Everyone here at TeamWORKS keeps up-to-date with current issues in purchasing and implementing a CMMS. We read an interesting blog the other day on tips to transition to a new CMMS and it got us thinking about integration. We do it – with a variety of vendors including PDI, Fuel Man and Parson’s, but what makes the process work after the integration? What does integration success look like? We’ve discovered that a good integration is like a good relationship – both parties don’t need to know every last thing the other is doing.
A few integration tips:
Keep it simple. If you have implemented a complicated numbering system to encompass every single item that comes into your maintenance warehouse, that might not translate so well to the equally complicated finance system. Make sure you have a plan to handle those instances where you just couldn’t resist numbering the wing nut(s) that holds the HVAC together.
Evaluate what matters. Does it really matter to you if every nut and bolt is tracked to the equipment it is going on? If it does, is there a way to create a hierarchy that transmits the data needed without clogging another system with every single detail, individually? When contemplating an integration, sometimes it’s about the ones and zeros and sometimes it’s about departments or outside vendors working together to get you what you need in your CMMS.
Don’t integrate everything. The failure codes, cause codes and every other code you use is of no use to the finance team, just like all of their payment codes are of no use to the maintenance department. There is no reason to integrate the entire CMMS system into the other – you can just integrate the parts that are useful to each department. This should make seeing the data in a relevant format much easier and won’t clog either software with unnecessary information to sift through for reporting.
Making your integration work with the system is the easiest part, frequently. But it’s really about the data you are sharing with other departments, how much of it there is and how much of your data doesn’t matter to them. Retain some of the relationship mystery, and only send them the data they need to do their job well and reduce your paperwork workload.