How To Use Your Cmms To Document An AEM Program

AEM programs can be key in improving your operations and increasing the usability, useful life, and resource utilisation of your structures, systems and assets (SSAs). That said, successful implementation of an AEM program is often easier said than done, but the right CMMS system can help.  

What Is An AEM Program?  

The term AEM — whether you take it to mean, “Alternate Equipment Management” (CMS) or “Alternative Equipment Maintenance” (TJC) — involves the alteration of manufacturer maintenance requirements to gain advantages in usability, useful life, resource utilisation, or support of your structures, systems, and assets (SSAs). In other words, it helps you modify your maintenance plans to optimise your SSAs.  

What’s more, a successful AEM programme will also use learn methodologies to help users identify activities that can be adjusted to maintain, or increase, the safety of the SSA while reducing expenses (usually related to labour, materials, or parts).

Unfortunately, implementing an effective AEM programme is often easier said than done. 

Why? Remember, an AEM is meant to help modify a manufacturer’s service requirements — usually a Preventive/Planned Maintenance check or service. It is not designed to reduce or eliminate failures or breakdowns (that is another conversation). 

To get it right, considerable time must be spent analysing the service history of the SSA under review, and specific attention must be placed on those service events that could have been prevented (or caused) by an alteration defined by the manufacturer. 

This kind of legwork is difficult to get right, especially if you don’t have the right tools in place.  

The Right CMMS Can Help  

The right CMMS can be used to record most of the documentation requirements for an AEM programme. Here, we’ll focus on a few key data values that make a compliant AEM possible, while also ensuring your SSA inventory management needs are met.  

The Data You Need To Record In Your CMMS  

To build the data required to develop your AEM plan, your CMMS must be able to record several key data components in at least three areas of the programme: work orders, inventory, and schedules. Here are key data values that should be available on each corrective maintenance-type work order:  

  • PM Preventable: Add a field used to identify if the service\issue could have been prevented by either modified or additional PM checks and services. There should be two choices—” yes” and “no” – and this field should be required.
  • Failure Code: Failure codes are used to identify why the SSA was unable to perform its function (mission). Having standardised, concise failure codes are a critical data value for many types of analysis. 
  • SSA Downtime: It’s imperative that service issues that result in SSA unavailability record their downtime, to be critically analysed later. The cost of asset downtime must be calculated into total asset cost and lost revenue, and will impact service contracts if uptime metrics are involved.
  • Failure Effect: Was any system, personnel, or process negatively affected by the service issue? If so, this is important to note.  

Within the SSA inventory section, your CMMS should be able to assign values for these attributes on each record:  

  • Risk Classification: CMS, accrediting bodies, and NFPA all require you to classify items in the inventory as critical/high risk, non-critical/non-high risk, and Category 1-4. Many HFM SSAs will need CMS risk and NFPA risk classifications, so the ability to develop and apply two specialised fields is essential.
  • Risk Assessment: This is a review of the risk to staff and surroundings in the event of failure as well as during use.
  • AEM Inclusion Values: Has the SSA been evaluated? Is it included in the AEM? If not, why? If so, what has changed?
  • Manufacturer & Model Values: Using standard and consistent values across SSAs is required for AEM documentation, since the history analysis must be available for that type of SSA, for benchmarking and industry review. Defining your inventory by manufacturer and model also promotes accurate procurement and performance analysis. Recall management is also critically dependent on identifying SSAs by manufacturer, model, and serial number.
  • In-service Dates: Without this critical data point, no accurate lifecycle analysis, mean-time-between-failures, or other service history analytics can be performed, and they cannot be expected to return defendable data values. You must know when an SSA went into service to determine all service-related data values.

Next, each SSA should have the original manufacturers’ requirements recorded (i.e.: frequency and procedures), to ensure that specific documentation requirements are met. From there, any changes made to these requirements must be recorded as well. The original requirements can be documented in various ways:  

  • Uploaded and\or available from the SSA record as physical documents (i.e.: Word file, PDF, etc.).
  • CMMS scheduled activity records that have been deactivated (i.e.: PM\IN schedules).
  • Procedures that have been deactivated after changes have been made.

Finally, you will also need the analytics used in review and AEM inclusion, including:  

  • The source of the work order\service history.
  • The records that were reviewed.
  • The name(s) and qualifications of those performing the review.
  • The name(s) and qualifications of the final authority for inclusion.
  • Mean-time between PM-preventable failures, etc.  

