Posts Tagged ‘maintenance management’


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ERP 1If you’re planning on growing your business ERP is the way to go for today…and tomorrow.

There have been many articles written about the pros and cons of each of these options for handling your maintenance and facilities management functions. They range from cost, flexibility, ease of use and complexity. It doesn’t matter what side of the fence you stand on, in today’s fast paced and dollar conscious work environments it’s important to pick the option that will give you both short and long term results.

Why choose an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) over a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) you ask? That’s a very good question, and to be completely transparent here, yes I support an ERP product (PeopleSoft), with a focus on Maintenance Management. I came to this role through a Facilities Management background – I’ve used both and I’ve had success with both but have found more benefits and savings and fewer headaches with an ERP.

First let’s just look at the definitions of the two different types of systems:

ERP – Enterprise Resource Planning:  Business process management software that allows an organization to use a system of integrated applications to manage the business and automate many back office functions related to technology, services and human resources.[1]

CMMS – Computerized Maintenance Management System: A software package that maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations.[2]

For me, the limitations of a CMMS are stated clearly and simply by its name – it’s a single, stand-alone application.

If you aren’t using any portion of an ERP system and your current systems are giving you the reporting and analysis that you need then it may be to your advantage to stick with what you’re using. But having a stand-alone system isn’t like marriage – you’re not committed to it forever. You have choices and as technology improves it’s a good idea to explore an ERP option just to make sure that what you’ve got is the best that you can have for your business today…and tomorrow.

ERP 2If you are integrating multiple systems, you know the headaches this can create. Here is a “simple” view of a multisystem integration map. Just looking at it is mind boggling and combining data for analysis can be as challenging, and frustrating, as reading this map.

On the other hand, if you’re using any module of PeopleSoft ERP today with a stand-alone, non-integrated CMMS you’re not getting the full potential out of either system. You have some data in one application, other data in others – and most of the time that information has to be merged together for accurate reporting and analysis. What system is your source of truth?

In my opinion, one of the primary benefits of an integrated solution is cost savings. Cost savings through the elimination of custom integrations and the time savings achieved through having all of your data in one application. This is especially important when it relates to your maintenance and facilities management – the ability to tie all of your work order costs to an asset to get a true picture of overall performance and costs is invaluable. Imagine having your purchasing, your asset management and your preventive/maintenance management functions all in one application. This alone is well worth the time to explore the advantages of PeopleSoft’s ERP system.

ERP 3Unlike the mind-boggling map above showing integrations of multiple systems, this map of the Maintenance Management module in PeopleSoft displays clean connections with other modules of the application. The integration points that are so critical to analyzing your costs and assets is built in for you. This is your source of truth.

At the end of the day you may be exactly where you need to be and your current solutions are the best choice for you – you’ll never know unless you compare. Remember, you’re not married to your current stand-alone system, so it’s ok to do a little looking around for the right system for you today…and tomorrow all in one application.

If you have any questions about PeopleSoft Maintenance Management 9.2, or any other modules within PeopleSoft please contact Robin Cole or Larry Zagata.



MIPRO Kickstarts 2014 with Two Conferences: Oracle HCM World and Oracle Value Chain Summit

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The Oracle community was buzzing in early February, kicking off 2014 with two key conferences occurring simultaneously. MIPRO Consulting was able to divide and conquer, with a major presence at Oracle’s inaugural HCM World in Las Vegas and at the second annual Oracle Value Chain Summit in San Jose, Calif.

HR leaders from around the country gathered at Oracle HCM World from February 4-6 for two and a half days of strategic knowledge sharing on meeting the challenges of Human Resources in a more mobile and social world. Modern HR was the theme of the conference and speakers, including the CIO of Siemens presenting how they are addressing the new Human Capital Management paradigms facing all organizations. Oracle President Mark Hurd opened the show, with CEO Larry Ellison delivering the closing keynote to wrap things up. This impressive bookend is extremely rare, and Hurd commented that the showing was a demonstration of Oracle’s commitment to HCM, to Oracle customers and to its 130,000+ employees. Ellison’s keynote was a highlight at HCM World, with a candid Q&A session that gave attendees an opportunity to interact with him on a personal level.

MIPRO was honored to present alongside the impressive speaker line-up. Managing Partner Jeff Micallef and HCM Practice Director Anne Meyer delivered a session titled “MIPRO’s Enterprise Journey,” which chronicled the company’s transition from Workday to Oracle HCM Cloud. The session was well received, with an interactive Q&A to conclude.

