Equipment Specifications

Most CMMS packages let you store equipment specifications online. For example, you can record each dryer's capacity, motor size, voltage, amperage, fuse usage, and so on. You can also store tips like, "This model requires a special screwdriver to open the access panel." Workers can use this information to make sure they have the right tools and materials before going out on a job, thereby avoiding frustration and wasted time.

Before you can record this kind of information, you usually have to prepare templates for each type of equipment you use. A template lists the information you want to record, and leaves blanks to be filled in with values.

It's up to you what information you want a particular template to record. What information will workers need to do their jobs? What information might you want to record for other purposes (e.g. insurance assessments)? Different companies will likely make different decisions.

Once you've decided what information you want to record about your various types of equipment, you have to gather that information. This information can be gathered in various ways: from printed manufacturer specifications, from specifications on the Internet, or even by opening up the machine and seeing what's written on the parts.

Typically, some information will be easy to come by, while some takes a lot of work. As a loose rule of thumb, we estimate that one person can collect full information on about 5 pieces of equipment an hour. This varies according to many factors: how much information needs to be gathered on each piece of equipment, how much you already have on file in one form or another, how hard the information is to find, and so on. Many companies find they make rapid progress at first, because they've got good specifications on a lot of their equipment. Then things slow down as they finish the easy part and have to work harder for the rest. You may think that 5 pieces an hour sounds slow, but it's a reasonable average considering how much difficulty you might have getting information on your last few pieces.

Next: Data inputting