A modern CMMS would have the ability to create all these fields and to store and/or access these documents on-demand, in support of AEM procedures.

If your CMMS cannot perform these activities, contact Realworld Systems to see what a modern-day, highly capable CMMS looks like.

How To Increase CMMS Adoption & Get Your Team On Board

Learn some tips to address potential challenges from your team and how to implement CMMS adoption for your company.

A computerised maintenance management system (CMMS) is a powerful software that can streamline maintenance operations, increase the asset lifecycle, improve employee productivity and increase your business’ overall ROI.

But it will only work if your entire team is on board and using the software properly. Without this kind of comprehensive adoption, you will run into the same problems that you had before you bought the CMMS – things like incomplete information, inaccurate data, or disparate information housed across many different systems or formats.

This is something that businesses often get wrong: according to one survey, 61% of maintenance managers find implementing new software somewhat challenging and only 39% of businesses admit to using a CMMS consistently to track maintenance tasks. That is because there are many things that can go wrong: training can be executed incorrectly or incompletely, the system can be misconfigured, or there can be resistance to the technology – the list goes on.

That said, adoption is absolutely essential to proper CMMS operations. This requires top-to-bottom, cultural shifts in practices and mindsets. Here is how to get it right.

What Does CMMS Adoption Mean?

Broadly speaking, the term “CMMS adoption” simply refers to the widespread and correct use of CMMS software during an organisation’s day-to-day operations. The idea here is simple: you can have the best technology in the world, but if your employees do not like it, do not understand it or do not use it, it will not work as it should. You need widespread adoption to reap the benefits of your CMMS tool.

Unfortunately, this is often hard to achieve. According to one survey on CMMS adoption, only 52% of maintenance managers say that their technicians update work orders in the field (despite mobile compatibility being one of the key benefits of a modern CMMS), while 38% say that those work orders are updated from a desktop and 10% say they are not updated at all.

This is a huge issue. The whole purpose of a CMMS is to streamline maintenance activity in one comprehensive, up-to-date system – and that simply cannot work if people are not actually using the system properly.

Widespread CMMS adoption requires that all relevant personnel be on board, including:

  • Technicians
  • System administrators and maintenance managers
  • Operators
  • Inventory managers 
  • Executives
  • Reliability engineers
  • Your IT teams

Why CMMS Adoption Remains Low

The most common barriers to CMMS adoption include:

CMMS Systems Are Too Complicated

According to a 2019 survey, CMMS adoption was only at 39% to track maintenance tasks, while 21% of participants used pen and paper, 28% used spreadsheets and 12% used no system at all.

This largely has to do with the fact that, for many years, CMMS systems were exclusively on-premise, and on-premise systems come with certain limitations in the modern, multi-site landscape we currently live in. Namely, on-premise systems:

  • Cannot effectively scale and customise as a company evolves.
  • Come with a lack of mobility and accessibility, leading to communication and flexibility issues that decrease productivity over time.
  • Do not integrate well with other systems, which can lead to inconsistent or incomplete data. This, in turn, can hindera company’s ability to switch to data-driven, analytics-heavy operations — and that is what business today is all about.
  • Require manual patches and security updates that could lead to compromising security concerns.
  • Often call for complex coding and a huge amount of technical know-how to be properly implemented, managed and troubleshooted.

On-premise systems also come with a much larger up-front cost and a laborious installation process. In short, they were tough to implement and use, which largely defeated the purpose of getting the system for most maintenance managers.

Employees’ Fear Of Replacement

Without automated and centralised systems, the majority of an organisation’s tacit knowledge lies in the minds of its experienced and skilled workers. These individuals solve problems, train the new hires and add incredible value to an organisation.

A CMMS system represents the threat of replacement to these individuals – so they may withhold information or refuse to use the CMMS altogether.

Discomfort With The Technology

A CMMS represents a huge leap away from a paper-based maintenance management system, and it requires extensive, ongoing training. Many organisations do not approach this training systematically or in a user-friendly way, and this gap in understanding could majorly hinder widespread adoption.

A Misunderstanding Of The Purpose Of A CMMS

People are largely creatures of habit and resistant to change, particularly when it comes to technology and work processes. If someone’s way of doing things works for them, why would they change it?

This is an especially prevalent point of friction for employees that do not truly understand the benefits of the new system and how it will make their jobs and lives easier.