Oracle’s inaugural HCM World was a home run. The strategic sessions drew an executive level HR crowd, and prominent Oracle HCM representatives. The forward-looking content focusing on Modern HR for the multi-generational workforce was well thought out and expertly executed.

A little farther west, Maintenance Management’s biggest event of the year unfolded at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center from February 3-5. Formerly the Maintenance Management Summit, Oracle Value Chain Summit drew more than 1,500 attendees for more than 200 sessions covering every aspect of supply chain management.

Having executed more PeopleSoft Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) implementations than any other consultancy in North America, MIPRO is recognized as the leader in the PeopleSoft ALM space, and Value Chain Summit gave us an outstanding opportunity to connect with current and past customers, as well as the Oracle team responsible for ALM. From MIPRO’s viewpoint, the highlight of the conference was our 5th annual PeopleSoft Maintenance Management (MM) networking dinner. With a strong showing from PeopleSoft MM customers such as East Kentucky Power Cooperative, Covanta Energy, Cogentrix, and Jeffco Public Schools, as well as several key individuals from the Oracle team, the evening was a great success, providing an informal setting for everyone to share their experiences and enjoy a relaxing evening.

The focus on customer sessions at the show offered a great opportunity to hear first-hand experiences from PeopleSoft users—from the folks at Cogentrix Energy, discussed how they are utilizing Project Costing and Maintenance Management to CBRE highlighting their progress with the Real Estate Management Module. This real-life-scenario approach was beneficial for Oracle’s PeopleSoft ALM development/strategy team and customers alike.

Oracle HCM World and Value Chain Summit definitely started the 2014 conference season off with a lot of positive energy, and MIPRO is looking forward to building on that momentum at Collaborate, OHUG’s Global Conference, Reconnect and Oracle Open World later this year. If you’d like to connect with us regarding our experiences at these great industry events, give us a shout, or follow us on LinkedIn.

The Alliance 2014 Conference: It’s All About Solutions and Sharing

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As the calendar flips to March, we can all look forward to the end of a long winter, as well as the dawning spring. But March also brings the annual Alliance conference.  Alliance is by far one of my favorite events.  I can remember attending what I believe was their second conference, which then was known as the Higher Education Users Group (HEUG).  The event was held in Dallas with about 400 attendees and around eight vendors.  There was no exhibit hall.  Vendors were crammed into the hallway at the top of the escalator.  The conference had three tracks – HCM, Financials, and Student.

One of the things I enjoy so much about the Alliance conference is the collegial nature of so many people working together for a common solution.  If my 10 years working with the higher education and public sector folks has taught me anything, it is how willing they are to share solutions and ideas to help each other.  I have run user’s meetings in the past where I had competitors in the same room – talk about a hesitation to discuss things they were doing with their systems that might give them a competitive advantage?  Not!  But the Alliance conference is very different and there are some amazing people leading some amazing sessions.

I am looking forward to being there to experience this synergy again in 2014.  MIPRO’s focus is still the solution we bring to facilities management and our expertise with the PeopleSoft Maintenance Management application.  I have quickly learned many of the intricacies of running a college campus, and how much it represents a small city and the nuances of “uptime” when talking about facilities.  I have also become a champion for an integrated maintenance solution that gives an organization a 360 degree view of their assets and their investment in the campus.

No matter who I talk to, the campus is the core of serving their constituents (faculty, students, alumni, staff and visitors).  Maintaining that campus is challenging from every aspect of the imagination.  I enjoy showing folks that the PeopleSoft solution gives them new capabilities that allow them to focus on their students by doing more with less to maintain and improve their campus.  It is rare when facilities and deferred maintenance grabs the headlines, but when it does, you need to be prepared.  If you are trying to do more with less with your PeopleSoft solution, find me in booth #334 and give me just five minutes to share my story.  It might surprise you when you learn about some of your options.  And if I don’t see you at Alliance, feel free to email me.

Why buy new equipment, assets, and facilities when what you have works fine?

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I can’t think of one industry today that isn’t considering cost-effective ways to manage their assets, capital equipment and facilities to maximize their longevity and return on investment. Everyone’s thinking about it.

My father once said, “The best kind of car is one that’s paid for.”  A simple statement, but when you think about it, a car that’s maintained with regular oil changes, new tires, battery, and brakes is one that will last a lot longer and will far exceed obsolescence and break-downs if maintained properly over the years, and keeping more money in your pocket instead of having to buy a new car.

