What is a CMMS?
A Computerized Maintenance Management System or CMMS is maintenance software used to manage work orders, track assets, monitor conditions, and more. CMMS software optimizes the use, availability, and longevity of equipment, machines, fleets, infrastructure, facilities, or operations.
A CMMS allows a maintenance or facility team to organize all maintenance-related activities in one central location. For example, they can track all assets, spare parts, suppliers, work orders, preventive maintenance, and more in one software. A well-managed CMMS can dramatically increase productivity, reduce downtime, and reduce spare parts.
How does a CMMS work?
CMMS allows facility managers to plan and perform maintenance activities while tracking assets and providing reports. With CMMS software, facility managers can better schedule maintenance, making them more efficient with their budget and minimizing downtime. Rather than tracking and scheduling activities by hand, you can plan maintenance more accurately, keeping it scheduled and monitored. Facility managers can also better prioritize similar types of maintenance activities.
Maintenance strategies have changed dramatically over the years, changing the understanding of how preventive maintenance processes can extend asset life, increase productivity, improve overall efficiency and reduce maintenance costs in ways reactive maintenance cannot. Using a CMMS enables your maintenance team to work at their best.
While technology has come a long way, computers lack the power and ability to perform maintenance work as quickly, efficiently, and precisely as skilled workers. As a result, it remains the maintenance team’s job to perform preventive maintenance or routine inspections or ensure work orders’ completion. Instead, a CMMS helps ease maintenance management, streamline and standardize processes, and provide a resource for data to help inform maintenance and financial decisions.
There are many efficiencies and lifecycle benefits to implementing and using a CMMS. It allows teams to align maintenance practices and activities with other departments and business goals. With a system that allows data sharing across departments, everyone’s work becomes more efficient.
What are the benefits of a CMMS?
- Asset Lifecycle Visibility: A CMMS provides a continuous set of standardized methods that track physical assets, their ongoing inventory, usage, and maintenance.
- Workflow Visibility and Work Order Management: Dashboards and reports help workers at any skill level understand their current status and identify ways to increase efficiency. Maintenance managers can quickly identify which assets need maintenance, what parts they’re missing, and who needs to be assigned to complete the tasks.
- Automation and Streamlined Processes: A CMMS allows you to automate tasks and streamline work. It helps save time, reduce errors, and improve efficiency. It automates tasks such as reordering inventory, scheduling shifts, compiling information for audits, work order assignments, and other administrative duties. A CMMS allows work orders to be viewed by all parties involved. It enables sharing of data across mobile devices to coordinate work between the field and operations centers and prioritize resource distribution and utilization.
- Preventative Maintenance: Data derived from daily activities and sensors, meters, etc., can deliver insights into processes and assets, inform preventive measures, and trigger alerts before assets fail or underperform.
- Regulatory Compliance and Audit Management: Compliance audits from local, state, national, and other organizations can disrupt maintenance operations and asset-intensive businesses. However, having a CMMS in place can make the audit process much easier by generating responses and reports tailored to the specific demands of the audit, saving a lot of time and hassle for the business and making the entire process much smoother.
- Health, Safety, and Environment: A CMMS offers reporting for health, safety, and environmental issues. Knowing these can help reduce risk, maintain a safe operating environment, and empower companies to analyze recurring incidents, action history, and process change management.
CMMS vs. EAM: What’s the difference?
Enterprise asset management (EAM) and computerized maintenance management systems (CMMS) are both software solutions that help organizations manage their assets and maintenance operations. However, there are some key differences between the two.
CMMS software helps organizations track and manage their maintenance operations, including work orders, preventive maintenance, and more. Some EAM functionality overlaps with a CMMS but includes the added features of spanning multiple sites for larger companies and focusing on an asset’s lifecycle, from design to retirement or replacement.
Why you need a CMMS
One of the most critical decisions an organization has to make is when it comes down to maintenance vs. repair. This software will help you figure out which issues will eventually need maintenance and which will need repair. It will estimate the time and cost required for these issues so you can decide what to do. If you are still determining when maintenance should be done, the software will have programming that will identify problems and make it intelligent enough to know what is happening.
If you work in a field where you must be on the lookout for various conditions and compare them to specifications, keeping track of all of this can be a real headache. This is why a CMMS is useful: it helps you maintain a base level of upkeep, standardize policies and tools, and update supply lines, allowing you to focus less on mundane tasks and more on maximizing your efforts.