Ultimately, many of these points come down to one thing: company culture, or the fundamental perspectives, habits and practices of a particular organisation. Ultimately, that culture must be overhauled to allow for widespread adoption of a CMMS or any other system.

How To Maximise CMMS Adoption In Your Organisation From Day One

The good news is that there are defined measures you can take to change the culture in your business and maximise adoption.

Step 1: Get Your People On Board

First, you have to reduce friction among your team and break down any barriers to adoption. To start, you should:

Emphasise Benefits And Ease-Of-Use

You know that the people in your organisation are likely going to have some resistance tochanging the current system. You also know that there are certain things about your existing system that are not great – that is why you are getting a CMMS! Make sure, then, that you emphasise these shortcomings to your employees and answer the question “why should I care?” for everyone you talk to.

For CEOs, the answer could be something along the lines of, “it will make our business more money and increase efficiency.” For technicians, “it will make your day-to-day tasks easier and less frustrating to complete.”

Overall, answering these questions effectively should generate some excitement for the new system while giving you a comprehensive understanding of where your team members stand.

Maintain Open Communication And Collaboration

It is also vital for you to understand the needs and desires of everyone on your team, from stakeholders and executives to inventory managers and maintenance technicians. Each one of these team members will have his/her own pain points and “must-haves” for the CMMS software – and they all should be a part of the selection process.

Your technicians, in particular, will be using the CMMS more than anyone else. Including them in demos and making sure that the system fits their needs will help them feel like their opinions matter – which, in turn, will increase adoption of the system.

Get Your Training Right

The right CMMS vendor will provide ongoing training and 24/7 support, including a broad asset management policy, training videos and modules, articles, demos and free trials.

Make sure that you implement this training from day one, starting with vendor-led, hands-on training. This will provide your technicians with valuable learning time in a friendly, low-risk environment so they can acclimatiseto the software at their own pace.

You also want to make sure that you stay on top of retraining when the software releases new features or when you notice any misuse.

Get Your Team Excited

It is your job to keep your team in the loop about changes that are coming and to get them feeling good about those changes. Create a positive environment surrounding the release and make sure that everyone is informed so no one is caught off-guard by the changes.

Emphasise Standout Features

The right CMMS will improve your operations and make your employees’ lives easier. Make sure that they understand that by emphasising standout features. Mobile capabilities, in particular, will allow your technicians to access the information they need directly at an asset location, which can minimise confusion and increase efficiency in the facility. Similarly, data tracking can ensure the centralisation of key information, can minimise costly rework and ensure that everyone has the information they need to do their job correctly.

Actively Recognise Good Work

A CMMS can give you a lot of powerful data about your technicians’ performance. Use this data to provide positive reinforcement to employees that are doing a great job and using the equipment most effectively.

Step 2: Develop Guiding Principles For Your Team To Follow

You will also want to establish guiding principles that will lay a strong, clear groundwork for proper CMMS use and adoption. After all, if you expect clear and ubiquitous user adoption, you need clear guidelines and cultural expectations.

Start With Company-Wide Policies

  • Establish official CMMS processes and rules: This will create a standard that all employees can work towards, and it can eliminate confusion and inconsistencies between employees.
  • Maintain open communication: What are the benefits of implementing a CMMS? Who should your team members turn to if they encounter an issue with the system? How will you ensure that there is ongoing training and adoption? Make sure that your communication is open and your processes are clear so no concerns go unaddressed.
  • Reward positive behaviour: If people are doing a great job, let them know! This will not only encourage continued adoption among those employees but also encourage other team members to follow in their footsteps.

Establish Specific CMMS Rules

In the same vein, you want to make sure that there is no confusion when it comes to CMMS use. To this end, you can establish CMMS use principles. Some examples include:

  • “No work order, no work.” The idea here is simple enough: all work orders, including emergency work, must be immediately captured in the CMMS system.
  • The 400% rule. This rule establishes that 100% of labour, 100% of contractor costs and 100% of materials should be documented 100% of the time. This helps to ensure that work orders are completed properly – and that the data integrity of your CMMS system remains intact.

Here, remember that the rules you establish should make the most sense for your business. To this end, it could be helpful to have a roundtable discussion with relevant employees to establish what guiding principles will make the most sense. Also, make sure that you have a dedicated CMMS administrator in charge of enforcing these rules and spearheading other CMMS tasks (read more on the importance of a dedicated administrator).

