Following is ES editor Robert Beverly's Editor's Note from the February issue. You can enter the challenge by clicking here and responding to "The CMMS Challenge" post with the required information.

In this case, I am not talking about crossword complexities of the "HVAC Challenge" (page 10 in the print version). Nor am I talking about the challenge of memorizing the entire "ES Glossary" at once (for the the industrious and/or bored, it's on page 81 of the print version), or of committing to memory which ES sales representative serves which geographical territory (although we heartily encourage all of you do that for your general reference).

This month, we unveil the CMMS Challenge, which poses the timely question, "Is your project CMMS ready?" Spurred by Howard McKew (longtime columnist and director of the Building Solutions Group at Richard D. Kimball Company, Inc. [RDK]), our goal is to promote projects where the client winds up with the hardware, the software, the programming, the training, and the electronic documentation to manage maintenance with something more comprehensive than on-site experience and a bulging three-ring binder of manuals.

As McKew points out in his column this month (located at,2503,117885,00.html, O&M manuals are the "last bastion" for hard-copy documentation regarding just about anything in the modern building. Everything else is a click away on the Internet, or on CD-ROM, or on the network or hard drive - right where, for instance, two people in different locations could get to it at the same time!

Let's Pause To Discuss Prizes

Before we get into guidelines and procedures and so forth, let me answer the question you're already asking: "What's in it for me?" Beyond the personal and professional gratification of spreading the word about a job well done to other professionals who might then emulate your farsighted efforts, there will be some additional, material reward for sharing your project's prize performance withEngineered Systems.

Our executive committee on goodies and free stuff has not yet determined the exact gift to be delivered to your door, but I can say with some certainty that it will be one of the following:

  • A brand-new, top-of-the-line laptop from a major computer manufacturer (retail value: $2,500);
  • A 2004 BMW Z4 Roadster 2.5i (retail value: $33,600); or
  • An official ES coffee mug or t-shirt, with "My Project Is CMMS Ready" and/or the magazine logo on it (retail value: $6.27).

If you have a preference among these, drop me an e-mail and I will pass along your input to the committee. Of course, we'll also be looking at participants' projects with an eye toward possible future feature articles, and we would like to feature exceptional entries via this website as well.

Apply Yourself

What projects qualify? Perhaps your client already had a CMMS but needed assistance with entering all of the equipment data, configuring the types of tasks and their frequencies, and organizing things like special instructions and materials.

We want to hear about engineers and firms providing that service. Or perhaps the client did not have a CMMS. In that case, tell us about helping with the purchase of the software, followed by the relevant data entry and the other tasks listed in the previous example.

Either way, you should include info about the name of the project, the building owner, the design team, the CMMS firm (who may be the design engineer or a separate engineer). You should also feel free to include the name of the CMMS vendor. A quite detailed example of such a report is this month's cover story by William R. Sousa, CFM, also of RDK.

To enter, go to the "CMMS Challenge" post in the bulletin board section of our website. You do have to register, but it's quick and requires only name and password information.

The time to move to standard CMMS readiness has arrived. McKew echoes recent sentiments of building automation columnist Ken Sinclair when he reminds us, "Those who don't embrace the CMMS challenge will be left behind, trying to explain to their building owner/client why they aren't using off-the-shelf computer software technology when turning over O&M requirements."

The technology is there. Many vendors already post all of their manuals online. Simply using available technology tells clients (and potential clients) that you are on the ball. Tell us how you're doing it, and let us help spread the word. ES