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Many companies are leaning toward upgrading their legacy maintenance systems.  Maintenance is a very complex area to change because it often integrates to multiple divisions within a corporation. The beginning process of discovery and initial planning and review are critical to make sure the transition, which often has to occur in phases, is done most effectively.

Projects can include several fully functioning corporate acquisitions, over years, which make the transition extremely challenging. Additional issues stem from the fact that global companies often operate with multiple ERP's and several Maintenance Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) systems. In addition to EAM systems being highly integrated, long term loyalty toward these systems requires  a delicate approach in documenting their useful viability. Unexpectedly change can be often opposed by the most senior personnel who may have a few more years before retirement and do not want to learn a new system of work methods. It is necessary to be aware of how the new project is rolled-out.

The transition scope is established by the client management while the acceptance of the new Maintenance system is at the technician and foreman level. There is sometimes a gap between the two functions. The scope covers organizational control, process analysis, technology advancement, communication and business system improvements. In order to accomplish this work requires a broad consulting scope of experiences in order to share and relate with a range of project stakeholders.

Also a deep understanding of the business processes is needed to assess and evaluate how the client's present systems are used, many which may be homegrown and not well documented. An understanding of each system's functionality is required versus a generic best practices global Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) system tailored for the specific industry standard being addressed.

As mentioned earlier the question becomes not only one of replacing one system for another, but also how the cost will be allocated over the project phases and beyond. The Project initial conversation quickly jumps to a CIO and VP level. Keeping the project discussion business-focused as opposed to getting entangled into technical details is vital to the project  journey and ultimate success.

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Tags: Maintenance, Transformation

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