A word processor or spreadsheet may work well enough for a short initial project, but the time will come when you want to be able to manipulate information more easily and to combine data from more than one analysis into a single maintenance schedule.
A number of off-the-shelf packages are available in the technical software market. The key features that the software should provide include the following.
- Record and print Information Worksheets and Decision Worksheets for the exact RCM variant you are using
- Store background information to support the analysis, such as cost and failure data
- Provide good navigation so that the system can be used easily in a group working environment
- Minimise the volume of typing that the group facilitator or secretary has to do
- Provide basic word processing facilities such as text formatting and a spelling checker
- Share RCM information easily with group members and auditors
- Be able to export all recorded information in a non-proprietary format so that you are not locked in to one supplier
- Back up and restore the RCM database easily
- Be able to work away from a network if your facilitator or others need to operate while travelling, from hotels or from home
- Generate maintenance schedules in a format that is compatible with your maintenance management system or ERP
- Provide compatibility with your organisation’s workstations and IT infrastructure