According to Inspectioneering Journal’s Facilities Asset Integrity Management Benchmarking Survey, 90 percent of reporting facilities maintain an Inspection Data Management System (IDMS) as part of their reliability programs, which can be anything from a simple excel sheet to an advanced mechanical integrity software program. However, 59 percent of facilities have challenges with the operability of these programs. For many companies, these challenges stem from a lack of efficiency when assessing, selecting and implementing the appropriate software program for the unique needs of the facility. To help companies meet efficiency excellence, this paper offers instructions on how to choose the right mechanical integrity software based on the facility’s current pain points and what goals they hope to achieve in the future.

Where to Start: People, Process and Technology

Success of an IDMS starts with establishing that the right personnel and processes are in place at the facility. Without these two crucial elements, the technology will fail and ultimately, so too will the overall success of the software program. Facilities need a sound team of experts who understand the software and how it integrates into their role and departmental objectives.

In addition, the accuracy of the existing data, how new data is collected, stored and is translated to upper management is also a crucial element of an IDMS. Even though personnel and technology may be in place at the facility, without a clear and concise process utilizing accurate data, there can be confusion and frustration for all parties involved. As a result, personnel will stop using the technology and the software program will appear to be a waste of time, resources and money.

The third element to consider when implementing a mechanical integrity software program is the technology. The marketplace has a variety of vendors to choose from, all toting “best-in-the-business” taglines, and filling communication mediums with endless amounts of jargon. Managers must weed through the information on their own since vendors do not explicitly outline their strengths and weaknesses.

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