System of Record vs. System of Engagement, Part 3: How to Communicate Your Needs Effectively


So far in this series, I’ve discussed why enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems work great for your managers and accounting folks, but not so much for the maintenance department.

Last time I outlined our friend Tony’s strategy, which enables his MPulse Software, Inc to easily share data with the proposed ERP. This plan gives his company the best both worlds: happy maintenance engineers with useable software, and happy bean counters with data they can use.

I’m sold. But how can Tony get his managers on board?

Maintenance Brings Value to The Organization

Tony knows his managers have a basic understanding of what his maintenance team does. And he also knows they appreciate the value his maintenance team’s work brings to the organization.

However, that’s not always the case—the maintenance profession is often undervalued and sometimes unappreciated. If that’s the case in your organization, it’s time to demonstrate what your team does and explain how it contributes to your organization’s goals.

Tony’s plan is to show his managers how modern maintenance directly impacts his company’s bottom line while also highlighting his MPulse CMMS software’s easy-to-use tools and data gathering capabilities.

Data-Driven Decision Making Affects the Bottom Line

Now Tony has already laid the foundation for this conversation. Tony’s been using his MPulse reports to illustrate his data-driven management decisions for years.

Tony doesn’t have to explain how maintenance affects his company’s bottom line, because his data shows it. Tony’s managers will see exactly how his team uses CMMS software to make decisions that impact that company’s operations. And they also will see how not having those tools would cost far more than the amount spent on maintenance software.

Tony plans to start by answering “big picture” questions like…

  • How much does the organization risk spending on major asset repair or replacement if they fail to adequately care for equipment through proper preventive maintenance?
  • What does lost productivity cost when important assets are down?
  • What’s the potential impact on controlling the cost of maintenance—specifically labor and inventory?
  • Given those costs, what maintenance functions are missing from the proposed ERP system or would require expensive customization from the software vendor?

Plus, Tony can point out some of his CMMS software’s advantages, like…

  • Fast integration
  • Simple scalability
  • Easy customization
  • Significantly lower cost of subscription
  • Straightforward, time-saving tools—including automated communication, mobile capabilities, compliance documentation, and much more.

All of this information gets to the heart of the matter—the company’s overall improved efficiency and productivity. Tony’s goal is to show how CMMS software gives his team accurate, complete data, and this data can be applied directly to important organizational decisions by integrating CMMS software with the proposed ERP system.

I should note that this strategy also works if a company already has an ERP system in place, and the maintenance team wants to add functionally with CMMS software. We’ll wrap up this blog series with a discussion about that subject next time.