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The Key to a Smooth CMMS Implementation

By Jonathan Davis | May 27, 2019

Choosing a CMMS is just the first step; now you have to get it up and running. And it'll take more than enthusiasm to get it done right. We spoke with Training and Tech Support Lead Mel Motoch about the overall process and how companies can lay a foundation for ongoing success.

There's more than one way to onboard a company with a new CMMS, but Hippo has a reliable system it's refined over time. Here, CMMS implementation is a multi-step, multi-linear, iterative process. What does that all mean? It's not all going to happen at once, it doesn't always move is a perfectly straight line, and in fact some of the steps look like circles. We'll go over the process and get a feel for each step without getting lost in too much detail. To make it easier to understand, we'll sum up how to be successful at each step with a common proverb.

So, once you've signed the contract and are officially a customer, you'll have your first meeting.

Kick-off meeting with Onboarding Specialist

"Empty your cup"

OK. So, I wasn't able to find a super common proverb for this one, but the general idea behind "Empty your cup" is that you need to come into new situations with an open mind. And Mel says this is really important for companies during the first meeting. The more open they are to listening to and taking to heart Hippo's experts' advice, the better.

The goal of the meeting is to set up time frames and help the company start collecting data for the database. Mel says that sometimes companies worry that they don't have any data yet, but that's actually not a problem. In fact, it's fine to start from zero as long as you start on the right foot.

Time frames is where companies really need to empty their collective cup. It's great when there is a lot of excitement, but there also needs to be a certain amount of patience. When there are unrealistic ideas about how quickly a CMMS implementation can be completed, it's a bit of a red flag. Companies need to understand that there's a process and that things take time. Basically, anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Ah! Should have put that one at the beginning of this section. It fits this part perfectly.

Ongoing database configuration

"Slow and steady wins the race"

Once the company starts sending data to Hippo, the Data Integration Specialists can start to build the CMMS database. Based on the proverb, we can guess it's not all done is one quick dash.

But is it actually slow? No, so it might be better to change the proverb here a bit: Steady wins the race.

Remember how earlier we described the process as multi-linear? Well, here's where that comes into play. After the database has been started but before it's been completely finished, the next steps in the process can begin. In fact, the database can continue to get built right up until the last steps.

The easiest way to understand it is to just think of who's doing what: At the same time people at the company are learning to use the software, people at Hippo are building the database.

CMMS Implementation_Hippo testimonial

Self-study with CMMS resources

"Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today"

At this stage, employees invest time in watching videos about the software and checking out all the other resources. All the basics are covered, from logging in to setting up work orders. When Mel was explaining this part, she stressed its importance. Why did Mel grip my forearm and make me swear I'd write "This is critical"?

First, Hippo wants everyone at the company who will eventually have administrative privileges to know as much about the software as soon as possible because only then can they begin to work with Hippo to customize the look and feel of the CMMS software. Basically, they need to know how it works so they can make important decisions about how they want it to work. For example, they'll need to know about all the different dashboards so they can make informed decisions about what columns will be displayed. They need to know how the request portal works so they can decide who will have access to it.

How does the proverb "Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today" match this section? Sometimes, employees, and this can be true at all levels in an organization, want to skim over or completely skip this stage, imagining they can make up for it during the one-on-one training sessions. But, and Mel wants to be really clear here, that's not a good idea. It makes a lot more sense to come into the one-on-one sessions already knowing the basics so the Training Specialist can move directly into more advanced and industry-specific features.

It would be exactly the same with driving lessons. It doesn't make sense to spend the first thirty minutes going over the name of the parts of the car ("This is the steering wheel and this is a glove box and ...") and how to put the key in the ignition to start the engine. That's all stuff you can learn by yourself with a good manual or a couple videos. No, when you get to the actual driving lesson, you want to maximize your time with the instructor by learning how to make a left at a green light and parallel park. It's stuff you're not able to learn as easily on your own.

One-on-one with trainers

"Always be prepared"

Now that everyone (hopefully) knows the basics, it's time to get to the one-on-one, industry-specific training. Mel loves when people come prepared with good questions about the CMMS because that shows they've taken advantage of all the available resources. When everything is going well, Mel is able to introduce more advanced features, making sure to highlight the industry-relevant ones.

Because the database was started a few steps back, generally at this point the trainers are able to use it during the live training sessions, which is great because it allows people to learn and practice using their own company's data.

And so does it end there? Of course not. Hippo has an entire Customer Success team and offers ongoing support. That's the iterative part. There are always chances to go back and learn some more, develop some new questions, and get more answers.

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Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis

Jonathan Davis started out writing for textbooks before branching out to video games and marketing collateral. He has a master’s degree in journalism and a certificate in technical writing.


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