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How to start the CMMS software setup process?

Scenario/ Common setup questions

1. How do we start this process of setting up the CMMS ?
2. Equipment setup: I assume we have to take relevant equipment information from the equipment manuals? This seems like a lengthy process. We don’t have staff to help us. What would the most efficient method be – summarize and enter the data?
3. Equipment setup: If we need to extract the maintenance and procedure information for each piece of equipment, then what format should we put it in, in order to enable it to be easily organized – and easily uploaded into the CMMS?

How to start with CMMS software setup

1. Start with the most critical items

Above all you do not need to enter everything before you get started!

Firstly begin with the most critical equipment, facilities, maintenance jobs and parts.

Secondly create work orders and update them in the system.

Subsequently keep entering more assets and information (maintenance tasks, parts and so on) as you go along.

2. Enter the most essential information first

For example, for equipment try to collect & enter the most critical information starting off. For instance equipment names, locations, category, model & serial numbers, maintenance tasks & frequency, equipment manual pages to refer to, links to additional information (if required) and so on.

As you use the system, you can start entering in more details, insert pictures and so on.

3. Import items from text files

Equipment manufacturers may or may not provide you the information in an easily importable format. However, if you can get the critical information in a comma delimited file (first row with field labels, subsequent rows with field data for each item), you can import much of it into FastMaint CMMS.

Similarly you can create import files for locations, maintenance tasks, parts and more.

As you get more information and enter it into the file, you can re-import the file again and again to update the existing data!

4. Create import files from spreadsheets

You can edit & create comma delimited (also known as comma separated values aka CSV) files with MS Excel, Google Docs, etc. They usually have the .csv extension (e.g. mydata.csv) and are text files that you can open even with Notepad.

Import CSV files rather than Excel spreadsheets (files with the extension .xls or .xlsx e.g. mydata.xlsx) to reduce problems with different data formats.

Remember that you can save an Excel spreadsheet/ workbook as a CSV file.

5. Import items in proper order

If you have data in CSV files and are trying to import them, do it in this in the following order. This will help avoid errors such as “location not found when importing an equipment“, “category not found when importing a task” and so on:
1) Create Calendars
2) Import Categories
3) Import Locations
4) Import Parts
5) Import Equipment
6) Import Tasks

How To Import Data: Standard/ Professional edition, Web/ Cloud edition

6. More helpful setup information

See the following articles from our blog for more information & tips:

1) Eight CMMS/ Maintenance Software Setup Tips
2) How To Start Using CMMS Software In Your Maintenance Program

How can we help?