Final Thoughts

When implemented correctly, a CMMS system can be a transformative tool for your manufacturing operation, helping you increase efficiency, maximise insights and ultimately increase your employee satisfaction and company ROI.

If would like to learn more about choosing the right CMMS for your business, get in touch with a Realworld specialist.

Shopping For CMMS? 10 Features To Consider

A company’s real estate and facilities portfolio serve as the second-largest expense behind its people. Finding the right software solution to manage an organisation’s facilities can provide a significant return on investment, helping facility management leaders to improve efficiency and reduce costs. The most common solution in the market today is a computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). For organisations that are moving from a paper-based or manual system to a CMMS, finding the one that is the best fit can be challenging.


Before beginning the search, think about what’s important to your organisation and what functionality is needed to benefit your team. Here are 10 features to consider as you put together a CMMS “wish list”.


1. Work order management

As the core of maintenance management, work order management allows you to create work orders, provide updates to work, and report on the information collected through the work order process. More advanced solutions will enable users to manage both reactive and preventive maintenance requests for a comprehensive facility and maintenance management solution.


2. Asset tracking and management

Through asset tracking, you can create a centralised database of all information related to assets within the facility. Details such as asset manufacturer, warranty details, purchase date, recent maintenance requests, and location can be tracked. In addition, asset lifecycle management can be automated to track all details related to the asset from procurement to when it’s decommissioned. Having this insight can help when making key decisions, such as replace versus repair.


3. Vendor management

Beyond providing system access to vendors, CMMS solutions may also enable vendor management—including tracking key information like certificates of insurance (COIs) and activity history. There may be functionality to create a rating system, allowing stakeholders to complete performance surveys to develop a preferred vendor list.


4. Document and knowledge management

One of the main benefits of a CMMS solution comes from having a centralised database—or a single source of truth—for all of the information related to facilities operations. The entire team can access essential information about assets and facility processes through document and knowledge management within the CMMS. In doing so, you can improve the quality of work from your team while improving their efficiency in the process.


5. Resource allocation

Understanding the use of time and money can help organisations make smarter decisions with their budgets. Advanced CMMS solutions may have separate modules to track employee time, as well as cost details as they complete work orders.


6. Reporting and business intelligence

CMMS solutions provide visibility into operations, which can highlight key gaps and areas for improvement. Reports may be as simple as pulling a list of work orders completed in a timeframe, or as dynamic as assessing cost leakages. Reporting functionality can be available within the application or may be accessed through a third-party service that integrates with the solution.


7. Financial management

Go beyond ad-hoc tracking of data within the solution and leverage modules to streamline tracking. In addition, financial management tools may include integrations with financial systems of record to easily share data with other departments for accounting purposes.


8. Incident and event tracking

The facility management team is often in charge of tracking issues related to safety. An incident and event tracking module offers an opportunity to track any incidents that occur on-site and automatically issues any work orders that may be needed to fix the issue, such as cleaning up broken glass in an area.


9. Emergency planning

Depending on the structure of the organisation, the facility management team may be in charge of emergency planning. Leveraging a module as part of the CMMS solution, it can ensure that emergency plans and business continuity models are stored in a central location for key stakeholders to access when needed.


10. Visitors/Security

Some organisations have multiple locations with numerous vendors coming and going. Modules focused on visitor and security simplify the registration process and provide a single source to track all data related to building entry.

Get in touch to find out more.

Realworld a implementat o soluție de automatizare a suportului tehnic în cadrul Orange România, reducând efortul echipelor cu 80%

  • Timpul alocat pentru verificarea solicitărilor de suport tehnic ale clienților Orange România, redus cu echivalentul a 241 de zile pe an de procesări manuale


București, 09 Mai 2022

Realworld Eastern Europe a implementat o soluție de automatizare a suportului tehnic în cadrul Orange România, atât pentru serviciile sale de internet, cât și pentru cele de televiziune. Astfel, s-a obținut o eficientizare cu 80% a timpului alocat pentru tratarea solicitărilor de suport tehnic ale clienților. După o analiză amănunțită a proceselor de lucru existente și a integrărilor de aplicații necesare, strategia de implementare a automatizării a fost echilibrată pentru a obține maximum de scalabilitate și fiabilitate. Ca urmare a acestui efort, a rezultat o reducere în efortul echipei echivalentă cu 241 de zile pe an de procesări manuale.