CPG companies, utilities, higher education institutions, healthcare, public sector, retail, apartment complexes, and service industries are just a few that all have assets or equipment that need to be maintained and serviced on a regular basis in order to maximize their life expectancy and return of value and profit to a given organization. It’s a lot more expensive when one of these items goes out of service and has to be replaced.  No one likes to face the prospect of replacing forklift equipment, buying a new unit of HVAC systems, MRI scanning machines, etc. Servicing a loading dock sounds easy only to real professionals. There is too much at stake not keeping these assets and equipment running as efficiently and smooth as possible. Early replacement is the penalty for poor maintenance.

One way to achieve a stronger maintenance approach is to leverage the latest in integrated Supply Chain systems that tie the ongoing and preventative maintenance to your back-end Financials and HCM systems. It’s far too costly to rely on disparate systems via spreadsheets to try and make all this work together effectively. A well-integrated ERP system that brings together maintenance requirements and ties those back to a work order and order management system through financials helps you maintain your assets longevity and provides better visibility throughout your supply chain.

Add to that mobile capability for field sales and or technicians and you have the complete package. PeopleSoft’s EAM system does just that in an integrated way and does not require any 3rd party integration.

It works…out of the box. It’s as Apple-y as PeopleSoft has ever been, and that’s a good thing. Smart integrations done right are, to sloppily paraphrase Arthur C. Clarke, indistinguishable from magic.

For many organizations today looking to save money and drive this savings to the bottom line, implementing an integrated EAM-Enterprise Management System like PeopleSoft is a cost-effective measure when you are trying to watch where your dollars are spent in a very competitive economy.

The New Quest PeopleSoft Asset Lifecycle Management Special Interest Group (SIG)

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Our own Shannon Klabnik did some legwork in setting up the new Quest International User Group PeopleSoft Asset Lifecycle Management SIG. If you’re at all interested in any aspect of asset lifecycle management (ALM), this is something you should be part of. With great group leadership and enough expertise to fill a week’s worth of talks, it’s a perfect fit for organizations that are investigating or actively using PeopleSoft ALM.

Group details are here, and there’s even an official description:

This group would be targeted at this companies who are current PeopleSoft Maintenance Management, IT Asset Management, or Real Estate Management customers.

Please join! This group will be followed closely by Oracle, so it’s a great venue for learning and feedback.

PeopleSoft Real Estate Management Overview Part 10: Reporting & Analytics, Plus Closing Comments

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Posts in this series so far:

Hello everyone, welcome back to the PeopleSoft Real Estate Management overview series.  This REM overview #10 and our final blog in the series.  Today’s topics are Real Estate Management Reporting & Analytics and closing comments.

Before we discuss REM reports, I would like to briefly cover My Lease Portfolio and My Critical Dates again.  These “inquiry style” pages allow for quick access to your leases and a discussion of REM reports would not be complete without mentioning these pages too.

To read about My Lease Portfolio and My Critical Dates in more detail please see REM overview post #2.

My Lease Portfolio

The My Lease Portfolio Page allows you to manage and track leases.   Through its search criteria section, the page automatically displays all the leases for which you are the Lease Administrator or Portfolio Manager.  The page provides high level details to your leases and also provides a link drilldown to your leases.

(Click all images to enlarge)


Federal Healthcare Regulations and … Oil Changes

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A Parable of Recommendations and Decisions

So, how often do you really change the oil in your car, truck, or SUV?  Do you follow manufacturers’ recommendations?

You know, the last three cars I owned had completely different advice: one owner’s manual said every 6,000 miles, one said every 7,500 miles, and one has a snazzy computer that analyzes how I drive and tells me when an oil change is due.  Those are car manufacturers’ recommendations, right?  But wait!  Do you heed the oil manufacturers’ advice to change every 3,000 miles?  Or, do you follow your daddy’s advice and change every so-and-so miles?  Do you replace the oil filter every time (some recommendations) or every other time (other recommendations)?  One repair shop told me that not replacing the oil filter every time was like taking a shower without taking off your socks … But, I was always told the filter should be on an every-other oil change cycle.

Now, MIPRO is in the computerized maintenance management business.  We are the North American experts on implementing, tuning, upgrading, and optimizing PeopleSoft Asset Lifecycle Management (ALM) systems, especially PeopleSoft Maintenance Management.  You might think, “…If it’s computerized, it should be easy to follow proper procedures, right?”

Related: How to choose good knee walker?

Oh, if only life were that easy.  Those of you in the healthcare business know that Daddy Warbucks and the IRS (those who giveth and those who taketh away) are really the same organization: CMS (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services), within HHS (Department of Health & Human Services), the most important federal agency in your financial life.  If you don’t follow CMS regulations, you risk being adjudged non-compliant, potentially fail your Joint Commission accreditation check, and might not receive reimbursement. (What proportion of your revenues comes from CMS?  40%, 50%, more?)

