CMMS implementation for fleet is the systematically structured approach to effectively integrate maintenance software into the workflow of an organizational structure or an individual end-user. The fleet maintenance software is successfully implemented when the organization is maximizing the value of the new system. That means:
- The system is correctly configured for the organizations use case. All assets are listed, PMs are triggering when due, costs are rolling up the correct parent asset, inventory on hand can be checked in the software etc
- Everyone that should be using the maintenance software, is using the maintenance software on a daily basis – that could be the mechanic logging their repairs, planner setting the schedule for the week, or a driver logging a work request.
- Real, accurate data can be pulled from the maintenance software in the form of KPIs and reports – and that data that can be used to identify trends in operations, and help make informed decisions like repair versus replace.
Take heed of this point – when implementing any software implementation project, you cannot wing it. If the software is not implemented correctly from the outset, employees will not use it, or the system will not solve the original business problem. If you are going to do something, do it right! Here are the eight keys to successful fleet CMMS implementation:
1. Prepare a solid business case
A business case details the business problem, the financial investment, and the expected benefits or value to the organisation. The stronger the business case, the more likely the project will get approval from management. A good business case can also move the project up the priority list. For those organisations using antiquated systems, pen and paper, or excel, to manage their fleet maintenance, building a business case for maintenance software should be a breeze.
- Identify the current pain points – no visibility on parts spend, too many vehicles off the road for repairs, unpredictable maintenance costs etc
- Outline the benefits of implementing maintenance software for your fleet. We have identified 9 in our benefits of fleet maintenance software blog
- Do your homework on pricing and costs
- Detail how the new software will address those pain points
2. Determine project scope
For any software project, scope refers to the deliverables required to complete the project such as features, functions, end-user training, and consulting services. The scope should be understood before a vendor is selected. Understand the features do you need, the workflows, and the integrations. Beyond the product, will your users need extra training?. Your organisation may also need to purchase new hardware such as laptops, tablets, or mobile phones.
3. Get support from management
Getting maintenance software stood up for fleet requires some time and resources. Securing a commitment from management is key to securing the budget for the new software. If management doesn’t fully support the project, they will be reluctant to give resources, and as a result, the fleet maintenance software implementation project will not be a success.
4. Partner with the right provider
It’s not about features and pricing; it’s about building a lasting business relationship. There are a number of factors to consider that will ensure you will be using the vendor’s software five, ten, fifteen years from now. Does the vendor have cloud-based software? Do they have a mobile app? Do they provide training? Can they own the maintenance software implementation project? What does support look like post-go-live? Can they integrate with other software or hardware systems? Do they have the maintenance reports and KPIs needed? You need to be sure the vendor can deliver through the project and beyond.
5. Share responsibility for the implementation
You know your business better than anyone, and similarly, the vendor knows their software better than anyone. Therefore, a fleet maintenance software implementation project is more likely to be successful if resources from both the vendor and client are involved in the project.
6. Effective project planning
Remember the old adage “Fail to plan, plan to fail”. This may be the first time your organisation has implemented fleet maintenance software so work with the vendor to finalise the project plan. Detail all the key milestones.
- Prepare the team for change
- Prep your data
- Configure the system
- Train your folks etc
7. Don’t skimp on training
Training is the most important investment when implementing new software within an organization. According to Gartner, “untrained users cost at least five times more to support than trained users”. Figuring out new software unaided can take months on company time. Training helps implementers understand the features and full capabilities of the software so they can implement the system more effectively and efficiently. Training also increases user adoption by helping users realize ways they can make their work more efficient. If users are more likely to accept the system and use it from the start, the more likely the implementation will be successful. When selecting a vendor to implement fleet maintenance at your organisation, be sure to select the vendor that can deliver on effective training for your users.
8. Ongoing refinement
Fleet maintenance software is always evolving – There’s no point putting a system in place and sitting still. When the vendor launches a new feature, how do you incorporate that into your way of working? Remember, fleet maintenance software is a database of information about your assets. You need to use that information to change the way of working and make operations more efficient. Can you adjust the inspection schedule to reduce emergency breakdowns? Should you stock a part rather than an emergency order when needed?
The bottom line on CMMS implementation for fleet
The industry has a terrible reputation in terms of implementation failures. Some experts quote failure rates of between 60-80%. The reasons are lack of business objectives, poor user adoption, poor end-user training, badly configured systems, bad data, and system deficiencies. Our advice is to do it right the first time!