This three-part guide on CMMS for food manufacturing will help you learn how to improve your facility with computerized maintenance management software (CMMS).

Part 1: What is a CMMS and How is it Used?

What is CMMS Software?

A computerized maintenance management system (CMMS) is a software package that maintains a computer database of information about an organization’s maintenance operations, and is used to help maintenance workers do their jobs more effectively.

How is it Used?

Computerized maintenance management software is used for a number of reasons. It streamlines all relevant data for assets, making it easy to determine which pieces of equipment require maintenance and which warehouses contain spare parts needed. Maintenance staff utilize CMMS to create and manage work orders, create work requests, perform inventory control functions and much more. Its use of real-time data and robust reporting functionality also helps management make smarter asset management decisions. For example, management can calculate the cost of equipment replacements and compare it to preventative maintenance costs for each asset. CMMS data may also be utilized to demonstrate regulatory compliance.

Typical CMMS Features:cmms demo

Part 2: What are the Benefits of CMMS for Food Manufacturing?

Comply with Food Safety Regulations

There are a number of entities that regulate the food manufacturing industry—United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the ISO 22000 family of International Standards just to name a few. To ensure food manufacturers are meeting health and regulations, these entities conduct inspections and audits. CMMS for compliance provides a means to store detailed documentation such as safety manuals, standard operating procedures and important records related to equipment and assets. A few clicks (or taps, if you’re using a mobile device) is all it takes to retrieve pertinent data needed to demonstrate compliance. You can even generate custom reports for inspectors and auditors using CMMS for food manufacturing.

Reduce Food Waste food manufacturing maintenance

Aside from affecting production, interruptions in the food manufacturing process can cause significant waste. Food that can’t be processed in a timely manner due to an equipment malfunction or failure must be scrapped due to health and safety concerns. CMMS for food manufacturing decreases the likelihood of equipment breakdowns by ensuring preventive maintenance is performed on a regular basis. This helps maintenance teams operate more efficiently and reduce waste. Access to real-time information also allows staff to also track inventory levels more effectively, which helps prevent over-ordering.

Maximize Equipment Reliability

Food manufacturers require reliable equipment to succeed. Any interruption in food processing can seriously affect production and, more importantly, profits. Regular preventive maintenance is necessary in order to maximize equipment reliability. CMMS for food manufacturing allows users to effectively plan, schedule and record preventive maintenance activities on each piece of equipment. Maintenance software helps maximize uptime and keep equipment operating in peak condition.

Make Smarter Asset Management Decisions

Access to a comprehensive history on each asset, including dates when failures occurred and repairs were performed, helps management make smarter asset management decisions. For example, each asset has an average lifecycle and budgets typically allocate funds toward replacement when that asset has reached its end of life. However, with regular preventive maintenance performed and very few unplanned repairs, that asset may well exceed its average lifecycle. Management may opt to delay equipment replacement and instead allocate those available funds toward other pressing matters.

Modernize Your Maintenance Operations

If you are still utilizing spreadsheets to organize your maintenance operations, it’s time for a change. Whereas spreadsheets are limited in capabilities, CMMS software provides automation of tasks, centralization of data, detailed analysis, advanced reporting and more. Most reputable maintenance software solutions offer the ability to access the program on any web-based device, including mobile. Maintenance staff can manage work orders, work requests, and parts inventory on the go with ease. Dashboard features within CMMS software enable companies to view real-time data on a number of key performance indicators (KPIs) graphically at any time. This allows management to keep a finger on the pulse of their organization, spot trends and improve efficiency.

Part 3: How to Select the Best CMMS for Food Manufacturing

1. Assemble a CMMS Team

To begin the selection process, organizations should put together a CMMS selection and implementation team to work through selection criteria. This enables representatives from management, maintenance, operations and accounting functions to work together and determine critical requirements for CMMS software.

Consider questions like:

  • How many pieces and types of equipment will be tracked in the system?
  • How many users will there be and how will they access the system (mobile devices or workstations)?
  • What type of deployment option is best: an on-premise system with a private cloud option or a hosted cloud-based system?
  • What are the critical reports and key performance indicators (KPIs) that we need to track using the system
  • Will the CMMS system need to integrate with our other business applications?

2. Develop Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Another very important consideration when selecting a CMMS system are your asset management standard operating procedures (SOPs). Once SOPs are defined, different CMMS products can be appropriately evaluated to ensure they meet your requirements. Can you easily customize the CMMS product to meet your specific needs? A common reason CMMS implementations fail is a mismatch between how a system is designed and how your work is actually performed.

3. Narrow Down List of CMMS Vendors

Once you’ve completed the groundwork to determine the requirements for your business and the key deliverables of the CMMS, you can easily develop a shortlist of vendors to evaluate before a final selection is made.

The following criteria can help determine whether a vendor should be placed on the short list:

  • Does the product have the features that meet your list of requirements?
  • Does the vendor have a proven track record in the CMMS industry, and do they obtain input from customers for product improvements?
  • Does the vendor provide training and support services at a level that meets your expectations?
  • What is the user interface like, and how easily can your staff become familiar with the functionality?
  • Can the user interface be easily modified by you?
  • Does the product and services match your budget?

Ultimately, the best CMMS software for you is a combination of many factors and priorities that are unique to your business.

Contact DPSI

DPSI provides industry-leading maintenance management software that helps organizations resolve critical maintenance challenges, maximize ROI, enhance productivity, ensure compliance and more. We accommodate a variety of industries ranging from small to large, multi-site organizations. We offer highly scalable software solutions that can be accessed online from mobile and web-based devices. Since 1986, our company has served over 6,000 companies and 50,000 users in over 50 countries, including more than 400 of the Fortune 500 companies.

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