So, what does CMS say about maintenance?

In December 2011, CMS’ Office of Clinical Standards and Quality/Survey & Certification Group issued new regulations that said healthcare providers must follow manufacturers’ advice:

“…alternative equipment maintenance schedules {are} permitted in some instances….” but “…alternative equipment maintenance methods are not permitted….”

Hmmm, some instances. What might those be?

CMS “clarified” what some instances meant by stating:

frequencies may be adjusted based on assessment by qualified personnel unless 1) the equipment was “…critical to patient health & safety….” or 2) the equipment was “new” and a sufficient amount of maintenance history hadn’t yet been acquired.

When I’m drivin’ down the freeway, I think that darn near every part of that car is critical to my health and safety.

But, you’re the maintenance supervisor in a modern hospital.  Or, of course, you’re the Administrator, where the buck truly stops.  Tell me, what equipment is critical to patient health and safety?  That’s an exact quote from the Feds.  Because, you had better be following the manufacturers’ maintenance procedures and frequency for these pieces of equipment.  Are there either procedure or frequency conflicts for virtually identical pieces of equipment?  Do you follow the maintenance recommendations and change your oil every 3,000, 6,000, 7,500 miles or listen to Dad’s advice or confidently (blindly?) follow the magic maintenance computer?

This is serious stuff in the healthcare business.  Non-compliance can be fiscally fatal.  And, if your accreditation is “delayed” or your reimbursements are “denied” or “reduced”, you may have serious problems.

Negotiations between CMS and national hospital providers are under way to define a bit more closely “critical to patient health & safety” and whether local procedures that exceed manufacturers’ methods are acceptable (and, of course, the corollary discussion of alternative methods that are superior to manufacturers’ methods; currently, these are not allowed).  Organizations such as The Joint Commission (TJC), the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE), and the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) are among the interested parties participating in the negotiations, not to mention regional and local providers who have just as much skin in the game.

Where’s MIPRO in all this?  Well, we are the best at implementing PeopleSoft maintenance management systems once the regulators tell our clients what procedures we need to implement.  Right now, what appears to be the safe method is to implement a superset of procedures/frequencies:  at least the manufacturers’ recommendations and your maintenance experience and the most comprehensive/frequent procedures where there are conflicts.

Stay tuned for future blog posts as these critical negotiations continue.  But, don’t expect quick resolution.  Remember the lesson of elephant reproduction:  it’s done at a high level, it’s accompanied by much noise and posturing, and it takes two years for anything to develop.

More links:
MIPRO Consulting main website.
MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About this blog.

Best Systems Are Capable of ‘Predictive Maintenance’

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Our own Shannon Klabnik and Jim Henderson, writing for Health Management Technology about what it means to implement and optimize an enterprise asset management (EAM) system:

The value of a successful maintenance-management program supported by an integrated software solution is profound. This combination can be the foundation for healthcare organizations to achieve full visibility to the entire lifecycle of invaluable assets. But what do healthcare organizations need to do – and understand – in order to implement that kind of next-generation system?

Visualize and design: First and foremost, identify operational priorities. The best EAM systems operate with a large amount of flexibility and can be adapted to suit the individual practices and professional goals of an organization. Once the healthcare organization establishes what it needs from the system – from big-picture goals down to the smallest details – the next step is to determine how you actually want it to work. A professional consultant can walk you through that process, helping to define the maintenance program and strategy.

Lay the groundwork: Identifying specific maintenance standards and metrics can be a challenge. But in order to fully utilize the power of an EAM system – with its ability to track those disparate variables – those standards should be clarified ahead of time. It is also important to identify, evaluate and mitigate or resolve any post-implementation risks/liabilities. For example, centralizing all replacement parts can actually create a surprisingly difficult inventory problem. Finally, the requirements for an effective software solution that will support your program, processes and procedures should be identified and carefully noted.

Train and deploy: Educate the team responsible for transforming your maintenance practices and implementing your system. Even the best system is only as good as its users, and helping users achieve technical and operational fluency is a must. Once thorough training is complete, implement your maintenance practices and deploy the system to support said applications.

Stay on track: Deployment is just the beginning. The up-front investment is where most energy is expended, but it is also important to conduct regular follow-ups and periodic formal evaluations to ensure that the new maintenance management program and supporting system are working as intended and delivering the anticipated results. Reinforce the program through ongoing training and support.

Once clients begin to realize the true value of an integrated approach to EAM, a whole dimension of operational efficiency opens for them. Getting past the datasheet level takes some digging — especially in terms of making EAM right for your organization — but once you see the value it offers, there’s no going back. It’s like Morpheus offering Neo the blue pill or the red pill in The Matrix: the blue offers an ignorant bliss, whereas red a vibrant view of reality that once seen can never be unseen.