Etapa premergătoare implementării a presupus evaluarea proceselor existente în colaborare cu echipa internă de SMC – Service Management Center a Orange România, precum și a integrărilor necesare pentru automatizarea operațiunilor digitale. Procesele de lucru existente presupuneau acțiuni inițiale de prelucrare manuală a tichetelor la nivelul 1 de suport, incluzând detectarea tipului de defecțiune și a posibilelor soluții, urmate de eventuala înaintare a solicitării către inginerii de la departamentul tehnic. În acest context, s-a trecut la identificarea activităților cu complexitate medie și prioritate mare și eliminarea etapelor inutile, pentru ca ulterior angajații specializați să își investească timpul în sarcinile cu grad ridicat de complexitate.

În etapa de implementare, coordonarea eficientă a interacțiunilor dintre echipele interne și externe, cât și dintre multiple sisteme a fost esențială pentru a asigura o soluție de automatizare fiabilă pentru diagnosticarea și testarea exhaustivă a tichetelor de nivelul 1. Soluția tehnică pentru care s-a optat este Cortex IA, o soluție de automatizare inteligentă și orchestrare a proceselor. Aceasta a fost integrată de echipa Realworld Eastern Europe cu toate sistemele și interfețele necesare, precum cele de ticketing, Network management și CRM.

„Echipa Realworld Eastern Europe a implementat cu succes o soluție de automatizare care a bifat toate obiectivele de eficientizare și de reducere a sarcinilor repetitive în echipă. Pe parcursul colaborării s-a remarcat prin atitudinea proactivă, orientată spre rezultate, și prin înțelegerea în detaliu a nevoilor noastre, dar mai ales prin propunerea unei soluții care aduce beneficii pentru business în ansamblu și în particular pentru clienți și colegii noștri de la suport tehnic” , a declarat Florin Radu – Ștefănescu, Head of Service Quality & Efficiency Management.

Rata de automatizare în proporție de 99,9% a dus la o reducere cu 80% a timpului necesar soluționării tichetelor la primul nivel, cu o mai mare consecvență și acuratețe. În plus, departamentul tehnic a fost astfel degrevat de sarcinile cu complexitate redusă, având timpul necesar pentru a se concentra pe activitățile cu o mai mare valoare adăugată.

„Colaborarea cu Orange România demonstrează că automatizarea inteligentă, sprijinită de echipe angrenate într-o comunicare eficientă, reprezintă soluția pentru evoluția digitală sustenabilă a business-urilor” , a concluzionat Cătălin Dogaru, Automation Lead, Realworld Eastern Europe.

Echipa Realworld Eastern Europe ce a coordonat acest proiect derulat pentru Orange România a fost formată din Cristina Diaconu – Automation Engineer, Șeila Abdulamit – Business Analyst și Adrian Olteanu – Sales Lead.

Despre Realworld Eastern Europe

Realworld Eastern Europe, companie fondată în 1998, este parte din holding-ul olandez Realworld Systems, cu prezență în Olanda, Germania, Marea Britanie, Indonezia, Africa de Sud, Australia și Ungaria.

Compania oferă servicii profesionale şi produse GIS pentru organizațiile care dezvoltă şi exploatează reţele şi infrastructuri distribuite geografic, ca de exemplu: telecomunicaţii, alimentare cu apă şi canalizare, transportul şi distribuţia energiei electrice şi a gazului. În plus, compania dezvoltă și livrează soluții de gestionare a mentenanței și de digitalizare.

Realworld Eastern Europe dispune de o echipă de consultanți GIS, cu o experienţă de peste 10 de ani în achiziţionarea şi prelucrarea datelor geospaţiale, precum şi dezvoltarea şi implementarea de soluţii GIS pentru clienţii din întreaga lume.

Despre Orange România

Orange România este liderul pieței locale de telecom, oferind la finalul lui 2021 servicii mobile către 10,6 milioane de clienți, servicii fixe în bandă largă către 1,4 milioane de clienți, iar servicii de televiziune prin cablu și satelit către 1,5 milioane de clienți. Recunoscută pentru calitatea superioară a rețelei de telecomuncații, Orange pune la dispoziția clienților săi cea mai extinsă acoperire și un portofoliu complet de servicii: telefonie mobilă, internet, televiziune, soluții smart home, servicii financiare Orange Money și soluții IT&C pentru sectorul public și privat.

