What is CMMS Software?
CMMS stands for Computerized Maintenance Management System. It’s 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.
Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS)
Everyone, even small and medium-sized enterprises can benefit from maintenance control software today. Advances in technology, combined with the power of the internet have made CMMS software more accessible, affordable and user-friendly than ever before.
What is a CMMS?
At its core, CMMS software is a maintenance management tool that ensures that maintenance technicians accurately communicate maintenance activities in a way to produce meaningful data for historical tracking, maintenance KPI, and asset issues. This is done through work orders, preventive maintenance, inventory, purchasing, personnel, projects, reporting and analysis, cost tracking and much more.
The first CMMS software that became available was essentially a data repository, but now CMMS allows you to reap the benefits of proven, leading-edge technologies such as web browser access, mobile devices, wireless access, and configurable dashboards. It also allows for integrations of production and machine data creating synergy between various systems to automate processes and provide even more data into the maintenance environment.
What Are the Benefits of CMMS?
CMMS can be used to manage manufacturing and processing plants, facilities, utilities, health care facilities, public works infrastructure, academic campuses and anywhere that employs maintenance technicians to handle the assets and maintenance that makes the organization work smoothly. Moving from spreadsheets and word-of-mouth for maintenance needs to a computerized system will provide many real-world benefits including:
- Reduce production costs and problem assets
- Decrease production downtime and increase uptime
- Efficiently provide data for maintenance budgeting
- Optimize inventory levels and reduce carrying charges
- Improve product quality and speed-to-market
- Compliance with regulatory requirements such as EPA, ISO, OSHA, and GASB
- Increase manufacturing/processing capacity
- Informed management decisions based on accurate, real-time information
- Reduce accidents and improve plant safety
- Extend the operational life of machinery, equipment, facilities and vehicles
- Minimize paperwork, freeing employees for more productive work.
EAM vs. CMMS Software
Enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software gives companies the ability to manage multiple assets, users and locations from the same system. It runs on networks, syncs data and gives companies vast amounts of information relating to asset management lifecycles across various sites. EAM is much like CMMS in its maintenance management features, and both solutions fall under the category of maintenance management software.
Both enterprise Asset Management (EAM) software and Computerized Maintenance Management System (CMMS) software help organizations save time and money as well as complete maintenance tasks more efficiently. But what is the difference between EAM and CMMS systems and which type of maintenance software is right for your organization?
When it comes to the maintenance of assets, there is little difference between EAM and CMMS software. Larger organizations may use EAM because of the demands of the accounting and finance departments. If your organization has the resources and work processes in place to support the data entry and analysis required by EAM software, EAM is the way to go.
CMMS Software Features
Maintenance managers are tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that equipment and facilities are properly maintained to meet maintenance goals while staying within the maintenance budget. In organizations with a lot of maintenance work to track, a maintenance manager’s job can be overwhelming without CMMS software to help organize assets, parts and machinery. CMMS software stores a wealth of information about each asset, including warranties, manufacturers, vendors and technical documentation. Below are some important features of maintenance software for maintenance managers.
- System-wide data availability. Inventory can be easily checked across your enterprise and reporting is consolidated. Work orders and purchase orders are transmitted by email. Drawings, pictures, documents, video clips and other files can be linked to work orders, work requests, assets and procedures.
- Cost tracking and containment. Create budgets and track by cost centers or GL accounts at detail and summary levels. Track outside contractor and miscellaneous costs and provide inventory valuation.
- Parts inventory management. Track parts and inventory in multiple warehouse and locations with a comprehensive physical inventory system that allows for cross-referencing. Handle spare parts management and parts forecasting and usage.
- Maintenance scheduling. Schedule maintenance activities by time or meter based on a user-defined calendar and auto-generated schedules.
- Equipment management and reporting. Comprehensive maintenance histories provide detailed information including warranty tracking and asset-to-part cross references. Often maintenance problems and emergencies are caused by a small subset of equipment. Accessing equipment breakdown reports and viewing historical records of equipment issues and statistics can help managers identify problem equipment and repair or replace it.
- Work order management. Easily handle planned maintenance work orders, as well as unplanned work orders that allow for multiple assets and procedures per work order. Schedule work orders with assigned priorities
- Reusable task templates. Maintenance manager can develop reusable templates for tasks and procedures that frequent occur. This reduces the time spent on entering instruction and allows for the use of best practices by novice and experienced technicians.
- Purchasing management. Provide automatic parts reorder alerts and alerts for work orders awaiting parts, as well as vendor and purchasing analyses.
- Analysis tools. One of the most powerful features in maintenance software is a business intelligence dashboard that displays configurable KPIs and provides management reports to help understand the state of your maintenance program and identify areas for improvement.
- Scalability. While it’s important that your CMMS software meets your maintenance department’s short-term needs, the best approach is to find software that is capable of meeting your minimum requirements for at least three years out.
- Access to the system. Access your CMMS software through a web browser at any computer, and through mobile devices both connected and offline. Import and export data to and from other applications.
- Superior vendor support. Implementing CMMS/EAM software is one thing – making it work for your business another. It’s crucial to buy maintenance software from a vendor that offers comprehensive support services to ensure that you’re able to successfully implement their software and maximize your CMMS ROI.
CMMS software is feature-rich, providing essential maintenance functions. As the features and benefits of CMMS have increased, the cost has decreased significantly over the years. There are many cost-effective, best-of-breed maintenance control software systems available that provide the features small and mid-sized enterprises need to run an effective maintenance program.
Maintenance Workflow Process
Key to the CMMS software is the work order management process. The work order is the backbone of an efficient CMMS implementation. Once a work order is generated – for anything from changing a light bulb to an equipment malfunction – it needs to be tracked to successful completion. The maintenance workflow diagram for a maintenance job that triggers the CMMS work order system looks something like this:
Thinking of Purchasing CMMS or EAM software?
Here are a few resources we’ve written to help guide the maintenance management software selection process.
7 Tips for Avoiding CMMS/EAM Failure
Many maintenance organizations invest in a CMMS/EAM in hopes that it will solve their maintenance management problems, only to discover that the [...]
7 Potential Pitfalls to Avoid When Selecting CMMS/EAM Software
Shopping for new or replacement maintenance software? It's important to do your homework. Read seven pitfalls to avoid when selecting CMMS/EAM software.
Differences Between CMMS and EAM Software
Maintenance management systems and asset management software have many similarities. Learn the differences between CMMS and EAM software.