More than just installation, the right implementation process is key to successful deployment of a computer-aided facilities management (CAFM) system.
Here are the points to consider when implementing a CAFM system:
Deciding your objectives
- Decide on the priorities of the new system (e.g., reducing the cost run or increasing efficiency).
- Identify the key issues to be addressed, like unclear business process and workflows.
- Decide the counter measures and reports you want to obtain from the CAFM system.
- Consider the communication flow you want to build between departments like HR to increase the utilization rate of the integrated CAFM.
- Remember to input only the required amount of information so it can be efficiently maintained.
- Manage your own expectations, and eventually other’s expectations, of what the software is actually proficient in doing.
- Although a CAFM can greatly improve processes, it can’t actually do the routine work for you more efficiently quicker.
- Play it safe by keeping in touch with a CAFM consultant to gather the required information.
- Should you integrate your CAFM application with third-party software or import data from other applications into your CAFM system? A formal review of any additional software that might be required for the system to work effectively should always be undertaken.
- This step is important for data terminology so that the same terms are used throughout the system.
- Decide the hierarchies that you wish to report to and the codes that are going to be used to categorize resources and maintenance faults.
- Asset, property, and facilities information should be clear and recognizable by the team on retrieving relevant information from the CAFM system.
System and data accuracy
- Authorize a limited number of people to enter the required information in the system’s database and to maintain the updates regularly. This ensures consistency and accuracy.
- Decide on the implementation timeline for the new system and subsequently schedule and execute the associated administrative and training tasks.
- Prior to loading, check for the accuracy of all the data and whether it’s up-to-date.
- Decide whether the system will be standalone or networked.
- Settle on the number of users who will need access to the system from different departments.
- Decide on the access rights of all users.
- If there is a requirement for varying levels of access, the system’s security options will need to be reviewed. Perhaps establish a dedicated project team or group within the organization.
- The success of the implementation of the CAFM system depends on the level and rate of utilization of the system by your users.
- Some staff might demonstrate reluctance to change, not wanting to adopt the new working practices and changes in the workplace.
- Users must feel they are getting personal gain from the software and that it is improving the quality of their work on a daily basis.
- Training is essential; it may be useful in many cases for the CAFM supplier to set up two sets of data on the system—one for training purposes and another for live data. This will allow the staff to practice on the system prior to it going live, without impacting the live data.
- Freeze the timeline of going live with the CAFM system.
- Preferably split phases in your “go live” process provided the data size is huge.
- Please note that it is often worth piloting the implementation in a controlled environment or having a trial run of the new system before launching it across your organization.
Time for being futuristic
- Keep up with regular updates to your system.
- Archive information when no longer in use.
- Look to the future for opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce cost run.
This will secure the product’s initial and future success and positively reflect on the facilities department.
If your company has made the decision to install a CAFM system, or is in the process of making the decision, chances are you are fully aware of these important points above. A good implementation helps you in bringing a reduction in costs and eventually improved productivity.