CMMS Data Group: The Road to Growth is a Plan of Effective Maintenance

Ruth Hughes, Founder & President When are you going to create your own CMMS?”
A smile appears on Ruth Hughes’s face as she reminisces about her days as a CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management System) software training consultant and knows that the question has been successfully answered.

“I remember someone offering me huge money to help them out with their CMMS over weekends, which gave me an idea that there’s a market for good CMMS help. However, I wasn’t ready to make the move and start a company until I saw and experienced something very special. A company that I consulted for had created a barcode solution to help their staff collect work order data and update their CMMS with it. I was awestruck. I had a flood of ideas on how to take this basic concept and turn it into something special to truly help customers get all of their data into their system. As I left the plant and walked down the sidewalk, the sun was setting. It was at that beautiful moment, I decided that I should build a company to help CMMS users with their system. The idea of CMMS Data Group was born,” recollects Ruth Hughes, Founder and CEO of CMMS Data Group.

Enlightening Customers—Optimized Results

The company marked its beginning in the year 2000, and ever since has been offering CMMS software and services, providing time- and money-saving solutions to maintenance and facility professionals to increase reliability, productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction. However, it has never been a walk in the park for CMMS Data Group as most companies do not understand the importance of CMMS, also known as Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software. Having years of experience in maintenance, facilities, and reliability industries, CMMS Data Group exercises its strength and expertise to help clients understand the inevitability of technology to promote the efficient management of maintenance and facilities departments. Additionally, the firm performs ongoing webinars about CMMS and equipment reliability and provides justification tools to demonstrate the cost savings generated by its products and the ROI.

The Trend of Making a Difference

“I named the company CMMS Data Group because I wanted to help all CMMS users, regardless of what CMMS they were using.” Ruth believes that to achieve this goal and lead the competition, one should understand the latest trend—to go paperless. Hence, the company was built to offer MVP Capture, a paperless and (online / offline) wireless barcode solution for parts and work order tracking. What makes the flagship product, MVP Plant, unique is the fact that its barcode solution came first and then the CMMS was developed. Once the development of MVP Plant started, MVP Capture had already been perfected and continues to be enhanced. Recently, the iOS version for MVP Capture was released and this fall 2015, the Android version will be released.

To lead the competition, one should understand the latest trend—to go paperless

“With MVP Capture barcode solution, CMMS users could collect work order and parts data with a barcode scanner and instantaneously update their CMMS with the collected data.”

Expressing discontent over most CMMS or EAM software packages offered today, Ruth defines them as work order printing presses, meaning that they generate lots of paper and little is done with the paper. When work order updates are paper-based, difficult, and time consuming, precise work order data rarely gets back to a central system or CMMS. Hence, reports are inaccurate and data is seldom reviewed and responded to. Work order data is invaluable because it is the foundation of equipment reliability. Companies miss out on a huge window of opportunity when not committed to complete and accurate CMMS or EAM work order data. Without precise data, there is no way to increase reliability. To gain further insights into the shortcomings of CMMS / EAM, CMMS Data Group started the practice of emailing its annual “CMMS Wish List” questionnaire. This market research revealed the top three items that users wanted and needed in a CMMS: alerts, ease-of-use, and affordability—the core to the company’s MVP Plant.

Released in 2008, MVP Plant is not only paperless, but easy-to-use and as such, its customers can immediately review and respond to their precise MVP Plant data. It facilitates creation and emailing of data on the fly; alerts provide users a 24/7 electronic assistant, notifying users of deficiencies, new requests, status changes, and past due dates. To top it all, MVP Plant has been designed to integrate with any other software package.

The Tag Says it All

The tag line, ‘Shared Knowledge * Quality Results™’ says a great deal about the philosophy followed in CMMS Data Group. “Sharing is very important to me, especially when it comes to sharing information. When good information is shared, people learn from it and everything then has the opportunity to get better,” says Ruth. The company does a major release of MVP Plant every four months. This enables customers to have the best of the best CMMS or EAM software, always with the latest features and capabilities.

Such dedication requires innovation which is often customer-driven via Enhancement Requests (ER). The ability to analyze ERs and formulate industry needs separates CMMS Data Group from its competitors. The company takes into account similar ERs that have been submitted by multiple customers. It then takes action and schedules the improvement to appear in the very next major release of MVP Plant.

Ruth believes that a well informed company can conquer the challenges in reliability and maintenance, which she compares to a game of chess wherein CMMS or EAM is required to win the game and checkmate the opposing forces like maintenance costs, downtime, and customer dissatisfaction.
“With MVP Capture barcode solution, CMMS users could collect work order and parts data with a barcode scanner and instantaneously update their CMMS with the collected data”

The founder takes a stroll through an instance where CMMS Data Group helped a desperate food manufacturer. Its inventory management was non-existent, parts were not organized, and maintenance technicians could not find items necessary to complete their work. The company had no definitive goals to correct this situation although it knew things had to change in order to maximize maintenance efficiency, minimize costs, and optimize growth. Seeking advantages of CMMS’s inventory management features, the company now enjoys a reduced downtime caused by part shortages, organized and barcoded parts, quick and easy part searches and retrievals.

Your Challenge, Our Service

Hand in hand with its offering comes the vast array of services by CMMS Data Group, including 3rd Party Software Integration via MVP Plant’s APIs; training on how to use and setup MVP Capture software, the barcode scanner of one’s choice and a barcode printer to eliminate paper and make data collection and updates easy. The company converts client’s data from current CMMS or EAM to MVP Plant, and on the occasion of lack of resources, it collects and enters missing data as well.

Once MVP Plant end-user training is completed and data has been converted, CMMS Data Group offers GO LIVE! Assistance to answer questions and provide additional assistance to ensure end-user comfort and confidence. Additionally, CMMS Data Group helps set up new storerooms or perfect existing ones, and connects MVP Plant to client’s PLCs to predict failures and minimize the time and parts needed to perform equipment maintenance via metered Preventive Maintenance (PM) tasks.

A Promising Future

CMMS Data Group’s prospective plans include significantly growing its sales team and expecting a minimum of 40 percent growth each year for the next 10 years. Soon enough, a new sales office will be opened in Austin, TX. “Our ultimate goal is to take a big bite out of the CMMS or EAM market and we will do this by continuing to provide excellent software, service, and support,” Ruth expresses confidently.

The company is currently developing a refreshed MVP Plant user interface and is planning to label it as “MVP Plant 2.0.” This new UI for MVP Plant will allow customers to take advantage of all new web technologies, languages, and larger screens and adaptive sizing for all screens (phones, tablets, and computers). The current and future customers will have the flexibility to choose between the newer and existing interface, whichever one they like the best.

“Building CMMS Data Group is one of the best decisions I have ever made because CMMS Data Group builds beautiful software, customers love it, and we love helping and sharing knowledge and technology with our customers!” summarizes Hughes.

CMMS Data Group

Chicago, IL

Ruth Hughes, Founder & President

Offering CMMS software and services, providing time- and money-saving solutions to maintenance and facilities professionals.