Realworld implements technical troubleshooting automation solution within Orange Romania, reducing team effort by 80%


• The time allocated for verifying the technical troubleshooting requests of Orange Romania customers was reduced by the equivalent of 241 days per year of manual processing.


Bucharest, May 9th 2022


Realworld Eastern Europe has implemented an automated technical troubleshooting solution within Orange Romania, for its fixed internet and television services. As a result, the time allocated for dealing with customer technical support requests reached 80% of its efficiency. After a thorough analysis of existing work processes and the required application integrations, the automation implementation strategy was balanced to achieve maximum scalability and reliability. As a result of this effort, there has been a reduction in team effort equivalent to 241 days per year of manual troubleshooting.


The discovery stage involved the evaluation of the existing processes in collaboration with the internal team of Orange Romania’s Service Management Centre (SMC), as well as the necessary integrations for the automation of digital operations. Existing work processes involved initial manual troubleshooting of customer complaints tickets by Level 1 Support, including the identification of the type of issues and possible solutions, followed by the possible submission of the request to engineers in the technical department. In this context, we identified activities with medium complexity and high priority, and eliminated unnecessary steps so that SMC engineers could spend time on more complex tasks.


During the implementation phase, the efficient coordination of interactions between internal and external teams – as well as between multiple systems – was essential to ensure a reliable automation solution for the diagnosis and thorough troubleshooting of Level 1 complaint tickets. The technical solution chosen is Cortex IA, a solution for Intelligent Automation and Process Orchestration. The Cortex IA solution has been integrated by the Realworld Eastern Europe team with all the necessary systems and interfaces, such as ticketing, Network Management, and CRM.


“The Realworld Eastern Europe team has successfully implemented an Automation solution that has ticked all the boxes of efficiency and reduction of repetitive tasks in the team. During the collaboration, the project team was noted for its proactive, results-oriented attitude and for its detailed understanding of our needs, but especially for proposing a solution that benefits businesses as a whole, and in particular for our customers and technical support colleagues,” said Florin Radu-Stefanescu, Head of Service Quality & Efficiency Management.


The automation rate of 99.9% led to an 80% reduction in the time required to resolve tickets at the first level, with greater consistency and accuracy. In addition, the technical department (SMC) was relieved of tasks with reduced complexity, having the necessary time to focus on activities with a higher added value.


“The collaboration with Orange Romania demonstrates that Intelligent Automation, supported by teams engaged in efficient communication, is the optimal solution for the sustainable digital evolution of businesses”, concluded Cătălin Dogaru – Automation Lead, Realworld Eastern Europe.


The Realworld Eastern Europe team that coordinated this project for Orange Romania included Cristina Diaconu – Automation Engineer, Șeila Abdulamit – Business Analyst and Adrian Olteanu – Sales Lead.

GSS In Kubernetes

The GIS and Asset Management worlds have taken notice of the huge architectural improvements that GE has made in its GeoSpatial Server (GSS) product for Smallworld. From the legacy jBoss solution, it has now become completely cloud compatible with Kubernetes.

Of course, Kubernetes is all the buzz these days, but it is worth noting that GE’s investment here makes it a truly scalable solution for your web/cloud application backend, using state-of-the-art technology without reinventing the wheel over and over again. It is not simply dumping the application into a container or cluster, like we’ve seen with ESRI presentations.

The thought put into creating a Kubernetes-based architecture, the way GE has done, has resulted in a well-designed, all-inclusive solution, from authentication and authorisation to well-designed load balancing solutions.

Bifröst

The design team’s use of the name ‘Bifröst’ for the general access of the GSS cluster was very clever, as it means that the god, Heimdallr,  will guard the bridge to the backend functionality.

When studying the solution, it is clear that there are a lot of standard components tightly configured together to form a well-functioning solution.

Open-Source

Many open-source standard solutions are used together: Docker for containerisation, Kubernetes to orchestrate the cluster, and UAA for guarding access as well as Open source logging solutions.

New technology

If you are not familiar with the technology of containerisation, starting with the new version of GSS can be quite a challenge. You have to familiarise yourself with how Docker containers and Kubernetes pods work.  You then need to learn how to orchestrate all these containers with Kubernetes and finally how to create your customisations in the back-end containers.

@ dashingd3js.com

A steep learning curve…

At Realworld Software Products B.V., we wanted to know more about this solution and with our international Realworld sister companies, we set out to acquire this knowledge together.

