What is a CMMS?
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure when it comes to maintenance. Broken HVAC systems, malfunctioning sensors, damaged fans. These are all disruptions to your uptime, your ability to produce your goods, your ability to deliver your services; and they will negatively impact profits. CMMS (computerized maintenance management system) software helps to prevent downtime and pushes maintenance managers to adopt a proactive approach to maintenance.
MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) is a huge cost for businesses — regardless of industry or sector. CMMS software addresses MRO issues and makes it possible for organizations to reduce costs in these areas. Manufacturing is the sector most obviously impacted by improvements in maintenance management, but the reality is that any business with a building can benefit from CMMS software.
The what: CMMS software
CMMS software is designed to streamline maintenance management by tracking maintenance activities on equipment, assets and property. A CMMS system tracks work orders and inventory, maintains an auditable work history, as well as schedules and tracks maintenance tasks like inspections.
CMMS software is, at its core, a time-stamped electronic repository of maintenance records and performance metrics. Additional features use the information in the database in order to produce accurate reports and useful forecasts. Data-driven performance reports produced by the software give insights into which resources are best focused where. CMMS solutions also include cost tools designed to give the cost of machine breakdown versus the cost of performing preventive or predictive maintenance.
Maintenance management software is fundamental to any organization looking to improve efficiency and decrease maintenance-related costs. The ultimate goal of a CMMS system is to give maintenance management staff the tools to make informed decisions. Maintenance management staff armed with useful information can improve resource allocation, reduce costs and boost efficiency. The software is an invaluable resource to maintenance managers, and its implementation can alleviate maintenance-related headaches.
Who uses CMMS software?
CMMS software is useful to any organization that has assets, equipment or property. This is a broad definition that includes nearly every organization in a wide range of sectors because any business with physical assets can benefit from its application. Maintenance managers and their teams are the actual users of the software.
Main categories of CMMS users
- Production maintenance: These organizations make physical products and have manufacturing equipment that needs to be maintained.
- Fleet maintenance: These companies have transportation assets that require regular maintenance. Limo services and catering companies are just two of the many types of organizations that need to maintain fleets of vehicles.
- Facility maintenance: Any organization with a building falls into this category. While not as necessary for these types of companies, the implementation of a CMMS can cut costs and provide solid ROI.
EAM (enterprise asset management) software is often associated with CMMS systems. Both deal with asset management and maintenance, but EAM is focused on enterprise-level organizations, while CMMS is primarily applicable to smaller businesses.
Why should I implement a CMMS? (Benefits)
There is a diverse range of benefits realized by CMMS users, the most important being reducing maintenance costs. Maintenance managers utilize the software in order to make informed maintenance decisions, and upgrade from a reactive to a proactive asset management style. The increase in proactive and predictive maintenance allows users to head off problems before they develop.
Users of a CMMS system adopt a holistic view of facilities and assets. This holistic view, combined with a proactive management style, means improved allocation of resources and saving time and money previously tied up in maintenance-related failures.
Ultimately, correctly performed and timely preventative maintenance can boost uptime and extend the operable life of equipment, property and assets. Extended asset life means less of your resources spent on sourcing and purchasing new assets.
Maintaining accurate, easy-to-access asset maintenance history leads to less asset negligence liability. Maintenance management software records are often used to maintain regulatory compliance, which can be a nightmare if you lack proper documentation. CMMS software functions as an easily accessible database.
Any business can realize significant ROI from the implementation of a CMMS. From light fixtures, to air conditioning systems, to forklifts, quality CMMS software gives valuable insight as to what needs to be fixed before damage adversely affects processes. Like Cassandra of Troy, you will be granted the gift of foresight after selecting a CMMS. Unlike Cassandra, your predictions will be believed and acted on, saving your business time and money.
Differences in CMMS platforms
There are a variety of differences between CMMS systems. CMMS software can be designed for general use or geared toward specific industries. For example, there is CMMS software built specifically for vehicle fleet management. Other CMMS software is designed to be applicable to a wide range of industries.
The software can be built and hosted in the cloud or on-premise, depending on the solution. Modern CMMS systems are often cloud-based and provide well-designed mobile access. Maintenance workers are usually in the field, so mobile access for easy data entry and inputting requests is an increasingly important feature.
For companies that have already implemented a CMMS, integrating CBM (condition-based maintenance) software is the next step. According to a study by ARC Advisory Group, the average company has the ability to reduce its preventative maintenance costs by 50 percent. The dual use of a CMMS and a CBM can be the catalyst for cultivating these savings. As the IoT (internet of things) becomes increasingly prevalent, smart sensors that can gather and transmit a ton of real-time performance data will be utilized by CBM and CMMS software to arm maintenance workers with even more tools to tackle the issue of inefficiency within maintenance management.
CBM relies on the real-time data gathered by asset monitoring sensors in order to identify deteriorating parts prior to breakdown. In another ARC study, the group found that 82 percent of asset failure occurred randomly, while only 18 percent was age-based. This means that while scheduled preventive maintenance is important, real-time performance based maintenance is better. CBM integration with CMMS software is available and highly recommended for those seeking a comprehensive, predictive solution.
In short, CMMS software is an electronic database of maintenance-related data that provides empirical evidence-based insights on maintain physical assets. Implementing the software can extend the operable life of assets and save the business on maintenance-related costs.