Buy the Right CMMS For Utility Asset Management With These Expert Tips

 

For utilities companies, the CMMS you choose will have a profound impact on your operational processes, efficiencies, collaboration abilities, and resource utilization. Selecting a CMMS for utility asset management that meets your needs, overcomes operational obstacles, and lowers maintenance costs is crucial.

However, with so many solutions to choose from, determining the best-fit solution is no easy task.

Yet, the rewards of investing in the right CMMS cannot be understated. Finding one that transforms maintenance processes to be more efficient, reduce unplanned outages and downtimes, and save your organization thousands of dollars each year is worth the effort.

“A CMMS should be viewed as more than a tool to track work orders and maintenance tasks. When properly aligned with an organization, it can enhance efficiency, make internal collaborations easier, slash maintenance costs, and drive better data insights.” Piper Wilder, CEO and Founder, 60Hertz Energy

To fully reap the benefits and advantages of a CMMS for your utilities organization, keep reading. We have the expert tips you need to make sure you select a CMMS best for your organization and bottom-line.

 

 

What is a CMMS?

CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System and, in its simplest explanation, is software used by organizations to manage maintenance programs. This can include managing critical assets, tracking work orders, and scheduling maintenance tasks.

CMMS solutions are used in almost any industry that relies on operational processes reliant on equipment, machinery, instruments to execute key tasks, serve customers, and ensure consistent business continuity.

For utilities organizations, CMMS software is integral to the hefty task of operating and maintaining assets critical to ensuring uninterrupted service delivery of utilities – such as a city’s power supply or water and wastewater operations.

However, beyond managing everyday operations and workflows, CMMS software is a powerful analytical tool; it can analyze operational data enabling better decision making opportunities that are used to boost productivity, efficiency, and extend an asset’s lifespan, as well as other insights.

Why Do Utility Companies Use CMMS Software?

Utility and energy companies are increasingly reliant on CMMS solutions. Ensuring uninterrupted service delivery demands rigorous asset management and maintenance routines. CMMS software steps into this high-stakes arena as a pivotal tool, as it offers unparalleled support to teams navigating the complexities of large-scale utilities operations.

When managing daily operations, a utilities team can look to a CMMS for:

  • Preventive Maintenance Scheduling: Automatically schedules regular maintenance to prevent equipment failures and ensure uninterrupted service.
  • Asset Management: Tracks the lifecycle of assets, from installation to decommissioning, optimizing their use and performance.
  • Work Order Management: Streamlines the creation, assignment, and tracking of maintenance work orders for timely resolution.
  • Regulatory Compliance: Helps maintain records and reports to ensure compliance with industry regulations and standards.

What Benefits Do Utilities and Energy Teams Gain From a CMMS?

There are several benefits to be leveraged from a well-positioned CMMS. Many benefits are unique to an organization and its maintenance needs. However, certain benefits are enjoyed by utilities and energy providers equally, these include:

Automation

Automation technology introduces a plethora of potential to create new efficiencies and streamlined workflows to maintenance teams. With a CMMS, utility organizations can tap into this transformative technology to create better, more efficient, cost-effective maintenance plans.

For instance, by automating preventive maintenance tasks, maintenance teams can keep assets in better condition thereby lowering the number of unexpected breakdowns. This not only saves on  high emergency repair costs, but ensures service delivery to their customers is more reliable.

Improve Operational Efficiencies

As mentioned above, by automating maintenance schedules and optimizing work order management, utilities can significantly reduce equipment downtime, ensuring assets operate at peak performance.
Automation is one example of how a CMMS can introduce greater efficiencies, but it’s not the only one.

Analytics. The analytical capabilities of a CMMS contribute to better efficiencies too. Predictive analytics give management teams better insight into repair cycles, maintenance costs, and allow them to better plan maintenance tasks to prioritize efficiency.

Communication. Teams, operators, and field technicians that can communicate easily and access key information in real-time have a profound impact on an organization’s ability to be efficient. A CMMS that enables easier, more streamlined communications can be instrumental for this effect.

Boost Efficiency and Slash Energy Maintenance Costs!

60Hertz Energy’s CMMS is designed with utilities in mind.

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Cost-Savings

The strategic foresight afforded by CMMS enables utilities to better manage assets that can prevent unplanned asset failures, cutting down on reactive emergency repairs and associated costs. This proactive approach extends asset lifespans, translating into considerable financial savings over time.

For instance, with 60Hertz Energy’s CMMS, energy company’s save over $60,000 in maintenance costs each year.