Development environment

In order to familiarise ourselves with this technology, we started by extending our current knowledge base and got ourselves acquainted with Docker and its capabilities. The next step was to dive into the Kubernetes solutions. Past experience helped us to recognise that the best way to get into cluster technology is to have a “real” cluster, meaning to have multiple computers do the job. In Cluster terms: have multiple nodes.

If you want to know more, please contact one of our Realworld specialists. 

Logging

One of the new elements in the GSS solution is logging, which has been set up using the ELK logging framework, presenting great logging possibilities. GE provides an example dashboard for this with two graphs. Unfortunately for customers, it is a framework…while there is some work to do for consultants.

Proactive

For those of you who are familiar with Smallworld, you are probably aware of Diagnostics. Diagnostics is a tool that assists customers in improving the performance of their system when it comes to big data. This big data allows customers to monitor their systems proactively and reactively. This is what ELK facilitates and, as such, interpreting that big data can sometimes be a challenge. With Diagnostics integrated, you can be proactive with clear and transparent insights on that big data – in advance. This is the big difference when compared to logging. Logging alerts you after an issue has already happened. Proactivity means that you see your nodes in the GSS cluster are not equally sharing the load. Proactive means that you see upfront when certain services are misbehaving on particular data.

Diagnostics

We created an easy way to ingest the GE GSS logging into Diagnostics and configured it to enrich the extensive insights already provided, including data load and database access from GSS’s Magik service provider pods!

Conclusion

Should you need assistance with your GSS architecture: you know how to find us!

But be proactive: monitor your applications and be ahead of the curve. Behind the curve always means sliding off of it.

We have to get better!

We’ve all heard about climate change, rising energy costs, pandemics, sinkholes and so many other factors affecting our everyday life. A condition existing in one part of the world will be a completely different one in another part of the world. However, there is one thing that is absolutely consistent – Non Revenue Water (NRW) affects us all no matter where you live in the world. Whether you are the organisation tasked with delivering water, the consumer or even the organisation extracting water from its natural resource, we all have our part to play to reduce NRW.

 

It’s time to improve. It’s time for change! We all need to take a step back and look in the mirror. What can I do to make a difference? Admittedly, 1 person will not make that much of a difference. However, if we multiply that by 1000’s, the sum of many will make a big difference. Similarly with NRW. There are so many organisations that claim that they resolve NRW – with everything from IT solutions through to manual inspection. In their own way, they actually do. While one activity helps, an amalgamation of many continuous activities make the really big difference. It directly affects your bottom line when looking at items such as Capex, Opex, Energy costs and rehabilitation strategies. Funny thing is that both the consumer and the water company have a direct impact on water resources. The less we all waste, the less stress we put on our natural resources.

 

If you wish to discuss best business practices regarding your NRW strategy, get in touch with us at Realworld Systems. 

Leverage MS Power BI Insights from GE Smallworld

Does your company use MS Power BI to gain insights in business processes? Diagnostics can now help you leverage data from GE Smallworld. You can grasp the data from Diagnostics and make your KPIs for projects visible. Are your Quality requirements meeting the objectives? Are you improving your business?

Diagnostics leverages the underlying technical solutions of Splunk. Splunk provides an ODBC connector and with this connector it opens up your data.

Project management

Proper project management measures progress. In order to achieve this, often the time spent is used as a basis. How often does the estimated time for projects meet the real figures? So how would anyone know whether the project progress is correct?

With Diagnostics you can simply measure what happened in Smallworld. Real figures, real results and real progress.

KPI monitoring

Is the system working as promised? Did you use all your available resources and licenses? Stop using numbers provided by running computer monitoring and start using what the end user actually experiences! Performance and the possibility to use the actual system in all its interconnectivity.

Quality throughout

Everybody uses our quality guidelines because we agreed upon it, didn’t we? Sure? What are the figures about using the quality checks we carefully put in place? You turned mandatory off because posting was not possible? And now? Is this step skipped in the process? Your data is the crown jewel of your IT department!

Start monitoring and show the figures in the management team site on MS Teams. Realtime!

Downtime reporting

Do not trust figures of your issue tool. We all know issues are only reported for about 10% of the cases. Present the real time situation in your MS SharePoint environment.

Gain control. For our current customers we created a getting started or our Portal.

