Due Diligence

Robert C. Baldwin, CMRP, Editor
Selecting, purchasing, installing, integrating, and using enterprise asset management (EAM) and computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) software is a more daunting task than anyone is willing to admit.

Users of successfully and almost successfully installed systems tend to forget their pain in light of whatever increases in productivity or newfound work management capabilities they have been able to achieve.

Software vendors almost never admit that there is significant effort required during the installation and start up of such a system, especially theirs.

Consultants and information technology department personnel are ready to reassure you everything will be okay, if you will just leave it to them.

I hear plenty of stories of how EAM/CMMS projects have fallen short, typically because users went into the project too quickly without fully determining their own needs, checking software functionality, and investigating the track record of those supporting the implementation. You can hear the same stories if you keep your ears open at conferences and seminars.

Surveys continue to tally the unused capacity of so-called successful installations. And reliability and maintenance organizations continue to install new maintenance information systems and upgrade existing systems to get what they are looking for. Unfortunately, many organizations haven't figured out what that is. That is why MAINTENANCE TECHNOLOGY continues to devote a significant portion of its editorial pages to selecting, installing, and using EAM/CMMS. This issue contains three major articles on the subject.

"Avoiding Pitfalls in CMMS Implementation" by Derold Davis and Joe Mikes, Westin Engineering, discusses the root cause of many of the problems with maintenance information systems.

Our annual directory of "Maintenance Information Systems For Midsize and Larger Organizations" by Managing Editor Susan Dahlberg provides some basic information on systems and suppliers.

"Creating EAM Payback" by Eric Linxwiler, Cayenta EAM Solutions Group, presents an implementation approach based on payback milestones.

These articles, and others like them that we have published over the past 13 1/2 yr, can provide only the starting point for a due diligence effort that must be as thorough as that conducted by lawyers in a corporate merger. Anything less and you will likely find yourself making a career of trying to meet the return on investment figures you promised the executive suite. MT


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