While we often think of the technical logistics (how long will it take to set up? How easy is the installation process?), another major component for getting CMMS software up and running is integration. You most likely have a variety of systems in place that help you with machine monitoring, operations and more.
This is why, when maintenance and reliability leaders are assessing the CMMS marketplace, it’s important to consider the integration options available with each solution.
How important is integration, and what are your options?
When you use CMMS software, you're requesting data from your server. Through integration, you're allowing your CMMS to talk to other existing software and assets that you may have. Maybe you have sensors on a production machine, or you have an HR tool that connects working hours to billing. These days, the majority of organizations have multiple different solutions that they're using, and an API makes it all possible to connect.
A CMMS can be more effective when asset and facility data is available across the enterprise, including functional areas outside of maintenance and reliability, rather than isolated on its own. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that you’ve streamlined data sharing between your CMMS and systems like accounting, HRMS, ERP, procurement and more.
When data is shared between many different systems and departments, companies stand to gain improved visibility and better communication throughout the organization. However, data accuracy and integrity is also affected; with human input naturally comes human error, after all, especially if you have multiple systems. This is why data integration is so crucial for your team so you prevent the loss of historical data and can make sure that you have all the information you need.
The technologies used to connect CMMS software with other software products are many and varied, but truly depend upon a company’s needs and budgetary limitations. That’s why it’s important to make sure you ask your vendor about any questions you may have about integration. A good CMMS integration project should incorporate the assistance of your vendor’s client services. A consultant will act as a project manager to understand the extent of the integration requirements involving each system, propose the actual solution from available integration options, and help configure the integration for ongoing success.