Reach out to one of our specialists to find out more.

We have news!

Staying connected is so easy nowadays that it can be a real challenge to stay focused. When you are busy investigating a user error report with Diagnostics, you will now see a bell icon giving you a quick indication of whether any other alerts have come in while you were analysing. This gives you relevant context but draws your attention only if needed.

Accompanying the ‘About Diagnostics’ button is a new speaker icon for easy access to Diagnostics’ latest news items, like this blog post that you are reading right now. News about upcoming events, insightful stories, version updates and more are gathered here, giving you an easy way to navigate Diagnostics’ online resources.

New proactive alert: ‘Disk Full’ expected

Since 2019 we have been adding at least 1 new alert with every release of Diagnostics, and version 2.5 is no different. The new ‘Datastore growth alert’ brings the total to 8 different types of alerts that you can enable with one click.

This alert is the counterpart of the ‘Datastore growth monitor’ dashboard. The alert will draw your attention in time for you to act on the threat, while the dashboard provides more context and offers 3 ways to mitigate the risk:

  1. Set or increase superfile limit
  2. Drop old references to data
  3. Perform ds_transfer

This alert is shown via the new bell icon but will also be delivered to you through email.

Log4j to SLF4J

The recent vulnerability in log4j scared many of us around the world. Diagnostics was not affected mainly because it used version 1 of the library. The general consensus among security experts however was that it is safest to upgrade all systems around the world to the latest patched version 2 of log4j. While upgrading we concluded that log4j version 2 is too complex for our use case and hence does not comply with Diagnostics’ design principle of keeping things simple. We therefore decided to write our own simple logger to use for the internal logging of Diagnostics’ components and make this logger adhere to the SLF4J industry standard interface. This gives us all the benefits but none of the complexities. Diagnostics no longer uses log4j.

Version 2.5 of Diagnostics is now available.

Diagnostics. In control.

Get in touch with one of our specialists today to find out more about Diagnostics 2.5.

5 Ways To Cut Your Maintenance Costs

To put it simply, every turn of a wrench costs your organisation money. Repairs eat into your maintenance budget and can drain other resources, like staff and energy. Finding ways to cut costs is easier said than done for organisations already operating lean; however, even some minor operational changes can significantly impact your maintenance costs. We have listed 5 best practice questions that you should be thinking about to cut costs in your organisation. The more of these best practices you achieve in your maintenance plan, the bigger the difference they can make.

1. Do You Have Standardised Operating Procedures?

When your team receives a work order request, how does the work get assigned to the appropriate technician? How do you capture vendor data — like certificates of insurance? If you do not have answers to these questions or other common operating procedures, it is likely serving as a cost leakage for your department. Setting standardised operating procedures can streamline work requests, improve your team’s operational efficiency and ultimately drive down your operating costs.

2. Are You Using Computerised Maintenance Management Software?

Using a solid CMMS solution can help you centralise your data and automate your maintenance activities. As a result, everyone on your team works from the same playbook. It makes it easy to implement your standard operating procedures and simplify the work order request process. In addition, it tracks every data point related to your maintenance activities — making it easy to pull reports, set benchmarks and understand where you have room for improvement.

3. Is Time Dedicated To Preventive Maintenance?

Repairing broken-down equipment can cost up to 5 times more than planned maintenance. However, preventive maintenance often falls to the bottom of the ‘to-do’ list as higher priority activities tend to take precedence. Making sure your team focuses a portion of their time on preventive maintenance can significantly reduce your maintenance costs as well as downtime.

4. Are You Analysing Your Data?

Gathering data serves as one piece of the puzzle, but it means nothing unless you analyse what you collect to identify trends. Using key performance indicators (KPIs) and comparing them against benchmarks that you set can help you understand where you may be lacking. This gives you an opportunity to dig in to see how you can improve. For instance, say you notice that your team rarely meets its service-level agreements. Reviewing the metrics behind the data may indicate that they are overwhelmed with work and that you need to add more staff to react to issues more timeously.

5. Do You Evaluate Your Vendors?

Working with vendors can either result in cost-savings or drain your budget, depending on how well they perform. Track your vendor performance to help you understand how you can cut costs among your external partners. To learn how to implement best practices, contact us today.

CONTACT

Venusstraat 17
4105 JH Culemborg
The Netherlands
+31 (0)345 - 61 44 06
info@realworld-systems.com

FOLLOW US