4 Crucial Factors to Consider When Selecting a CMMS

1. Defining Your Mission and Needs

The foundation of choosing the right CMMS lies in understanding the specific challenges your utility faces. Identify the top issues—be it decreasing maintenance overheads, enhancing asset lifespan, or streamlining operations.

To truly understand what you want to achieve with a CMMS, consider a day in the life of your operations and management team. As you do, ask yourself:

  • How do the right people discover there is a problem?
  • What happens next?
  • Is excel, email, or Whatsapp involved?
  • Do you have noise to weed out from alarms?
  • Do you know how fast issues get resolved?

Precise identification of these problems will help ensure that the CMMS you end up choosing not only fits into your current operational landscape, but also furthers your utility operations towards defined, strategic goals.

2. Stakeholder Engagement

Selecting a CMMS is not a unilateral decision. It requires the input and consensus of various stakeholders across your organization. Afterall, it needs to add value across several areas of your organization. Understanding what value-add is needed in each area is crucial.

To gain a clear picture, be sure to assemble a team of stakeholders that will use the software to be part of the selection and review process. Consider including key players from maintenance, IT, finance, and operations.

Including a diverse group ensures that the selected system aligns with the broader needs of your organization, fostering a sense of ownership and easing the adoption process across departments.

3. Vendor Evaluation and Selection Process

A CMMS is more than its feature set; it’s about finding a vendor that aligns with your operational philosophy and long-term objectives.

Evaluate potential vendors on their ability to provide comprehensive solutions that extend beyond basic functionalities to include predictive analytics, mobile accessibility, and integration with existing systems.

The ideal partner should offer robust support, demonstrate flexibility in tailoring their solution to your needs, and have a proven track record of successful implementations in similar utilities.

4. Financial Considerations and Commitment

Lastly, the financial aspect cannot be overlooked. Beyond the sticker price, consider the total cost of ownership, including setup, customization, training, and ongoing support.

Look for vendors willing to negotiate terms that accommodate your budgetary constraints and future scalability. Remember, the right CMMS is an investment in your utility’s efficiency and resilience, promising returns well beyond its initial cost.

CMMS For Utility Asset Management

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Common Pitfalls to Avoid When Choosing a CMMS

The CMMS you select will be an integral part of your maintenance and operations processes for years to come. Take your time selecting the right one, and avoid common missteps organizations make that lead to investing in a solution that doesn’t meet their needs.

The table below lists eight selection pitfalls to avoid.

8 Common CMMS Selection Pitfalls to Avoid

Common CMMS Selection Pitfall Risk of Not Avoiding Pitfall How to Avoid It
Not Seeking Input From Other Stakeholders Creates conflict with IT and management, risking project success. Secure approval from relevant authorities before purchasing a CMMS.
Focus on Non-Essential Integration Capabilities Wastes resources on unnecessary features, potentially overlooking core needs. Prioritize essential integrations; map technology needs carefully.
Relying Solely on Crowd Review Sites Misleads by curated positive reviews, possibly leading to a poor fit. Use reviews as one of many evaluation tools, not the sole basis.
Not Shift Ticketing Solution From ERP Limits functionality and efficiency, potentially compromising operational effectiveness. Opt for CMMS solutions designed for specific utility operations.
ROI Calculator-Based Budgeting Leads to unrealistic expectations and potential budgeting issues. Focus on tangible benefits like efficiency gains and cost savings.
Hesitation to Direct Vendors to Use CMMS Results in inconsistent data and inefficiencies in maintenance management. Assertively require vendors to use your chosen CMMS platform.
Neglecting Pre-Transition Preparations Delays implementation and reduces the effectiveness of the CMMS. Prepare your data and processes before CMMS implementation.
Assuming All CMMSes Are the Same Ends up with a solution that may not meet specific industry needs. Research and select CMMS solutions that cater to utility and energy sectors.

60Hertz Energy: CMMS Selection For Utilities Made Easy

Energy companies have a lot to consider when selecting a CMMS. In addition to ensuring it will make asset management less complex and more efficient, it must seamlessly integrate with the unique processes and considerations only found in the energy industry.

That’s where 60Hertz Energy comes in. Our CMMS was built by energy experts to meet the unique demands of the energy industry.  With over 147 MW of assets under management, worth $283,000,000, and decades of expertise in renewable energy, we know what it takes to manage crucial energy assets effectively.

Learn more about our CMMS today. Start here.

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