, employee productivity, and overall profitability. For more information, please visit:

About the Show... Join thousands of colleagues at the NEW food processing and packaging co-located event! Located in Chicago, a convenient and exciting city, PROCESS EXPO and the INTERNATIONAL DAIRY SHOW offer all attendees the opportunity to see both shows for the price of one.

Access hundreds of suppliers, and compare and demo machinery and products, all at the same time under one roof.

Bring the team and explore the latest technology and network with local and international food processing and packaging professionals” all who can help expand your business and add substantial value throughout your supply chain. Pavilions, education sessions, receptions and more will make your experience one to remember.

Leave with new ideas and partnerships to keep you competitive and your products in line with today’s ever changing customer tastes and demands.

Quick Information November 3-6, 2013 Chicago, IL, USA McCormick Place


  • Register for FREE today by visiting and entering complimentary code: CMMS0452C5

Floor Plans and Exhibitors

© 2013 CMMS Data Group. Shared Knowledge * Quality Results and MVP Plant are registered trademarks of CMMS Data Group. MP2 is a registered trademark of Infor.