There are many software solutions available today to help companies achieve greater efficiency. Two systems stand out in particular, especially in the manufacturing world: CMMS and ERP.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems have become a necessity for any modern business, especially those in manufacturing. This software is customizable to the business’ needs. With an ERP system, you can integrate all the core processes in your business including warehouse management, product planning and control. You can also integrate your main administration functions including human resource management and accounting.
An ERP helps companies:
- Save money
- Enhance productivity
- Improve collaboration
- Improve consistency and accuracy
- Improve customer satisfaction
Computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are also becoming increasingly popular in the service and manufacturing industries. These enterprise asset management solutions help companies to manage and control equipment alongside plant maintenance.
Failure to maintain or update your equipment can lead to data loss, broken parts, incompatibility and other breakdowns. This can result in downtime that will cost your company a lot of money in losses. A CMMS helps you achieve this in the following ways:
- Scheduling regular maintenance
- Managing and prioritizing work tickets
- Tracking inventory
- Analyzing data and data trends
A CMMS will increase your company’s productivity, reduce downtime and prolong your equipment’s life.
Benefits of integration
CMMS integration into your ERP system will allow you to unify the maintenance operations of your company with other major processes in your business. This integration allows you to seamlessly tie your inventory, purchasing, accounting and other data from your ERP system directly with your maintenance operations. This improves your overall asset management efforts.
The key benefits of CMMS integration into your ERP include:
- The achievement of the best process automation
- The combination of the simplicity provided by your CMMS with the data resources provided by your ERP.
- Increased accessibility to data
- The elimination of redundant data
- Reduced costs in operation
- Improved responsiveness both externally and internally
Running Smooth Maintenance Operations
Effective CMMS integration will make a big difference to any company. It will drive quality in production and ensure regulatory compliance. It will also help to control the costs of operation.
In order to ensure that integration is done effectively, the following guidelines should be considered.
- Consider all the points of integration
Which parts of the ERP will you integrate with the CMMS? For example, will you share a completed purchase order or synchronize the part quantities? Sharing an entire purchase order may be difficult on some systems. Synchronize the parts on the CMMS with the purchase order on the ERP.
- Get expert help
CMMS integration may require some configuration support for your ERP system. You will need to consider whether you have the internal expertise to make the interface work or if you will need to turn to a consultant for support.
- Take it one step at a time
Rushing into integration can be disastrous. It is best to take your time to understand your CMMS while you finalize your plans for integration. While this may take some weeks or months, it is a safer route to take. Designing the integration based on product experience will result in a less expensive attempt than diving right into the interface design.
- Assess your needs
Many CMMS vendors provide capabilities for interface integration. However, it is important to ensure that these can be configured to meet your organizations specific requirements and needs.
CMMS integration will allow you to get the best of both worlds and get the most out of your ERP system. Ensure that you define your business goals and properly identify points of integration. Discuss these with your CMMS vendor for the best results.
About the Author: Lindsey Walker works for NEXGEN Asset Management as their Marketing Manager. With a B.S in Business Information Management, she excels at business development, project management as well as asset management. Her passion for writing allows her to find time from her busy work schedule to share her knowledge on asset management, geographic information systems (GIS), software implementation, training curriculum development, and similar topics. When she isn’t working or writing, she loves to work out, do puzzles and listen to instrumental music.