Digging into EAM and what it can do for your organization is, in many ways, its own red pill.

More links:
MIPRO Consulting main website.
MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.
About this blog.


Maintenance Management for Higher Ed

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Many years ago I graduated from Michigan State University (in my slightly biased opinion one of the greatest institutions in the country). As a student I was fortunate enough to land the right job that afforded me to forge some great relationships within the campus. Over two summers I worked security in the dorm rooms at night, which allowed me to get a free room in the dorm over the entire summer. (By the way, living alone in an entire dorm that has 500 empty rooms is a little on the spooky side.) During the day, I was a member of a maintenance crew responsible for painting all of the dorm rooms. You would be surprised at what a college student can do to a dorm room in just a few short months. Really, how many ceilings should require painting because they are littered with burn marks? Again: burn marks. On the ceiling. Also, it should be noted that before a room can be painted, there are many undetermined foreign substances that have to be scraped off the walls, which is as gross as it sounds.

I think I’m digressing.

The point is that on campus there are many dorm rooms spread across many square acres. MSU for example, is over two miles wide (I know, I had to walk it in zero degree weather) with multiple dorms and literally thousands of rooms. Each area of the campus had its own maintenance crews responsible for painting the dorms over the summer. Amazingly, back in late 80’s early 90’s, this was an all-manual operation. The maintenance supervisor would go through each room, inspect it, leave a little piece of paper that indicated what required painting (and sometimes scraping) and that was the work order for the room. There was no automated solution, there was no solution that connected all of the work that needed be completed across the campus and there was no way to understand collectively if work was on or behind schedule.

Today, this all is changing in higher education campuses. Many universities already run PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and are extending that with a fully integrated PeopleSoft Maintenance Management solution, which is a logical and efficient step. This begets many benefits for the higher ed client: work orders can be generated as specific or general as required, crews assigned to the work, costs of labor and supplies measured, work progress in terms of on schedule or behind schedule analyzed on a continuous basis. This also all can be extended to a mobile solution so the maintenance supervisors can go room to room and enter information related to the asset and work order directly into PeopleSoft.

Compared to what I saw back in my days at MSU, it’s another world. Like, entirely.

We have come a long way from a manual, disconnected solution to a fully automated, integrated and mobile solution that provides us all of the information on a real time basis. I have spoken to clients about this on many occasions, and there’s a tremendous need in the marketplace to integrate these seemingly routine campus tasks into a maintenance system that ties back to larger campus solutions and finance apps. The level of pain and happenstance we dealt with back in the day needn’t be a reality today.

We have the tools. We should use them.

If you would like to understand more about the PeopleSoft Maintenance Management solution, don’t miss our white paper (the second one on the page). Likewise, if you have any questions about this, drop your thoughts in the comments or to me via email.


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About this blog.

Poor Asset Maintenance Represents Real Risk

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Good article from Mike Schmidt over at Manufacturing Business Technology about how a lack of proactive, intelligent asset management is a true risk to the organization:

If you’re not managing assets properly, you don’t know what the cost of those assets are and (what the cost is) to repair those assets,” he says. “That creates a big risk to an organization.

That’s really the crux of it. Said another way, if your organization is not managing its assets properly and systematically, you are throwing money away!  In my daily conversations, I often find myself surprised at how many companies do not have an asset management system. Of those that do, I’m finding that many don’t use the solution to its fullest extent — if at all.

My daily conversations jibe with what Schmidt found:

According to the survey, only 37% of respondents currently have EAM/CMMS solutions in place. In addition, 49% do not use applications to manage documents about their assets.

Organizations need to understand that’s some powerful shelfware.

Schmidt’s is targeted at the manufacturing sector, but is directly applicable to all asset-intensive industries, such as higher education, utilities and power generation, energy and healthcare.

Another key quip about whether or not executives realize the true risk poor asset management represents:

And it’s that risk that is only going to lead to more pressure in the coming years, says Zirnhelt.

“The pressure’s been there, but my impression is that executives, in an average sense, don’t appreciate it,” he continues. “It has just taken them a long time to appreciate the severity of it.”

Bottom line: if your organization is not managing its assets effectively and efficiently, there is no better time to start than now. If you’re an Oracle/PeopleSoft shop, check out our whitepaper about PeopleSoft Maintenance Management: An Introduction and Overview of Benefits for a good jumping-off point.


More links:

MIPRO Consulting main website.

MIPRO on Twitter and LinkedIn.

About this blog.